Why Your Protein Shake is Adding Extra Pounds

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So, you found a great meal plan. But it entails you blending up two or three smoothies a day and buying all the expensive powders to boot. The saying, "there can be too much of a good thing" doesn't stop short of healthy activities or eating. Our bodies need some of those mislabeled "bad" items from carbs to fats. That balance is what keeps the pounds off! Reading the labels and using the right amount of supplements will surely help you lose weight. But, if you are sipping your protein shakes and seeing adverse results, here are some reasons protein shakes could be wrong for you:

Some protein powders are highly processed: Some protein powders are heated to the point that the protein is denatured, which makes it very difficult for our bodies to recognize and use it. Protein powders are full of preservatives, GMOs and artificial flavoring.

You're making protein shakes your ONLY meal replacements: Many peoples' bodies have a hard time recognizing the liquid as a substantial form of food. Other people suck down protein shakes like they are a glass of milk. While studies support that the ingestion of protein can increase your metabolic rate over 30%, they also suggest the speed at which it is ingested can hinder the effect. The rapid assimilation of the shake (that is generally higher in calories) reduces that thermic effect. In fact, how your body deciphers hunger and thirst are two very different processes. According to Naturally Intense, thirst is quenched when your brain sends a signal that your blood and cell volume has increased, but hunger is regulated by signals from your stomach and intestines. Your stomach detects its wall stretching when it eats solid foods. That is how it sends satiety signals to your brain while your intestines release hormones to produce the full feeling.

>> Read more: 12 Packaged Protein Products: What Not to Buy

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(Photo: PB&J Protein Shake)

You aren't an avid athlete: Many of these plans are built around a fitness professional's lifestyle: long hours in the gym and a very strict schedule. Even if you run 3 miles each day, the protein powder may not be "worked off." Most shakes have an abundance of carbohydrates in them. They're also carrying loaded calories. You still have to work those calories off. Even if you are looking to increase muscle mass, you still may not benefit from juicing up your protein intake. In 2004 researchers "found that while athletes — especially those involved with sports that require a lot of endurance and muscle power, such as long-distance runners or football players — may benefit from increased protein intake, most athletes in the study get enough protein from their regular diets." (via FoxNews) According to the National Institutes of Health, even body builders only need a small amount of extra protein to increase muscle growth.

You are taking in too much protein: It's all about the balance. Eating too much protein and cutting out too many carbs can actually lead to serious heart problems. One study published in the British Medical Journal found that for every 20 fewer grams of carbohydrates that study participants ate daily, and 5 more grams of protein eaten daily, the risk of heart disease increased by 5 percent.

However, protein shakes in moderation and complemented with carbs and fats are not bad for you! In fact, we have our own favorite shakes and smoothies.