If you want to lose weight but maintain a lean figure, it’s essential to consume plenty of protein.
Protein powders provide a convenient and efficient way of in-taking vital proteins, without some of the surplus calories and macro-nutrients that might come from eating whole foods
But, this doesn’t mean that every protein powder is perfect for losing weight.
You have to ensure that the powder is relatively low-calorie, and doesn’t contain any ingredients which might attribute to weight gain.
To help you choose the right powder for your goals, I’ve complied this list of the 9 best protein powders for weight loss in the UK.
Stripfast Diet Whey Protein Powder Weight Loss Support
The Stripfast 5000 Strip Shake Superlean is a high protein, low calorie protein powder shake designed to replace meals. It’s a simple system whereby the user takes one of the shakes as breakfast, one as lunch and then enjoys a healthy evening meal, keeping their daily calories low to support weight loss.
The shake is fortified with 27 vitamins as well as additional ingredients that are claimed to support weight loss. As a meal replacement shake, it is aiming to ensure the user still achieves balanced nutrition despite the fact that they are consuming two shakes instead of meals. The ingredient list is free from GMO’s and artificial preservatives and the shakes are vegetarian friendly. There are four flavours to choose from.
A 39g serving contains:
- 135 calories
- 21g protein
- 3g fat
- 3g carbs
- Contains fat burning ingredients such as green tea
SCI-MX Nutrition Diet Meal Replacement Protein Powder
The Sci-Mx Meal Replacement Powder is a nutritionally balanced, high performance weight loss powder. Much like the other products in the meal replacement shake world it is a blend of proteins, vitamins and minerals whilst keeping the calories as low as possible, but still making the user feel like they’ve had a worthwhile meal.
The Sci-Mx contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is said to help reduce hunger cravings and at 200 calories per serving, it’s a slightly more generous portion than some of the other products. It is known to mix well, is a thicker and more satisfying drink than a few of the cheaper alternatives. It’s available in three flavours and is suitable for vegetarians.
A 45g serving contains:
- 200 calories
- 25g protein
- 4g carbs
- 3g fat
PhD Nutrition Diet Whey Lean Meal Replacement Powder
The PhD Diet Whey Lean Meal Replacement Powder is an interesting product in the meal replacement world because its emphasis is on ensuring the users stays full. It has the usual features of a meal replacement powder, with a few added extras. As you’d expect, it’s a low calorie, high protein shake fortified with vitamins and minerals, but the macronutrient split is slightly different.
The PhD product is higher in carbs and fibre than most of the others, keeping you full for longer. It’s probably best suited to those who struggle to stay full thanks to its wholegrain oats – this adds bulk and fibre to each serving without adding too many calories. The protein content is still very high, despite the addition of the extra carbs – sometimes manufacturers will sacrifice protein if they’ve added extra carbs. It’s available in 14 different flavours.
A 55g serving contains:
- 209 calories
- 26g protein
- 6g fat
- 16g carbs
PhD Nutrition Diet Whey Protein Powder for weight loss
The Phd Diet Whey is a different product to the ones looked at so far in this guide, in the sense that it is a protein powder rather than a meal replacement shake. The reason it’s so useful for weight loss is the fact that it’s incredibly low in calories and carbohydrates yet very high in protein. It’s designed to be used as part of a healthy diet.
The PhD diet whey differs from a ‘normal’ protein powder because it is heavily fortified with vitamins and minerals and other ingredients associated with weight loss, such as L-Carnitine, Green Tea extract and CLA. The shake mixes well, always scores well in taste tests and is available in an impressive 12 different flavours, to suit every taste.
A 25g serving contains:
- 91 calories
- 17g protein
- 4g fat
- 8g carbs
USN Diet Fuel Ultralean Weight Control Meal Replacement Shake
The USN Diet Fuel Ultralean is another meal replacement shake that offers users the chance to drop significant weight quickly and easily. The USN product is another one that comes in with higher fibre and carbohydrate content, suggesting it could be a better choice for someone with a large appetite or a physical workload. Vitamin and mineral content fortification is largely the same as the others.
The serving size is larger than many other meal replacement shakes, but it still comes in much the same calories wise thanks to a good selection of ingredients. Reviews suggest it mixes very well with both milk and water, so there is a lot of versatility in the product if you want it. The recipe has been tweaked to help the digestibility of the lactose, making it suitable for people who are sensitive to dairy. The carbs are mostly from maize and rice starch, which many people find easier to digest. The shake is available in 6 flavours.
A 55g serving contains:
- 200g calories
- 25g protein
- 17g carbs
- 7g fat
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein Powder
Widely accepted as a premium protein powder, the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey is another one of the ‘standard’ protein powders than the meal replacement shakes. It’s effective in a weight loss context on account of it being relatively low in calories and high in protein content.
As a standard protein shake, it is very low in calories, very low in fat and carbohydrate so is largely just a protein hit, making it useful for anyone who is counting their macronutrients as a weight loss approach, rather than going down the meal replacement route. It’s around half the calories of most meal replacement shakes and delivers similar (if not more) protein, partly on account of being fortified with various BCAA’s (branch chain amino acids). The protein powder is available in a whopping 16 different flavours.
A 29g serving contains:
- 110 calories
- 24g protein
- 5g fat
- 3g carbs
Slim Zest Diet Whey Protein Weight Control Shake
The SlimZest High Protein Diet Shake is a meal replacement shake with very good reviews from its users. As a meal replacement product it is very similar to a lot of the others, but in this case it offers a couple of serving sizes – snack size and meal replacement size, so gives the user a little more flexibility on dosage.
The SlimZest contains all of the additional fat loss supplements alongside 27 vitmains and minerals, boosting the overall nutritional benefit. It’s available in four different flavours and each one delivers a large protein dose, helping you to stay full. Despite the calorie content, it is still very low in fat and carbs, so if you’re keen on following a low fat or low carb approach, this may be a particularly helpful meal replacement shake for you to take.
A 60g (meal replacement size) serving contains:
- 228 calories
- 48g protein
- 6g carbs
- 4g fat
SlimFast High Protein Meal Replacement Shake Powder
SlimFast are the brand name synonymous with meal replacement shakes – they were the first brand to go mainstream and really advertise the meal replacement element of a shake for weight loss. They’re famous for the use SlimFast for two of your three meals, then eat a 600 calorie meal if you’re a woman or an 800 calorie meal if you’re a man in the evening.
Nutritionally, the SlimFast shakes are similar to the other brands in that they fortify with vitamins and minerals, but in this case they don’t contain the other fat burning support supplements. They’re higher calories and lower protein than most other brands, but that’s possibly because they’re aimed at a wider market than just the active population. They’re also the cheapest brand of the ones reviewed today, so it’s possibly a cost saving measure too. There are 6 flavours in the Slim Fast range.
A 36.5g serving contains:
- 230 calories
- 15g protein
- 3g fat
- 35g carbohydrates
Cute Nutrition Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss Control
The Cute Nutrition Meal Replacement Shakes are aimed purely at women – they make no secret of this at all! They’re a similar product to many of the other meal replacement shakes given they are fortified with numerous vitamins and minerals, but they are slightly different in terms of the macronutrient break down. The Cute Nutrition meal replacement shakes do contain gluten, soy and milk but they are vegetarian friendly and don’t contain any GMO ingredients.
The serving size and calorie count are low, as is the protein content. This is possibly because they’re aimed at women who fundamentally need less of both than men, generally speaking. The fat content is also low but the carbs are higher by volume than the other products we’ve mentioned in the guide today. There are 10 flavours in the range to try.
A 35g serving contains:
- 130 calories
- 5g protein
- 9g fat
- 4g carbs
What to look for in a protein powder if you want to lose weight
To lose weight you have to consider a number of different points when looking at your protein powder of meal replacement shake. In this section we’ll discuss the main few to consider, allowing you to make an informed choice of protein, saving you money.
This is vital – calories will determine how successful your weight loss is. What is important is to look at your daily expenditure, because if you go for a very low calorie meal replacement shake and are a large or active person, you’ll make your weight loss journey really tough – you simply won’t feel full at all so will be permanently hungry and miserable.
Don’t be tempted to go for the lowest calories if it’s not suitable. Perhaps look at the thicker shakes or the ones with higher carbs and protein – they’ll keep you fuller without adding too many calories.
The protein content is important – you need a lot of protein when losing weight because you want to keep hold of as much muscle as possible and protein will help you to do that.
Look for multiple sources of protein as they’ll stage their release over time. If you go for a powder where the only sources of protein is whey, it is all quick release so you won’t get the longer, slower protein release. Look for milk and egg proteins to be included too.
Flavour is important, but remember it’s personal – what some love, others hate and vice versa. If you can’t try a sample, read the reviews and see what people say. Chances are if a lot of people love/hate the flavour, the majority won’t be wrong. Do ignore the hyper-critical reviews though – some people just like to moan. Take an average – what do the ‘normal’ reviews say of them? That’s what you should expect.
How to use a weight loss protein powder
The guidelines vary depending on the product and your training routine, but typically speaking you’ll replace one or two daily meals with a shake, then eat a sensible, healthy evening meal containing protein, carbs and healthy fats but still coming in at a reasonably low number of calories.
If you mix your powder with water you’ll save calories, but do as the guidelines say – due to the ingredients some products only work with a particular liquid.
Choosing your protein powder for weight loss
When you’ve considered everything mentioned in this guide – the protein content, calorie content, your personal goals and tastes, you can be ready to choose your protein powder. Don’t be blinded by price or claims, look at the details in this guide and go with that information.
Pick a meal replacement protein powder you can stick with, follow the guidelines and you’ll enjoy healthy and successful weight loss with no problems!