HIGH PROTEIN OR LOW PROTEIN DIETS?
Coming in at 4 calories per gram, protein is important because it helps the body grow, aids in tissue repair, produces essential hormones and enzymes and preserves lean muscle mass. You can find the most protein in red meat, poultry, fish and eggs. You can also find smaller amounts in other foods like nuts, beans, organic soy, quinoa, ground flaxseed and chia seed.
When digested, proteins are broken down into amino acids. Some of these amino acids are formed in the body naturally and are called nonessential amino acids. The other type, essential amino acids, only gets into our bodies through diet. Now, as with other aspects of diet, I have to emphasize choosing QUALITY proteins as this will aid in fat loss as well as help build lean muscle, which is important in keeping that fat loss permanent!
MEET ME IN THE MIDDLE
I have found that people either don’t eat any type of protein at all, or they are overdoing it by A LOT. This is mostly because some people tend to think that they need WAY more protein in their diet than the body actually demands. In addition, other people are “carbaholics,” where they think that there is no way in the world that they can eat anything other than carbs. If you are one of these people, do me a favor and meet me in the middle. I am not asking for you to eat protein like a bodybuilder, or to eat it like an herbivore. I am just saying that you should definitely ingest quality proteins and to remember to keep it portion controlled!
I recommended that you have a small portion of a LEAN protein with every meal. A really good example is wild-caught fish from the local fish market. Try free-range, grass-fed and/or organic chicken, pork and - occasionally - small amounts of red meat. Free-range or organic eggs and soaked beans are also great choices for healthy protein sources. Quality is critical because poor protein sources have stored toxins in their fat cells!
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1. John and Ocean Robbins. Living The Food Revolution. Available at: http://foodrevolution.org/