Switch to proteins for weight loss
Most of us are victims of a myth that, when we want to lose a lot of weight, we should cut calories for long periods of time. But you need to understand that cutting calories brings about nutrient deficiencies in your body. This in turn, results in severe cravings as your brain sends emergency “low nutrient indicators” to your stomach and forces you to eat more food.
When you are starving for nutrients you invariably end up eating more “nutrient-numb food” which causes cravings to completely spiral out of control (If you are one of those who feels hungry all the time, now you know why).
Besides, after few days of this kind of dieting your metabolism and the flow of hunger hormones slows down, thus stopping fat loss in its path. At this point, to keep burning fat you’ll be unwillingly forced to reduce your calories even lower, and/or do more exercise, and believe me you it’s no fun problem to have, if you know what I mean.
To fix the broken, calorie-burning furnace, reverse nutrient deficiencies, and lose stomach fat all at the same time you need to start eating the right kinds of food. High protein diet with caution, seems to do just this.
We need to understand that calories from different types of food act very differently once inside your body. Some of them called “Metabolism Burners” lighten the metabolism while others are plain “Metabolism Duds”, like soft drinks, candy bars, ice cream, doughnuts, cereals, processed corn byproducts, breads, pastas, and rice. (unfortunately, white foods are like white glue that keeps your belly fat locked in place).
Instead, stick with natural carb choices such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
When you eat carbohydrates, your metabolic rate will increase by up to 10% (less for refined carbs like sugar that are easily digested, more for high-fibre choices), whereas for proteins your metabolism will increase by a whopping 20-30%. Protein has the highest Thermal-Burn of all foods.
Besides, protein also helps to build muscle (along with specific types of exercise), and for every pound of muscle you add, you will burn approximately 50 extra calories per day. Five pounds will burn 250 calories per day.
Combine precise amounts of protein, slow-absorbing carbs, and a spoonful of good fat, to help boost your mangled metabolism, crush cravings brought on by nutrient deficiencies, and slash unattractive abdominal fat.
Proteins can definitely help you shed unwanted fat and keep your stomach full. Eat the right amount to help the weight loss process in the following ways:
1. Proteins help maintain a healthy metabolic rate. When we cut calories for weight loss, our body switches and burns more of the protein from muscle cells in order to balance our energy needs. An adequate dietary protein intake, along with sufficient calories, limits the breakdown of lean muscle for energy provision.
2. A high-protein diet combined with regular exercise enhances weight and fat loss and improves blood fat levels.
3. Researchers suggest that higher-protein diets help people control their appetite and calorie intake much better.
4. High-protein diets have become a popular way to lose weight because emerging research has hinted that protein may be able to satisfy hunger better than either fats or carbohydrates.
To get the potential weight loss benefit, it is advised to aim for around 120 grams of protein a day. If you want to increase your protein intake, do it slowly over the course of a week.
Also, it is very important to get your kidney function tests done before you increase the protein content in your diet.
Make sure you have your doctor’s permission to increase the intake of proteins and also make sure that they are monitoring you on a regular basis.
For a higher protein diet, include lean and low-fat sources of protein at every meal as part of a calorie-controlled diet.
Choose from the following protein-rich foods:
1. Dairy foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt are excellent sources of protein and they also contain valuable calcium. Choose skimmed or low fat dairy products to keep bones and teeth strong, prevent osteoporosis, and enhance weight loss.
2. Eggs are one of the least expensive forms of protein. Also there are a number of ways to cook eggs in a healthy way. Make sure to stay away from the yolk though!
3. One-half cup of beans contains as much protein as three ounces of broiled steak. There are dals which are an inseparable part of Indian food.
4. Soya beans are another good source of proteins. A fat-free soybean meal is a primary, low-cost, source of protein. Together, oil and protein content account for about 60% of dry soybeans by weight; protein at 40% and oil at 20%.
So switch to good proteins to assist in weight loss! Best of Luck!!
Mickey Mehta. The author is India’s Leading Holistic Health Guru
Image: Flickr Creative commons John-Morgan