My top 11 reasons to be mindful of using protein shakes for weight loss

#11 many of them have heavy metals and other toxins in in them (even the ones you buy at the health food store) including lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury), bisphenol-A (BPA, used to make plastic), pesticides, or other contaminants with links to cancer and other health conditions.

#10 They don’t really help with sustainable weight loss. Sure, if you reduce calories you might lose weight BUT what happens when you re-introduce food again?

#9 Many of the claims (e.g. this product will magically help you lose weight or build muscle) are extremely misleading and often times completely unproven.

#8 They typically contain sweeteners which can cause blood sugar issues.

#7 We tend to mix our protein powders with foods and beverages that might increase our blood sugar level (like fruit) or that we might be sensitive to (like milk) or that might be highly processed or sweetened (alternative milks).

#6 They can be expensive. Imagine how much REAL quality food you could buy with that $30, $40 or more that you spend on that powder.

#5 If you tend to rely on protein shakes, you might become deficient in vitamins and minerals you get from eating whole foods.

#4 Too much protein may strain the kidneys.

#3 They aren’t really that much more convenient. We think they are. It’s SO easy to prep a breakfast for instance in 15 minutes (or less) for the WHOLE week. See recipe here.

#2 We often use them as a way to combat our sweets cravings but we are just putting off dealing with our sweets urges.

#1 They are not REAL FOOD. I don’t care how natural/organic/super amazing/gourmet/local etc. the package says it is – it is PROCESSED food not a whole food.

I recommend that my clients eat real, unprocessed one ingredient (e.g. broccoli, avocado, eggs, chicken, salmon, etc.) most of the time but, if you want to have the occasional shake I recommend researching the brand very carefully and choosing a high-quality (I prefer plant-based) powder that does not contain sugar or fructose. Mix the powder with non-dairy milk (unsweetened) or water, some frozen or fresh greens and some (frozen or fresh) berries.