Vegan Protein Powder for Weight Loss
Due to personal, environmental, and moral reasons, more and more people are going vegan. As a result, the need for plant-based sources of protein is higher than ever. One of the easiest ways of reaching your daily goal of protein is through protein powders. If your goal is to lose weight, keeping track of your daily intake of macronutrients is an excellent place to start.
However, before we discuss the best vegan protein powders for weight loss, let's talk about the importance of protein and its role in maintaining a healthy body. As previously mentioned, protein is a macronutrient, along with fat and carbohydrates. It means that your body needs protein in relatively large amounts to stay healthy.
Protein itself has a vital role in your body. Even though the body does not store protein, it needs it to function correctly. Not only does it use protein to repair muscles and build tissue, but protein is also crucial for making enzymes and other body chemicals.
Now that we have covered the purpose of protein, you might be wondering how it affects weight loss. As you probably already know, exercise is key to weight loss. When you exercise, the fibers in your muscles begin to tear. As a result, your body uses protein to repair (and build) the muscle tissue. By consuming more protein, your body will regenerate faster, making it easier for you to continue working out.
Another reason why protein is good for weight loss is simply that it keeps you full for longer. Unlike carbohydrates, which don't keep you full for an extended period of time, your body takes longer to break protein down. As a result, you will feel hungry less often, leading to weight loss.
Finally, you have probably heard that a vegan diet means a lack of protein. While it’s true that a lot of protein-rich foods aren’t vegan, that doesn’t mean you can’t reach your recommended daily intake of protein. Here is how you can do it.
Different Vegan Protein Powders for Weight Loss
While people use protein powders to reach the same goal, that doesn’t mean that all protein powders are the same. Let’s take a look at powders from various plant-based sources. These will vary in taste, texture, and amount of protein per serving, so you are sure to find a perfect fit for your needs.
The first on our list is hemp protein. It is made by grinding hemp seeds into a fine powder. You will find that hemp protein powder does not contain enormous amounts of protein; it has 12 grams of protein and around 100 calories per serving (28 grams). However, it is beneficial for you in other ways.
Hemp protein powder is an excellent source of fiber, magnesium, iron, and other minerals. In addition, it is full of antioxidants. Just keep in mind that hemp has a particular, earthy taste. If you are looking for a flavorless protein powder, hemp might not be the best choice.
Our second choice for a plant-based protein powder is pea protein. It comes from yellow split peas and is one of the best protein powders you can find on the market. Not only does it have a substantial amount of protein (21 grams of protein and 100 calories per serving), it is rich in BCAAs to promote muscle growth.
Additionally, studies show that regular ingestion of pea protein lowers your blood pressure and keeps you full for longer. Unlike hemp, which has a sandy texture, pea protein powders create a creamy protein drink.
Finally, our list wouldn’t be over without mentioning the popular soy protein. While it has the most protein (22 grams per serving), there are some concerns that need to be addressed.
If you are vegan for environmental reasons, it is essential to know that most soy in the US is genetically modified. As a result, you may want to think twice before choosing soy as your main source of protein. Additionally, if you are female, you may want to opt for soy-free protein. Soy has previously been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.
Is Vegan Protein Powder a Good Meal Replacement?
There is no doubt that protein powders are a great addition to your diet. Generally speaking, most people don’t consume enough protein on a daily basis. Protein powders are the perfect way to battle that statistic. In addition, some vegan-based protein powders contain other nutrients that will aid you in your journey to weight loss.
While a protein drink or shake can be used as a replacement for a meal (especially after a hard workout), it can not replace a healthy diet. Your body needs more than just protein to survive. A good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat is crucial for your mental and physical health.
If you are aiming to lose weight, keep in mind that you need to be aware of your calorie intake. Weight loss boils down to a simple equation; you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. Vegan protein powders may be an excellent alternative to calorie-dense meals.
To sum up, a vegan diet does not equate a diet low in protein. There are many different plant-based protein powders that will suffice your protein needs. These powders come in many flavors, so we recommend tasting more than one before you make a final decision on which one works bests for you.
Keep in mind that the daily amount of protein a body requires varies from person to person. For example, people who are more physically active need more protein in their diet. To give you a general idea, a person who works out needs between 0.5-0.8 grams of protein per pound of weight. However, someone who isn’t that active requires around 0.36 grams.
Remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. You are making that journey more manageable by taking care of your physical health, and vegan protein powders are a step in the right direction.
While many people, commercials, and companies make it seem easy, weight loss comes down to discipline and diet. There is no magic pill in life to make you fit, toned, and in shape. Having a healthy body weight is a direct correlation to eating nutritious food, exercise, a healthy lifestyle, and 90% diet; for those trying to lose weight, it’s important to keep in mind you need to burn more calories than you eat.
People on plant-based diets have notoriously smaller BMI’s, but even if you aren’t a vegan, reducing your consumption of meat, dairy, and processed foods will aid your weight loss goals. This will also improve your health and prevent chronic diseases, while benefiting the planet. Focussing on wholesome natural foods with high fiber, healthy fats, and protein while avoiding sugar and processed foods are key to a healthy weight.
Great foods to eat for weight loss are leafy greens, nuts, seeds, broccoli, soy beans and other soy protein, brussels sprouts, avocados, lentils, legumes, and other types of protein. While eating primarily plants is key to a healthy weight, being vegan and eating processed foods can still be detrimental to your health and bodyweight.
It’s especially important to focus on vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and additional protein sources. Using typical branded weight loss protein powder will not aid in weight loss, unless you have a healthy lifestyle, diet, and exercise.
Alternatively, staying active is a great way to stay toned, however working out isn’t enough if your diet is poor. It’s recommended to workout nonetheless and will help your body stay leaner and more toned. Studies have also found that working out may increase your metabolism (the process in your body which has you burn fat). I’ve also found that regular exercise keeps my mind more clear and focussed.
Eating right takes discipline. There are loads of tempting treats out there - free food in the office, parties, going to restaurants - the list goes on. Great ways to stay disciplined with food are to track your food intake through a diary, planning ahead, cheat days, and not restricting yourself with foods that are great for weight loss (cucumbers, spinach, etc.).
The last key element of having a healthy weight is lifestyle. Many people overlook the importance of sleep, drinking, and stress. Studies have demonstrated that being overtired can lead to overeating, not exercising, and increased cravings for unhealthy foods, primarily being high carb foods.
This study from NCBI shows that lack of sleep decreases metabolism and the rate at which you burn fat. This is due to the body believing that it needs the excess fat for energy. Alcohol is another strong contributor to weight gain. A night out drinking beer can lead to a full day’s worth of calories and heavy drinkers are 40% more likely to be overweight.
The Plant Era’s shake is an excellent way to get started and a great weight loss option due to the high amount of protein, low carbs, and no sugar. It’s powerful plant based protein powder has all twenty essential and non-essential amino acids to build and recover muscles. Unlike standard protein isolate, we paired our protein with various vitamins and minerals. It includes 50% of the daily recommended vitamin B12 and 35% of iron to curb fatigue, promote energy, and fight B12 deficiencies stemming from vegan diets.
The organic protein powder is naturally sourced from around the world with nothing artificial in it, no sugar added, and is completely gluten free. Our soy free protein shake with has over 20 grams of pea and rice protein in a serving size is a great way to start your day, post workout recovery, or as a healthy snack to increase your protein intake.
The protein is best used for building muscle and recovery immediately after a workout. Just mix with 350 ml of our liquid of choice (water, soy milk, smoothie, etc.), shake, and drink. Alternatively, blend one scoop with your choice of fruit, vegetables, chia seeds, liquid, and ice for a delicious smoothie.
With the fruit in it, it’s a very nice, tasty, and sweet treat to start your day off. I find when I use it my mind is much clearer and performance in the gym is elevated. This is most likely due to the combination of having vitamin B12 in the protein powder, and nutrients from the other ingredients (fiber, healthy fats, protein, all strong vitamins and minerals).
Use This Recipe to Make a Weight Loss Smoothie
This green power smoothie recipe I use is delicious, plant based, and simple. I would recommend mixing the following ingredients, but smoothies are personal preference and simple to make.
- 1 cup of soy or almond milk
- 1 banana
- 1 tsp of chia seeds
- 1 tsp of hemp seeds
- 4 strawberries
- Three ice cubes
- 1 scoop of The Plant Era’s Strawberry-Basil protein powder
- 1 handful of spinach
Another great option is to add pumpkin seeds to the smoothie. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein and unsaturated fats, like omegas. They also include iron, vitamin B, beta-carotene, and calcium. Alternatively if you don’t like bananas, I would recommend using mangoes. With a large amount of fiber and vitamins A and C, mangoes are an excellent alternative to bananas.
Breakfast smoothies are my favorite go-to breakfast. They’re so simple and the excellent blend of nutrients, sugar, protein, and unsaturated fats keep me much more filled up than a bowl of cereal or oatmeal. Not to mention, they’re significantly more healthy than eggs and bacon or waffles and pancakes!
Our tasty vegan protein powder is available in Chocolate and Strawberry Basil and ideal for those who want to achieve their peak performance. With over 30 servings, the Plant Era protein powder is designed to last you an entire month. Enroll in a subscription plan today and save $15 per order, a yearly value of $180.
The last key thing to remember with weight loss is that it’s not a one size fits all plan - same as exercise and lifestyle. Figure out what works best with your body, desires, and mind, and create a program to help you stay accountable. And if you fall off the horse, stay positive and get right back on your weight loss journey to success.
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