Is whey protein good for a diet

Protein shake for weight loss: what is important?

Status: 01.10.2019 3:03 p.m. | archive
Protein powder cannot replace a balanced diet. It is better to use them with medical advice.

The range of protein shakes, also known as formula diets, is barely manageable. They are praised as a weight-loss wonder drug: Allegedly they boost fat burning and ensure that the pounds drop off. The proteins are also good for building muscles. So are they a good choice before the start of the bikini season or to get started on a diet?

Select protein powder individually

"Healthy weight loss is usually achieved through lower calorie intake and more exercise," says diabetologist Matthias Riedl. In this way the body slowly but surely burns the excess storage fat.

In individual cases, however, protein shakes can be a useful meal replacement for a short period of time. In fact, they often speed up the weight loss success a little. "This is sometimes an option for people who are very overweight or have fatty liver disease," says nutrition doctor Anne Fleck, "but always in consultation with an experienced nutritionist." Because the use of such products should proceed according to an individual, precisely defined schedule, which is based on the initial weight, basal metabolic rate and, in particular, on possible concomitant diseases and their medication. "The formula must not be overdosed or underdosed. Otherwise there will be no weight loss - or hunger will not be satisfied enough and muscle loss will result," says Riedl. Nutritionists therefore regularly check the success of weight loss with the help of body fat and muscle measurements (BIA). Last but not least, allergies to certain proteins - such as soy or milk - must be taken into account.

Protein shake: Protein quality is crucial

The selection of the protein shake should be made by a competent person, because there are numerous quality criteria to be considered. "The important thing is that you take a shake that contains a lot of proteins and possibly fats, but few carbohydrates and no sugar," explains internist and nutritionist Jörn Klasen. A good quality protein shake should have a maximum of seven grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams of powder - "otherwise it will hardly keep its weight-loss promise".

The protein content should make up about 70 percent. There are proteins of animal origin (milk, whey) and vegetable origin (soy, wheat). "The quality of the protein it contains is crucial," says nutritionist Anne Fleck. A mixture of high-quality whey protein and milk proteins makes sense: the body can best utilize these. Fleck advises against using soy as a protein base. "However, soy-based shakes can be an alternative for people with lactose intolerance," says Riedl. Wheat protein, on the other hand, is considered to be of lower quality.

Good and superfluous additives

The additives are also important. Since the shake is intended to replace a main meal, it must contain fiber (such as inulin), minerals such as magnesium and calcium, trace elements such as zinc and selenium, and vitamins. What should be as little as possible, however, are artificial flavors, sugar - as already mentioned - and sugar substitutes.

The nutrition docs sometimes prescribe protein shakes temporarily, but emphasize: A formula diet does not replace a solid diet change that is individually tailored and is also feasible in the long term. "We should find a balance in everyday life that provides the body with high-quality protein through natural foods," advises Anne Fleck: "It works best if you eat a lot of vegetables and combine eggs, fish, meat and dairy products in moderation."


Different protein powders are used in the various episodes of the Nutritional Docs. Please understand that we cannot recommend any individual products or trade names.
Ingredients of the shakes used:

  • Protein: milk protein, whey protein
  • Carbohydrates and fiber: dextrin, maltodextrin; Inulin
  • Minerals: potassium gluconate, sodium chloride, magnesium carbonate, iron (II) sulfate, zinc sulfate, manganese (II) gluconate, copper (II) gluconate, potassium iodate and sodium selenite
  • Vitamins: L-ascorbic acid, nicotinic acid amide, tocopheryl acetate, calcium D-pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, retiny acetate, folic acid, biotin, cholecalciferol and cyanocobalamin
  • Sweetener: sodium saccharin

This topic in the program:

The Nutritional Docs | 07/03/2017 | 9:00 p.m.