T Nation

Difference Between Protein Shakes and Solid Food?


#1

Recently I've been toying down with using a few protein shakes as a meal replacement post workout in an effort to drop/do some damage control on my body fat levels for spring break. I've made fairly good progress so far, losing maybe 5 plds of what appears to be solely extra chub in around 4 weeks time through carb cycling, and am finally starting to see some solid definition, but still looking to improve a bit in the 2 weeks prior.

In an effort to cut carbs and some extra water weight, I am experimenting the idea of maybe replacing one of my four main meals a day and post workout eating sessions with the caloric and nutritional equivalent in protein shakes and vitamins. I've seen several diets explained in articles here that use some sort of substitution like the one I am planning, but am looking to hear from someone who has done something like this first hand. While my protein intake would be higher if anything, I would be losing probably close to 400 calories a day, and I just have a feeling that not all calories are created equal in terms of helping your body recover. I understand I will lose mass regardless of my methods of ingestion, but will this hurt more than help? Keep in mind, I only plan on doing this in the short term, and would like to preserve as much muscle as possible, while still making decent progress towards leanness. Basically, would consuming only liquids lead me to a more catabolic state than the same ingestion of protein and calories would had they been solidified?

Thanks in advance.

Edit for more clarity: I will most probably be switiching 6-8 ozs of grilled chicken breast and maybe a handfull of some sort of pasta for around 2 shakes of whey, each with 4 scoops totalling in at around 100 protein. Post workout will have switched from some high fat percentage form of beef to 2-3 shakes, each with 1.5-2 scoops in it, which will be spread out for the sake of absorbtion. Carb intake will be decrased by around 3/5ths of usual.


#2

[quote]VerbalHologram wrote:
I am experimenting the idea of maybe replacing one of my four main meals a day and post workout eating sessions with the caloric and nutritional equivalent in protein shakes and vitamins. I’ve seen several diets explained in articles here that use some sort of substitution like the one I am planning, but am looking to hear from someone who has done something like this first hand. While my protein intake would be higher if anything, I would be losing probably close to 400 calories a day, and I just have a feeling that not all calories are created equal in terms of helping your body recover. I understand I will lose mass regardless of my methods of ingestion, but will this hurt more than help? Keep in mind, I only plan on doing this in the short term, and would like to preserve as much muscle as possible, while still making decent progress towards leanness. Basically, would consuming only liquids lead me to a more catabolic state than the same ingestion of protein and calories would had they been solidified?

Thanks in advance.

Edit for more clarity: I will most probably be switiching 6-8 ozs of grilled chicken breast and maybe a handfull of some sort of pasta for around 2 shakes of whey, each with 4 scoops totalling in at around 100 protein. Post workout will have switched from some high fat percentage form of beef to 2-3 shakes, each with 1.5-2 scoops in it, which will be spread out for the sake of absorbtion. Carb intake will be decrased by around 3/5ths of usual.[/quote]
Replacing a meal with the protein shakes shouldn’t be a problem. Obviously replacing meals with protein shakes works well, just look at the Velocity diet.


#3

Yeah, replacing solid food with protein drinks is a pretty solid and time tested strategy.


#4

Just make sure you’re also getting in a bunch of extra EFA supps to make up for the los of regular dietary fat.


#5

My suggestion is; don’t cheap out and buy cheap shitty protein, if you’re making it a staple in your diet then get the good stuff!