Are you confused about how to lose weight the healthy way? Have
you tried all the fad diets on the market and still are frustrated
about weight loss? Do you know just how much protein is enough?
Are you confused about carbs? Are you wondering why the weight
won’t stay off? Just what is a healthy diet?
There are many aspects to a healthy weight loss program, and to
help you sift through faddish information, here are two keys you
should know. You need to know your body’s protein requirements
and know your resting metabolic rate. These two points are a
sensible place to start when you are looking for a program that
will help you lose the weight and keep it off, forever!
Just why is protein so important? Protein helps you to build and
maintain lean muscle. Apart from creating a pleasing body shape
and providing your body with strength, lean muscle burns calories
and helps to keep your metabolic rate up. If you do not have
enough protein in your diet, you will compromise your body’s lean
muscle tissue and not build your best personal shape. Another
wonderful aspect of protein is that it signals to the brain a
feeling of fullness. This in turn, controls your appetite,
making weight loss easier!
How much protein do you need for healthy weight loss? To know
this you need to find out your personal lean body mass. Your lean
body mass is the weight of everything except the weight of your
fat, muscles, bones, organs and fluids. A weight loss professional
may be able to measure lean body mass. However without the
equipment for a precise reading the general rule for healthy weight
loss is 1 gram of protein for every pound of lean body mass. If you
weigh 100 pounds, then your maximum level of protein would be 100
Usually when we think of protein, we think of red meat, chicken,
turkey, fish and cheese. However, if you tried to eat all the
protein your body required by eating meats (and many cheeses),
you would be consuming too many calories. Protein in these forms
often comes with additional fat and that means unwanted calories.
This would work counter to your weight loss goals so we should go
carefully with these forms of protein.
There are other ways to obtain your body’s proteins needs with
fewer fat calories. Soy protein is the highest quality plant
protein available. It is a great source for the amino acids your
body needs as well as the antioxidants that help maintain healthy
cells. Soy protein does not have the high fat calories, and is
long acting and slowly metabolized (helping you to keep feeling
full). Some high-protein, low calorie drinks can help meet these
protein needs as well as being an enjoyable food source.
So what happens if you don’t eat enough protein? This is a very
important point because many people don’t even come close to
meeting their daily protein requirements!
When your body doesn’t get sufficient protein you can experience
food cravings, fatigue, moodiness, depression, poor memory, and
poor sleep. Further, you can find yourself out of shape and with
excess fat. Your body may even steal protein from your muscles
and organs, including the heart! Over time, your metabolism may
slow down and you may even be at increased risk for a variety
The second key element of designing a healthy weight management
program is to know your resting metabolic rate (RMR). This is
the number of calories your body burns while at rest per day. If
you eat 500 calories less per day than your resting metabolic
rate, you will lose about 1 pound a week. If you eat more than
your RMR, and you don’t exercise to burn off those excess calories,
then you will gain weight.
When designing your weight management program it is generally
considered unhealthy for women to consume less than 1200 calories
a day and for men, 1800 per day. As a woman if your resting
metabolic rate is 1700 calories or less, you will need to consider
exercise as part of your weight loss regime in order to see results
in the first week or two.
Armed with these two pieces of information you will be able to
assess many of the faddish diets that abound and cut through the
diet-hype. Of course, there are many other aspects of healthy
weight loss, but these two principles are cornerstone to building
a healthy program that will enable you to sustain long term weight