Protein is the macronutrient that promotes muscle growth and repair in the body, and thus the amino acids that make up proteins are known as the building blocks of muscle. Yielding 4kcal per gram, a high protein diet can be extremely advantageous to someone seeking weight loss, as carbohydrates (also 4kcal per gram) and fat (9kcal per gram) can result in an additional amount of energy when consumed, which could very well in turn be stored as muscle and liver glycogen, and unwanted fat.
‘Can protein supplements aid weight loss?’ is the title of this article, but it’s very important that we don’t get too caught up on ‘weight loss’ and actually more to the point, ‘fat loss’. When your goal is to lose weight, it’s more often than not an improved body composition and more aesthetic appearance that you desire, and it’s the amount of muscle mass and body fat that you hold that defines your physical appearance. It’s this fact that essentially underlines the bodies requirement for dietary protein, as it’s the aim is to preserve and increase lean muscle tissue whilst decreasing the unwanted body fat tissue.
Dietary protein increases satiety i.e. keeps you fuller for longer, which is a fantastic attribute for any food source when you’re striving for weight loss, and thus makes protein supplements the perfect addition to any weight, or fat loss diet. What makes protein supplements even more appealing, is their convenience. It doesn’t get much easier than adding a scoop or two of protein into your protein shaker and throwing it into your bag before leaving your home for the working day. 30 seconds maybe? If that! And you can reach for that convenient protein shake at any time during the day to reduce hunger cravings; it’s the ideal in-between meal, high protein snack.
“There’s so many, where do I start?!”
I hear you! There are so many supplement brands in the market right now, and so it’s important you choose a high quality and high protein product from a reputable brand, such as LA Muscle. You essentially have two options here;
A pure whey protein that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, fats and calories; Look no further than LA Whey Gold.
A whey protein based diet formula with added fat loss ingredients, formulated to further enhance the supplement. Ingredients to look out for include Glucomannan, CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid), Green Tea Extract and L-Carnitine. Check out LA Muscle’s Diet Whey, as this includes the clinically proven ingredient Glucomannan.
“Are protein supplements better for me than food?”
I wouldn’t say that they’re ‘better for you’, however I do believe they can certainly have a place in a weight and/or fat loss diet plan. They are more convenient and will save you time. The cost per serving is often cheaper than it would cost you to buy a healthy meal alternative. It also helps that they taste good, often sweet, which can help to curb those mid-afternoon cravings! We must always remember that protein supplements are just that – a supplement, to supplement your diet with. There are essential vitamins and minerals that you should source from nutrient dense wholefoods, as these won’t be present in your protein supplement.
To summarise, protein supplements are high in protein and low in calories, and in my book, can add value to a diet tailored for someone seeking weight and/or fat loss. Consume them as a supplement, and not as a replacement. Use post-exercise to stimulate protein synthesis and promote muscle recovery, and in-between your meals as a healthy high protein snack, suppressing appetite and ensuring you avoid the biscuits and crisps that all of your work colleagues are scoffing around you!
BSc Sports Science
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