Can Protein Powder Help With Weight Loss?

Protein powder scoop
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Protein powder isn’t just for bodybuilders anymore. It’s gone totally mainstream! It’s definitely a good way to add protein to your diet, but can it also help with weight loss? 

How Whey Protein Can Lower Weight and Fat

One review of studies found that replacing some of your daily calories with whey protein could decrease body weight and body fat.

A study from 2010 revealed a relationship between ingesting whey protein and improved body composition. Those who ate or drank whey protein lost weight and decreased their body fat.

And finally, the protein itself — in all forms, not just powder — has been shown to help with weight loss. One study found that a high-protein diet can boost metabolism and results in another suggest protein helps suppress appetite.

It’s no secret that protein helps you feel full and several reputable studies have found that it’s helpful for weight loss. Protein is essential for overall health regardless of your weight goals. And while the jury is still out on whether protein powder is any better for weight loss than protein in any other form, here are some points to consider:

  • Adding protein powder to foods that typically lack protein like pancakes, for example, can make them more satisfying without adding a lot of calories. In this way, it can be good for weight loss.
  • Some people make the mistake of adding too many calories to their day in the form of protein powder when they really don't need it. If you're already pairing your pancakes with a container of Greek yogurt, there's no need to add extra calories from protein powder. That could be a bad thing for weight loss.

So, if you struggle to consume enough protein or you want to sneak some of your favorite carby foods, protein powder is a great way to do so. But remember calories count! An ounce of protein powder tends to have about 20 grams of protein, but it also has around 100 calories. It’s definitely not a “free” food. Some powders have even more calories, so always read labels. And keep in mind that you don't need a whole ounce to add a nice boost of protein. 

Including Protein in Your Diet

Here are some tips on how to incorporate protein powder into your diet:

  • Add to your pancake batter. Toss a few tablespoons into a pancake (or waffle) batter for an instant protein punch.
  • Add to your smoothie and blend for longer than usual. Protein powder gives smoothies and shakes an extra-frothy texture. Just blend on high for a little longer than you normally would.
  • Add to your oatmeal or overnight oatsIf you love to start the day with an oat-based breakfast, protein powder is a great way to make your whole grains more satisfying.

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