15% off £30

🏷️ 3 for 2 Mix & MatchOffersOffers Hub3 for 2 Mix & MatchOutletSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy one get one 1/2 priceGreat SavingsBuy 1 Get 1 Free1/2 PriceBetter than 1/2 priceIntroductory Offer3 for £3 Mix & MatchShort DatedBuy 6 for £15 Mix & MatchVitamins & SupplementsVitamins & Supplements HubVitamins & Supplements Shop AllCBDShop all CBDCBD OilCBD CapsulesCBD SprayCBD GummiesCollagen & SilicaHair, Skin & NailsShop all Hair, Skin & NailsHair GrowthFunctional MushroomsVitaminsShop all VitaminsMultivitaminsVitamin AVitamin BVitamin CVitamin DVitamin EVitamin KVitamin DrinksMineralsShop all MineralsMagnesiumIronZincCalciumSeleniumChromiumSupplementsShop all SupplementsFibre SupplementsAcidophilus & Friendly BacteriaPeppermint OilGrapeseed ExtractLecithinCollagen & SilicaOmega & Fish OilsPlant Sourced SupplementsSuperfood SupplementsArnicaApple CiderRaspberry KetonesAloe VeraChondroitin & MSMCo Enzyme Q10Evening Primrose OilGarlicGinkgo BilobaGlucosamineGlucomannanSeaweed, Kelps and Aquaceuticals5 HTPSaw palmettoCharcoalWomen's HealthShop all Women's HealthMenopauseMenstrual SupportUrinary Tract HealthPregnancy & ConceptionMen's HealthShop all Men's HealthProstate HealthChildren's HealthConditionShop all ConditionWater RetentionAllergy & Hay Fever CareAnxiety SupportBone & Muscle HealthMuscle Support & Joint PainBrain & Memory SupportWomen's HealthMen's HealthChildren's HealthPain ReliefCold & Immune SupportFatigueDigestive HealthHair, Skin & NailsHeart & CirculationLiver CareMood SupportSexual HealthSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefVisionHerbal & Licensed RemediesShop all Herbal & Licensed RemediesValerianSt John's WortRescue RemedyAgnus CastusAshwagandhaEchinaceaMilk ThistleDevil's ClawGinseng & GuaranaBlack CohoshHomeopathic & Flower RemediesShop all Homeopathic & Flower RemediesRescue RemedyTissue SaltsFlower RemediesHomeopathic RemediesAt-Home TestsVegan Vitamins & Supplements3 for 2 Mix & MatchOutletBuy 1 Get 1 FreeHolland & BarrettVitabioticsSolgarWeledaNew NordicBioglanBetterYouNatures AidGrass & Co.Bach Original Flower RemediesDairy FreeGluten FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inFood & DrinkFood & Drink HubFood & Drink Shop AllVegan FoodHoney, Jams & SpreadsShop all Honey, Jams & SpreadsManuka HoneyHoneyJams & ChutneysNut ButtersSpreadsPateTeas & Hot BeveragesShop all Teas & Hot BeveragesTeaCoffee & Coffee SubstituteMushroom DrinksDried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsShop all Dried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsNutsDried FruitSeedsMixesSuperfoodsShop all SuperfoodsSuperfood PowdersMaca PowderGoji BerriesBaobabMoringa PowderFlaxseedSpirulinaChia SeedsSnacksShop all SnacksProtein BarsLow Calorie SnacksChocolate, Cakes & BiscuitsSavoury SnacksSweet SnacksSnack BarsCrisps & ChipsFlapjacksPopcornFood CupboardShop all Food CupboardHoney, Jams & SpreadsBreakfast CerealsSuperfoodsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesTinned FoodsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsBreakfast CerealsShop all Breakfast CerealsCereals, Bran & FlakesGranolaMuesliOats & PorridgeBreakfast BarsDrinksShop all DrinksKombuchaNatural Energy DrinksJuicesSoft DrinksWaterAlcohol Free DrinksCookingShop all CookingCooking IngredientsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesSoya & Meat AlternativeSoup & Ready MealsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsHerbs, Spices & SeasoningGravy & StockHome BakingShop all Home BakingBaking MixesBreadFlourSweeteners & Sugar AlternativesEgg SubstitutesDairy AlternativesShop all Dairy AlternativesOat, Rice & Hemp DrinksSoya DrinksNut DrinksCoconut DrinksNutritionally Complete Food3 for 2 Mix & MatchOutletBuy one get one 1/2 priceHolland & BarrettNaturyaHeath & HeatherPukkaGrenadeMeridianTwiningsBionaNakdManuka DoctorGluten FreeDairy FreeEgg FreeWheat FreeMilk FreeSulphites FreeCelery FreeKiwi FreeMustard FreeFish FreeNew inSports NutritionSports Nutrition HubSports Nutrition Shop AllProteinShop all ProteinClear ProteinWhey ProteinMass GainersVegan ProteinDiet ProteinCaseinBars, Drinks & SnacksShop all Bars, Drinks & SnacksEnergy BarsEnergy DrinksProtein BarsProtein ShakesProtein SnacksNutritionally Complete FoodMeal Replacement ShakesPre Workout & EnergyShop all Pre Workout & EnergyPre WorkoutAmino Energy DrinksAmino Energy PowdersIntra WorkoutKetoPost WorkoutAmino AcidsShop all Amino AcidsAmino Energy PowdersAmino Energy DrinksBCAAL-LysineGlutamineCarnitineArginineCreatineShop all CreatineCreatine PowderCreatine CapsulesSports SupplementsShop all Sports SupplementsTestosteroneSports CollagenRehydrationShop all RehydrationElectrolytesEnergy GelsVegan Sports NutritionShop all Vegan Sports NutritionVegan ProteinVegan Protein BarsVegan Pre Workout & EnergyVegan Amino AcidsVegan CreatineSports AccessoriesShop all Sports AccessoriesBottles & ShakersFitness EquipmentFitness GoalShop all Fitness GoalRecoveryMuscle & StrengthLean MuscleEnergy & EnduranceDiet & Weight LossSave up to 1/2 Price3 for 2 Mix & MatchGreat SavingsOptimum NutritionPE NutritionUSNGrenadeApplied NutritionPhDSiSFoodspringHuelYfoodDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inBeautyBeauty HubNatural Beauty Shop AllAromatherapy & HomeShop all Aromatherapy & HomePure Essential OilsBlended Essential OilsBase & Carrier OilsHolisticSkincareShop all SkincarePremium SkincareFace CareBody CareSun CareTanning & BronzingEye CareLip CareFoot CareHand & Nail CareSkin AilmentsSkin OilsCBD BeautyHair Skin & NailsWashing & BathingShop all Washing & BathingShampoo & ConditionerBathing AccessoriesShower Gel & Body WashDeodorantDentalHand WashSoapBath Soak & OilBody ScrubBath Bombs & SaltsFeminine CareIncontinence SupportHair CareShop all Hair CareShampoo & ConditionerHair ColouringHair MasksHair Oil & SerumHair Spray, Gel & MousseHair AccessoriesMother & BabyShop all Mother & BabyBaby Skincare & ToiletriesElectrical WellnessSexual Wellness3 for 2 Mix & MatchOutletSave up to 1/2 PriceDr OrganicFaith in NatureWeledaNaturtintTisserandSukinMiaromaQ+AEthiqueSo EcoAlcohol FreeParaben FreeSLS FreeParfum FreePalm Oil FreeGluten FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeNew inCBDWeight ManagementWeight Management HubWeight Management Shop AllFat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsShop all Fat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsFat BurnersFat BindersAppetite SuppressantsSlimming TabletsShakes & Weight Management ShotsShop all Shakes & Weight Management ShotsMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinDiet Food & DrinkShop all Diet Food & DrinkDiet FoodLow Calorie SnacksSlimming TeaExercise SupportShop all Exercise SupportFitness EquipmentMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinProtein Bars3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceGreat SavingsOptimum NutritionGrenadeHolland & BarrettPulsinUSNPhDEat WaterApplied NutritionNatures AidNew NordicDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeWheat FreeNew inVeganHealth & WellnessShop all Health & WellnessJoints Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair Skin & NailsStress AnxietySleep & Relaxation3 for 2 Mix & MatchOutletSave up to 1/2 PriceHolland & BarrettVitabioticsWeledaDr OrganicSolgarNaturtintOptimum NutritionNew NordicHeath & HeatherBeurerDairy FreeGluten FreeParaben FreeSLS FreeParfum FreeAlcohol FreeWheat FreeSugar FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeNew inShop for your WellnessWomen's HealthMenstrual HealthMenopauseJoints, Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair, Skin & NailsImmunitySleep & RelaxationFood & DietChildren's HealthStress ReliefHealthy HeartEnergyLow Mood & DepressionConcentration & AlertnessEye HealthSexual HealthLearn about WellnessWomen's HealthPeriods & Cycle HealthMenopauseJoints, Bones & MusclesImmunityGut HealthFood & DietSports & FitnessSleep & RelaxationHair Skin & NailsAll articlesHealthFood & nutritionGut healthImmunityJoints, bones & musclesWomen's healthWellnessHair & skinMental wellbeingSeasonalSleep & relaxationSports nutritionRecipesAll recipesGluten freeLow sugarVeganDairy freePodcast
strawberry and blueberry shake in a glass jar

Can protein powder shakes help weight loss?

23 Nov 2022 • 11 min read

When it comes to weight loss, people often talk about what you should avoid rather than what you should eat more of. However, it might be time to change that mindset with the help of protein. Protein is a key nutrient for weight loss and can help you achieve your slimming goals without the hunger and denial we usually associate with losing weight.

Is protein powder good for losing weight?

Protein powder is an effective, easy and proven way to help with sustainable weight loss. As well as helping with fat loss, protein supplementation can help you retain your lean muscle.1 Protein is satiating – which means it helps us feel full. This is because, compared to carbohydrates (which make up the majority of most diets), protein takes longer to digest. Your body must work harder to produce the enzymes needed to break down protein-rich foods. As a result, they stay in your stomach for more time, making you feel fuller for longer.2

This feeling of fullness also results in fewer cravings for unhealthy foods and reduced snacking, meaning you eat less overall. Digesting protein burns more calories than digesting carbohydrates, too. Essentially, this means that eating more protein will increase your metabolic rate – meaning you burn more calories at rest – great news for anyone looking to lose weight.3 There is plenty of evidence to support protein’s role in weight loss. Replacing some of your diet’s calories from carbohydrates with calories from protein has shown to result in weight loss in several studies, without any adverse health side effects.4,5,6

But doesn’t protein make you gain muscle?

It’s true that protein helps build new muscle tissue. But properly used, protein doesn’t just add bulk. When teamed with exercise – particularly resistance training exercises like planks or push-ups – protein helps turn existing fat into lean muscle. So, if you pair your increased protein intake with exercise, you can expect to see your body composition change over time to include a lower fat percentage, more lean muscle and enhanced support for your bones and joints.

Are protein shakes for weight loss a good idea?

The best protein shakes for weight loss are simply made up of protein powder mixed with water. Considering water is calorie-free and protein powders generally contain around 120kcal per portion, this will add up to a low-calorie snack. Even if you use plant milk, a protein shake is filling enough to replace a meal – with far fewer calories. Of course, protein powder isn’t a magic weight loss powder. Simply adding protein shakes to your daily diet won’t make you lose weight.

This will only make your overall calorie intake increase which will lead to weight gain. The idea behind protein shakes for weight loss is to replace significant calories from whole foods with the satiating properties of protein. This means that perhaps you would have a protein shake instead of a full lunch, or another day you’d eat a light dinner of steamed vegetables and chicken augmented with a protein shake to prevent overeating or late-night snacking. Be careful of snacking on protein shakes between meals. Research shows that people who consume protein supplements in between meals as snacks may be less likely to be successful in managing their body weight.7

Overall, protein powder has shown to be an effective tool in weight loss, even compared to simple calorie reduction. Replacing some of your daily calories with low-calorie protein shakes is associated with more fat loss than a simple calorie reduction alone.8

5 benefits of taking protein in powder form

1. It’s convenient

What could be more convenient than mixing up a protein shake? It takes seconds, and you’ve got high-quality protein source ready to go. While we are the first to champion home cooking as the first step towards a healthy lifestyle, sometimes you just don’t have the time to grill those organic chicken breasts before you’re out the door. For these times, a protein shake is perfect.

2. It’s effective

The ingredients found in protein powders is microfiltered several times until a highly concentrated protein is left behind.9 As a result, just one scoop of protein powder contains around 25g protein. You’d have to munch through plenty of whole food to get the same amount of protein you’d find in just a few sips of protein shake.

3. It tastes good

Not everyone has a large appetite or enjoys the taste of protein-rich foods. Protein shake are perfect if you struggle to eat large portions, as you can top up your protein intake while enjoying delicious flavours such as vanilla or strawberry.

4. It’s low-calorie protein

Good protein powders are low in fat and calories. Made with water, a protein shake contains around 120kcal – 150kcal, while their protein content makes them filling. Low calorie, filling food and drink is important if you’re on a weight loss journey.

5. It’s easy

When dieting, it can be so easy to slip off the wagon and turn to convenience or fast food when faced with an empty fridge. Mixing up a protein shake at the same time each day helps keep you on track with your weight loss.

Which protein powder is best for weight loss?

The best protein powder for weight loss is one that’s low in calories and fat. It should also be low in sugar. Watch out for carbohydrates, too. Some protein powders contain high-carb thickeners such as potato starch or tapioca flour. Remember, be careful with added extras. While it’s true that a few chia seeds, a little oatmeal, plant milks or coconut water can make the shake more tasty and help keep you full, it’s easy to go overboard and end up with a calorific drink.

What is the best protein powder for women's weight loss?

Men and women do carry weight differently. Women have more fat mass, and men naturally have more muscle and have a higher metabolic rate than women – meaning their calorie-burning potential is naturally higher.10,11

However, when it comes to weight loss, the same rules tend to apply for both genders. Some protein powders are marketed more towards women and tend to avoid words like ‘muscle’ and ‘maximum’ to dispel the myth that protein powder makes you pack on bulk. However, the reality is, there’s no real difference to the formulas. Sometimes, however, vitamins and minerals associated with women’s health are added to the protein, such as folic acid, vitamin B6 and iron. Women’s protein powders might come with a smaller scoop size, too, as women generally need slightly less protein than men. The NHS recommends 45.5g protein per day for women and 55.5g for men.12

Donia Hilal



Joined Holland & Barrett: January 2018

Bsc in Nutrition, Registered Associate Nutritionist and Certification in Pre and Post Natal Nutrition

Donia started her career as a freelance nutritionist, later she joined Nestle as their Market Nutritionist to help support their healthier product range, before joining the team at Holland & Barrett in January 2018.

Donia has over 6 years experience as a Nutritionist and also works with clients on a one to one basis to support their goals which include weight loss, prenatal and postnatal nutrition and children’s health.

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • PayPal
  • AmericanExpress
  • ApplePay
  • ClearPay
  • AliPay
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Copyright © Holland & Barrett Retail Limited, 2023. All rights reserved. hollandandbarrett.com is a trading name of Holland & Barrett Retail Limited,. Registered office: Samuel Ryder House, Barling Way, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 7RH. Registered in England: company no. 2758955. Registered VAT no. 211727395.