Protein and Weight Loss
Since I started paying more attention to what to cook for my husband and adding more physical activities into our lives, he has been losing weight slowly…one pound every week for a few weeks now. To be honest, I was expecting more pounds to disappear quicker, since he has a long way to go. Nevertheless, he is continuously eating more vegetables and fruits than before, as well as exercising more than before. This is the reality of the weight loss process, slow and steady…
We are somewhat following “The Gabriel Method” by Jon Gabriel (I said “somewhat” because my husband tends to forget supplementation and visualizations). Overall, he is doing fine; drinking two glasses of water with probiotics in the morning and trying to drink more water between meals.
The general principles of this method are to include three ingredients into each meal:
- Live food
Jon encourages you to ADD good stuff into your diet and lifestyle, rather than CUT out something bad (which may cause emotional stress).
Protein is an important component for building, maintaining, and repairing many body parts and systems. Therefore, protein is structured by smaller components called amino acids. They can be distinguished by two groups; non-essential amino acids (produced by the human body) and essential amino acids (which the body cannot produce and must be obtained from food).
The main food sources for protein are animal products, nuts, and legumes. There are proteins that provide all the essential amino acids and they are called complete proteins. Chicken, turkey, fish, dairy, and eggs are good sources of complete proteins and may be included regularly (if you eat animal products), especially if you are aiming for weight loss. Amaranth, buckwheat, chia seed, hemp seed, quinoa, and spirulina are plant-based sources of complete proteins.
However, most plant proteins are considered incomplete proteins, so that they should be combined with various other plant proteins to achieve full benefits. For example, eating rice and beans together, pita and hummus together, and oats and sunflower seeds together to get all the essential amino acids.
Sources of protein:
- Meat and Fish– beef, chicken breast, turkey, cod, mackerel, tuna
- Daily products and eggs– cheese, cottage cheese, skimmed milk, yogurt, eggs
- Nuts and seeds– peanuts, cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
- Pulses– baked beans, red lentils, red kidney beans, chick peas
- Soy products– soy milk, tofu
When it comes to weight loss, protein has an important role to play. Eating protein during each meal can not only sustain fullness but also prevent carb cravings. Weight loss is not just “eat less and move more”. You need to add beneficial nutrients (especially protein) to maintain healthy body functions and lean muscle mass. You may not see massive weight loss results right away, but making smalls changes can take you farther in the long run.
All is well and all the best!
Jon Gabriel “The Gabriel Method “
Anita Bean “The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition”
Sherry Torkos “The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine”