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Protein Requirements for Weight Loss

Sep 7, 2011

By: Sava Tang Alcantara

Losing weight is not easy for most people. The key to safe and permanent weight management is get adequate nutrition and good taste so you can sustain the diet long enough to see results. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends healthy adults consume about 30 percent of their daily calories from lean sources of protein. They also recommend 40 percent to be from complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables and whole grains and the last 30 percent from fat.

Figure Out How Much Protein You Need

Determine how much protein you need every day. According to varying health sources, including, for adults over the age of 19, about 0.8g of protein per pound of body weight is generally adequate. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., you might consider consuming about 75g of protein a day.

Eat Protein Throughout the Day

Eat protein at every meal and even include a hit of protein with each snack to help you lose weight. Protein and fats take longer to digest and you will help to keep your blood sugar level, instead of spiking and dropping, as when you eat a very sugary donut. For example, start with a high-protein breakfast. That could be a soft-boiled egg with two slices of whole-grain bread, slather with a tablespoon of peanut, almond or soy butter. That provides about 20g of protein. Snacks could be half a cup of nonfat yogurt with a small banana sliced or other fruit, or whole-grain crackers with two ounces of water-packed tuna. The idea is to eat nutrient-dense food and very few empty calories in the form of potato chips, sugary sodas or fast food.

Consume Different Types of Protein

Vary the types of protein you eat and remember to keep saturated fat to no more than 10 percent of daily fat intake as part of the total 30 percent. For example, trim all visible fat from lean cuts of beef, poultry, pork, and other animal sources of protein. Also consume low-mercury seafood, eggs, unsalted nuts, and whole grains with legumes. Eating beans and rice, or other legumes with quinoa, millet, oats or groats will form a complete protein that is very low-fat.

Consuming too much saturated fat can increase your risk for developing high blood pressure and cardiac disease. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature: beef, pork, poultry, cow's milk and butter all have saturated fat. Fish fat is the exception: solid at room temperature, it is a heart-healthy fat. Favor unsaturated fats such as olive, canola, flax, hemp seed and fish fat.


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