Weight loss: what a pain in the butt! We’ve all gone through weeks and months of trying to diet and exercise, but we barely lose a few pounds. No matter how hard we work or how carefully we watch our diet, we never really see the results we want. What’s up with that? Perhaps the approach we take to weight loss is the problem. Many of us try to work off a bad diet with an intense exercise program, or we never truly make the transition to truly eating “healthy”. Or, maybe we’re just not eating the right thing. Whatever the reason, it’s important that we understand that a few simple additions to our diet can make all the difference in the world.
Whey protein is one of those “difference-making additions”. You’ll be amazed by how whey protein and weight loss go hand in hand. Once you realize how taking whey protein can help you to lose weight, you’ll be hooked!
Whey Protein and Weight Loss: What You Need to KnowWhey protein is made from the liquid that is the byproduct of turning milk into cheese. It’s that thin, watery-looking liquid that is usually discarded. But did you know that it’s actually one of the most important parts of the milk? You see, whey protein is packed with leucine, one of the most important amino acids. Not only will leucine help to stimulate muscle synthesis, but it’s needed for the production of protein. Your body uses energy to turn amino acids into proteins, which are then used to create and repair muscle fibers. This process requires energy, which means you are burning calories. The result will be a boost to your metabolism. Leucine also helps to increase the oxidation (burning) of fatty acids. This is because your body uses fatty acids for “low output” energy. Glucose (blood sugar) is used for when you need a sudden burst of energy, or for anaerobic exercise. But when you are using small quantities of energy, your body can activate fatty acids in order to leave your blood glucose untouched. This essentially taps into your fat stores, helping to reduce the fat in your body. Here’s another great benefit of whey protein: reduced appetite. Whey protein is packed with amino acids, but it also contains some fat and carbs. The carbs will help to appease your “sweet tooth”, and the fats will require more effort for your body to digest. Add in the amino acids, and you have a food that will occupy your body for a long time. The whey protein will remain in your intestines, where it can be absorbed into your bloodstream. The result is a reduction in your appetite, as your body is busy digesting and thus signals to your brain to release appetite suppressing hormones. As a bonus, the whey protein also contains a peptide known as glycomacropeptide. This peptide stimulates the production of a hormone called CCK, which signals to your body that you’ve had enough to eat. It stops you from wanting to eat more, preventing overeating. But the benefits don’t stop there… In 2008, a study found that taking whey protein worked as a vital dietary supplement that could help to enhance weight loss. Simply put, it discovered that whey protein and weight loss were actually linked. All of the people in the study were given either a whey protein supplement (before breakfast and dinner) or a placebo. Their food intake was also reduced by 500 calories per day. Over the course of 12 weeks, they were studied to determine what effects the supplements would have. The results of the study were quite interesting:
- Both groups lost a good deal of weight–pretty much the same amount.
- The whey protein group lost more BODY FAT than the placebo group.
- The whey protein group lost less muscle mass than the placebo group.
- The whey protein group had a lower fat to lean muscle loss ratio than the placebo groups.
More Helpful Weight Loss TipsJust because you’re taking whey protein, that doesn’t mean weight loss is guaranteed. You have to be smart about your weight loss if you want to see results. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your weight loss efforts:
- Increase the intensity of your workout. High intensity training burns more calories and builds more muscle.
- Watch what you eat! Keep a food journal, and make yourself accountable. You’ll end up eating far less, and you’ll be less likely to cheat on your diet.
- Go for raw. Fresh fruits, veggies, seeds, and nuts should be the most important foods for your diet. They’ll increase your weight loss and decrease your calorie intake.
- Quality over quantity. Make sure the food you eat is high quality, meaning high in nutrients. Avoid any food that is high in calories but provides little nutritional value.
- Drink more water. Water is proven to help you lose weight, as it can speed up your metabolism and reduce your appetite.
- Try green tea. Green tea contains antioxidants that will target your body fat, making your exercise and weight loss diet more effective.
- Get high quality protein. Not just from whey protein powder, but from chicken, eggs, and fish. Eat less red meat and pork, and add more legumes to your diet.