One of the top reasons many of you train with me is to lose weight. Many of you think that losing weight is simply a matter of depriving yourself long enough to get results. In fact, fueling your body correctly, with the nutrients your body needs at the right time, can make the process easier.
One of the top things you can do to lose weight more easily is to eat protein at every meal. You’ve all heard of the popular Zone diet by Barry Sears, and many of you know my writings about protein have been published long before his book ever appeared. Here’s why you need to consider this important nutrient:
1. You can actually boost your metabolism by eating protein. Studies show that you burn 30 percent more energy to metabolize protein than you do to absorb fat or carbohydrates.
2. Eating protein at every meal will stabilize your blood sugar. Every time your blood sugar level drops, your cortisol level goes up. Cortisol is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. It basically sends the brain the message, “Feed me!!” That’s also why you should manage your stress level when you are trying to lose weight.
3. All the neurotransmitters in your brain are made from amino acids, the building blocks of protein. When your blood sugar level drops, so does your serotonin level. Low serotonin is a common factor in depression, carbohydrate-craving obesity and alcoholism.
Ask me to help you figure out your minimum daily requirement for protein. If you are under stress, your body’s ability to absorb protein and maintain lean muscle may be decreased by as much as 70 percent. If your goal is to maintain and/or build muscle while weight training with me, you will not be able to succeed without eating more protein.
An ideal source of protein: Shaklee Instant Protein, a complete blend of all the essential amino acids. Shaklee has several formulations of this delicious shake mix – ask me which would be best for you. Soy protein is also an excellent source of natural enzymes.
When you are under stress or want to head off a craving, eat no more than 40 grams (no more than 140 calories) of pure carbohydrate – the amount in two rice cakes, a small potato, or 8 animal crackers – and wait 30 minutes. Eating pure carbs will raise your serotonin level. Many dieters eventually binge because incessant dieting lowers the serotonin level. If you understand your own body chemistry, you can use diet to feel calm and happy and still lose weight without drugs.
Fat and Alcohol
Why group these two together? Because when you drink alcohol, your body stores fat more rapidly. Basically your liver can’t metabolize the two together, so it stores the fat while you drink. Studies also prove that people who drink with their meals tend to overeat. Although I am not against moderate drinking, I recommend you cut back if you want to lose weight.
Other Top Tips
Studies of people who have lost weight and kept it off show that successful dieters work out at least one hour a day, five times a week.
Eating breakfast can raise your metabolism between 3 and 5 percent.
Studies show that even if you eat the same number of calories, your body will tend to store as fat the calories you eat towards the end of the day. Eat well at breakfast and lunch and eat light at dinner.
Ask me about how much water your body needs to lose weight. Drinking helps the liver metabolize fat. Even Oprah says, “On the days I don’t drink my water, I don’t lose weight.”