Last week, I joined a gym for weight loss. On the first week, my instructor gave me a workout cycle of 15 min of treadmill, 15 min of afx, 15 min of cycling, sit-ups, and lateral lunges. And suddenly this week he instructs me to do bench-presses with 5 kgs, also cable shrug and cable triceps with 15 kgs. In those workouts, my left hand is much weaker than my right. My instructor is suggesting protein powders. Is this necessary, or can't I do it with regular diet?

Also, is my workout schedule correct for weight loss?

  • Is AFX Ankle-Foot maXimizer?
    – Sean Duggan
    Mar 3, 2016 at 17:24

3 Answers 3


About the program

We don't know your size and shape, so we're in no position to second-guess your instructor. For now, go with what he says.

About the diet

Protein powder is something we use when our regular diet doesn't offer enough protein. It's a supplement, nothing more. It doesn't replace anything, it just adds.

You are right!

In most cases, you can cover your protein needs simply by eating more protein-rich meats like tuna, chicken, turkey, etc. It's not really necessary to start using protein powder yet. Always try to fix your diet by tweaking your food, instead of adding supplements.

To answer your question

No. It is NOT necessary to add protein powder to your diet in order to lose weight. I recommend tuna in particular, because it's very cheap, and has a very high protein-per-gram ratio.

  • 2
    I'll add as a caveat that tuna is on the list for potential mercury and currently, it is recommended to not take in more than a can a week on average.
    – Sean Duggan
    Mar 3, 2016 at 17:26

The very short answer - you do NOT need protein powder to lose weight.

(Actually, you don't need exercise to lose weight either!)

To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. Expend more calories than you take in (or the equivalent - take in fewer calories than you expend). There are other more complicated factors that determine your body composition, especially how your metabolism is dictating how much you are in fact "expending", but raw body weight comes down to "Calories in vs calories out".

That said, however, for long term weight management exercise and a high protein diet will both contribute to improved body composition. There are massive numbers of studies which prove both of those points, for a host of reasons.

Based on what you say, I have doubts about the quality of your trainer, but he isn't entirely wrong to suggest protein powder. Physiologically, it's probably a premature recommendation. It is, however, a good habit forming suggestion.

Further, the best way to get lean and stay lean is to build more muscle. Having more muscle causes you to burn more calories everyday. As a ballpark, an extra pound of muscle will burn extra 15 calories per day. That doesn't sound like much, but let's say you gain 10 pounds of muscle. That results in burning an additional 150 calories everyday right off the bat. In a month, that's 4,500 more calories you'll burn. These numbers make a difference in the long run.

As a very basic argument in favor of your trainer's recommendation, protein powder will help you build muscle, which in turn will lead to less fat.


No. Protein powder is nothing more than food. It doesn't do anything magical that a piece of chicken or turkey won't do. It's used as a matter of convenience As far as how much protein you should eat that is an entirely different question

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