I have the blessing to work with a variety of clients, and not surprisingly a goal that many of my clients choose is weight loss, or more specifically fat loss. As the general population is mostly unawares of the intricacies of losing weight, the fact of the matter is as a fitness professional I am more interested in the loss of fat as opposed to the absolute loss of weight. (This is coming from an overweight and obese standpoint, as well as from an aesthetic point of view, whether it is to appeal to the opposite sex, or to simply fit into a smaller size of jeans.)
Sometimes they come hand in hand; other times, they don’t. In fact, I’ve seen people gain weight while simultaneously dropping body fat. What is the reason for this phenomenon?
This could be due to a few reasons. Perhaps you have a large stash of pennies in your pockets. Why you would do that, I have no idea.
But another likely reason could be due to the lack of dietary protein in a person’s regular diet. When you are aiming to make a body composition change, I’d like to aim at the biggest issue before nitpicking on the details.
A Standard American Diet (SAD, and rightfully so), often comprises of too many carbohydrate sources (cereal, toast, and a bagel for breakfast!), and often too little of fruits, veggies, and meat – I prefer bacon, but you have a lot of different choices to choose from.
An increase of protein will do several, amazing things for our body. At the risk of boring you to death like I have in several of my other articles, here are simply a few of them:
- An increase in hormones that the body needs is sorely lacking, namely: insulin-growth factor (IGF) 1, which is restored when the proteins are in your body, so your muscular growth won’t be impeded.
- Increasing glucagon concentrations, to the tune of mobilizing fats. Yes, that’s right, fat will be mobilized (and transported hopefully) out of your body by eating more protein.
- Increase in the thermic effect of feeding, or in other words, you can burn calories while you’re eating. Yes, you read that right – while you are eating (and digesting) you are simultaneously burning calories.
And here is another serving of bacon while you’re at it…
So hilarious Google image searching aside, let’s get back to the meat of the topic.
The question that I’ve heard from many clients and groups of Sports Illustrated models is, “Is that it? Just add protein and I’ll lose the weight you promised me..?”
It’s a tough crowd, and I aim to please… but the answer of course is no, that isn’t the only step in your journey towards fat loss. There are plenty of other factors that come into play, not to mention numerous logistical hurdles that throw themselves at you any chance they get. Proper sleep, more veggies, and more chicken never hurt anyone. That is, unless you’re allergic to sleep. Or chicken.
So what kind of actionable steps can you take towards increasing protein to help accelerate your fat loss?
Eat eggs for breakfast.
At 6g of protein a pop, they don’t seem like much, but 4 eggs = 24g, 6 eggs = 36g, and 36eggs = 216g of protein. And if you do eat 36 eggs in one go, I’d love to watch you on TV ala Man vs. Food style!
Have a protein smoothie for lunch.
Here is a quick and easy protein shake I often use in a pinch:
-1/2 cup of almond milk
-1 scoop of chocolate whey protein (20-25g of protein)
-1/2 banana (this helps if I’ve already worked out as well!)
-1 to 5 pieces of ice
Use a ninja blender because you’re ninja-awesome, and reap the benefits of a chocolate banana protein shake!
Cook an awesome dinner, usually involving chicken and veggies (or even a chicken salad for days when I’m tired!).
Usually this would require me to have prepped the chicken and veggies on a previous day or time, so it is even easier for me to make solid food choices. Add some extra virgin olive oil (EVOO for you Rachel Ray fans out there), and it gets even better.
So the above are some really easy tips and suggestions when aiming to shed those winter pounds. The jiggles better watch out because it is about to be exterminated by the time you’re done learning with me!