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This article summarizes the latest research and gives suggestions on when to drink protein shakes for effective weight loss.
Short Term Effects of Protein Shakes Weight Loss
Increased satiety between meals
Reduced calorie intake in meal meals
Long Term Effects of Protein Shakes on Weight Loss
Increased fat oxidation
Research has shown that whey protein is the best option and gives you the best returns on your investment (avoid taking whey at bedtime).
When to Drink Protein Shakes for Effective Weight Loss
Drink whey protein shakes as a meal replacement (replacing your lunch and/or dinner). You need to ensure that calorie content of your protein shake has been considered.
Drink whey protein shakes between 30 and 60 minutes before your main meals (i.e. lunch or dinner). Research has shown that this will help reduce calories consumed in the main meal. It will also increase satiety after the main meal. You could consider adding a scoop of whey protein to your meal replacement to increase the protein content of the entire meal.
Drink whey protein shakes as a snack between your main meals. This will help deal with hunger if you are on a reduced calorie diet. It will also ensure that you do not inadvertently consume unhealthy calories for your snacks.
Keep a whey protein shake mixture handy for those emergencies when you do not have time to eat or are at risk of missing meals. Missing meals can set off a whole series of events that could force you to irrationally choose unhealthy meals or overeat in a later meal.
Take a whey protein shake mixture along during travels to avoid missing meals.
Consume a whey protein shake in the morning before exercise. This is to ensure that your body does not catabolize your muscles for energy.
You could also take a casein protein shake instead of whey protein before sleep. This has been shown to aid weight loss only if you are on a weight training regimen. Its advisable to not consume any protein before bedtime if you are not on a weight training or exercise regimen. Whey protein at bedtime should be especially avoided since it spikes your insulin levels.
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How Much Protein to Consume
Daily protein content for effective weight loss needs to be between 1.0 to 1.5 g protein/kg of body weight. You can use protein shakes to fine tune your daily protein intake to meet the desired daily target.
DIY Meal Replacement Options
Consider making your own protein shakes instead of using readily available meal replacements. Meal replacements are more focused on calorie reduction than proper macro-nutrient ratios. Meal replacements would also be more costly than your own protein shake. You could add a scoop of your favourite protein to your meal replacement to ensure that it has the right proportion of protein. You can make your own meal replacement with a scoop of whey protein, 2 tablespoons of ground instant oats and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.
Whey Protein Shakes Work Best With Exercise
Do also keep in mind that whey protein spikes your insulin levels. You will get the best benefit from drinking protein shakes when you are also exercising.
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