With 2014 lurking just around the corner, I’m sure many of us will be looking into diets and exploring what foods we should eat to lose weight. I’ve written about this topic many times in the past, including a few blog posts about foods that will help you feel more full for a longer period of time. One way to achieve this is by eating protein.
A mistake that I once made that I’m sure many other people will make is to load up on protein. It makes sense, right? If protein fills you up, just drink a couple protein shakes mixed with fruits and veggies and you’ll be good for the day while keeping your calorie intake to a minimum. The one caveat is that you need to burn that protein.
Your body requires a certain amount of protein. Once you reach that limit, the excess is converted into energy. When you have a surplus of energy–meaning you’re not physically burning it off–the body converts it into fat. So if you plan on making a couple of smoothies each day loaded with protein powder, you need to exercise hard to make use of the protein. Any extra could potentially be turned into fat, making you gain weight rather than lose it.
So how much protein should you eat each day? About 50g to 100g of protein is the recommended daily amount of protein that you should be consuming. When choosing a protein powder, try looking for one that’s balanced with other ingredients, such as fiber. Manitoba Harvest makes a variety of hemp protein powders with different percentages of protein. Onnit also has Hemp Force protein powder which is balanced out with other nutritional ingredients that your body will use, so you’re not just loading up on protein and gaining weight as a result.
One of the cool things I originally liked about Onnit when I first heard about the company on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast was how it provides a list of ingredients for many (all?) of its products on its website. That way, as Joe would say, if you wanted to make your own at home, you could. I can say now that I think they do this knowing that there’s no way you’ll be able to replicate their products 100%.
What I set out to accomplish was to make my own Hemp Force protein powder. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I found a local source for maca root powder, unsweetened cocoa powder, and stevia. I then purchased some Manitoba Harvest hemp protein powder since hemp powder wasn’t available in bulk form. Finally, some vanilla extract completed the ingredients list. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any vanilla extract powder either, so the liquid variety would have to suffice.
Over the course of the next five days I concocted two shakes per day trying to replicate the undeniably delicious Onnit Hemp Force recipe. Some of my shakes were overpoweringly sweet, no doubt due to using too much stevia. Others had too much vanilla or cocoa taste, thanks to too much of those ingredients, obviously. Some simply just didn’t offer much in the taste department, likely because I was being too modest with the cocoa, stevia, and vanilla. This proved to be much more difficult than I had anticipated.
In the end, what I learned is that I couldn’t replicate Onnit Hemp Force protein powder. While I did have a list of all the ingredients, I didn’t know what ratio to use them in. Ultimately, it was cheaper to just spend the money on buying the real thing rather than trying unsuccessfully to make my own. It’s also easier, cuts down on prep time, and you have the peace of mind knowing exactly what you’re getting. If you managed to breakdown the Hemp Force recipe, please comment with the ratios because I’d love to try it!