Weight loss is possibly one of the primary goals of most of my clients. And they're almost always surprised when I suggest protein powders as a way to help them lose weight more effectively.
However, the dietary supplement market is flooded with products that are full of fat and carbs. These protein powders will not only create a barrier to weight loss goals but could also mean that you pile on some unwanted fat.
Over the years, our team here at Total Shape has managed to find some low-calorie protein powders that we generally recommend to our clients, especially for weight loss. Here are the top picks for the best protein powders with low calories.
Let's take a closer look.
Top Low-Calorie Protein Shakes (2020)
#1 Transparent Labs
#2 Performance Lab
#3 Isopure Zero Carb
#4 Bulk Supplements
1. Transparent Labs ProteinSeries (Editor's Choice)
If you're looking for protein powders that provide just protein and no other fillers, then Transparent Labs may be your best option.
It doesn't have the lowest caloric content, but the 120 calorie content per serving is almost exclusively from protein, which is ideal especially if you're trying to eat less carbs.
The only minor annoying thing for me is that not all flavor options are available in tubs.
2. Performance Lab Sport Protein
For any vegans or milk intolerant folks, I would suggest trying out the plant-based protein powders from Performance Lab.
It's not only a low-calorie option but also claims to help with filling you up for longer.
The only thing I didn't like is that it seemed to be just a little bit grainy.
3. Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder
Isopure is one of the best protein powders for keto dieters as it contains no fat or carbs.
This may make it easier for you to prepare your meal plans without messing up your ketosis and weight loss efforts.
While it is available in a large variety of flavors, just be aware that it lists some sucralose on the ingredients list.
4. Bulk Supplements Whey Isolate
The next one of our recommended products is this one from Bulk Supplements.
This protein powder is not one of the absolute lowest-calorie protein powders out there, but it's still within range of supporting most diet and weight loss efforts.
The one downside with this option is that it's not sourced from hormone-treatment-free cows, which may be essential for many people.
5. PaleoPro Protein Powder
PaleoPro has specialized in protein powders that are sourced from premium beef and eggs.
It has minimal carbs and fat and comes with the added benefit of containing some collagen that may help to improve joint health .
Just be prepared for serious shaking to get the consistency right; you could be mistaken for shaking up some fancy cocktails 😉
6. My Protein Iso: Pro Whey Protein
Of all the plant-based and whey protein powders we researched, we couldn't find one that provided less than 90 calories per serving, considering the amount of protein.
With basically no carbs, this whey protein powder is well suited for any low-calorie diet. It's ideal for those looking for a low-calorie supplement for weight loss.
I just found that I got a bit bored with the flavors available, so a few more options would be great.
7. Quest Nutrition Multi-Purpose Protein Powder
The last on our list of the best protein powders is this one from Quest Nutrition, which has no trace of fat or carbs on the ingredients label.
It's doesn't have the highest protein content in each scoop, but as a protein powder with caloric content of just 100, it's pretty decent.
Like a few other protein powders that we tested, it is best when you blend it to get a better consistency.
WHO Are Low-Calorie Protein Powders Suitable For?
Low-calorie protein powders are suitable for people who have strict dietary needs to support weight loss. But there are a few specific reasons that we’d like to go into a bit more.
Calorie Controlled Diets
The secret to shedding some pounds is to eat healthy and burn more calories than you're taking in. It sounds simple, but it's not the easiest thing to do.
Unfortunately, some of the commercial products out there that claim to be the best protein are laced with carbs, sugar, fat, and, ultimately, tons of calories.
The only way you can create low-calorie products without reducing the protein content is by stripping out carbs and fat. This is especially interesting for anyone on the keto diet where carbs are basically the enemy.
Unless those carbs come in the form of dietary fiber, you want to keep them to an absolute minimum. Fiber doesn't only help you feel full longer, it also improves the body's digestive process.
Underlying Health Issue
I have worked with people who suffered from heart conditions that were ultimately diet-related. For such people, it's vital to remove all saturated and trans fats from everything they eat .
But there's more to the protein story.
How Does Protein Powder Help With Weight Loss?
Protein powder helps with weight loss by supporting appetite suppression and metabolic rates. Here's a more detailed breakdown.
Achieve Net Negative Calories
By using only the best protein with low calorie content like those above, you may be able to lose weight faster as you will be taking in fewer calories. When that is combined with some more regular physical activity, things start to happen in the fat melting department.
Deal With Hunger Cravings
Usually, people look for fiber to feel full. But protein has this hidden benefit of taking longer to digest than carbs. As a result, it gives you the feeling of satiety for longer, which may help with skipping snacks and extended fasting periods .
So, if instead of reaching for a Krispy Kreme for your snack, you pick up a tasty nutrition shake, you might be able to make some more significant changes in your lifestyle.
For instance, protein has been shown to reduce appetite and prevent overeating by triggering hormones that promote feelings of fullness and satisfaction.
Boost Metabolic Rates
One of the biggest obstacles people have in their battle to lose weight is how their metabolism reacts to certain nutrients. For so many of my clients, it's almost always down to refined carbohydrates.
The good news is that protein has been shown in clinical research to boost metabolic rates that may help with burning more fat  .
Check out these helpful tips to learn more ...
Bottom line: eating more protein can boost your metabolism because it has a higher thermic effect meaning your body is going to have to work harder to digest, break down, and store it.
What Should Influence Your Buying Decision?
Here are the 4 areas that we always focus on with our clients before we make a recommendation.
1. Protein Sources
You can generally categorize protein products into plant-based proteins and animal-based sources. And this is where you have to take a closer look at the ingredients label.
For animal proteins, the most common sources are milk, beef, and eggs. You'll probably have noticed that whey is quite a prominent source, mainly due to it containing the right mix of essential amino acids.
On the plant side of things, you'll often find rice, hemp, and pea protein powders. Just keep in mind that rice and pea protein would need to be stacked to give you all the amino acids needed. A combination of rice and pea protein is common.
Choosing the best protein is almost an entirely personal choice. Whether it's whey or pea protein, the more important thing is that you're getting the recommended amount for your goal.
2. Muscle Building Goals
If muscle mass is your primary goal and you're not vegan, then I would generally recommend high-quality whey products.
From a nutrition perspective, whey is considered as the best protein for muscle building as it contain all the essential amino acids needed to support muscle growth and recovery.
However, for vegans, rice, and hemp powders may achieve the same benefits .
3. Dietary Restrictions
You might be thinking of vegans and vegetarians where it's down to a personal choice. But it's far more common to make dietary decisions due to allergies and intolerances.
For many people that rules out anything with lactose, soy, or gluten, so pay close attention to the nutrition label to identify any potential health issues.
4. Texture And Consistency
So, once you've picked your suitable ingredients, it's time to make sure it tastes right. Things have improved a lot in the last 10 years. I remember powders coming out of a blender with a total grainy texture (no, I'm not that old).
Anyway, this is a bit of a trial and error situation, so make sure you check out online reviews about the consistency.
OK, so what's the actual approach you should take?
How To Use Protein Powder For Weight Loss
Here are 3 simple tips I give all my clients. If you can focus your attention on these, then you may be in a good position to succeed.
Balance Your Diet First
You have to fix your diet and start counting calories. Trash all the processed stuff and everything laced with sugar. The easiest way to achieve this is with an app like Noom to help you monitor your macros and calories.
Create A Regular Exercise Routine
You have to start doing physical activity several times a day. No, I don't mean going to the gym twice a day, but even a 10-minute fast-paced walk at lunchtime may help to burn some extra calories.
Stack With Other Supplements
People often think of bodybuilders who stack multiple different supplements to build muscle mass. However, there are some great pre-workout products and fat burners that may help you work harder.
And if all else fails, invest some money by hiring a personal trainer like me to hold you accountable 😉
Which type of protein is best for weight loss?
Hemp protein is one of the best for weight loss as it has one of the highest levels of fiber content. This may help with making you feel full for longer, meaning that you can reduce your food intake.
How many calories are in protein?
There are 4 calories in each gram of protein. This makes it relatively easy to work out how many calories are being added to supplements containing carbs and fat.
Which Low-Calorie Protein Powder Should You Choose?
From all my years' worth of experience with clients of all ages and sizes, I have found that whey protein doesn't seem to let you down. The one that has worked best for us that has one of the lowest calories is Transparent Labs.
This protein powder has 1g of carbs and zero fat, and it tastes really good as well.
If you have had some success with these best protein powders or any other low-calorie protein product, how are the results with regards to weight loss?
Please let us know on social media, and we'll make sure to share it.
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