Protein - Its Place In Your Weight Loss Program
Any food that we take into our bodies is composed of macronutrients, micronutrients and water. The macronutrients (macro = large) are protein, fat and carbohydrates; the micronutrients (micro = small) are vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Macronutrients provide the calories that provide energy for life; micronutrients have no calories but are an essential part of our diet. Without macronutrients we would starve to death, without micronutrients we would die from health deterioration.
So, what exactly is protein?
Technically speaking proteins are any of a large group of nitrogenous (containing nitrogen) compounds of high molecular weight that are essential constituents of all living organisms. They consist of 22 biological compounds called amino acids. They provide the building materials for the basic cell structure of the heart, brain, blood, nails, hair, internal organs and skin ? in fact for every living cell in our body. You would recognise proteins better if they were defined as red meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, eggs and soy.
To understand the importance of protein as an aid for weight loss we also have to briefly define what carbohydrates and fats are: carbohydrates are basically sugars, usually referred to as either simple or complex. Simple or refined carbohydrates are the ones like sugar, honey, cakes, biscuits and white bread. Complex carbohydrates are whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, some vegetables, beans and legumes, and certain fruits. Fats are technically triglycerides and are usually divided into two groups; saturated and non-saturated. Saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature and include fats found in meat, dairy products, ice cream, milk and tropical oils. Unsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature and come in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated forms. Monounsaturated include oils from some nuts, olives and avocadoes. Polyunsaturated include oils from soybean, flax, sunflower, safflower as well as those fats that have been chemically transformed to make them solid like margarine. But the most important thing to consider is what effect do proteins, carbohydrates and fats have on your body? Or more specifically what effect do they have on the production of insulin in your body. Insulin is essential to life, some of its many functions are to control the storage of fat, control appetite, regulate the retention of water in the kidneys and the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver and it also acts as a growth hormone.
Eating fat has little effect on your insulin levels, and it actually decreases your appetite. Also eating the right kind of fats can rebalance hormones and improve the way you look and feel.
When you eat carbohydrates your body produces digestive enzymes that break down the chemical bonds between the sugar molecules. These molecules stimulate the production of metabolic hormones including insulin and this is where the problems can start. If we have a diet too high in carbohydrates, particularly refined carbohydrates, the high levels of glucose cause high levels of insulin to be produced. This can cause insulin resistance, where the body's cells become non-responsive to the insulin so the pancreas keeps producing more and more. It also means the body fails to burn the glucose as energy and instead it is stored as fat! If this happens constantly the build up of glucose in the blood can cause Type II diabetes. The high level of insulin also tells a gland in the brain, the hypothalamus, to send out hunger signals. So you could have just eaten a meal and you would still feel hungry, there will be nothing that satisfies that hunger.
Eating protein produces a moderate amount of insulin but also produces the hormone glucagon. This hormone stimulates the body to get rid of fat by burning it for energy; it also decreases the body's production of cholesterol and stimulates the kidney to release excess salt and fluid. It also maintains your blood sugar level counteracting the effect of insulin, which lowers the blood sugar levels.
So, what should we be eating? Recent studies recommend 100g of protein for women and 150g of protein for men. An excellent way of getting the majority of your protein intake is by using a meal replacement product with extra protein powder if necessary. This takes all the guess work out of two thirds of your protein intake and when combined with a third meal of low fat protein (e.g. chicken or turkey) and low glycaemic vegetables gives the ideal diet to lose weight, gain energy, lower cholesterol and blood pressure and possibly reverse Type II diabetes.
About The Author
Kay Blackiston has had an interest in health and nutrition for several years. She is now a personal weight loss coach supporting anybody who wishes to take charge of their lives and lose their excess weight.
Parenting advice and family fun resource. Expert
parenting advice for babes to teens from doctors, teachers,
psychologists, nutritionists, Special Need Children and Child
Development Specialists and a Nanny. Family Fun includes crafts,
games, party ideas and family vacation travel. Families Online
Magazine also provides answers to those important questions, What's
for dinner and Are We There yet?
Gastric Bypass Patients Should Include Tomatoes in Their Diet
After weight loss surgery it is important to include as many healthy foods in our diet as possible while still respecting the the restrictive nature gastric bypass system. One of the foods that many patients report having a high tolerance for is tomatoes. It's well known that a high intake of tomato products is associated with lowered risk of colon and prostate cancers, a beneficial effect thought to be due to tomatoes high content of the carotenoids, lycopene and beta-carotene.
Maintaining Your Weight Loss Momentum Away On Vacation
Going away for your holidays will also bring with it a good supply of temptation on the food front, unless you are on a survival course, climbing a mountain or camping in the wilderness on limited rations. The chances are you will be at a hotel, and if you have chosen a good hotel, it is likely there will be good food, often as much as you want.
Role of the Stress Hormone in Weight Control!
Eating when under stress isn't just about filling an emotional need. Your body has a system of hormonal checks and balances that actually promote weight gain when you're stressed out.
What Obesity Debate?
This is a perfect example of how on-line weight loss "experts" can confuse and harm the American consumer...The Obesity Debate?
During a dinner conversation with a friend, the topic of laziness was brought up. From there, we some how got around to the topic of obesity. He said to me, "A great example of how bad laziness can be is obesity."
"Excuse me," I coughed out (almost chocking on the last bite).
"You know, obese people don't do anything. They are fat because they are lazy," my friend said as if from a position of authority. This was going to be a long dinner I could tell.
It turns out, my friend read an article posted on the net that started with a statement similar to my friend's words that almost made me choke. Unfortunately, he didn't remember the author's name but the title was Fitness and Exercise -- I haven't found it...yet.
What blows my mind is how easily people believe what is written on a website by someone calling himself an expert! The real experts need to start making noise!
Laziness does not cause obesity. If that were so, obesity would be the norm and not considered a problem. I recently found a wonderful definition of obesity...it covers all the possibilities in one clear sentence:
The etiology of obesity is complex, determined by the interplay of genetic and environmental factors -Andrea Baessler, from her recent article in Diabetes, Jan, 2005.
There has never been a debate about what causes obesity. We have always known that obesity is multifactorial in etiology. The "real" debate topics are which environmental factors and which genes increase the risk or incidence of obesity. The rest of the article reviews recent work around two genetic links to obesity.
Delphine Eberle's work (Diabetes, Aug, 2004), with the sterol regulatory element binding protein transcription factor, found that the two isoforms are linked to the "plasma leptin concentrations in American obese families."
His group hypothesized, "...genetic variations of the SREB-1 gene could be associated with obesity and obesity-related metabolic traits such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidemia."
Interestingly, SREB-1 gene polymorphisms were found among obese cohorts when compared to nonobese cohorts. This means they are on to something and possibly not far from marking the SREB-1 gene as a clear link to obesity (1).
Ghrelin Receptor Gene (GHSR)
The importance of ghrelin in the central regulation of feeding has been demonstrated in animals and humans. Ghrelin increases appetite and food intake in normal subjects and patients with decreased appetite, such as those suffering from cancer cachexia. Recent evidence suggests that obesity is associated with an impairment of the entire ghrelin system (2).
Besides its biological function, the ghrelin receptor gene is located in a quantitative trait locus or QTL strongly linked to six phenotypes of obesity (1).
This is a second strong genetic association to obesity. Both groups will soon have conclusive evidence to support their arguments for SREB-1 and GHSR genetic links to obesity.
As far as I can tell, laziness wasn't mentioned once. How many wonderful people avoid treatment because they actually believe it's their own fault?
Educate at all costs.
Michael A. Smith, M.D.
Additional Information is available at The Weight Loss Professional
The Hidden Truth About Diets
Quick, what's the first thought that pops into your head when you hear the word "diet?" Probably that when you're on one, you feel like you're going to "d-i-e" right?!
Weight Loss Superfecta
If you are a fan of horse racing, you are familiar with the exotic bet called the Superfecta. It requires that you pick the first four horses to cross the finish line. Depending upon the size of the field and the odds of the winning horses, the pay-off is frequently tremendous.
Setting Morning Intentions For Success
Ever heard of the expression, "Getting up on the wrong side of the bed?" Many people have less than idealistic starts to their day. The alarm goes off, the snooze button gets thwacked several times and something gets grumbled about it being too early. Others jump out of bed, and hit the shower running with little thought to creating a spirit of excitement for the new day.
Fitness: Getting Started
It seems like everywhere you turn, there is someone trying
to sell you some product or program to help you get in a
great fitness level. There is so much hype that it seems
hard to muddle through all the junk and find something that
can actually be helpful to you. There is also a ton of diet
products that claim to help you lose weight and build
muscle and many of these products either do not work at all,
or can even be dangerous.
How To Avoid Post Workout Binges And Lose Those Last 10 Pounds In 3 Easy Steps
I was so embarrassed for her. After a grueling 45 minutes on the Stairmaster, Kathy rewarded herself with a bag of Ruffles and a Diet Coke. Yet still insatiable, she drank two breakfast drinks and finished off little Emily's last five Oreos.
Leaning Toward Lean: Clear Thinking For Better Health(Care)
Mindfulness is all about paying attention. It's amazing what can be accomplished when mindfulness is applied to systems that need all the attention they can get. If there's an industry that needs some CPR and TLC, it's healthcare.
Gastric Bypass Patients at Risk for Stomach Blockage: How to Avoid This
In a gastric bypass the connection between he stomach pouch and the small intestine is called the gastrojejunal anastomosis. It is roughly the diameter of a ladies little finger. This small opening slows food from leaving the stomach too quickly prolonging the satiated feeling. In extremely rare cases scar tissue may form at this connection resulting in a blocked outlet. Treatment to correct this is the insertion, endoscopically, of a special balloon. The balloon is inflated and expands the anastomosis returning it to the correct size.
Fad Diet Popularity
A common question among weight loss professionals...
Atkins Diet Plan ? What?s it All About?
A typical breakfast consists of 3 or 4 strips of bacon, two or more eggs and coffee. A snack would maybe be chunks of cheese and a cup of coffee with cream. Dinner might be a huge steak fried in butter. Sounds really good right? It sounds so tempting but there is a trade-off. You will have to give up carbs such as breads, potatoes, pasta, rice, and other things like chocolate, cake, some fruits, veggies, and milk at least in the beginning.
Weight Loss and Water: The Unknown Secret
Weight Loss and Water: A Way to Make Your Body Shed Pounds Fast and Keep Them Off!
Take Control of Your Metabolism:Quick Tips for Increased Muscle Tone, Faster Fat Burning, and Energy
So many people are talking about how slow their metabolism is and why they need to start taking the latest diet supplement scam yet they don't even understand how the human metabolism works. So before I even go into how to speed yours up, I want to first go over some of the basics.
Obesity, Whats The Big Deal Part 4
In this issue, I am going to focus more on some of the consequences of obesity, especially as it relates to children. Although this is focusing on children, think of how it relates to you. Also, if you have kids, what are you teaching your kids about health?
Close Kept Secrets to Weight Loss
Discover secrets to overcome food addictions by releasing negative thoughts and reframing with powerful affirmations, and manifest all that is yours by Divine right.
Get Back Weight Loss Motivation with NLP: Setting an Anchor
NLP Setting an Anchor Process to Get Back Motivation for Losing Weight
Eating Food Just to Be Rid of It
What to Do with the Leftovers?Okay, tell me if you've ever done this: It's Monday late afternoon. You decided yesterday that starting today you were going to 1) eat right, and 2) start to get regular exercise, and 3) give up all your bad habits. So, you're picking things up around the house and starting to notice all the little bits and pieces of leftovers from the past weekend. Namely, cookies here, and small bits of candy there. In my house today I noticed I had three large shortbread cookies (I'm overly fond of shortbread cookies with icing), several bags of the candy that resemble real rocks which I keep saying I want to put in a jar, but I haven't found just the right jar (for display, you know), and the leftovers from the latest summer picnic, which in my case is about five pounds of fruit salad - not bad in itself, but I can only eat so much fruit salad.
Weight Loss and Dieting Secrets ? What You DONT Want to Know!
Some of you will not like what I have to say, even though it is the truth. And that may be where the problem of American's health problems lies. No one wants to give you the truth. My responsibility as a high profile fitness expert lies not in if you like me, or even if you buy my e books. My responsibility lies in giving you straight talk with no sugar coating it.