What are ‘Diet Proteins’?
Diet Proteins are nutritional supplements that are designed to support muscle development as well as fat loss. This may sound like the Holy Grail for many people, surely you can’t build muscle whilst burning fat…can you? Of course you can! In fact, if you can build muscle then your capacity to burn fat significantly increases! Diet proteins contain key active ingredients that lend themselves perfectly to muscle toning and fat loss, don’t get me wrong, they won’t make you a monster brimming with rippling muscles, this isn’t a Diet Proteins purpose. A Diet Protein could be likened to an ‘all in one’ fat loss supplement because they are (or certainly should be) inherently low in calories, carbs and fat compared to regular proteins, but also contain active fat burning ingredients such as Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), L- Carnitine and Green tea extract. The protein base of these supplements promote muscle recovery a development, whilst the added fat burning ingredients support the liberation of fat from fat stores, the mobilisation of fat to metabolically active tissue, and the actual metabolism of fat (breakdown) as an energy source.
Low Diet Proteins work
The different ingredients in a Diet Protein work in different ways and via different mechanisms. The protein in the products support muscle protein synthesis which supports muscle development and tone as well as burning more calories at rest (muscle is metabolically active). The fat burning agents help to burn fat by increasing your metabolic rate, whilst others liberate fat from the bodies fat cells, and some transport the fat that has been liberated from fat cells into mitochondria (energy manufacturing factories) so it can be burned for energy.
Fat burning agents in Diet Proteins
Diet Proteins need to contain a balance of fat burning agents, so a good Diet Protein should contain ideal ratios of protein and/or caffeine which are effective lipolytics (break fat down). This should be coupled with L- Carnitine, a very popular fat transporting agent. This combination completes 2 stages of the 3, enabling your body to liberate fat so that it can be effectively transported to muscle and metabolically active tissue. Once it reaches the muscle it is readily converted into energy. L- Carnitine is key because if it doesn’t ‘piggy back’ the circulating fat to the muscle etc then the circulating fat in the blood stream is re- converted back to fat (adiposity). CLA is a prime example of a metabolism booster meaning it increases the amount of energy your body expends. By increasing the metabolic rate, more calories are burned translating to more fat loss (Llewellyn, W, 2009), meaning if you combine the whey protein in Diet Proteins with metabolism boosters such as CLA… then stage 3 of the fat burning process is complete.
The final ingredient
Flaxseed…I’ll keep this brief, but Flaxseed is a key ingredient in Diet Proteins for several reasons. Flaxseed increases the density of the shake meaning it is thicker and fills you up more, plus it induces a hormonal shift which increases satiety, and physically increases the transit rate of fat through the bowl (reducing the amount you absorb into the body).
Combine a Diet Protein with regular physical activity, a structured training regime and a healthy balanced diet, and chances are you'll be onto a fat loss winner!
Llewellyn, W. (2009). Sport supplement reference guide. CLA. FL: Molecular Nutrition.