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What is a Protein Shake Diet?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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A protein shake diet can refer to either substituting shakes as meal replacement or augmenting present diet with protein shakes for greater energy and, according to some claims, weight loss. Both of these diets may be aimed at weight loss to a certain degree, but there is not that much evidence that the latter is very effective in this respect. Generally, the former, which can involve a reduction in calories, may be more effective.

Protein shakes often come in powders or they may be available in pre-mixed portions. The proteins are usually derived from milk proteins, eggs, or soy, and anyone with food allergies will want to make certain they’re not allergic to ingredients by reading labels. People can also use different types of protein powder to make their own shakes, and some dieters prefer this because it gives them greater control over ingredients. There’s good reason to seek this control because many commercial types of protein shakes aren’t that healthy and may contain high amounts of chemicals or extra ingredients like sugar. High sugar shakes may taste better, but they aren’t always the best choice.

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The two approaches to following a protein shake diet are easy to distinguish from each other. In the first approach, people substitute one or more meals a day with shakes. The most common meals that are replaced are breakfast and lunch, or some people replace one meal only, and use a second shake as an afternoon or evening snack. These low calorie shakes, can help promote weight loss. On the other hand, protein is not the only nutritional requirement and shakes don’t always adequately provide fiber or the vitamin content of whole foods such as fruit and vegetables.

Another theory regarding a protein shake diet is that people should add shakes to their regular diet. The prevailing concept behind this is that extra protein fuels energy and gives people more energy to exercise harder to lose more weight. Many dieticians and medical experts do not feel this is the case. By adding extra calories, some people merely put on weight. Not everybody gets an energy boost from extra protein, particularly if the metabolism is sluggish.

Nutritionists have also concluded that there may be no nutritional or weight loss benefit from getting more than the recommended daily allowance of protein. Thus a protein shake diet aimed at obtaining extra protein may not always be worth it. It is true that some people have difficulty obtaining enough protein, in which case, adding protein shakes might be a good way to improve nutrition.

People can explore pros and cons of the protein shake diet in a number of books and on many websites that speak to nutritional issues. Another good resource when planning a healthy diet is a family doctor or dietician. Some people swear by the benefits of protein shakes and others are less enthusiastic about this dietary concept.

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