One of the easy ways to lose weight is to give your body the protein it needs to work.
Protein comes into our body and gets disassembled into various amino acids. It is important to note that Human proteins are different than Plant and Animal proteins. What our bodies do is break down the animal and plant proteins into amino acids.
Those amino acids then get reassembled into the many, many (many)- more than 50,000 HUMAN proteins our bodies need to build, maintain and replace muscle and organ tissue, and give us a healthy immune system. (Knowing that human proteins are different than plant and animal proteins is important â€“ we will come back to this in a moment.)
Our bodies can make about 13 of the 22 amino acids it needs.
The remaining 8 amino acids are -just like some fats- called Essential Amino Acids. Meaning that we must eat them as one of the easy ways to lose weight because our bodies canâ€™t produce them on its own.
Some people will claim that the best diet to lose weight is by eating nothing but protein.Â Given all the articles on this site you have read so far, does just eating one kind of nourishment seem like a healthy diet for weight loss? The motivation to lose weight comes from knowing you are eating well rounded meals as one of the easy ways to lose weight.
Anyway, I digress, this is about proteinâ€¦.
I used to think that red meat was the primary way I had to get protein (aside from protein shakes). There are challenges with doing this:
- Red meat seems to have far too much saturated fat. (Saturated fat is NOT one of the good fats we discuss in another article). This means that if I am trying to eat protein this way, I could end up putting more fat into my body! This is NOT the best way to lose weight!
- I used to cook my meat until it was unrecognizable. This means that most of the protein I was hoping to get from the meat has been destroyed.
This is a good time to revisit the above. Plant and animal proteins need to be broken down â€“ they canâ€™t be absorbed directly as mentioned above â€“ remember? â€“ Good!
Why is this important to know?
An animal is a much more complex organism than a plant. The proteins that are in meat are much more complex, and a lot more work is required for your body to break them down into useable amino acids. (The little bit of protein that survives the barbeque!). Plant based proteins are much easier for your body to break down. One of the easy ways to lose weight is to make it easy for your body to lose it! Iâ€™m not saying to eliminate red meat, just to recognise that there are a lot of alternatives out there for you.
So, what has protein?
You already know you can get protein from meat and dairyâ€¦ some sources you may not have considered are beans, fish and lean poultry. They are fantastic sources of protein.
One of the easy ways to lose weight is to put more beans in your meals instead of meat.
Beans are often overlooked as a source of protein. In addition to the wonderful fiber they provide, they will take a while to digest, leaving you feeling fuller, longer.
Know that adding beans as part of your food lovers diet is a way to get truckloads of antioxidants.
In a USDA antioxidant study of more than 100 common foods, small red beans, red kidney beans, and pinto beans were 3 of the top 4 foods!Â (Wild blueberries came in the #2 spot in case you are wondering).
If you are going to use protein powder, please get one that is as natural as possible. Preferably whey concentrate (NOT Isolate) â€“ so it will stay in your system longer. Many powders, sadly, have artificial sweeteners in them. A Healthy diet for weight loss keeps it as natural as possible.
You should aim for 45 â€“ 60 grams of protein a day depending on if you are female / male.
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One of the fantastic easy ways to lose weight is to give your body protein that it can actually use!