If you’ve been on a diet for a long time, you’re probably hungry as hell.
A good way to deal with this is to eat protein-rich foods. Aside from having a higher Thermic Effect of Feeding, protein provides more satiety than carbs or fat. You should also try to eat foods with a lot of volume.
In terms of both protein content and volume, this fits the bill… and then some.
For about 200 calories you can get something like 25 grams of protein and a totally full stomach. You will not want more food after this. Believe me.
In order to make it, you just need casein powder, some xanthan gum, and a good hand mixer or stand mixer. (A stand mixer is better. I’ll talk about that in a bit.)
The idea of protein fluff has been circulating for some time around the fitness community. My most successful variation comes from this protein fluff recipe thread at bodybuilding.com. However, that thread is huge and has thousands and thousands of posts. The successful variations I’ve used from it are here and here.
Note that LeanGains also has a variation that uses frozen berries to add volume. You can substitute the frozen berries for the cup of crushed ice below, but this adds calories. (But also a bit of flavour, so you might try it.)
I’ll get into the secrets to a good fluff afterwards, but here’s the basic recipe:
Protein Fluff Recipe
- 25g casein protein powder
- 6g xanthan gum
- 2 tbsp splenda or sugar twin (any calorie free sweetener)
- 2 cups almond milk or skim milk (approx. 540g if using a scale is easier)
- optional: a cup of crushed ice (just use a blender or a magic bullet)
- Mix the casein protein powder, the xanthan gum, and the sweetener together. Put them in a large bowl.
- Add in a bit of the almond milk (say, about a quarter of it) and start mixing. Start slow so you don’t make a huge mess.
- Keep the mixer going, and add in the rest of the almond milk.
- Watch the magic happen as it fluffs up.
- Add any mix-ins you want (cereal, cookie crumbs, etc.)
- Eat pretty much immediately.
A hand mixer will take longer than a stand mixer to get the fluff going.
Other variations include using egg whites (if you’ve baked a lot, you know that they also fluff up). I don’t like doing so because they give you more gas.
The keys to successful protein fluff
(i.e. a fluff doesn’t deflate weirdly)
Here’s the key. You need these:
- xanthan gum or guar gum and/or
- a stand mixer and/or
- a good casein powder
- very cold almond milk or milk (put it in the freezer for awhile beforehand)
You definitely, definitely need at least one of the above to make this work. All three is best.
What I mean is, you might get the fluff to work if you use just xanthan gum, but use cheap whey protein powder and a hand mixer. And you’ll probably get it to work if you use the xanthan gum, and a good casein powder, and a hand mixer. You might also get away with a whey protein powder if you have the xanthan gum and a really good stand mixer. You’ll definitely get it to work if you use xanthan gum, a casein powder, and a stand mixer.
- Why the stand mixer? The stand mixer works better than a hand mixer because 1. your hand won’t get tired, and 2. stand mixers have more wattage and are more powerful. Use a high setting. It’ll go faster.
- Why the casein? It just works better, okay? Casein protein is different than whey protein in that it takes longer to digest. This isn’t really important for this recipe, but it’s a nice coincidence, since the point of the recipe is to provide more satiety and lesson your hunger. Generally, it just works better for fluff.
- Why the Xanthan gum? Xanthan gum is important simply because it’s used to help hold stuff together. You can buy it at any grocery store. It’s either in the baking stuff or with the natural foods. I use Bob’s Red Mill Xanthan gum which is stored with the natural foods next to all the natural foods stuff. (And that’s usually organized alphabetically, so it’s the very last thing in the bottom right.)
- Why the cold milk? Honestly, this one I don’t know. But having really really cold milk, not quite frozen, helps with the fluff. It’s why the crushed ice helps if you don’t otherwise get your milk very very cold.
Also note Xanthan gum is weird in that it is critical, and adding more does help everything fluff. That said, adding more won’t ruin the fluff, per se, but it will turn your stomach if you go too far. If you don’t have a stand mixer or a good casein powder, you can go up to 10g xanthan, but I wouldn’t go higher.
Other Protein Fluff Options and Variations
Add anything you like to the top: cereal, sweet snacks packs. A few mix-ins can add a lot to this in terms of taste and, along with filling up your stomach, satisfying your sweet tooth.
I advise never ever eating those sweet snacks all by themselves, because they don’t have enough volume to fill you up, and the fact that they’re pure sugar will cause an insulin spike that’ll leave you more hungry in twenty minutes or so. But mixed in with protein fluff? They’re totally fine. The fluff fills your stomach. You won’t want to eat more, so don’t worry.
A Note on the Satiety Provided by Protein Fluff
I said at the top that this if for those who’ve been on a diet a long time. I stand by that. This is kind of an advanced strategy for people who are super hungry.
Why? Because this doesn’t fill you up the way, say, steak and potatoes fills you up. But it’s also way less calories. This strategy is for the people who just don’t have the calories to spend on a real good solid meal but who are feeling absolutely ravenous.
Once you try it, you’ll experience what I mean. The recipe above might honestly be too much for you, even though it comes out to only a little over 200 cals or something. Your stomach will just say, ugh no more. Please. Please no more.
That’s fine. Don’t eat it all, dummy.
You can also lesson the amount of xanthan gum and milk (but keep the amount of casein protein) in order to get less volume. This will also make your fluff less “airy,” which might also be preferable.
Remember that when you “fluff” it up you are literally just working air into the mix. It’s the same with fluffing up egg whites. If you haven’t felt full in weeks, that’s actually kind of a big deal.
Anyways, enjoy the recipe.
Play with variations: add in different mix-ins, using different protein powders, that kind of thing.