Protein Powder collage.fwProtein powders can be made from different sources but the most common ones are egg, whey from milk, soy and rice. Since both eggs and whey are restricted from the vegan diet, protein powders for vegans have to use protein from other sources. Sources include soy, hemp, brown rice and yellow pea. Protein powder comes in a variety of flavors and is used to make smoothies or shakes using water, milk or liquid of choice. It can also be added to cereals or yogurt and is often used in protein bars.  Protein shakes are popular because they are easy to prepare, fast and convenient.

Whey protein is a more popular protein and is derived from a component of cow’s milk. It is extremely low in lactose and considered completely safe for those who are lactose intolerant. It is very easy to digest and suitable for vegetarians or anyone needing to get a higher intake of protein without consuming a high amount of fat or calories

What is the best protein powder to help me gain weight?

To be honest, there is not a solid answer to this.  However, many protein powders are designed to help gain weight and build muscle.  These “weight-gain” powders can contain various combinations of carbohydrate, protein, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients thought to enhance performance.  They can easily add an additional average of 500 – 1000 calories per day.

Weight gain protein powders are primarily used by body builders but can also be helpful for patients with medical conditions that cause rapid weight loss.  Additionally, they can be a nutritional addition to geriatric patients as they can provide additional, quality protein for the elderly that may not be eating as much or cooking nutritionally for themselves.

Weight-gain powders are helpful for increasing calories when you can’t increase your calories from food alone. But because the protein powders are quite high in calories the weight you gain may end up as fat.  Be choosy when selecting the appropriate protein powder for you to achieve your weight gain goals and good nutrition!

Can I use protein powder for weight loss?

Absolutely!  Your body burns more calories to digest protein than it does other types of food. Increasing your amount of protein will help you use more calories and increase your weight loss. One serving of protein powder daily can help you burn more calories. When you are losing weight, you want to lose fat, not muscle. Muscle tissue is important because it keeps you strong and burns more calories than other types of tissues in your body. To preserve your muscle mass while dieting, you need plenty of protein in your diet and protein powders help you get it.

Follow these ideas for easy weight loss with protein powders:

  • To really kick start your metabolism, you need to feed your body frequently. Try to get between 5-6 well balanced meals each day. Shoot for 3-4 small meals with regular food (small portions) and 1-2 protein power drinks or meal replacements.
  • Consume a protein powder shake before eating a healthy lunch. In order to lose 1 lb., you need to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories through exercise and diet. An easy way to “trick” your body into thinking it doesn’t need as many calories to be satisfied is to fill your stomach with a protein powder shake. Wait about 15 minutes before eating and you’ll find that you are less hungry and eat fewer calories. This is a good way to lose weight without feeling deprived.
  • Substitute a protein powder shake for your afternoon snack. It’s often tempting to get a snack from the vending machine, but keeping a package or container of protein powder and the appropriate beverage to mix it with at your desk can provide a healthier option. Having a high protein drink instead of a high carbohydrate snack can also provide you with enough energy to get through the rest of your day. Use a protein powder that mixes easily with water, milk and can be shaken in a mason jar or protein shaker cup. Good powders do not require a blender.
  • Use a protein powder shake as a pre-dinner beverage and wait 15 minutes before eating. This will help you eat less of your dinner, which should consist of a lean protein source, high fiber salad, green vegetable and limited whole grains. For dessert, have a piece of fresh fruit and if you find yourself hungry just before bed, have half of a protein powder shake to help fill your stomach so you aren’t prone to midnight snacking. Remember that protein powders come in a variety of flavors, so it is possible to get the taste of chocolate, Pina Colada or even Orange Dreamsicle to help curb favorite cravings. Just make sure to read the labels and use powders that are flavored with Stevia or other natural ingredients. They should be free of artificial flavors, food colorings and aspartame and other artificial sweeteners.

Make your commitment to this easy program and you’ll be well on your way to a new slimmer you!