For everyone who has participated in one of my weight loss programs or taken on my 7 day slim down, 5 ½ day diet or had me prepare a nutrition plan for you, you know I am big on ensuring you eat healthy, lean protein.
Why do I love protein so much?
Well for starters it has an impact on your blood sugar, glucagon, insulin, satiety, blood amino, nitrogen retention, glycemic load, muscle health, energy, negative caloric state and a whole lot of other really fun things.
Let me break it down for you.
- Taking in healthy Protein actually makes your body burn more calories just by consuming it because it takes energy to break it down into bite size pieces that your body uses. Those are amino acids…they are good things
- Protein helps protect you from losing muscle. If you are in an amino acid deficit, your body eats its own muscle. That means less fat burning ability…that’s not good.
- Protein helps control insulin and blood sugar so your body produces the fat burning goodness that you want…that’s a good thing
- Protein takes longer to break down and digest than carbohydrates so your hunger is controlled longer…that’s a good thing.
All foods (carbs, protein, fat, micro and macro nutrients) have an effect on insulin and blood sugar. Carbohydrates jack blood glucose levels faster and more that the others. Then your body makes insulin to suck out the sugar. Then the sugar gets transported to your muscles and liver so that it can be used later.
What you want is your body to release fat, not store it.
So here are my recommendations for healthy protein choices. A serving size of meat is about 3-4oz or about the size of a deck of cards for 22-28 grams of protein.
This is an excellent source of protein because it is low in fat. Fish such as salmon is a little higher in fat, but it is the heart healthily kind: omega 3 fatty acids.
White Meat Poultry
Stay with the white meat. Dark Meat is a little higher in fat. The skin is loaded with saturated fat.
Eggs are one of the least expensive forms of protein. Hard boiled eggs are a great option and portable!
A 1/2 cup of beans contains almost as much protein as an ounce of broiled steak. Beans are loaded with fiber to keep you feeling full
The other / other white meat. It’s 31% leaner than it was 20 years ago.
For my Veggie friends–Soy is another source of protein, which is controversial, but I’ll save that for another post.
Surprise, lean beef has only one more gram of saturated fat than a skin-less chicken breast. It is also an excellent source of iron, B12 and zinc
Cottage cheese serving size is roughly ½ cup for 15 grams of protein.
Egg whites have 3 grams of protein while the yolk has the same. So eat your eggs. You get a “complete” protein when using yolks and whites, so eat the yolks.
Protein powders are a great supplement / addition. Most are 20-25 grams per scoop.
My recommendation? Get a high quality Whey protein (such as our fabulous Boot Camp protein). It has the best amino acid profile and it’s been shown to elevate your body’s own antioxidant levels of glutathione…that’s a good thing.
To summarize…. eat PROTEIN…. with everything.