Okay, so there’s like a million—no, more than a million—different kinds of diets and plans out there to lose weight (or to just eat your way to a healthier lifestyle). But one consistent theme in almost every weight loss plan is that increasing your protein intake. On a reduced-calorie plan, this promotes weight loss because foods that are high in protein take more work to digest, metabolize, and use. Basically, it means you burn more calories while processing them. And longer digestion time equates staying fuller, longer.
In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health’s Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) guidelines, the average person (that isn’t trying to lose weight) should consume 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. For example, a 150-pound female should consume 54 grams of protein a day. However, it’s advised for a person looking to lose weight (that also incorporates exercise into their plan) that they should consume anywhere from 0.5-0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight (so 75-120 grams of protein a day for a 150-pound female).
I know that if you’re someone who wants to lose weight, but your current diet consists of carbs and tequila, then those protein intakes can seem a bit intimidating. But don’t worry, just because you need to rev up your grams of protein, doesn’t mean you have to down a T-bone steak at every meal. Luckily, there are a ton of low-calorie, high-protein drinks that taste amazing and can add to your daily routine to help improve weight loss. So, I present to you, our list of the best tasting protein powders for weight loss.
Good for: Keto betches
I’m not sure if it’s because I admittedly follow a lot of #fitspo accounts, but I am constantly coming across keto themed Instagrams. You’ve probably seen them too. These accounts post major weight loss transformation photos, yet also share pics of their meals which contain tons of bacon? And cheese? And heavy-cream coffees? Yup, those are the keto b*tches. The keto diet is basically a low-carb, high-healthy fat diet that basically forces the body to use ketones as a source of energy (instead of sugar). Well, Bulletproof is a keto-followers dream food and supplement brand as their product line includes things like: keto coffee, protein bars, and supplements that enhance the entire keto diet experience.
The Bulletproof Collagen Protein Powder is designed to not only pose as a meal replacement (with its 23 grams of protein), but thanks to the inclusion of collagen, it helps to improve your complexion and recover your aching joints (whether that be from working out or other activities, I don’t judge). Despite the fact that it contains less than one gram of sugar, both the vanilla and chocolate flavor protein powders are rich and sweet. Giving you something to look forward to consuming after that grueling hour-long cycling class.
Good for: Organic betches
You may be familiar with the Tone It Up brand, founded by the two OG fitness influencers, Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott. The Tone It Up community is basically an IG fam that K & K started through their curated workouts that connects women who are on all sorts of different fitness journeys. Because don’t we all want to live our best, fit lives? The brand also started a nutrition line (in addition to their workout apparel and gear), which includes, you guessed it, protein powders.
Tone It Up’s Organic Proteins are perfect for smoothies. They add 15 grams of protein per serving and zero grams of sugar. All while being all super healthy things like organic, vegan, gluten and dairy-free. The best tasting powder IMO is the chocolate (they also have coconut and vanilla flavors). It is sweet, smooth, and makes for a thick consistency to have you feeling extra-full.
Good for: Orgasms in your mouth
You’ve probably tried (or at very least seen) a Quest protein bar at your local 7-11, Target, GNC, wherever. But in my eyes, the brand’s real star is their protein powder, specifically, the cookies and cream powder. The powder has chunks of “cookies” in it, and when blended with 8 oz. of water and a few ice cubes, really will trick you into thinking you’re chugging a milkshake. One serving size is one scoop. It has 20 grams of protein and only 100 calories, so it’s good for a snack at any time of the day. If you’re also watching your sugar intake, then you’re in luck. Although it tastes like a milkshake, there are zero grams of sugar in the powder.
If you’re fancy (or at least way more creative/better in the kitchen than I am) then this is one of those protein powders that can be used as an ingredient to make those protein powder pancakes, cookies, or balls that you see all of those *fitness influencers* on your newsfeed constantly eating.
The idea of getting sweaty, tired, and out of breath while not immediately losing three pounds is very offensive, especially when we’re making an effort to do the whole gym thing. Don’t put us down for cardio. However, you don’t need to sweat it out amongst grunting jocks in the gym to hit your cardio goals. You don’t even need to start waking up at 4am like the other psychopaths jogging around your neighborhood. Incorporating more cardio into your day can build muscle, burn fat, and lead you to a more toned and #blessed life, so walking, dancing, and even vacuuming are all great ways to seek the path of the Insta model. Here are some easy ways to incorporate cardio into your day.
This is probs the easiest one to do for those of us working in soulless corporate buildings with multiple floors. According to scientists, you’ll also burn more calories if you take one step at a time, so tell your boss it wasn’t the Starbucks that made you late, it was your dedication to health and fitness.
2. Gossip While Walking Around The Block
Walking is good, but walking while your mouth is running is even better. If you’re trying to get up and move around, walking for 15 minutes can burn about 66 calories, but walking while talking burns more since you’re taking more breath to multitask and rip apart Janet’s horrendous outfit. Sh*t, you could even become a real boss b*tch and host walking meetings to see who the most athletic person in your department is.
3. Hit The Clerb
Gross, but it’s a great workout. If you aren’t slamming 1,000 calorie piña coladas for four hours and are, instead, sticking to vodka sodas or just, like, water (EW), going to the club and dancing is a great way to do cardio without actually thinking about the fact that you’re doing cardio. Dancing for 30 minutes can burn as much as 150 calories. So, it may be worth it to deal with douchebags and frat bros trying to hit on you in a dark, loud room instead of a brightly lit, upsettingly quiet, and sweaty room.
4. Jump Rope
Hearken back to the olden times in PE class when jumping rope was for cool kids and your lame ass couldn’t keep up. Regain your school-age confidence and buy a jump rope for incredibly easy cardio you can do in your office or in front of the TV at home. Jumping rope works your legs, improves overall conditioning, and is obvi a great way to incorporate cardio into your life without having to step foot in a gym.
5. Go Shopping
Sounds cray, is true. Carrying a lightly loaded basket of clothes or groceries for only five minutes will burn 44 calories, according to Greatist. That sounds like a great excuse to hit up Target on my lunch break, buy a dress, AND get some food shopping done. This must be what adulthood feels like.
If you’re a slob and need to clean your house or apartment, you can kill two pounds birds with one stone. About 30 minutes of housework—i.e. dusting, vacuuming, and wiping down surfaces—can add up to about 98 calories. That’s like, one vodka soda or two Oreos. Obviously, you need to be going pretty hard on the vacuuming or dusting for it to be cardio levels, but just blast some Cardi B and rage clean until you feel yourself working up a sweat.
7. Park In The Back
Next time you’re heading anywhere (work, school, Target, the clerb), park as far off as you can (within reason and without putting yourself in some kind of danger). You’ll get a little extra distance in your day and may even work yourself up to cardio if you’re dealing with hills. If you’re really in the mood to up the ante, ride your bike to your destination or walk the whole way if you’re doing that city living thing.
Images: Lindsay Henwood / Unspash; Giphy (3)
The ever-present desire to lose three pounds is like the quest for El Dorado—fleeting and seemingly always just out of reach. If you’re one of the literally millions of betches trying to get in shape, lose a few pounds, and get healthier, we’re here to help. But many of us have experienced the frustration of ramping up our exercise routines, cutting carbs and calories, and still not losing any significant weight.
There are lots of sneaky reasons why you’re not losing weight and sweatpants are all that fits you right now, and being familiar with what may be sabotaging your health goals can help you overcome them and become the hottest betch at the gym.
1. You Are, But In A Weird Way
If you’ve upped the intensity of your workouts, are eating healthy, and sticking to your goals but either not losing weight or gaining, it could be that you’re actually gaining muscle at the same time you’re losing fat. “It is a good idea to use something other than the scale to gauge your progress,” says Healthline. “For example, measure your waist circumference and get your body fat percentage measured once per month.” So, yes, check the scale here and there, but keep in mind that weight can fluctuate by as much as five pounds and may be all over the place once you really start your new healthy lifestyle. Plus, if you’re looking FLY in the mirror, use that as a push to keep going. Stop obsessing about the number on the scale.
2. You’re Lying
Keeping a calorie diary seems extreme, but it may actually help you realize what you are and are not putting in your mouth. A lot of the trouble for those looking to lose weight is that they aren’t fully aware of what they’re eating. You may have forgotten about that chocolate bar you had at 2pm or the extra serving of salad with Caesar dressing you ate at dinner. “Total calories consumed matters when it comes to weight loss,” says CNN. “People frequently forget about the little things during or between meals that add up calorically and can interfere significantly with weight loss.” So, yes, track your calories for a week or two to get your spidey senses tingling, then see if you’re still having the same issues.
3. Sunday Funday Is Your Undoing
Yeaaaaaaah. So dieting during the week, when you’re sticking to a strict 9 to 5 schedule, is pretty easy thanks to the same routine day in and day out. However, on weekends, you’re likely drinking more and eating A LOT more. “Three days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) of more relaxed eating (and in many cases drinking) can easily erase four days of more perfect effort,” says CNN. So, having a cheat day or days can really f*ck up all those days of logging calories and going for a run before work. Grab a glass of wine or two on Friday night, but don’t follow it up with a calzone because you “earned it”.
4. You’re Skipping Meals
DING DING DING. Do you skip breakfast and only sip on coffee first thing in the morning? I know we’ve all heard it millions of times, but eating breakfast actually wakes up your metabolism. According to WebMD, “Research shows that breakfast skippers weigh more than breakfast eaters. There is a misconception that skipping breakfast—or any meal—saves calories. The truth is that most people who eat fewer than three meals usually end up eating more calories during the course of the day.” So, skipping those meals is sabotaging you into reaching for those jelly beans without realizing it. Or polishing off that extra bag of popcorn because “I barely even ate today.” Grab an egg, piece of whole wheat toast, and piece of fruit for breakfast, eat a filling salad for lunch, then try not to eat a million calories for dinner.
5. You Messed Up Your Metabolism, Fam
This one has always pissed me off more than anything else. Lemme break it down for you. When I went on a crash wedding diet (I KNOW, SO BAD), I was eating maybe 1,000 calories per day and I lost a LOT of weight. Obviously. However, once I tried to get back to healthy, normal levels of eating (like, 1,300-1,500 calories per day), I gained weight. So, naturally, I cut back again and … nope. Scale doesn’t budge. According to NBC News, “when you really cut back on calories, your body thinks you’re in trouble, urging it into starvation mode, and it slows down a lot of the necessary functions that are necessary to burn calories—including your thyroid, metabolism and blood pressure. What’s more, as a woman, it can make your period irregular, which can affect your hormones and lead to weight gain.” COOL, GUYS. So, congratulations, you played yourself. Skipping meals and starving yourself may cause you to lose 10 pounds, but once you break and go back to normal eating, you’ll gain. Then if you try to crash diet again, it isn’t going to work. Take it from me and do it the right way.
Images: Brooke Lark / Unsplash; Giphy (3)