Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Protein's Effect on Weight Loss

Scientific research is now revealing that people who consume higher amounts of protein (20 to 30 percent of their daily caloric intake), while cutting back on their carbohydrate intake, tend to lose weight faster and stay leaner than those people on low-fat diets.

The reason higher protein, lower carbohydrates diets are more conducive to weight loss and maintenance is interesting. First, high-protein foods slow the movement of food from the stomach to the intestines, meaning you feel full longer and don’t get hungry as often. Second, protein has a leveling effect on your blood sugar which means you are less likely to get spikes in your blood sugar that lead to cravings for carbohydrates. Third, your body uses more energy to digest protein than it does to digest fat or carbohydrates.

Getting the proper amount of protein at breakfast is especially important if you are trying to lose weight. Breakfast is the first meal of the day and what you eat determines whether you start your day in fat burning or fat storage mode.

Eating a breakfast rich in carbohydrates and low in protein (the typical American breakfast) starts your day in fat storage mode. The cereal, bread, fruit, and juice you have for breakfast are all carbohydrate-based and are converted into sugar by your body, thus causing a spike in your blood sugar. Then your body produces insulin to take that blood sugar and store it in your body mostly as body fat. Soon after your blood sugar drops and you feel famished, and you crave more carbohydrate-based foods which starts a cycle of blood sugar spikes and crashes and its insuring sugar cravings.

On the contrary, having a breakfast that contains the proper amount of high quality protein such as eggs, lean meat, and low fat dairy starts your day in a fat burning mode. Consuming 25 to 30 grams of protein is necessary for maximal protein synthesis. This building and repair of muscle cells is very energy intensive and it burns body fat mainly as fuel for this process. Thus, having 25 to 30 grams of protein at breakfast activates muscle cell regeneration and also alleviates blood sugar spikes which lead to cravings.

Below are some good sources of protein listed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help you get the proper amount in your daily diet.

1 ounce meat, fish, or poultry equals 7 grams of protein
1 large egg equals 6 grams of protein
4 ounces milk equal 4 grams of protein
4 ounces low-fat yogurt equals 6 grams of protein
4 ounces soy milk equals 5 grams of protein
3 ounces tofu, firm equals 13 grams of protein
1 ounce cheese equals 7 grams of protein
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese equals 14 grams of protein
1/2 cup cooked kidney beans equals 7 grams of protein
1/2 cup lentils equals 9 grams of protein
1 ounce nuts equals 7 grams of protein
2 tablespoons peanut butter equals 8 grams of protein
1/2 cup vegetables equals 2 grams of protein
1 slice bread equals 2 grams of protein
1/2 cup of most grains/pastas equals 2 grams of protein

Friday, July 17, 2015

Renew Your Mind and Renew Your Body

Every notice how some people never seem to age?  I call these people ageless because you can't tell their age by looking at them. Then you have to ask the following questions, why do some people age faster than other?  Is it genetics or is it something else?

Age is defined as the length of time a person has lived or a thing has existed.  Then what does age have to do with mental and physical degeneration other than what you believe it does?  I think that what you believe about the aging process has more impact on the way you age than genetics.  You simply become what you believe.

In my profession as a personal trainer for over 20 years, I have noticed that people who have a positive mental attitude about aging are the ones who become ageless.  You never hear them complain about growing old and consequently they stay healthy and strong throughout their lives.  On the other hand, the people who complain about the aches and pains of aging seem to attract the very conditions they speak of into their lives as they get older. This leads me to believe that the mental and physical decline  associated with the aging process is mostly about how you think about getting older.

Every cell in your body is replaced and renewed every 11 months.  That means you have a completely new body every year.  I believe whether your body is renewed with strong and healthy cells or with weak and unhealthy cells is all in the way you think about aging.

My grandmother was 92 years of age when she passed from this earth.  I never remember her being ill a day in her life other than a common cold every now and then.  She remained mentally sharp and physically fit throughout her entire life and I never heard her complain about getting old.  That's a testament to the effect that a positive mental attitude has on aging.

I believe where your mind goes your body will follow.  If you have any doubts checkout this video of me leg pressing over 1200 lbs at the tender age of 55.