The silent overweight-obesity epidemic is among the greatest public health challenge facing the modern world. A recent US study suggested that 88% of adults have poor metabolic health. This predisposes them to a large range of chronic diseases, and not just a shorter health span, but a shorter life span
Both fat and carbohydrate consumption has increased greatly with the advent of packaged foods and externally prepared meals in the guise to save time and money for working people and their families.
In contrast the role of protein has largely been ignored because it typically only comprises around 15% of total calories consumed. Food manufacturers and take away restaurants know that you can’t make as much profit from protein, a more expensive product.
It has been largely ignored that the protein intake has remained near constant across populations throughout the development of the obesity epidemic in the western world.
Could reducing your protein intake make you binge on carbs and fat?
For many years we were told to reduce our fat intake, and so many ate skinless chicken, egg white omelettes and loaded up on fat-free packaged foods and drinks that just made us fatter and sicker.
Bread was marketed as healthy, especially whole grain or brown bread. The studies that suggested that bread and cereals improved health compared eating a highly processed S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) diet with a diet that included multiple serves of cereals and bread. These studies did NOT compare a S.A.D. diet with a fresh-food, protein rich diet. And the message “Eat multiple serves of bread and cereals every day”, was misinformation as it did not tell the full story.
In Australia we got used to salads with little or no dressing!!!
Compare all this to the low carb eating plan that allows good fats like the skin on the chicken, and the whole egg and reduces any highly processed no-fat, low-fat foods and drinks. Adding butter, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil plus nuts and seeds – all food that your grandmother would recognise as nutrition and real food.
Which do you think is healthier not only for weight loss but weight management. Which is healthier for your brain? Which is healthier for your skin?
Which one would find you eating less food per day so overall calories are reduced – regardless of eating more protein and fat and way-less processed carbs?
Do you find yourself snacking throughout the day, or worse still restricting what you eat? Then at night you’re so ravenous that you find yourself eating anything in sight, not thinking about fuelling your body to provide energy but just to eat something to satisfy your hunger. And then only to feel hungry again in a few hours.
Often this behaviour has an element of guilt and a lack of self-control. It’s not only damaging for your body and your health but also your mental and emotional health.
But what if this way of eating wasn’t your fault? Maybe you have been told a lie!
It’s time you learnt about the protein leverage hypothesis (PLH) that predicts humans prioritise protein when regulating food intake. If we meet our minimum protein (essential amino acid) requirements, we not only feel fuller for longer, have little need to snack, cravings and mood swings disappear and over a day we end up consuming less calories in total because we don’t feel hungry.
Is that a diet that you like the sound of?
The implication of not consuming adequate protein is that we will overconsume foods high in carbohydrates and fats in a subconscious effort to obtain critical amino acids.
By eating a sub-optimal diet that is low in protein it is far easier to keep on eating foods like chips and cookies in one sitting. If we sat down to a steak, it would be hard to back up with another steak straight away. Our bodies have had adequate protein and continue to feel fuller for longer.
The best protein sources include:
- Red meats
- Wild caught fish
- Any cuts of animal meat
- Tinned tuna
- Yoghurt – plain and high in protein include Greek, Skyr and Quark
- Cheeses – cheddar, parmesan, feta, haloumi, ricotta, cottage
- Whey protein powder which has a high protein availability and very low amounts of carb and fat.
Some non-animal protein sources include tofu and tempeh but plant-based proteins such as chickpeas, lentils, polenta, oats and beans are all much higher in carbohydrates with reduced protein. Many are higher in fat from highly processed vegetable and seed oils.
If it comes with a label, you know it is highly processed.
Many people find that their overall physical and psychological health and wellbeing improve when they increase protein.
If you are keen to find out what adequate protein means per meal, and per day, our coaches can show you how our program can help you lose weight, as well as manage your hunger, improve your energy levels and get you in the best shape of your life.
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