- Protein shakes are good for weight loss because they are satiating and may boost metabolism.
- Replace a meal, like dinner, with a low-calorie, no added sugar protein shake to lose weight.
- It’s best to make your own protein shake with fruits, nut butter, and a sugar-free protein powder.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
As more and more research emerges about the benefits of protein for
, it’s no surprise people are turning to protein shakes to help shed a few extra pounds.
However, despite their prevalence in almost all supermarkets and health food stores, protein shakes are not a magic wand when it comes to losing weight and being healthy.
Here’s what you need to know about protein shakes for weight loss, and if they’re right for you.
Are protein shakes good for weight loss?
When paired with a healthy lifestyle and caloric deficit, protein shakes can be a useful tool for weight loss, says Kristi Veltkamp, a registered dietitian with Spectrum Health.
That’s because protein shakes make a nutritious, low-calorie meal replacement. For example, replacing a 500 to 700 calorie meal with a 200-calorie shake may help people achieve the calorie deficit to aid weight loss.
So far research backs this up: A small 2018 study of
and overweight Chinese adults found that those who replaced dinner with a 388-calorie protein shake for 12 weeks had a greater BMI reduction and lost more weight than those who ate dinner as usual. The protein shake groups lost an average of about 9.5 pounds whereas those who ate their regular dinner only lost about 0.5 a pound.
However, eating more protein doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose weight since any excess calories will end up stored as fat. In fact, most Americans get enough protein in their diet already. Therefore, it’s more about reducing the overall calories you consume than the amount of protein you eat.
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