Whey protein may be one of your best weapons in the weight loss war.
A number of studies have shown that a low carbohydrate to protein ratio (<2) ratio in the diet with at least 100 grams of protein per day increases fat loss and helps maintain muscle during dieting.
One analysis of 87 different studies found that diets consisting of between 35-41% carbs were associated with greater loss of body mass, greater loss of percentage body fat and greater loss of fat mass than diets with a higher percentage of carbohydrate. (The average American diet is around 60% carbs.)
Whey protein is the perfect protein supplement during weight loss. It’s high leucine content (50-75% more than other common protein sources) coupled with its fast absorption make it perfect for those wanting to lose fat.
And whey protein also influence several hormones, including insulin, that in turn have a great impact on body composition. One animal study found that whey protein reduced appetite (as evidenced by the fact that the animals consumed less food), as well as visceral and subcutaneous fat. They whey protein also reduced blood levels of insulin- the fat storing hormone- and increased insulin sensitivity!
One recent study compared two groups of subjects both of whom were given ready-to-drink mixes as a supplement, and both of whom consumed the same diet for the duration of the study.
The control group drank a supplement with no whey protein in it while the experimental group drank a supplement containing 10 grams of protein per serving from whey protein and peptides. Calories in both drinks were identical.
After 12 weeks there were significant differences. Weight loss was consistently higher in the group drinking the whey protein supplement, and DEXA analyses showed that the weight loss was primarily from body fat. The whey protein group also lost significantly less muscle mass compared to the control group.
Remember, whey protein powders are not all alike. A cheap commercial one found at the mall might contain all sorts of artificial ingredients and sweeteners, and since whey is an animal-based product, the conditions under which the animals were raised influences the quality of the final product.
One of the whey protein powders I recommend, Whey Cool Protein, comes only from grass-fed cows with absolutely no hormones, steroids or antibiotics. Another of my favorites, Dream Protein, is also very high quality, processed at very low temperatures, is sweetened with stevia and contains less than one gram of sugar!
You can’t go wrong with either one.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy whey protein powder is to cut up an apple and throw it in the blender with a scoop of protein powder and a little almond milk or water. You can also use frozen blueberries. For added nutrition, try adding a spoonful of Forti-Flax (for fiber and cancer-fighting lignans) and/or a scoop of PaleoFiber (for a high-protein and high-fiber drink that will satisfy for hours!)
Whey protein drinks make an excellent post-workout mini-meal as well as a terrific breakfast or midday snack.