If you should replace your normal meals with protein shakes, then you can trigger a process called thermogenesis. During this process you will use up your extra calories. That is the concept of the protein shake diet is based on, the principle that you should consume two protein shakes each day over many weeks, the results will be weight loss and they claim increased metabolic rate.
In addition, since these shakes are just fat or protein, and low in carbohydrates, they reduce your calorie intake but you still feel full.
However, protein shake diets should not exceed one week unless as part of a medically supervised program. Other problem with these diets are that any weight loss experienced from a protein shake diet may be short-term and tough to sustain.
These protein shake diets can last anywhere from three days to one full week. Any protein shake diet that lasts longer than that should not involve excessive meal skipping, which can actually send your body into hibernation mode. This is not healthy in the long term and could keep you from healthy weight loss.
More so, the foods that you are allowed to eat on a protein shake diet can differ according to the specific diet’s meal plan.
If you are going to go on a protein shake diet then select a meal plan that is healthy, packed with fiber rick foods. The high protein in the meal plans will leave you feeling full, but the fiber will help with digestion. Therefore, good foods to include are whole grains, leafy greens, bulky vegetables, legumes, eggs or fish.
As part of the meal plan, you will need to avoid alcohol, greasy foods, cooking oils, processed grains, artificial sugars, and bleached flour. That is since these foods could clog up your digestion system and therefore you can miss the positive effects the protein diet could offer you.
An example of a meal plan
Firstly, you need to drink a lot of water when you are on this diet. Moreover, there are the option that you can have a cheat day. This is a day where you eat that Crispy Cream donuts, but otherwise you will be on the shake days like the ones below.
8 a.m.: In the morning start with a meal-replacement shake for breakfast. This will be a shake made from whey protein or a carbohydrate and protein powder mix, blended up with water and some ice. You can add some fat if you like.
10 a.m.: You morning snack before lunch will be either some high-fiber options such as fresh fruit, raw vegetables with hummus, or nuts and seeds. However, you need to limit your potions.
12 p.m.: For lunch, you can have a full, healthy lunch. This should fill you up and give you some added energy. Examples of a healthy lunch can be something like a salad with spinach, avocado, sliced almonds, chickpeas, cranberries, and diced grilled chicken or salmon with balsamic vinaigrette on the side.
3 p.m.: For your late afternoon snack, you can eat a small amount of almonds, unsweetened yogurt, or a hard-boiled egg.
6 p.m.: Dinner will be a meal-replacement protein shake. Added to that you can eat a low-sugar, high-fiber carbohydrate snack like an apple, some blackberries, or dried, crunchy beans. This is to make you feel less hunger, and to aid with a good night’s rest. This is since carbohydrates aid the body produce serotonin and melatonin, which are central hormones for a restful night’s sleep.
On the negative side
You need to look out for a protein shake system that can provide you with more benefits than side effects. That is since some of the side effects can include lightheaded, feelings of dizziness, extreme fatigue, loose stools, constipation, stomach cramping, irritability, or headaches. In addition, if you are on a supplement that is pure whey protein, you could develop kidney stones, but that is in rare cases.
The ingredients in protein shakes differ and some have artificial preservatives, milk derivatives, or artificial sweeteners. Please read the labels so you know what you are going to buy.
If you cannot tolerate whey, or if you are vegan, then you can opt for protein powders made from pea, hemp, or rice. Of these hemp is the best, as it is a pure protein.
The good and the bad
If you are a busy person looking to lose weight and you have trouble preparing healthy food or getting to the gym, protein shakes can be an attractive quick fix. Although, weight loss from a protein shake diet may not be sustainable. Whether you can keep the weight off depends on your body type, your exercise routine, and your weight loss goals. If you get too hungry and end up eating regular meals in addition to your protein shakes, you can end up gaining weight.
Side effects such as dizziness and increased bowel movements can make your days on protein shakes uncomfortable.
Additionally, if you replace one or more meals per day with just protein for long periods, you will lack valuable nutrients, such as fiber and antioxidants. These are present in whole foods and can prevent nutritional deficiencies and protect your long-term disease risk.
Protein shakes may be an effective way to temporarily lose weight for some, but so is a healthy diet and exercise. In addition, any extremely restrictive diet program, like these protein shake diets, should only be tried with the supervision of your doctor.
Do read the supplement’s ingredients carefully before you begin the program, and know your own potential reactions and sensitivities. If you are experiencing any side effects like nauseous or blurred vision then stop the program straightaway. Drink a quickly digesting carbohydrate-rich beverage, like fruit juice, or eat some fruit, and then speak to your physician.