Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal! My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.
Natural Weight Loss
Protein is necessary for growth and development.
It provides your body with energy, and is needed for the manufacture of hormones, antibodies, enzymes, and tissues.
It also helps maintain the proper acid-alkali balance in your body.
When protein is consumed, your body breaks it down into amino acids, the building blocks of all proteins.
Since protein is necessary for life, other foods like fruits and vegetables need to be consumed to balance your body.
Whenever your body makes a protein – when it builds muscle, for instance – it needs a variety of amino acids for the protein-making process.
These amino acids may come from dietary protein or from your body’s own pool of amino acids.
If a shortage of amino acids becomes chronic, which happens if your diet is deficient in essential amino acids, the building of protein in your body stops, and your body suffers.
Because of the importance of consuming proteins providing all of the necessary amino acids, dietary proteins are considered to belong to 2 different groups, depending on the amino acids they provide.
Complete proteins, which constitute the first group, contain lots of all the essential amino acids.
These proteins are found in meat, fish, poultry, cheese, eggs, and milk.
Incomplete proteins, which constitute the second group, contain only some of the essential amino acids.
These proteins are found in foods like grains, legumes, and leafy green vegetables.
Although it’s important to consume the full range of amino acids, both essential and nonessential, it isn’t necessary to get them from meat, fish, poultry, and other complete-protein foods.
In fact, because of their high fat content – as well as the use of antibiotics and other chemicals in the raising of poultry and cattle – most of those foods should be eaten only in moderation.
Many animal proteins are now available without hormones, or the animals are organically fed and hormone-free, so this risk can be eliminated by choosing these meats.
Fortunately, the dietary strategy called mutual supplementation enables you to combine partial-protein foods to make complementary protein.
For instance, although beans and brown rice are both rich in protein, each lacks one or more of the necessary amino acids.
However, when you combine beans and brown rice with each other, or when you combine either one with any number of protein-rich foods, you form a complete protein.
To make a complete protein, combine beans with any one of the following:
Or combine brown rice with any one of the following:
It’s possible to meet your essential amino acid needs by eating an assortment of protein-containing foods over the course of the day so there may be no need to combine proteins in one meal.
The problem is many Americans eat too much protein, especially at one sitting.
Protein synthesis (manufacturing of new proteins) works best when the protein is consumed on a regular basis throughout the day.
However, if you’ve reduced the amount of meat and dairy foods in your diet, you should make sure to get 50-60 grams of protein a day.
To make sure you’re getting enough variety of amino acids in your diet, add protein-rich foods to meals and snacks as often as possible.
Eat bread with nut butters, for instance, or add nuts and seeds to salads and vegetable casseroles.
Know a combination of any grains, any nuts and seeds, any legumes (like beans, peanuts, and peas), and a variety of mixed vegetables will make a complete protein.
All soybean products, like tofu and soymilk, are complete proteins.
These foods have high levels of fiber, and soy has been found to be the healthiest source of protein, more so than any other food.
Soybean protein makes up 35-38% of its total calories, offers all 8 essential amino acids, and is high in vitamin B6.
The average American consumes only about 10 milligrams of soy protein per day, although the American Heart Association suggests consuming at least 25 grams per day may reduce the risk of heat disease.
Available in health food stores, tofu, soy oil, soy flour, soy-based meat substitutes, soy cheese, and many other soy products are healthful ways to complement the meatless diet.
Low-fat yogurt is the only animal-derived complete-protein source recommended for frequent use in your diet.
Full-fat yogurt is loaded with saturated fats and should be avoided or used as a treat.
Yogurt is made from milk curdled by bacteria; it contains Lactobacillus acidophilus and other “good” bacteria needed for digestion of foods and prevention of many disorders, including candidiasis.
Yogurt is also a good source of calcium and other essential nutrients.
Don’t buy the sweetened, flavored yogurts sold in supermarkets.
These products contain added sugar and preservatives.
Instead, either purchase fresh unsweetened yogurt from a health food store or make the yogurt yourself and sweeten it with fruit juices and other wholesome ingredients.
Yogurt makers are relatively inexpensive and easy to use, and are available at most health food stores.
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Dick and Lenay
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