What are the best protein shakes for losing weight?

There are a few magical factors to a successful weight loss journey and they’re not fad diets or pills with more broken promises than Blake from The Bachelor. The two things I’ve found to be super beneficial to a weight loss program is mindset and nutrition, in particular, the commitment to consistency and supplementation through the humble protein shake, writes Ellie McInerney.


Woman in gym

Consistency allows space for progress, acquired knowledge and the time for results to show. It is a truly magical component of weight loss because, unlike the bowl of jelly that’s left to set in the fridge, weight loss doesn’t happen overnight and you need to be consistent to see results.

To lose weight – whether it’s 5 or 50 kilos – is a process that requires continual steps towards your goal (no matter how small) and acceptance that reaching your goal will take time. With focus and education, you can achieve whatever fitness or health goal you could possibly imagine, you don’t need to pay money for a trainer or a fancy gym membership – read books, credible blogs and check out YouTube videos for inspiration and education that will give you a boost in self-empowerment.

If you’re ready to be consistent with your efforts, it’s smart to make sure your efforts are in the right direction! So, it’s time to look at your nutrition and invest in a good quality protein shake to supplement your diet. In my past experience as a personal trainer and having worked in the fitness industry for several years, one of the best additions to a diet is a good quality protein shake.

Diet pills and fad diets

Diet tricks and supplements that ‘cut corners’ can work in the short-term on a superficial level, but they are not sustainable nor are they geared towards giving you energy, vitality and strength which is required to keep the weight off and to enjoy a diet that is sustainable and flexible.

Pills and fad diets will get a fixed amount of weight off quickly, but the weight is mostly water weight, so the majority of the time you’ll put it back on, usually more, and will be left disappointed in the process. Why? Because you’re most likely hungry from food restriction and mood swings caused by so called wonder pills and fad diets.

The power of protein shakes

Woman making protein shake

The protein shake will become your best friend when you’re ready to take your weight loss journey to the next level. They are incredible additions to any diet (regardless of if you’re a gym junkie or not) because they curb cravings, boost protein intake, fill you up between meals so you’re not starving by dinner (which can then lead to over-eating, guilt and then even binging) and they also taste great.

But, choosing the right protein shake can be a difficult decision, like choosing between going out for cheeky ciders or having a Netflix bender on the couch.

Choosing the right protein shakes

When choosing the right protein powder for you, it’s important to be aware of the total, utter, 100% cardboard zero-nutrient crap out there. This stuff hides amongst the good ones, and like all stories of good and evil, it can be hard to pick the baddies when they blend in with the crowd.

These chemical rich and additive abundant proteins don’t wear capes or ski masks, they don’t try and hide their colourful labels that promise life-changing results and an extra million in your account, but they do try and hide their ingredients list. Why? That’s the only truth on the whole packaging. These protein products come in the way of prepacked bars, shakes, powders and meal replacements that promise quick results with an ingredients list that includes more items made in a lab than in nature.

The only reason the results are quick is because the calorie count on these products is low, but the synthetic rubbish dump of ‘ingredient’s’ will fill you up (for like, 20 minutes by the way) so you think you’ve consumed a lot but really you’ve just drunk the equivalent of a glass of foam. If you’re seeking weight loss, putting synthetic and poor quality products into your system won’t help.

The best protein powders

So what will help? Well, there are some incredible protein powders that are nutrient dense and will sustain your energy levels to fuel your workouts, helping you stay away from the muffins at the same time. A few of my favourite brands include SunWarrior, RAW and Vital Protein. If your stomach turns at the thought of dairy, stay away from protein powders that use whey protein, as whey is made from cow’s milk. Instead opt for pea or brown rice protein which is easier to digest and usually higher in nutritional benefits.

A good quality protein shake will fuel your muscles with the nutrients it needs to grow and repair, sustain your blood sugar levels and can be a super delicious addition to a diet that may be lacking in flavour and versatility.

When should you drink protein shakes?

Protein shake and dumbbell

I love to make a healthy protein smoothie in the morning, using coconut milk, 1 serve of RAW vanilla protein, ½ a cup of frozen organic berries and some LSA powder (linseed, sunflower seeds and almond seeds). This gives me the fuel to get through my morning without needing to think about food (but, let’s face it, I’m always thinking about food anyway). It’s great to have a protein shake after a workout too, as training increases the body’s ability to deliver and absorb amino acids (essential for growth and repair) which are found in good quality protein powders.

Back to consistency

If you are consistent with your commitment to losing weight in a healthy way and you can arm yourself with knowledge, your weight loss journey will be successful and a much more enjoyable process. Find a great protein powder that works for you and steer clear of the quick fixes. If it promises you a 24 inch waist, a boyfriend and a facelift, it’s not worth it!

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Photo Credit: Zodiacphoto/shutterstock.com, Africa Studio/shutterstock.com, Nickola_Che/shutterstock.com

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