Protein is one of the three macronutrients every human needs daily to survive and thrive. (The other two are fats and carbohydrates.) But can extra protein be your key to weight loss? It can be: high-protein diets are one good option for you in your weight loss plan. Any good weight loss plan should also include exercise at least 5 days a week. And if you follow a good exercise program, you will need more protein to rebuild and grow your muscles. So why not use a high-protein diet in conjunction with that exercise?
For most Americans the foods we overeat the most are carbs and fats. If you try to eat mostly lean proteins, you can let them take the place of carbs and fats. Examples of protein-rich foods are meat, fish, eggs, milk, cottage cheese, beans, peas, and nuts.
You need some carbs and fats, but try to eat things that are not loaded with them. The other great thing about protein is that it will help satisfy your appetite, so you eat less often and smaller portions. (Phentermine is a prescription appetite suppressant that also curbs your appetite. If you think you might need help with this, come see us at Cordova Medical Clinic.) People who eat a protein-rich breakfast eat about 200 calories less per day than people who consume a carb-heavy breakfast.
So how much protein should you eat daily? The minimum is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight, so about 65 grams of protein for a 180-lb person. However, if you exercise 3-5 times a week for 45 minutes, you need much more to help rebuild muscles. Also, you need more if you are taking in fewer calories than you need daily on a weight loss program. So a good rule of thumb is to double the minimum recommendation. That would be 0.72 grams per pound of body weight, or about 130 grams of protein daily for a 180-lb person. Protein is best utilized by your body to build muscle in smaller portions. Eat about 20-30 grams 5 to 6 times daily.
A Healthy Breakfast: 4 egg whites, 1 yolk, ¼ cup fat-free cheddar cheese. Only 165 calories, with 23 grams of protein, and delicious! If you skip the egg yolk, you drop 55 calories.