Top 10 Best Protein Shakes for Weight Loss and Toning (2021)

Last Updated Jan 11, 2021

When your goal is to achieve the body of your dreams, weight loss & toning is the name of the game. What’s the best way to play the game for optimal results? The best protein shakes for weight loss and toning are a great place to start.

Losing weight doesn’t mean losing toned muscle. By reaching for the right protein powder, you feed your muscles while cutting out the junk calories that can lead to unnecessary fat, especially in the abdominal and love handle areas.

In this guide, we share:

  • Top 10 Protein Shakes for Weight Loss and Toning
  • Protein Powder Reviews
  • Additional Tips on How to Drink Protein Shakes to Get Toned

Product Description
#1) MuscleTech Nitro Tech Ripped

  • #1 Best Protein Shake for Weight Loss and Toning
  • No Creatine = No Gaining Unnecessary Water Weight
  • 6 Effective Fat Burners
  • Delicious Flavors
  • 30 Grams of Clean Whey Protein Isolate per Serving
  • Caffeine-Free
#2) Her Natural Whey

  • Our #1 Pick for Women
  • 20 Grams of Clean Whey Protein from Grass-Fed Cows
  • Only 3 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fat per serving
  • Gluten-Free
  • No Artificial Sweeteners
#3) RSP TrueFit

  • Our Top-Rated Meal Replacement Protein Shake for Weight Loss
  • Added Fiber, Probiotics, and Fruits & Veggies
  • Non-GMO
  • 25 Grams of Grass-Fed Whey Protein
  • Just 3 grams of quality fat
#4) Legion Whey+

  • 100% Lactose-Free Whey Protein Isolate
  • 0 Grams of Fat Per Serving!
  • Sourced from small Irish dairy farms
  • Non-GMO, Naturally Sweetened
  • 100% Money-Back Satisfaction Guarantee
#5) Perfect Keto Collagen

  • Our #1 Keto-Friendly Protein Pick
  • 100% Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides
  • MCT Oil for Ketosis Support
  • More Energy
  • An Effective Appetite Suppressant
#6) MuscleTech Premium Gold 100% Whey Protein

  • The perfect choice for burning fat and building lean muscle (getting cut)
  • Micro-Filtered to Remove Fat, Carbs, and Lactose
  • Quick Absorption (great for post-workout shakes)
  • MuscleTech Signature Great Taste
  • 24 Grams of Whey Protein per Serving
#7) Certified Organic Green Protein Superfood

  • Amplify Your Weight Loss Program With Power-Packed Nutrition
  • Alkaline Green Veggies
  • Pea Protein
  • Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes
  • 60-Day Money-Back Satisfaction Guarantee
#8) Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder

  • 21 Grams of Organic Plant-Based Protein per Serving
  • Derived from Peas, Brown Rice, and Chia Seeds
  • Great plant-based protein for male and female bodybuilders
  • Non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten-Free
  • Very Low in Carbs
#9) Raw Grass Fed Whey

  • 21 Grams of Grass-Fed Whey Protein per Serving
  • 2 Grams of Carbs and 1 Gram of Fat per Serving
  • Get the most bang for your buck!
  • Rich in CLA for enhanced weight loss
  • Unflavored
#10) Genius Protein Powder

  • A Top-Rated Protein for Fat Loss and Lean Muscle Gains
  • Perfect for Meal-Replacement Shakes
  • Slow and Fast-Release Proteins
  • <1 Gram of Fat per Serving
  • 24 Grams of Protein

Protein Shake Reviews

Now it’s time to take a closer look at what makes these protein shake powders the best for weight loss and toning.

We did our best to include a wide variety of choices to suit everyone’s tastebuds. We’re confident that you’ll decide which protein is best for you if you haven’t already.

Nitro Tech Ripped Review

MuscleTech Nitro Tech Protein Powders are specially formulated for specific shape goals. Nitro Tech “Ripped” is the best powder in the Nitro Tech line for weight loss.

It contains several good fat burners including green tea extract, green coffee bean extract, CLA, and L-Carnitine. Ripped is the most complete protein powder on the market for gaining lean muscle and cutting fat.

No creatine or added BCAAs means you don’t have to worry about gaining water weight or unwanted mass.

Below are the pros and cons we discovered reported by users in the MuscleTech reviews:

Pros
  • Better than BSN ISOBURN®
  • If you gained weight with other protein powders, Nitro Tech Ripped may be the one you need to lose weight while staying toned
  • Mixes better than other brands and tastes delicious
  • Easy on the stomach
  • Reduction in body fat % for a leaner physique
  • Amazing results when combined with cardio and high-rep, low-weight workouts or HIIT
Cons

Her Natural Whey

Her Natural Whey protein powder is a lightweight protein blend of whey concentrate and isolate sourced from grass-fed cows. One of the greatest advantages of this powder is the use of stevia as an all-natural sweetener without the artificial sweeteners typically found in shake powders.

At only 110 calories and 3 grams of carbs per serving, Her Natural Whey still manages to deliver a healthy 20-gram serving of protein. There are two available flavors: Chocolate Delight and Creamy Vanilla.

Overall, Her Natural Whey is an excellent choice for women who want an all-natural lightweight protein powder that’s hormone-free and delicious.

Pros
  • Delicious flavor without artificial sweeteners
  • Filling and perfect to drink for breakfast
  • Great to mix into fruit smoothies
  • A beneficial protein powder for weight loss, especially as part of a weight loss regimen
  • A solid pre-workout shake option
Cons
  • No Added Fiber
  • No Large Sizes Available
  • May not mix as easily as other powders

RSP TrueFit Review

For those of you on the hunt for a meal replacement shake that’s loaded with protein and low on carbs, look no further than RSP TrueFit. TrueFit has the added advantage of probiotics, prebiotic fiber, plus a 12-part fruit & veggie powder.

The all-in-1 superfood blend contains broccoli, carrot, spinach, kale, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, and several more healthy ingredients. We’re also impressed by the 25-gram serving of grass-fed whey.

Lastly, the fiber and probiotics work to keep you regular and eliminate bloating that takes away from the beauty of a toned physique.

These are the pros and cons we found reported by users in the RSP TrueFit reviews:

Pros
  • There’s a delicious Cinnamon Churro flavor that can’t be ignored
  • Lightyears ahead of GNC Lean Shake
  • Super-low in carbs, sugar, and calories, yet filling
  • People are achieving noticeable weight loss
  • Fair Price
Cons
  • Maybe too sweet for you
  • May not effectively suppress your appetite
  • Does not mix well according to some users

Legion Whey+

If you’re sensitive to whey protein concentrate and on the hunt for a 100% whey protein isolate powder for weight loss, Legion Whey+ is an excellent option. Whey+ contains 0 lactose.

It’s also non-GMO, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and free of artificial ingredients and fillers. The greatest selling point? Legion sources its Whey+ from grass-fed cows living on small dairy farms in Ireland. This makes for an especially delicious whey that’s seriously effective as part of a weight-loss program.

Legion is so confident in the quality of its Whey+ that it backs it with a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee.

Pros
  • Ulta-low-calorie, protein-packed goodness
  • Mixes easily and tastes superb
  • An excellent protein for a cutting diet
  • Great for eliminating water weight to make abs really pop
  • Lots of positive weight loss reports
Cons
  • On the pricier side
  • The taste may be overpowering for you

Perfect Keto Collagen

Perfect Keto is a mix of MCT Oil Powder and grass-fed collagen peptides that’s made for a ketogenic diet. The MCT slows the absorption of the protein to keep you feeling fuller longer.

Perfect Keto is the ideal choice for people who are seeking to lose weight faster, yet not the best choice for people who want to build lean muscle.

Perfect Keto will help you enter a caloric deficit without feeling starved. However, you’ll need additional protein sources to build muscle since there are only 10 grams of protein per serving.

Another added benefit is the collagen’s effect on tissue repair. Most users experience hair, skin, and nail benefits through collagen supplementation.

Pros
  • Great to consume as an on-the-go snack for a quick energy boost
  • Added fiber to support digestion and gut health
  • Faster recovery times after exercise
  • Helps to maintain ketosis for enhanced fat burning
  • An effective appetite suppressant that makes you feel full longer
  • A popular post-workout shake among users
Cons
  • May require full commitment to a ketogenic diet to achieve desired results
  • The flavor is not for everyone
  • Reported side effects including headaches

Orgain Organic Protein Review

Orgain Organic Protein is a power-packed lactose-free vegan protein powder that’s been making waves in the fitness community. Orgain packs 21 grams of protein per serving derived from chia seeds, brown rice, and peas.

One thing we like a lot about Orgain is the price for a 2-lb container. We also like that Orgain is USDA-certified organic, Non-GMO, and light on carbs with zero sugar per serving. This is the perfect recipe for a vegan protein powder that’s built for weight loss and lean muscle gains.

Last but not least, the addition of organic fiber helps to keep things moving and eliminate the chance of bloating.

Below are the pros and cons we found in the Orgain protein shake reviews:

Pros
  • An excellent meal-replacement shake as part of a weight-loss regimen
  • Tasty Vegan Protein
  • An abundance of weight loss reports
  • Helps to control hunger and makes users feel fuller for longer
Cons
  • You may not be a fan of the taste and texture
  • Does not agree with everyone’s stomach
  • May not mix as well as you’d like

Genius Protein Powder Review

The Genius Brand seems to have a supplement for everything, and they’re doing a fine job of carving out a niche for themselves.

One thing we really like about Genius is the research the company puts into creating each of its supplements. Genius never skimps when it comes to sourcing trademarked ingredients with science to back up their effectiveness.

Genius Protein combines slow & fast-absorbing proteins for effective appetite suppression and quicker recovery times when consumed as a post-workout protein shake. There’s also a vegan option derived from peas and pumpkins (this is the first time we’ve seen pumpkin protein).

Since Genius Protein is virtually fat-free and contains just 3.5 grams of carbs per serving against 24 grams of protein, it’s certainly one of the best protein shakes for weight loss and toning on the market.

Below are the pros and cons we discovered in the Genius Protein reviews:

Pros
  • Adequately satiates hunger
  • No Bloating
  • Scrumptious Flavor
  • Noticeable fat loss and lean muscle gains
  • Combines well with other Genius weight loss supplements
Cons
  • May not dissolve well in all liquids
  • Too sweet for some people
  • Higher Price

Buyer’s Guide

Now that you know all the best protein powders for weight loss & toning, let’s go deeper. We want to briefly explain why protein shakes are effective for weight loss and how they help you achieve your dream body.

What is a toned body?

A toned body is shapely, defined, solid, and low in fat. A toned body is not the same as the body that professional bodybuilders are after.

Both men and women prefer a toned body because it’s slim, attractive, effectively shows off the body’s natural strengths, yet it’s not too skinny or big.

In one sentence, a toned body is lean. The muscles aren’t big, but rather well-defined. Six-packs and sexy legs are common features of toned bodies.

Below are photo examples of toned bodies:

man with toned body

woman with toned body

Below is a photo example of a man who went beyond toned into the shredded department:

man with shredded muscular body

Do you see the difference?

How to Use Protein Powder for Weight Loss

The one foolproof way to achieve weight loss is to go into a caloric deficit. No matter how many fancy diets come out or get repackaged with new names (e.g. Paleo, Atkins, Ketogenic), a caloric deficit will always work.

What is a caloric deficit?

A caloric deficit is when you burn more calories than you consume. It works. Whether you partake in a weight-loss diet, intermittent fasting, or simply cut calories to go into a caloric deficit, it’s an effective way to lose weight.

Protein Shakes Help to Cut and Replace Calories

One thing that most weight-loss diets have in common is low carbs, and this is a no-brainer. Eating more carbs is the easiest way to gain fat and eating fewer carbs is an easy way to lose fat.

Protein shakes fuel your body with clean protein, minus carbs. They’re also super-low in calories.

A quality protein shake for weight loss is:

  • Very low in calories
  • Super-low in carbs
  • Zero added sugar
  • High in clean protein
  • Minimal to zero lactose
  • Minimal to zero fat

This recipe feeds your muscles and doesn’t lead to unwanted stored fat. When combined with calorie-burning exercises, protein shakes are the perfect fuel for weight loss and toning.

One study found that whey protein supplementation led to a significant decrease in body fat and increased retention of lean muscle mass.

More Muscle = More Calories Burned

Muscle mass burns more calories than fat mass, even when resting (*). High-intensity strength training also creates “afterburn,” a term used to describe the effect of calories continuing to burn after you finish exercising.

Protein shakes are ideal post-workout calories because they’re full of the protein your muscles need to get toned and stay toned, without the added calories.

To build big muscles, bodybuilders go through a “bulking” phase with a high-calorie diet full of carbs, fats, and protein before starting a “cut diet” that’s high in protein and low in carbs.

Since our goal here is to get toned, we can skip the bulking phase and start with high-protein and low-carb diets to initiate weight loss and muscle toning.

Pre and Post-Workout Shakes

On the days you train, protein shakes are great to consume before and after exercise for lean muscle gains. You may even want to drink a low-calorie protein shake for breakfast before exercise to ensure you feed your muscles without loading up on calories.

There’s no need to count every single calorie to achieve healthy weight loss, but it’s important to have a good idea of how many calories you’re taking in and burning to ensure you enter a caloric deficit.

On the days you don’t train, a protein shake for breakfast and an optional shake in the evening feeds your muscles throughout the day and keeps you satiated.

Keeping your appetite satisfied is the key to skipping unnecessary snacks and empty calories throughout the day.

Follow the Directions

Lastly, follow the directions on the label to achieve the best results. We find that MuscleTech always provides great directions for all of its supplements.

Whey Protein Isolate vs Concentrate

An important consideration to make before you choose your protein is the difference between whey protein concentrate and isolate.

If you’re someone with lactose intolerance, whey protein isolate is the better choice. Isolate undergoes additional processing for more protein per gram of powder. This additional processing also removes lactose, carbs, and fat.

If you’ve ever experienced gas from protein shakes, you know it’s strong enough to clear a room. Whey protein concentrate is much more likely to cause gas than whey protein isolate.

The downside is Isolate typically costs more than concentrate. If you plan to drink protein shakes every day or already are, be prepared to fork out a bit more for isolate powders.

Isolate is also more effective for weight loss than concentrate since it’s even higher in protein and lower in carbs. However, both forms of whey are great additions to any weight-loss regimen.

Bottom Line

For most people, whey protein shakes are a safe and effective way to lose weight, cut calories, and stay toned. Whey protein feeds your muscle mass, not your fat mass.

To get lean, it’s essential to cut calories, particularly carbs. The brands in our Top 10 are the best protein shakes for weight loss and toning currently on the market.

We put the time to provide the widest range of options to suit everyone’s needs. There are meal-replacement, keto, vegan, organic, and whey protein blend options that are great for men and women.

Whether you’re a bodybuilder or someone who wants to cut calories by drinking protein shakes, we’re confident that you already found what you came here to find.

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