Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Introducing... a long story about women and protein.

I'll probably say this again before the post is over, but all that I'm about to say is strictly based on my opinion with protein.  I know that everyone has different experiences, as everyone's body is different!

You may remember that I purchased some "light" protein a month or two ago.  I've been meaning to do a review on my thoughts.  You asked and I promised to answer!

So here it is ...in its completely-too-wordy form.
I'm not good at "short & sweet."

Well, after over a month of having a protein shake five days a week (the days I work out), I have come to the conclusion that they have made me gain weight! (Which was definitely not the goal here!)
Granted, it's just about five pounds, but hey, weight is weight.
...and no, the weight is not muscle weight.

I've monitored my eating habits for the past few weeks and have come to realize that the culprit just has to be the protein.

I know that people looking to bulk up drink protein shakes, but I drink them in very small portions (only about 8oz) and that is equivalent to 150 calories.  That amount of added calories won't do anything to me (in a month's time, at least), especially because I drink my shake as a mid-morning snack before I go to the gym.  Whether it's a protein shake or a Fiber One bar, I always have a mid-morning snack.  So I'm not adding in more calories by consuming the shake. 

However, in those mere 150 calories, I am packing in about 21 grams of added protein.

Did you know that the protein your body doesn't use is converted to fat?

Then I think back to one of my nutrition classes where I had to do a nutrition self-assesment. (I minored in health) First, I entered how much I exercise, my height, weight, gender, and other informatin like that into a database  Then, I had to record every little thing I put in my mouth for three (normal eating) days & input that into the same software.  The results told me how much fat, carbs, protein, sugar, vitamins & minerals I had consumed. 

I remember that I was just over 100% of my protein daily intake amount without any protein supplements at all.
Which means that for someone my height, gender, and weight ....no more protein needs to be added!

(...and by the way, I'm not a huge fan of meat.  So I obtain my appropriate intake of protein just through my yogurt, turkey sandwiches, maybe a chicken salad wrap, etc.  I don't really eat steak or big portions of meat.)

As I was reading about protein shakes for women, it seems that all of the experts are saying that protein shakes are great for a meal replacement (as long as you're still getting the appropriate number of nutrients for it to be counted as a meal).  However, if you add a protein shake to your normal amount of meals each day, it will, in fact, cause your body to store fat.

That is...unless you are a long-dsitance runner or did similar, very strenuous activity.  Then, a protein shake would be completely necessary for muscle recovery.  I do work out five times a week, but it's usually just a spin class, body pump, pilates, or some time on the eliptical.  I feel like I don't need over 20 grams of protein to recover my muscles from moderate exercise like that.

I would also drink a protein shake if I didn't already get the appropriate percentage of protein per day as it is.  Anyone that doesn't get the adequate daily intake would definitely benefit from a shake!

If you are thinking about adding protein into your daily routine, I would suggest doing a nutrition assessment (you can probably find one online) to find out how much protein you should be taking in each day, as compared to how much you are actually consuming.  The correct nutrition assessment will ask you questions about your daily exercise -that little detail should definitely be factored in because those who exercise more end up needing more protein.
So there you have it.  My review on protein shakes.  Let me clarify, though, that this is MY opinion of how added protein has worked in MY body.  Others, I'm know, have a completely different experience and reap wonderful benefits from protein shakes. 

I will miss my "Lean Dessert Protein Shake" in Whipped Vanilla. 
It tastes like Breyer's Vanilla Ice Cream!

Ok ...end of that story.

So sorry this was incredibly wordy!



  1. I think you just turned a light bulb on for me! I want to drop about five pounds but I have a protein smoothie every morning for bfast! Maybe Ill cut out the protein and see what that does!

    Thanks for this!

  2. Wow, thanks for posting this! I had never really thought about TOO much protein before. Everything you said makes sense though! It'll be interesting to see if, once you cut out the protein shake, you lose those five pounds. You'll have to keep us updated! :)

  3. i've had very similar experiences! thanks for taking the time to share :)

  4. goodness! Thank you for this post! I always thought those "protein smoothies" had to be loaded with sugary calories

  5. Interesting post! I have been thinking about buying some protein mix, but I don't want to gain weight. I'll have to make sure I am not getting too much protein.

  6. I enjoyed reading this, thanks for sharing. I am a long-distance runner so i use protein shakes as recovery. I do get my daily amount of protein usually through eggs, greek, yogurt, and chicken. On days that I don't run long, I may not need to always drink a shake, instead eat my normal meals.

  7. Good post! Years ago I started eating protein bars because they were tasty and started gaining weight and cut them very quickly. I don't eat much meat either but I get my protein from nuts and yogurt.


  8. oh my word..SO glad you posted this!! I was in search of a good protein shake!

  9. This post was incredibly helpful to me! Thank you! Do you mind sharing the online assessment site you used or one that you recommend?

  10. I learned the same lesson about a year ago - I thought it would help, but I did not think about all the calculations like height, etc. I just figured the 150 calorie shake was adding to my calories, so I stopped. I agree, I think you have to be training in something or a super work out fanatic to use the shake as an added supplement; otherwise it is just extra calories. Thanks for the break down and explanation.

  11. I totally agree with this post. I am an on and off protein shake drinker. But when I do drink them, it's as a meal replacement, instead of lunch or dinner. I think that if I did eat them as a snack, it probably would cause weight gain. thanks for sharing!


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