If there is one topic that has caused a tremendous amount of confusion in the weight loss community it is the role of protein shake weight loss regimens. Can protein shakes be part of an effective fat loss diet? They absolutely can. Can protein shakes actually prevent you from losing weight if you do not use them correctly? Yes, they can do that too.
The Devil is in the DetailsSo how should protein shake weight loss form part of your fat loss plan? There are two important points I have to make in response to this question. The first and most important point is that your protein shakes must have the right balance of macro nutrients in them. This means they should have the right amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrates.
If fat loss is your goal, your shakes should contain mostly protein with a bit of healthy fat and a few grams of carbohydrates. A recipe I often use is:
2 scoops of whey protein isolate powder1 TBSP of unsalted almond butter1 cup of unsweetened almond milk1 TBSP of stevia powder (for sweetness)4-5 ice cubesJust add all of the ingredients to your blender and process until smooth.
Meal ReplacementA common mistake dieters make with protein shakes is consuming them in between meals as a snack. They are too caloric to be a good snack, so when weight loss is your primary goal you will want to use protein shakes as meal replacements. Used in this fashion they act as a relatively low calorie meal that is high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. In other words, it makes the perfect fat loss meal.
A lot of my clients have successfully replaced their normal breakfast of a bowl of cereal, which is almost always high in carbohydrates, with the above shake recipe. This is a great strategy, but you can use a protein shake to replace any one of your daily meals with good results.
Common MistakesMany people get tripped up with protein shakes because they start adding ingredients. They want it to taste like a real milkshake. Let me break the bad news to you, if your protein shakes taste like a milkshake they are not going to help you lose weight.
I have seen people add bananas, frozen yogurt, whole milk, Hershey’s syrup, and even ice cream to protein shakes to make them taste better. This will certainly result in a tastier shake, but it will not result in fat loss. These ingredients all add a significant amount of calories and carbohydrates to the shake, which cancels out any benefit you may have gotten from it.
Give it a WeekMost folks are disappointed when they first taste a healthy protein shake. This is a normal reaction, but the good news is, after you drink them for a week the taste will grow on you. I hated protein shakes when I first started drinking them, but now I look forward to mine every day!