Protein secret revealed: It can help you lose weight (and keep you healthy)

super protein

I wasn’t feeling well on Sunday and figured a huge hunk of protein would make me feel better. Protein did not cure flu-like symptoms. Who knew, eh?

This month’s nutrition challenge is about getting in enough protein every day. (Facebook event page here.)
And the headline should be no secret, especially to my regular GFG! readers.
But you all know how much I am into eating protein and writing about it. (And if you can stand it, I will discuss this in person with you, too.)
Someone just the other day asked me what I could suggest for a new Weight Watchers’ participant. I believe the first thing I blurted out was protein. I, of course, talked about other stuff.
From the various research I have done I found that on average women should get in 46 grams of protein a day. If you have an active lifestyle it should be more than that.
Protein can be found in all kinds of foods. And protein can help you lose weight.
Here’s a quick list of protein-rich foods: legumes, chicken, cheese, nuts, tofu, eggs, fish, red meat (yes, you can eat red meat in moderation), peanut butter (also moderate as it is high in fat), whole grain pasta, brown rice …
This WebMD article discusses the high-protein diet for weight loss. There are some great tips and information, which includes the list I posted below on lean protein tips. My comments are in the parenthesis and add some flair the list.
FYI: Protein keeps you full and feeling full. That’s a big secret to losing weight. Psst … there are NO magic diet pills. If there were then we would all be skinny but probably super unhealthy as we would be eating the burger pictured above every single day and guzzling down with beer or two or …
In this linked up Livestrong article it mentions that the Institute of Medicine recommends that you eat at least 0.4 g of protein for each pound of your body weight every day for proper health. (If I did my calculations correct and I could have totally done them wrong that means I need about 50 grams a day. Sounds about right.)
My friend Brenda who is officially Brenda M. Holzer MS, CSCS,┬áNutritionist and nutrition adjunct faculty for Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz., says the Reference Daily Intake (RDA) is 0.8g/kg body weight for a sedentary person. Active people need more depending on the type of activity. I would say up to 1.0g/kg/body weight is good. Only bodybuilders, endurance athletes, ultra endurance athletes and vegetarian athletes need more. (According to Brenda’s calculations I need 45 g a day as a sedentary person and abut 57 as an active person. Yup, that sounds about right to me.)
I love this quick list of ideas from WebMD on ways to pump up your protein:
These simple tips can help you include more lean protein in your daily diet, if you do not have issues with dairy products:

  • Take yogurt with you to the gym and enjoy it as a post-workout booster. (Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt is a great morning or afternoon snack as well.)
  • Make your breakfast oatmeal with milk instead of water. (This personally sounds gross to me. But if it doesn’t to you, go for it.)
  • Snack on fat-free mozzarella cheese. (I love cheese sticks!)
  • Use a whole cup of milk on your cereal. (I think this means a full cup not actual whole milk? I prefer skim milk myself.)
  • Try smoked salmon or one of the new lean sausages for breakfast. (Sounds awesome! Especially the smoked salmon. You could even get a Bagel Thin and Laughing Cow light cheese wedge. Yum!)
  • Take along a hard-boiled egg for an easy snack. (Love hard-boiled eggs for snack or part of my breakfast.)
  • Munch on edamame beans at meals and snacks. (Who doesn’t love soy beans? OK, not everyone does. But if you do, get ’em. You can buy them frozen at Trader Joe’s.)
  • Choose round or tenderloin cuts of meat. (I recently have fallen in love with the steak, especially the Rib Eye. As long as it is occasional and most of your meats are lean, which mine are, you should be just fine.)