Weight loss, more specifically FAT LOSS is one of the main goals for many gym goers and fitness enthusiasts. Tell a big dude with bulging biceps and chest that they could 'lose weight' on a particular diet plan or supplement, and they'd probably tell you where you can go. Suggest that they may be able to lose FAT however...and they still might tell you where to go for the insinuation...but I bet secretly they'd be interested!
You see, weight loss and fat loss are two very different things. You could quite feasibly lose body fat and still not see total 'weight loss' on the weighing scales. One of the great side-effects of exercise is an increase in muscle to fat ratio, and although you'll start to look and feel better, the scales may not represent this because muscle weighs more than fat. Simple as that. There will inevitably come a time when the muscle growth slows and the fat burning continues, at this point you will start to see the scales come down...but don't expect this to happen over night. It's a slow and steady process, but it'll happen. Trust me, believe in the process.
Protein is understandably related to muscle growth and bulk, this is simply because the people consuming it generally have that goal in mind. But it's most definitely NOT all that protein shakes are good for. Protein, and particularly the humble protein shake, is now used in health, vitality and longevity, as well as performance enhancement and weight loss. Protein’s applications can range from treating age related muscle sarcopaenia (muscle wastage), managing muscle growth and recovery, as well as satiating hunger and supporting weight loss.
The Protein : Fat Loss relationship
Whey protein may undergo some small amounts of processing during the manufacturing process, the processing that milk undergoes to produce whey protein powder is actually key to its weight loss properties. The filtration processes extract the carbohydrate (lactose) and fat components from milk leaving you with just the good stuff… whey. By removing the excess carbs and fat, you inherently reduce the total calorie content of the protein, and less calories are good for weight loss.
Protein builds muscle to burn fat
A lot people wanting to burn fat don’t want to look bulky in the process, they are generally looking to strip off excess body fat whilst improving muscle tone. You can increase the metabolic load (energy expenditure) that your muscles place on your body without necessarily increasing the muscle size. Exercise (cardio or resistance training) increases your muscles energy expenditure, so does muscle...exercise, balanced diet and protein = fat loss.
Diet proteins not only contain high levels of protein, but are also low in carbs, sugar and fat. Therefore calories are also comparatively low compared to other forms of protein, and on top of this they also contain the likes of Green Tea extract and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), nutrition components that are believed to mobilise fat stores so that they can be burned for energy. Add to this the elevated gastrointestinal transit rate of fat through the bowel by adding fibre in the form of ground flaxseed, and you increase the physical excretion of excess fat you consume, as well as increase the feeling of fullness thanks to the chemical signalling back to your brain (up-regulation of leptin hormone and down regulation of ghrelin hormone).