In college, I started thinking that eating steak, pork and burgers would make me fat. I'm not entirely sure where that idea came from, but I was in the habit of making all kinds of unfounded food "rules" for myself. I also lived off of gummy bears and eating only half granola bars at a time. But I thought eating anything nutritious would make me look "healthy." I wanted to be "skinny," and well, you can't be both skinny and healthy, right?
What I didn't learn until more than 10 years later, is that eating PROTEIN is the holy grail rule for losing body fat.
If you put your time in at the gym, this lesson may be redundant, but I'm going to talk about it anyway. I am sure there are plenty of people like me, who think working out and eating as little as possible is the way to lose weight.
There several reasons we want to center every meal around protein, and why it is so important:
• Protein has a very high thermic effect.
By thermic effect, I'm referring to the energy required to digest, absorb, and distribute nutrients. Foods and nutrients with a high thermic effect, such as protein, require more energy—i.e., calories—to digest. Therefore, foods with lots of protein burn more calories in digestion.
• Protein is a very satiating nutrient.
Eating is a hormonally-driven behavior, and fats, carbs, and proteins all produce different hormonal responses which can leave us feeli
ng hungry or full. When it comes to satiety, PROTEIN is king! It will keep you fuller longer.
• Protein is responsible for the repair of skeletal muscle tissue.
If your goal is to lose body fat, then you are most likely doing a decent amount of resistance training. While this is certainly in alignment wit
h your goals, it can also become detrimental without adequate protein intake.
• Training is simply an act of breaking down lean muscle tissue.
But without adequate nutrient (protein) intake to repair this tissue, over the long term, your body won’t be able to create the adaptive response we are after. In this case, protein is ESSENTIAL to making progress.
Look to feed your muscle at all times!!!
Anything that compromises your muscle mass affects your chronic health, lowers energy and blood sugar levels and DEFINITELY doesn't do your performance and recovery any favors.
Aim to be taking in 15-30g of PROTEIN at every meal or snack. There are plenty of animal and plant-based sources of available. There is also a place for protein supplements like powders and bars, but aim to get your protein from real food first.
Here's a quick list of some high quality high protein sources:
Eggs (whole and also just the whites)
Whey Protein Powder
Nuts / Nut Butters
Flax Seeds / Chia Seeds / Hemp Seeds
Hemp / Brown Rice / Pea Protein
2015, Char Steak House, Red Bank My first filet mignon in 10 years