SHAPING UP: Protein shakes for getting lean

There's a huge misconception that protein shakes are only for wide-shouldered body builders who want to increase their size.

Tuesday, 19th July 2016, 9:35 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:01 pm
Protein shakes.

Most people, especially women think that protein shakes will make them look bulky and gain weight.

When actually, protein shakes are great for losing weight and getting lean (when used correctly).

Don’t get me wrong, protein shakes alone will not make you lose weight, but together with exercise and a healthy diet they will most certainly boost your results.

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Here are some of the benefits:

Reduce Hunger Cravings

Whey Protein helps reduce levels of Ghrelin in your body. Grehlin is a hormone that tells your brain you’re hungry.

According to a study done in Australia, Grehlin levels can be reduced for up to four hours after a protein shake.

Aids Fat Loss and Maintain Muscle Mass

When you workout at high intensity you can lose some of your muscle mass.

But if you use whey protein correctly it can help you maintain your muscle mass, which means your metabolism won’t slow down.

If you can keep your metabolism high, you will burn more calories and more body fat.

Researchers in Minnesota conducted a 12-week study where subject’s daily caloric intake was reduced by 500 calories. They then gave some participants whey protein. Those consuming whey lost a significantly greater amount of body fat (6.1% total) and better preserved their muscles.

Speed Up Recovery After A Workout

When you go through an intense workout like HIIT boot camp style training, or weight lifting your muscles experience microscopic damage to the muscle fibres. ]

This damage leads to some of the aches and pains you feel after a workout.

Whey protein helps to repair and rebuild those damaged muscle fibres as your body recovers.

Reduce Stress

Protein increases the levels of serotonin in the brain.

It is thought that serotonin can affect mood and social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep and memory.

So next time you’re stressed instead of reaching for a bottle of wine, try a protein shake instead.

So now you know the benefits let’s look at WHEN to use it, HOW MUCH you need and the different WAYS TO CONSUME the shakes:

How Much?

The amount of protein that you need generally depends on your goal.

If you want to lose weight and get lean then you don’t want to have too many protein shakes otherwise you will be consuming too many calories. I tell most of my weight loss clients to stick to one protein shake per day. That’s enough to help maintain muscle mass and keep your metabolism high.


On days that you workout drink a protein shake immediately after workout so it helps with your recovery process. On days when you don’t workout, have one for breakfast on a morning.


For weight loss the best way is to mix the protein powder with water, so that you don’t consume too many calories. Or if you like your shake a bit thicker then use almond milk. Just pop a scoop of the powder into a shaker and shake until all of the powder has dissolved.

If you’re going to have protein for your breakfast you can try making a smoothie. Or you can try the Chocolate Almond Protein Bowl in the recipe section.

The Best One?

Personally, I use MyProtein’s Impact Whey Protein and I recommend it to all of my clients too. contains fewer calories and less fat to help you achieve your weight loss and getting lean goals quicker!



Serves 1


1/4 cup wholegrain rolled oats

100ml almond milk

1 tbsp almond butter

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

(from Myprotein)

1 tsp honey

1/2 banana


Put all ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth. The consistence will be quite think. You can serve it in glass or a bowl if you prefer.


The 5-10-15 workout

This workout is a 10 minute AMRAP, which means you need to complete the exercises below as many times as possible in 10 minutes without stopping.










If you still have energy left after completing as many rounds as you can in 10 minutes, you can perform another round after a short rest.

Go to for a full video demonstration of the workout.


Your Trainer: Graham Low, owner of East Coast Fitness, is an award-winning personal trainer based in Seaham. The ex-professional footballer was nominated for the Small Business of the Year and Leisure Awards at the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards last year. Graham won the Leisure Award at the North East Hotels Association Awards while working as gym manager at Seaham Hall in 2012. For personal training, boot camps, small group training and online programmes email [email protected] or visit