Is There a Benefit to Using Protein Drinks for Weight Loss?

Can meal replacement powders help you control your weight?

For a num­ber of years, I’ve rec­om­mend­ed a detox diet plan that includes, dur­ing one phase, the use of pro­tein pow­der meal replace­ment shakes.

The detox plan has worked great for a num­ber of my patients – and I’ve ben­e­fit­ed from it too.

But meal replace­ment pow­ders are often rec­om­mend­ed as part of a strat­e­gy to lose weight.

whey protein

Do they work?

  • Can pro­tein pow­der meal replace­ment sup­ple­ments help you lose weight?
  • Who should use them?  And for how long?
  • Are cer­tain types of pro­tein pow­der bet­ter than oth­ers?

I dis­cov­ered both pros and cons to using pro­tein pow­der meal replace­ment prod­ucts.

First, the pluses

  1. Mus­cle tis­sue has a high­er base­line metab­o­lism than oth­er types of tis­sue, so the more mus­cle you build, the more you’ll boost your metab­o­lism and the eas­i­er it will be to lose weight.  Burn­ing calo­ries is one rea­son that exer­cise is essen­tial to weight loss, but the mus­cle-build­ing aspect of exer­cise is even more impor­tant. Tak­ing a pro­tein sup­ple­ment imme­di­ate­ly after exer­cise has been shown to boost mus­cle syn­the­sis. That alone is one rea­son to use a pro­tein pow­der meal replace­ment prod­uct as part of your weight loss strat­e­gy.
  2. Here’s an extra bonus:  The amino acids in the pro­tein we eat actu­al­ly gen­er­ate a hor­mone-like sig­nal that trig­gers the body to syn­the­size more mus­cle.  (This is espe­cial­ly true of leucine, an impor­tant branched-chain amino acid.)  That accen­tu­ates the meta­bol­ic boost you get from pro­tein pow­ders.
  3. Research has point­ed to the val­ue of pro­tein shakes in con­tribut­ing to weight loss. One study was report­ed in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Dietet­ic Asso­ci­a­tion in 2001. Half of a group of women was giv­en a stan­dard 1,200-calorie meal plan.  The oth­er half was told to replace all three dai­ly meals with a liq­uid shake con­tain­ing 220 calo­ries, sup­ple­ment­ed with fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles to total 1,200 calo­ries per day. Both groups of women lost 3 to 6 pounds of body fat in the first three months.  But only the women using the meal replace­ment plan main­tained their weight loss over an entire year.  The oth­er women regained the lost weight.

Now the negatives

  1. Com­plete, nat­ur­al foods are always more nutri­tious than sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly-con­coct­ed sup­ple­ments.  They have trace com­po­nents that sci­ence is only begin­ning to tease apart.  Pro­tein pow­ders will always fall short. Instead of a pro­tein shake, you might be bet­ter off eat­ing a high-pro­tein food like a boiled egg, or a small piece of bison or wild-caught salmon.
  2. Although the research that backs the use of pro­tein meal replace­ment shakes seems con­vinc­ing at first, the real­i­ty of people’s eat­ing behav­ior is far more com­plex. One rea­son that women using pro­tein shakes can lose more weight is that a pro­tein-shake diet is sim­pler to fol­low.  Any time that you have a restrict­ed range of choic­es, it’s eas­i­er to choose – and that makes the diet eas­i­er to stick with. Oth­er research bears this out.  For instance, a diet in which you replace one meal a day with a glass of milk, or a bowl of chee­rios, or any sin­gle food choice, is very easy to fol­low.  These diet plans are proven to help you lose weight, too. In oth­er words, there’s noth­ing mag­i­cal about pro­tein shakes when it comes to los­ing weight.  What works is build­ing your com­mit­ment to a low-calo­rie habit.

So why not use low calo­rie meals that have a more com­plete range of nutri­ents than what’s found in pro­tein pow­der?

The bottom line

If you’re try­ing to build mus­cle, a pro­tein sup­ple­ment after work­ing out can help.  Here’s more info.

As part of a detox diet, a pro­tein shake can be use­ful because it sim­pli­fies your food choic­es and makes it less like­ly you’ll be ingest­ing some­thing that you’re sen­si­tive too or can’t digest eas­i­ly.

If you’re try­ing to lose weight, using meal replace­ment pro­tein pow­ders might be a help too.  Choose a high qual­i­ty prod­uct that sup­plies a bal­ance of nutri­ents.

Moss Nutrition’s Select Whey is one of the bet­ter prod­ucts out there.  It comes in choco­late,  vanil­la, or unfla­vored.

Whey is one of the best pro­tein sources, because it’s eas­i­ly digestible and absorbable.  And it’s high in the amino acid leucine, the strongest trig­ger for pro­tein syn­the­sis. Although it’s derived from dairy, it rarely caus­es any aller­gic response (most peo­ple with a dairy aller­gy are sen­si­tive to casein, the oth­er type of pro­tein found in milk.)

You can order Whey Select direct­ly from the Moss Nutri­tion web­site.  Moss Nutrition’s prod­ucts are only avail­able through licensed health pro­fes­sion­als. When you order, they’ll ask you for your doctor’s name.  Enter my name – Ronald Lavine, D.C.

_______________________________________________

Deepen Your Body of Knowledge

Very low calo­rie diets and pro­tein shakes

Dr. Lavine’s Detox 2014

.….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….

Share

About Ronald Lavine, D.C.

Dr. Lavine has more than thirty five years' experience helping patients alleviate pain and restore health using diverse, scientifically-based manual therapy and therapeutic exercise and alignment methods. His website, askdrlavine.com, provides more information about his approach. Please contact him at drlavine@yourbodyofknowledge.com or at 212-400-9663.
This entry was posted in Muscle Health, Nutrition & Diet and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Is There a Benefit to Using Protein Drinks for Weight Loss?

  1. Pingback: E Weight Loss Protein Drinks | Whey Protein Shop

Comments are closed.