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Are You Getting Enough Protein for Weight Loss?

Many dieters don't realize that protein for weight loss is crucial to their success. People looking to shed a few pounds not only need protein--they need enough protein.

Many health authorities believe that over-consuming protein will damage your kidneys. This widely held belief has its foundation in a 1983 study.

Researchers found that eating more protein increases your GFR (glomerular filtration rate.) The GFR is the amount of blood your kidneys are filtering per minute. Researchers jumped to the conclusion that a high GFR places the kidneys under a greater amount of stress.

However Dutch researchers discovered 20 years ago that a higher GFR produced by high protein consumption does not damage healthy kidneys. Up to 1.27 grams of protein per pound of body weight can safely be eaten without stressing the kidneys.

The goal in any weight loss program is weight loss. Steps are taken to lose a certain amount of pounds. The trick though is to lose the right kind of weight. Weight loss properly done targets body fat. An improper weight loss program will result in muscle loss, water loss, and very little fat loss.

What is an improper weight loss program? Attempting to lose a huge amount of weight in a short period of time is a common incorrect approach. Another mistake is attempting to lose weight without exercise. There is a third way to lose weight the wrong way. This is by not consuming enough protein in the diet. Protein for weight loss should be on every dieter's to do list.

It is very important to maintain lean body mass or muscle because muscle burns calories. The more muscle that a person carries, the more calories that are burned. The more calories that are burned, the more body fat that is lost. That's your goal. Target body fat only and leave the muscle. This makes protein for weight loss a no-brainer.

A study from Purdue University showed that people who ate at least 30% of their calories from protein kept more lean body mass (muscle) than those who got only 18% from protein.

In order to conserve as much muscle and burn as much fat as possible, no one should try to lose any more than 2 to 2.5 pounds per week. That works out to 130 pounds a year (2.5 x 52 weeks.) It is highly unlikely that anyone accumulated a large amount of body weight overnight. Likewise it is unrealistic to try to lose a large amount in a short time period.

The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance,) now known as DRI (Dietary Reference Intakes) specifies 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram (kg) of body weight. This is for the sedentary, non-athletic individual. An endurance athlete such as a marathon runner should consume anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 grams protein per kg bodyweight; a strength athlete or bodybuilder should take from 1.4 to 1.8 grams per kg body weight. Protein for weight loss is essential whether you are sedentary, an endurance athlete or a bodybuilder.

There are 2.2 pounds in a kilogram. So for instance if you weigh 150 pounds, your weight in kilograms would be 150 divided by 2.2 which is 68.2 kg. If sedentary, your protein requirements would be 0.8 grams times 68.2 kg which is 54.56 grams of protein a day.

The macronutrients needed for a healthy diet are protein for weight loss, carbohydrates, and fat. They all must be in the proper proportions of course. Protein is needed to build and nourish lean body mass--your muscle tissue. So when you are figuring out how much protein you require to spare muscle, you have to take into account how much body fat you are carrying.

If you weigh 150 pounds, that weight is composed of muscle, fat, and skeleton. You need to base your protein requirements on how much lean body mass you have--not lean body mass plus fat.

You have to calculate your body fat percentage. I have a hand-held device with which I can measure my BMI (Body Mass Index) and percent body fat. This device is the Omron model HBF-306BL. There are commercial scales available which can measure your body fat as well as your total weight.

My body fat is around 19%. I currently weigh 182 pounds. My fat weight is 182 pounds times 0.19 (19% times 100) which is 34.58 pounds. Therefore my muscle weight is 182 pounds (total body weight) minus 34.58 (fat weight) which is 147.42 pounds. I need to base my protein requirements on the 147.42 pounds.

If I wanted to lose a few pounds, I would need to consume anywhere from 1.4 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram muscle weight. My muscle weight in kilograms is 147.42 pounds divided by 2.2 which is 67 kg. If I wanted to take 1.8 grams of protein per kg bodyweight, I would need 67 kg times 1.8 grams which is 120.6 grams of protein per day. If I wanted to take 1.4 grams, it would be 67 kg times 1.4 which is 93.8 grams protein per day.

The only other necessity in healthy weight loss is a lean source of protein for weight loss. Remove all red meat from your menu and eat skinless chicken breasts, skinless turkey breasts, and fish. The chicken and turkey should ideally be organic. The fish should be wild, not farmed.

If you are a vegetarian, you can combine organic plant sources to get complete protein. The only source of complete protein in the plant kingdom is soybean. All other plant sources are incomplete--meaning that they don't contain all 8 essential amino acids. Protein for weight loss is necessary for a vegetarian too.

The British performed an experiment to determine which of the three major food nutrients---protein, fat, or carbohydrate--is most satiating (filling.) It was discovered that protein is the most filling of the three.

A source of protein should be in every meal you eat. Of course you should be eating 5 to 6 meals, which includes 2 to 3 snacks, every day.
Whey protein powder for health and weight loss...

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