The modern lifestyle with its emphasis on speed and convenience has resulted in some weighty issues for many people. There doesn’t seem to be enough time to eat proper balanced meals at the right time, so we tend to make unhealthy choices when it comes to food.
However, the problem with many fast-foods and convenience meals is that they are chock-full of carbohydrates, fats and often sugar – and eating too many of these will lead to weight gain and other health issues. On the other hand, there is research that indicates that a diet that’s high in protein will promote fat loss.
Recent studies by a research team in Europe found that a high protein diet (with fewer refined carbohydrates) would help keep the kilos off. The study also concluded that that eating regime was effective in keeping the weight off. Now that’s worth swapping the potato for the raw peanuts !Working out what you’re actually eating every day is the first step towards losing weight.
Start a food diary.
Once you’ve done this – you’ll probably see that you’re not eating sufficient lean protein. Protein is a key macro-nutrient for weight loss because it helps build and maintain muscle – which in turn, will burn fat. A high protein diet can also create optimal conditions for muscle synthesis and development which is why so many athletes take protein supplements to promote muscle growth.
We’ve traditionally been taught to eat three meals a day, comprising protein, fat and carbohydrate – at breakfast, lunch and supper. The problem is – as soon as you skip one of those meals or go too long in between meals, the body goes into starvation mode and blood sugar levels drop. With the drop in blood sugar, energy levels start flagging which means people start reaching for a ‘pick-me-up’ – usually in the form of a convenience snack, chocolate bar, candy, cake, biscuit, sausage roll etc.
These high calorie snacks may raise energy levels in the short-term, but they’re actually counter-productive. They certainly don’t help with weight loss. A better way to snack and to eat is to take in foods that give off a sustained release of energy and that keep you with a full feeling for longer. Instead of the traditional three meals a day, new findings suggest that the best way is to eat between 5 and 7 small meals at regular intervals. Rather than piling our plates, we should be ‘grazing’ the good stuff.
Eating small meals at regular intervals enables our blood sugar levels to remain more constant, plus we can speed up our metabolism to burn fat more effectively. Remember, more energy is required to move muscle mass than fatty tissue. But all of that is easy to say – not so easy to do. Who has time to cook three meals a day – let alone six meals ? One solution is to take a protein supplement a couple of times a day. Drinking a protein supplement won’t make you into a rippling amazon overnight – but it is a quick, easy and effective way of beefing up the protein, firing up energy levels and losing a few kilos on the way.
Before you start with any new eating or fitness plan, it’s always best to talk to the professionals first. It’s very important to ensure that the diet is right for your body type, age, fitness level, health etc.