Last week I wrote an article on the best whey protein powders in the market wherein I mentioned that it is also perfect for weight loss. I have received a lot of queries on the best proteins for weight loss.  How come consuming proteins for weight loss be significant?

How many Calories to Lose a Pound?

Our bodies’ just do not work on this formula. First and foremost rule of reducing weight is to stay in a calorie deficit, which means your intake of calories should always be less than the calories you burn.

A calorie is a unit of energy.  It is a way of describing how much energy you will get by eating an apple or having dinner. For example, you get 90 calories by having a cup of milk tea. 

These calories are needed to run this factory called a human body.  Calories not consumed stay deposited in the body, making you fat or obese.

Macro Nutrients & Calories

There are three macronutrients in our body from which our body gets calories.  These are Carbs, Fats and Proteins. In a healthy diet

20 to 30% calories should be from fats. 1 gm fat has nine calories

45 to 65% from Carbs. 1 gm carbohydrate has four calories

10 to 35% from Proteins. 1 gm protein has four calories

So if you have a 2500 calorie diet a day, it is meant that you should get

500 to 750 calories from Fats

1125 to 1625 from Carbs

250 to 875 from Proteins

Now comes the exciting part.  Our body can store Fats and Carbs but not Proteins.  If you eat more proteins, they also can get converted to fats and get stored.

Looking at our current body weight and calorie intake, we have to decide which macronutrient is sufficient in how much quantity and what will be the balanced composition of the three.

There cannot be a one formula fit all in this case as age, activity level, body size, and body composition all influence how many calories a person burns through each day.

And there can be unlimited permutations and combinations of all these terms. 

We have not even discussed micronutrients till now, which also cause lots of changes in the body.  All the vitamins and minerals are called micronutrients.

Fasting for Weight Loss

People start eating less as a first step towards losing weight.  It results in a loss of essential nutrients as one limits the variety of food consumed.  The body goes low on energy and causes you to crave high fat and high sugar foods.  It, in turn, leads to the intake of more calories and weight gain.

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Some people also start exercising along with a reduced diet to reduce weight.  But after some time, the body gets used to the exercise, and there comes a plateau. Despite regular workout the weight does not decrease.  So people stop doing exercise and the metabolism goes down.  But we are not able to reduce the diet as the food cravings are now resulting in weight gain again.  In this case, even if we decrease our diet, we start losing micronutrients.

Oh God, I am fed up of even writing this much of confusion about weight gain and weight loss.  So what is to be done?

Active Lifestyle

One needs to have a look into her diet and check what is it that you are consuming more?  In most of the cases, you are either –

  • In Calorie surplus eating more calories and burning less.
  • Consuming more calories in the form of carbs and fats
  • Not doing any exercise
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle.

So the only way out is

  • Active lifestyle. Total lifestyle shift is needed to lose weight and not regain.
  • A balanced diet with decrease in calorie intake.
  • Consistency in a workout routine.

These are the ABC of weight reduction.  Protein, in a way, helps you achieve all these.  

Benefits of Protein

  • Protein is an essencial component of every cell in the body. 
  • Hair and nails are mostly made of protein.
  • Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues.
  • You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.
  • Protein is an essential building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
  • Protein is the most filling macronutrient.

In one study, increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% of calories made overweight women eat 441 fewer calories each day without intentionally restricting anything.

If you need to lose weight or belly fat, consider replacing some of your carbs and fats with protein.  Make your potato or rice serving smaller while adding a few extra bites of meat or fish.

There are so many Advantages of Protein.

See how these help you in the ABC of weight loss.

  • Increases Muscle Mass and Strength – So you stay active
  • Helps Maintain Weight Loss – You stay active
  • Good for Your Bones – You stay active
  • Reduces Appetite and Hunger Levels – So you eat less
  • Reduces Cravings and Desire for Late-Night Snacking – You eat less
  • Boosts Metabolism and Increases Fat Burning – So you stay consistent
  • Helps Your Body Repair Itself After Injury – You stay consistent
  • Enables you Stay Fit as You Age – You stay active & consistent
  • Lowers Your Blood Pressure
  • Does Not Harm Healthy Kidneys

Increase your Protein Intake

The sad part is, with so many benefits, it still is not consumed in required quantities by most of us.

We consume only 10 to 30 gm of protein in our diet, whereas recommended levels are 0.8 to 1gm per kg weight.  Most people can safely eat even between 2 and 3.5 gm per kg of body weight daily, especially those who need more protein than others, such as sportspersons, athletes, bodybuilders etc.  It is recommended that 10 to 35% of your daily energy consumption should come from protein.

What is the need to Increase Protein?

  1. Protein is very satiating.  So by consuming more protein, you feel more satiated and do less of snacking, which reduces your fat and carbs intake.  So it reduces hunger and appetite, which in turn reduces calorie intake.
  2. After you eat, some calories are used in digesting and metabolizing the food.  It is called the thermic effect of food.  Proteins have a higher thermic effect (20 to 30%) compared to carbs (5 to 10%) and fat (0 to 3%)  So 30 calories of protein are burned while digesting proteins and only 70 is left behind whereas 90 calories of carbs and 97 calories of fats are left behind.
  3. Higher protein intake boosts metabolism resulting in burning up to 100 extra calories per day.
  4. High protein intake reduces the craving for food and late-night snacking.
  5. Protein intake helps in less weight regain after you have lost weight.
  6. Weight loss results in the loss of all macronutrients and slowing down of metabolism.  Protein intake results in slowing down of muscle loss, in some cases even muscle gain and also increasing metabolism
  7. Along with an increase in protein intake, heavy strength training also results in a reduction in muscle loss and increase in metabolism.

How to Get More Protein in Your Diet?

It is one big challenge for people who regularly have a low protein diet.  Regular foods for increasing protein intake are

Chicken, Fish, Eggs, MilkCheeseYogurt, Kidney beans, Chickpeas, Lentils, Soya, Tofu etc.

Trying to add these foods to your existing meals becomes difficult at times as there are other family members also.

So another alternative is, having Protein powders.  This makes matters much easier as one scoop gives 20 to 30 gm protein which is more compared to any food product.  The two most common powders in the market are whey protein and casein.  Both are milk proteins.  Whey is 20% of milk protein whereas Casein is 80%.  Benefits of both

Whey Protein

  • Whey is absorbed quickly in the body
  • It enhances the feeling of fullness in the short term
  • It is better to have Whey protein immediately after workout, as at that time, the effects on muscles is the maximum
  • Your muscles get the benefit of immediate repair with whey protein

You can get the details of whey proteins here.

Casein Protein

  • Casein is absorbed slowly in the body
  • Keeps you full for an extended period
  • It is better to have Casein as a meal replacement during the night as it will keep you satiated and fuller for about 7 hours
  • Casein is slowly reacting, and after the workout, the muscles do not get the benefit of immediate repair with it.
  • But on the other hand, there is a better opportunity for muscle repair when you are sleeping, so casein is better at that time

Best Protein Powders for Weight Loss – Casein

ON Gold Standard 100% Casein Protein Powder

FlavoursScoopProteinBCAACarbsFatKcal
930.424531120

Slow digesting, Helps keep you full, Good for overnight muscle recovery, high-quality, anti-catabolic protein to help support the recovery process and achieve health and fitness goals
Keto-Friendly – this protein powder can help support your ketogenic macros

Dymatize Nutrition Elite Casein Powder

FlavoursScoopProteinBCAACarbsFatKcal
435.6255.442130

Slow Absorbing with Muscle Building Amino Acids, 100% Micellar Casein, Helps Overnight Recovery,

Nutricost Casein Protein Powder

FlavoursScoopProteinBCAACarbsFatKcal
235.272411110

Manufactured In a GMP Compliant, FDA Registered Facility Non-GMO & Gluten- Free

BSN SYNTHA-6 Casein Protein Powder

FlavoursScoopProteinsBCAACarbsFatKcal
74722156200


Consisting of whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, calcium caseinate, micellar casein, milk protein isolate, and egg albumin
Syntha-6 contains 2-3 gram of sugar per serving depending on the flavour
Use any time of day
Protein supplementation : Promotes muscle protein synthesis and recovery support

Legion Casein+ Protein Powder

FlavourScoopProteinBCAACarbsFatsKcal
132265.220120

Naturally sweetened and flavoured micellar casein protein powder.
Casein+ is grass-fed casein isolate. Guaranteed results or your money back is mentioned by the company

MuscleTech Phase8 Whey Protein Powder Blend

FlavoursScoopProteinBCAACarbsFatKcal
442265.681.5150

8 hour sustained release
It tastes good and mixes easily
It includes whey isolate, hydrolyzed and Micellar casein.
Multiple different protein sources supply quick-release, medium-release and slow-digesting proteins

BodyTech Micellar Casein Protein Powder

FlavoursScoopProteinBCAACarbsFatKcal
132.22410.5100

Casein provides an extended-release of muscle-building amino acids, helping to reduce post-workout muscle breakdown

Conclusion

Due to its various properties Protein can be very useful in weight reduction if one is maintaining a calorie deficit. Our regular food should first fulfil all protein requirement. If only we are finding it challenging to fulfil protein from regular food shall we try and get these from Protein powder.