Protein powder diets have gained popularity over the last few years along with other all-liquid diets, like juicing.
If you are looking for the pros and cons to pursuing a diet consisting of primarily protein powder and shakes then this article is for you.
The most popular benefit to all-liquid diets is that they usually allow you to get a pretty significant jump start to your weight loss. Everyone is different, but it’s not uncommon to lose 10 or more pounds in a matter of a few days while sticking to an all protein powder diet.
Another psychological benefit is that all-liquid diets require a great deal of discipline, so completing them is a huge accomplishment. If you’re looking to start making significant health changes, they can be a great way for you to get you in the right mindset.
High protein diets are a great way to ensure muscle preservation and better (or maintain) a good body composition and protein powder is definitely a great way to ensure that you get plenty of protein.
Even though you may lose weight quickly while you take part in this diet, it can easily be gained back if you don’t make healthy dieting decisions moving forward. If you jump back into old, unhealthy habits your body is going to try and hold on to as much energy (fat) as it can.
Because removing food completely from your diet can be a shock to your body, you may find that you lack energy and motivation to complete work.
Some people experience headaches and other symptoms that their body is telling them that it’s hungry.
What to Expect During a Protein Powder Diet
First and foremost, you’ll be hungry! If you’ve never gone more than a few hours without eating before brace yourself. It’s difficult to abstain from eating when your body is telling you that it wants food.
You’ll have less energy than normal as your body will turn to stored energy, like fat, to keep going. It’s not unlikely for people who are participating in a protein powder diet to start to crash as afternoon rolls around.
Heavy exercise isn’t recommended during any sort of all-liquid diet. Moderate exercise should be fine, but keep a careful eye on how you’re feeling and take breaks often. You likely won’t have the energy that you’ll usually have – don’t overdo it!
Take a multivitamin to replace some of the nutrients you might be missing out on. It can make a huge difference in the way that you feel during and even for the initial few days after you end the diet.
Space out the drinks evenly so that you stay as full as possible. While you probably won’t get very full during these few days, it will help you psychologically knowing that you have your next shake just a few hours away.
Another helpful tip is to stay busy. If you stay busy you won’t be constantly thinking about the fact that you aren’t eating. Watch your favorite tv show or work on a project that you’ve been pushing off. If you need to, clean your house or hang out with friends (away from restaurants).
You can get more tips here.
4 Steps to a Protein Powder Diet
While we suggest implementing protein powder as part of a well rounded diet, we understand that sometimes it’s necessary to lose more than a few pounds over the course days instead of weeks. If you have your mind set on taking part in an all protein diet, follow our guide below to get started.
Step 1: Choose your goals
What do you want to accomplish over the next few days? It won’t be easy – having clear goals set will help you stick to it if things get difficult.
Make sure you are getting enough calories in your diet. Too large of a caloric deficit for an extended period of time can potentially do damage to your metabolism.
Step 2: How long are you doing it?
If you’ve never done an all-liquid diet before, settle on two to three day maximum to get started. If you’ve had success with all-liquid diets then feel free to extend your protein shake diet to up to five days. Don’t exceed five days!
Step 3: Choose your protein
Picking the right mix is vital to the success of your protein diet.
See the links below for our best protein recommendations if you are looking for the best:
- Gluten free meal replacements
- Protein powders without artificial sweeteners
- Plant-based protein powders
- Gluten free whey protein powders
- Whey protein isolates
Step 4: Pick your schedule
Spacing out your shakes evenly will help you minimize hunger and has some great psychological benefits.
We recommend having 5-6 protein drinks throughout the day. Your schedule might look like this:
7: 30am – Wakeup
8am – Drink 1
11am – Drink 2
1pm – Drink 3
3pm – Drink 4
5pm – Drink 5
7pm Drink 6
10:30pm – Bed
Note: Please make sure to only keep a moderate caloric deficit to mitigate damage to your metabolism.
Pro Tip: Mix your protein powders with milk for extra calories without having to consume extra protein shakes.
Although, for safe and healthy weight loss a diet consisting of only protein powder may not be the best means, but for other protein diet considerations and things to consider, click here.
You should consult your doctor before taking part in any sort of liquid only diets, including protein powder diets.