No one can underrate the effectiveness of protein shakes in weight loss efforts; perhaps only those who have never tried them. Tens of thousands of people seeking to lose weight have resorted to protein powder because of the philosophy behind this product.
However, if you do not use the right mix of protein shake, you are likely to make no progress in losing weight or even start gaining body mass.
Before we delve into the mistakes that many make with protein powders, let us first understand the rationale behind consuming proteins to lose weight. One of the most effective strategies for overcoming hunger pangs is to take a sizeable amount of protein especially in the morning. Food rich in protein suppresses your appetite and prevents you from eating large amounts of food or eating frequently. This implies that your body will be forced to burn excess fat for its energy needs.
Similarly, since you will not eat a lot of food, your metabolism will work optimally. In contrast, eating a lot of carbohydrates gives your body an uphill tasks of digesting and assimilating the food, and the more frequent you eat starches and sugars the more likely the body is to convert these foods into fats thus increasing your body mass.
No Time or Appetite for a Protein-rich Breakfast?
I know people, and probably you are one of them, who are simply too busy to prepare protein-laden meals. Others claim they have no appetite. Such individuals end up taking huge amounts of carbohydrates for breakfast since wheat-based meals and snacks are easier to prepare or are found readily in retail outlets.
But that should not be the reason for you not to eat proteins particularly if you want to shed excess weight. That is why you need protein shakes. For the uninitiated, these are ready-to drink mixtures of proteins prepared especially for athletes and body builders. Protein powders are packed with proteins although they may contain some other nutrients like carbohydrates. Many people often use these products after workouts.
And Now, the Mistakes!
Despite the marvellous benefits of protein powder, the human tendency to mess up with what should be of help to them comes into play often. The cliché, ‘too much of anything is poisonous’ rings true in these circumstances. In your lopsided wisdom, you might end up consuming a protein shake that will hurt you instead of helping you. That is why you need to watch out for the following mistakes that you are likely to make when buying or preparing protein powder.
1. Confusing a Milkshake for a Protein Shake
Confusion is a common and understandable human characteristic. We confuse people with others. We use words that appear similar even when they don’t mean the same. It is possible to confuse a thug for a husband or wife and marry them only to realise that you were conned, when it is too late to bolt away.
That said, some level of confusion is detrimental, like thinking that milkshake is protein shake. By all means you need to curtail your sugar intake if you want to lose weight. Any form of protein shake that contains more than enough sugar should be discarded. I am talking about you adding dried fruit, sweetened nut milks or sugar added almond butter into your protein shake.
Instead, go for low-sugar protein shake. For example, opt for frozen raspberries, kale, sugarless coconut milk, avocado or ground flaxseeds. This way you will eat a delicious and fatless breakfast that will keep your hunger pangs away for longer durations.
2. Opting for the Protein you Should Avoid
There are as many protein shakes in the market as there are types of cookies. You will be spoilt for choice but that is if you don’t know that not all protein powders are the same. And I don’t blame you either. The varieties of protein shakes in the market have confusing labels on the ingredients they contain. But that does not mean that you buy any stuff you find on the shelf.
Generally, you will find protein powders in three varieties: casein, soy and whey. Casein behaves like any dairy product even though it is absorbed slowly, and is not advisable to take as a meal replacement.
Soy is the least preferable ingredient in protein shakes because of it propensity to harm the thyroid, in addition to being a catalyst for breast cancer.
Whey is the most popular protein shake variety. However, it tends to be absorbed quite quickly and is not as suitable as a meal replacement. It also raises insulin rapidly thus making you hungry within an hour of eating the powder.
You best option is to select a protein shake without soy or dairy elements. Cranberry protein, chia, chlorella, chia, rice or pea can do the job for you. You can also try protein powder that has no fat.
3. Purchasing Unhealthy Powders!
Not all protein powders contain the same ingredient. This point is so important that it is worth repeating. In the quest for profits, various manufacturers of protein shakes create various mixtures. I call most of these products unhealthy protein mixtures because they tend to make it harder for you to reach your fitness goals.
They are made to appeal to your taste buds by adding preservatives, processed sugars and artificial sweeteners. It is like sugar-coating bitter pills, but in this case making the amount of added sugar the main ingredient, thus destroying the healing power of the medicine you are taking. It is obvious that healing is a mirage when you take such medication.
Please read the labels of the proteins you buy very carefully. Don’t be cheated by titles such as juice, fructose, syrup, sweetener or concentrate because they simply mean the product has additional sugar. The more natural the protein shake; the better. Don’t rush for famous trademarks at the expense of your health or fitness goals.
Just as a Reminder….
- Proteins powders are important for body building and weight management, but you need to choose wisely if you are to attain your fitness goals.
- Not all protein powders are the same; they contain varying amounts of whey, casein and soy in addition to other ingredients.
- Choose low-sugar protein shakes instead of those with high amounts of sugars.
- Avoid protein shakes with dairy or soy products or fats.
- Read the labels on the protein powders you buy very carefully to know the contents and avoid those that will not benefit you.
- Talk to a fitness expert to get the best directions on the right kind of protein shakes to use.
- Protein shakes are not absolute substitutes for food. Eat a balanced diet as most of your protein needs should be met through this avenue.
- If a certain protein shake does produce the results you expected, change to a better variety (in terms of sugar, soy or fat content) or ask an expert to help you choose one.
- Protein powders are effective for people who engage in physical activities. Avoid them if you are the lazy type of persons who spends the day lying on the couch and watching TV.
Your Grace Guru