Protein Shakes and Working Out for Weight Loss?

Updated on September 19, 2012
D.E. asks from Tampa, FL
10 answers

To the healthy savvy mama's here, I need a little guidance!
I have been very unhappy with my post baby body after #3. It's strictly my mid section.So with the help of a program through my husband's work, we are really cracking down on what we eat. I have been following their shopping guidelines, and following these guidelines for what we eat within reason.
We are allowing our selves to still enjoy some indulgences, just not freely like we were before.I am drinking strictly water w/ the exception of my 1 cup of morning coffee. I completely cut out the diet soda,s I am on day 7 of the Jillian Michael's 30day shred, and the last 4 days I have added 15 minutes to the treadmill.
I bought a protein shake mix because I read that protein can aide in losing the inches. But then I see the fine print that says "not for aide in weight reduction" So would I be sabotaging my belly loss w/ a protein shake? There is fructose listed as an ingredient, and it's soy based w/ 40% protein.
To add, I am 5'3 and weigh 133. So I do not need to lose large amounts of weight, but what I do need to lose is concentrated around the middle which I know is not good. I would like to add muscle tone as well!I am very determined to change our lifestyle. For my kids and myself! I want t feel good about myself again!

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answers from Dallas on

As a personal trainer, I only recommend Cinch by Shaklee. It is the only weight management program where you will lose only fat and no muscle. The shakes taste great also.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

There are a number of protein based products which are purported to help with weight loss. The biggest problem with diets is that people begin to starve, and their bodies go into "starvation mode" and the metabolism slows down. So cutting too many calories makes your body slow down to preserve itself, and then the weight loss stops after the first few weeks.

The main thing is to continue to get a mixture of protein, carbs and healthy fats. There's not much available in stores that does the trick, and it's essential that you find something from a food science company that is not made with fillers and low-quality ingredients. Make sure the product "comes with" a nutritional consultant who will help you. A US patent is a sign that is it proven safe, effective and unique. It's very difficult to get a patent on a whole food product (not just an individual ingredient) - I only know of one company that does that. Clinical trials show that the company is science-based. Fructose is fine (that's what's in an apply), but high fructose corn syrup is not. The soy is good IF it is top-of-the-line soy and not stripped, treated with alcohol or hexane or other chemicals - so you need to investigate. If you're at a health food store or grocery store, they're not going to know where the product is manufactured.

The "not for aid in weight reduction" means that it's not a meal replacement shake (like diet shakes) and hopefully it has no stimulants that affect the central nervous system. That stuff is dangerous. SO your product may not help with weight reduction but it may not hurt a lot - it depends on how much else you are eating. And it depends on how much junk is in that powder. It's hard for the average person to know, but most stuff available on store shelves is not great. Also, if that soy or any other ingredient is genetically modified, that's a big no-no.

Your body, with exercise, will burn the fat you have, no matter where it is. There's no product designed for belly fat vs. butt fat, for example! The muscle tone comes with exercise - you will tone the muscles underneath the layer of fat, and eventually when you lose the weight, the muscles will be there. Be aware that muscle weighs more than fat (and burns more calories) so as you work out, your weight might not change but that doesn't mean you aren't benefiting.

It's great that you cut out diet soda - it's not better than regular soda, and in some ways it's worse. The artificial sweeteners are terrible for you. If you need a little sweetness, go for real, unrefined sugar or stevia. If you can find something with rebiana, that's the sweetest part of the stevia plant, and has the same zero calories.

Also, don't add too much to the treadmill up front - if you pull a muscle and have a set-back, you could lose your motivation. Do cardio every other day, and weights/strength training in between. Muscles have to rest in between so that lactic acid doesn't build up and so that you don't wind up in pain. Split up your strength training into 3 sets of 12 repetitions, and at least a 1 minute rest in between. What I do is mix up the muscle groups - a set of crunches and then a set of bicep curls, then a set of crunches, etc. till I have done 3 sets of each. Then I do a set of push ups and then a set of lunges. That way I can work out constantly but rest those muscle groups properly.

You DO need to supplement because the food you are eating is nutrient-deficient, even if it's organic and/or local. There is a whole science of absorption and metabolism that I can help you with if you want.

Good luck and don't lose your motivation!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

I am a registered dietitian, have four kids, and so have been there too. Here are some facts:
1. You do not need to buy anything special (mixes, drinks, shakes) to achieve your goal. Regular foods will do just fine.
2. Protein doesn't aid in weight loss by itself. It's a secondary thing because protein tends to fill people up and they might have less risk of overeating. Therefore, drinking a protein shake or having a protein meal won't
"melt away" anything.
3. If you consume more calories than your body needs, you will gain weight. Your body can convert excess protein calories to fat just like it can convert carbohydrates to fat. Plus, overdoing protein can cause organ damage.
4. Unfortunately we cannot "spot reduce", but exercising consistently and eating a prudent diet will be the healthiest way to look and feel your best...long term. It might not be as easy as it used to be, but that's how it normally is.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I don't pretend to be a nutritionalist, but increasing protein and decreasing carbs is good for losing belly fat (see South Beach). But protein often brings fat, and a processed shake often brings sugar. Those shakes are often made for elite athletes who burn a lot of calories. So, I would avoid them and stick to natural protein sources like lean meat, beans, low-fat dairy, which are yummier too. If nothing else you could by protein powder and add it to low fat milk or a yogurt smoothie. Eating real food will also help you stay on track after weight loss.

Good luck!...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

I recommend the Arbonne shakes from their Fit Kit. They are really yummy. They come in vanilla and chocolate, are vegan and sweetened with stevia. Drinking them helped change my food cravings. It caused me to want to eat more veggies and to want to eat smaller portions overall so that I overeat less. I drank them for a few months and when I stopped I found myself craving chocolate flavored vegetables! So I switched to green smoothies after that. I also really like the detox tea and the appetite suppressing fit chews. I am not able to exercise much so I lost only a little weight, but long term I think the Arbonne products helped me make those healthy changes.



answers from Tampa on

Mid section is a result of eating habits. Substitute carbs to whole wheat, eat carbs for lunch no carbs for dinner. Any protein will work, but mix it with almond milk. Have a protein drink within 30 minutes you get up and another protein drink after exercise. The truth is eating habits and exercise will get your body back in shape. If you want to loose weight, you have to exercise at least five days a week for an hour and make better food choices. If you exercise less than five days a week, you only maintaing your weight. Good luck!!!



answers from Philadelphia on

If you want more protein, try egg whites (3 is a Weight Watchers serving) or whole hard boiled eggs (1 egg is a Weight Watcher serving) and one thing I have been LOVING lately is Chobani yogurt... it's SSOOOOOO good! Plus it has 13-14 grams of protein and it doesn't have high fructose corn syrup in it, just natural sugars. I find that it fills me up really good (plus I pair it with a fruit like a banana or pineapple or grapes and I am very satisfied. I've been on Weight Watchers for a few months so I do a lot of protein.



answers from Tampa on

They have to put the disclaimer on it by law. Anyway when I was going through a nutritionist for my weight loss I was told to increase my protein and the shakes were suggested to me. The protein was because for most women it helps the metabolism and weightloss. It all goes with exercise and diet. For me the shakes were perfect as I would have 3 a day - that I made myself in the blender and it was so much easier.



answers from Chicago on

When I followed a plan, I was told to add protein as well, via shakes. But my plan told me to skip the premade powders and just make myself a breakafst shake using fruit and veggies with some light juice or skim milk. To get the protein, I added Whey Protein. The one I bought did not have sugar--no fructose or glucose or other -ose in the label. I just added a scoop. I got it at a health foods store.


answers from Jacksonville on

Protein powder is not a weight loss gimmick. Your body needs protein, however, and women often cut protein in the process of cutting calories. As long as you read the label and include the calories in your weight loss planning (the rest of your meal planning) then there is nothing wrong with them. Your body needs protein after a workout.

Some of the powders have more calories than others, so I'd recommend you look at a few different varieties. My husband prefers Designer Whey. They mix well with water (not all of them do) and aren't over the top in calories per serving. He uses them to supplement his protein needs as he works out a lot (free weights, total gym, exercise ball, and running--all several times a week).
Based on your height/weight, I'm guessing you need about 50 grams of protein per day to maintain muscle as you lose weight. If you don't get enough protein, you will lose muscle instead of fat.

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