Benefits of Whey Protein For Weight Loss

Benefits of Whey Protein For Weight Loss

It seems like there are more people now than ever trying to lose weight. I get it, weight loss may be simple, but it certainly isn’t easy.

No matter what diet you follow, you have to burn more calories than you eat. There is no way around that. You could even try every diet on the internet, but if you burn less calories than you eat, you won’t lose body fat.

The reason it gets difficult to lose body fat is because your body will fight you every step of the way too.

When you’re eating in a calorie deficit, your body may increase hunger cravings to get you to eat more. It’s even possible your body sheds some muscle tissue due to the lack of calories, which can slow your metabolic rate.

If your body can find a way to get you to eat more and burn less, it will. There’s a simple reason for this too, and it’s called survival.

How to Lose Body Fat

The more body fat you conserve, the more stored energy you have in case food becomes scarce. Your body doesn’t care that you don’t like your body fat. Its job is to keep you alive, and that’s all it cares about.

So what can you do to help yourself lose body fat?

One of the best things for this is actually consuming whey protein as part of your daily nutrition plan. Believe it or not, whey protein has a range of benefits which can help support weight loss, and more importantly ... fat loss.

If you haven’t heard of whey protein, or don’t know much about it ... I’ve got you covered! Let’s go over what whey protein is, and why it can be a great tool to help support your weight loss efforts.

What Is Whey Protein?

Whey protein is a type of protein that is derived from milk during the cheese-making process. When cheese is made, there is a liquid that separates from the rest of the mixture, and it's called whey.

The protein in whey is packed with nutrients and can have a big impact on your weight loss goals. First of all, whey protein contains all nine essential amino acids. These are the amino acids that your body needs to function properly, but can’t make on its own.

Not to mention, it contains more leucine than virtually every other protein source. Leucine is the most important amino acid when it comes to building muscle tissue.

Whey protein is also rich in BCAAs, which are essential for muscle growth and repair. Leucine happens to be one of those BCAAs.

When to Use Amino Acids

Not only does whey protein promote muscle growth and repair, but it can also help you lose weight. One way it does this is by reducing appetite and increasing feelings of fullness.

When you want to take whey protein, the easiest method is to get a whey protein powder you can mix into shakes. You can also find it in whey protein bars.

Types of Whey Protein

Now, before you go and buy the first whey protein powder you can find, stick with me for a few more minutes.

See, we need to talk about the different types of whey protein so you can make the best decision for you and your goals!

For one, there are actually different types of whey proteins. The three main types are whey concentrate, whey isolate, and whey hydrolysate. Each type of whey protein undergoes a different process, which affects its purpose quite a bit.

Whey Protein Concentrate

Whey protein concentrate contains up to 80% protein by weight (2). The remaining 20% or more (depending on the amount of protein) is made up of lactose, fat, and other nutrients.

Whey protein concentrate is often less expensive than other types of whey protein. For this reason, it can be a good option for those on a budget. Due to having more carbs and fats, it also tends to make a thicker shake, which can offer a lot of flavor when compared to the other types of whey protein.

Meal Replacements & Powders: What You Need to Know

Because of these carbs and fat, whey concentrate generally has a more sustained digestion speed. This makes it an ideal protein source to take as a meal or snack. It’s not, however, the best option to use after workouts.

Whey Protein Isolate

Whey protein isolate is an isolated form of whey protein. It contains around 90% or more protein by weight.

This type of protein is filtered more to remove the lactose and fat, resulting in a more pure source of protein. For this reason, whey protein isolate is also lower in carbohydrates than whey concentrate.

This makes it a good option for anyone following a low-carb or ketogenic diet. Essentially, you’ll get more protein with fewer carbs and fats.

This has its benefits, especially in the post-workout setting. For a meal or snack setting though, whey protein concentrate would be a better fit.

Whey Protein Hydrolysate

Whey protein hydrolysate is the most easily absorbed form of whey protein. It gets its name from the process it undergoes called hydrolysis. This process breaks down the protein into smaller amino acid peptides.

It’s much easier for your body to digest and absorb whey protein hydrolysate because it’s broken down much further. This makes it ideal in the post-workout setting, but not as much at other times of the day.

How Does Protein Powder Help With Weight Loss?

So, what exactly are the benefits of taking a whey protein powder for weight loss?

How to Stop Overeating

Well, whey protein triggers the release of hormones that promote feelings of fullness and reduce appetite (3). This alone can be a big help for weight loss. If you aren’t as hungry and your cravings are lower, it can be easier to stick to a healthy nutrition plan.

Aside from reducing appetite, it can also increase metabolism by promoting muscle growth. The extra muscle tissue can help you burn more calories throughout the day (4).

Plus, whey protein can help regulate blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity (5). That can be beneficial for weight loss and overall health as well.

How Can You Use Whey Protein For Weight Loss?

Eating more protein in general is a reliable way to improve your weight loss results, especially when it replaces calories you would otherwise spend on less beneficial foods.

When you take whey protein powder, and combine it with weightlifting, it can be much easier to lose weight (4).

Here are some of the ways I recommend adding whey protein into your daily eating habits…

1. Use Whey Protein In Replacement of High-Calorie Snacks

This is a great way to help reduce your overall calorie intake. For one, you can eliminate a bunch of calories just by picking a better food option. On top of that, you'll also feel more full and satisfied between meals. This can help you avoid eating more calories and curb your cravings throughout the day.

2. Add Whey Protein to Your Lower Protein Meals

You don’t have to limit yourself to just shakes! Whey protein powder can be added to a wide variety of foods, believe it or not. I like adding it to oatmeal, yogurt, and even smoothies to get more protein in my diet. Heck, a lot of people will even bake with whey protein powder!

3. Use Whey Protein as a Post-Workout Recovery Drink

Consuming whey protein after a workout can be a great way to help promote muscle growth and repair. That can boost your metabolism and, you guessed it, aid in weight loss as well. However, make sure you’re pairing your post-workout protein with a rapid digesting carbohydrate too.

Post Workout Stack

4. Use Whey Protein as a Full Meal Replacement

You don’t want to go overboard with this one, but it's helpful. You can replace a couple meals a day with a whey protein shake if you need help hitting your protein goal. This can also help you reduce your overall calorie intake.

Just remember, you still want to eat as many whole food meals as possible. Use whey protein shakes when you can’t get to food, or need something quick. I even recommend tagging it with an easy, on-the-go carb such as an apple or some low-fat, whole wheat crackers.

Can Whey Protein Reduce Belly Fat?

To an extent, whey protein can help you lose the fat you want to get rid of, and help you gain muscle too (6).

Keep in mind, though, that losing that stubborn belly fat takes more than enjoying a protein shake each morning. On top of that, you can’t target which fat you'll burn on any specific area of your body. The only way to lose belly fat is to lose body fat overall.

Sure, protein can help with appetite control, metabolism, and preserving/building lean muscle. Don’t get me wrong, those are all incredibly useful when losing body fat.

Just remember that it's not a magic powder, and you won’t all of a sudden lose the weight or fat you want with a scoop of protein powder each day.

Instead, think of whey protein for weight loss as one of the many tools at your disposal. No matter what tools you have, you will still always have to do the work it takes to get the job done.

How Much Whey Protein Should You Consume For Weight Loss?

Deciding how much protein you should consume is simple. I always recommend 1 gram of protein per pound of your goal body weight. That’s at least a good starting point, but you can increase from there.

Protein's Role in Fat Loss

I don't recommend below that amount though.

Now, if you’re trying to figure out how much you need from whey protein powder, that’s a different question.

Think about how much protein you are getting from the whole foods you eat already. If you aren’t sure, then you really need to start tracking your food.

You can only manage what you can see. You can only see what you track.

Whey protein is not designed to replace the whole foods in your diet. It is, however, there to help you when you need it to fill in some gaps.

So, if you are 200lbs, and you want to lose 20lbs, your goal weight is 180lbs. In this case, you should shoot for a minimum of 180 grams of protein per day.

If you start tracking your food, and realize that you are only getting 120 grams of protein from whole foods, then you know you need some help. To hit your goal, you need to make up 60 grams of that with whey protein.

What Sources Should I Get My Whey Protein From?

Where you get your whey protein from is completely up to you, and you have a few options.

You could get it from whey protein bars, meal replacement whey protein powders, and even whey protein post-workout shakes. You could even get it from a combination of the 3. The important thing is that you are getting enough protein every single day.

If you don’t remember why it’s important to ensure you get enough protein, remember this: The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn every day.

When you eat less calories than you burn, your body may try to lose muscle in order to get you to burn less calories. If you eat enough protein though, your body will still use that protein to maintain or even build more muscle. That’s just how your body works!

How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle?

If you don’t get enough protein, you have a higher chance of losing muscle mass throughout your weight loss journey. That will make you burn less calories naturally, reducing your base metabolism (basal metabolic rate).

If you hit your protein goal daily, you will maintain more muscle. That can help you maximize the amount of calories you burn daily.

That makes weight loss just a little bit easier, and can help you maintain the weight you lose long-term.

Other Benefits of Whey Protein

I can’t emphasize enough how useful whey protein is for losing weight. However, there are other perks to including it in your diet, too. Outside of the benefits already mentioned, whey protein can help:

Lower blood pressure. Whey protein intake has been shown to lower blood pressure in those with high blood pressure (7).

Improve bone health. Whey protein can help with maintaining bone health, particularly in older adults who may be at risk for osteoporosis (8).

So as you can see, whey protein has a lot of health benefits!

Final Thoughts

If you need more protein in your life (which many people do) and you want to lose weight, it’s time to consider using a whey protein supplement.

Now, before you go out and grab the cheapest whey protein powder you can find, understand that they come in different levels of quality.

Just like in any other industry … you pretty much get exactly what you pay for.

Download the 1st Phorm App

It’s worth going for high quality whey protein powder, trust me. They'll taste better, cause less digestive problems, and you'll notice a difference in your results long-term!

At 1st Phorm, we’ve designed our whey protein powders to be the highest quality powders on the market, bar none.

It only takes a serving or two to understand why so many people incorporate them into their daily nutrition plans!

If you’re looking for a meal replacement protein powder, we have Level-1. Level-1 is a blend of whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and even milk protein.

For a protein you can take after your workouts, we have Phormula-1. Phormula-1 is a hydrolyzed whey protein isolate designed to digest rapidly. This can help recover much more quickly and efficiently. When you pair it with ignition after your workouts, it makes for the best post-workout stack you’ll find.

But, like I mentioned earlier, protein is just one aspect of the game. If you want to get serious results, it’s going to take serious work.

The good news is, we’re here to help you do just that.

If you want to learn every aspect of weight loss, we can teach you. If you want support, motivation, and accountability for your health goals ... the best tool you can use is the 1st Phorm App.

Not only can you track your food and workouts in the app, but you’ll also get access to so much more! In the app, you can even talk to your own personal advisor. They'll help you reach your goals and hold you accountable to living a healthier life overall.

Download the app today ... you won’t regret it!

If you need anything else, reach out to us! We have a dedicated team of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Certified Nutrition Coaches that will help you out for free! Just give us a call at 1-800-409-9732 or send us an email at CustomerService@1stPhorm.com anytime!

Customer Service - 1st Phorm

References:

 

(1) van Vliet S, Burd NA, van Loon LJ. The Skeletal Muscle Anabolic Response to Plant- versus Animal-Based Protein Consumption. J Nutr. 2015 Sep;145(9):1981-91. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.204305. Epub 2015 Jul 29. PMID: 26224750.

(2) “Whey Protein Concentrate.” Whey Protein Concentrate - an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics, www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/whey-protein-concentrate. Accessed 13 June 2023.

(3) Sukkar SG, Vaccaro A, Ravera GB, Borrini C, Gradaschi R, Massa Sacchi-Nemours A, Cordera R, Andraghetti G. Appetite control and gastrointestinal hormonal behavior (CCK, GLP-1, PYY 1-36) following low doses of a whey protein-rich nutraceutic. Med J Nutrition Metab. 2013;6(3):259-266. doi: 10.1007/s12349-013-0121-7. Epub 2013 Feb 5. PMID: 24319546; PMCID: PMC3851799.

(4) Griffen C, Renshaw D, Duncan M, Weickert MO, Hattersley J. Changes in 24‐h energy expenditure, substrate oxidation, and body composition following resistance exercise and a high protein diet via whey protein supplementation in healthy older men. Physiol Rep. 2022 Jun 15;10(11):e15268. doi: 10.14814/phy2.15268. PMCID: PMC9332127.

(5) Graf S, Egert S, Heer M. Effects of whey protein supplements on metabolism: evidence from human intervention studies. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2011 Nov;14(6):569-80. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32834b89da. PMID: 21912246.

(6) Hulmi JJ, Laakso M, Mero AA, Häkkinen K, Ahtiainen JP, Peltonen H. The effects of whey protein with or without carbohydrates on resistance training adaptations. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Dec 16;12:48. doi: 10.1186/s12970-015-0109-4. PMID: 26677350; PMCID: PMC4681166.

(7) Fekete ÁA, Giromini C, Chatzidiakou Y, Givens DI, Lovegrove JA. Whey protein lowers blood pressure and improves endothelial function and lipid biomarkers in adults with prehypertension and mild hypertension: results from the chronic Whey2Go randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Dec;104(6):1534-1544. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.137919. Epub 2016 Oct 26. PMID: 27797709; PMCID: PMC5118733.

(8) Wirunsawana , Kamonkiat, and Sikarin Upala. “Impact of Whey Protein on Bone Mineral Density: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Journal of Clinical Densitometry, 30 Nov. 2018. 

(9) Bounous G, Batist G, Gold P. Whey proteins in cancer prevention. Cancer Lett. 1991 May 1;57(2):91-4. doi: 10.1016/0304-3835(91)90200-2. PMID: 2025891.

(10) Kennedy RS, Konok GP, Bounous G, Baruchel S, Lee TD. The use of a whey protein concentrate in the treatment of patients with metastatic carcinoma: a phase I-II clinical study. Anticancer Res. 1995 Nov-Dec;15(6B):2643-9. PMID: 8669840.

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