Keys To A Great Diet
Are you confused about how to lose weight the healthy way? Have you tried all the fad diets on the market and still are frustrated about weight loss? Do you know just how much protein is enough? Are you confused about carbs? Are you wondering why the weight won't stay off? Just what is a healthy diet?
There are many aspects to a healthy weight loss program, and to help you sift through faddish information, here are two keys you should know. You need to know your body's protein requirements and know your resting metabolic rate.
There are many other aspects of healthy weight loss, but these two points are a sensible place to start when you are looking for a program that will help you lose the weight and keep it of, forever!
Just why is protein so important? Protein helps you to build and maintain lean muscle. Apart from creating a pleasing body shape and providing your body with strength, lean muscle burns calories and helps to keep your metabolic rate up. If you do not have enough protein in your diet, you will compromise your body's lean muscle tissue and not build your best personal shape. Another wonderful aspect of protein is that it signals to the brain a feeling of fullness. This in turn, controls your appetite, making weight loss easier!
How much protein do you need for healthy weight loss? To know this you need to find out your personal lean body mass. Your lean body mass is the weight of everything except the weight of your fat, muscles, bones, organs and fluids. A weight loss professional may be able to measure lean body mass. However without the equipment for a precise reading the general rule for healthy weight loss is 1 gram of protein for every pound of lean body mass. If you weigh 100 pounds, then your maximum level of protein would be 100 grams.
Usually when we think of protein, we think of red meat, chicken, turkey, fish and cheese. However, if you tried to eat all the protein your body required by eating meats (and many cheeses), you would be consuming too many calories. Protein in these forms often comes with additional fat and that means unwanted calories. This would work counter to your weight loss goals so we should go carefully with these forms of protein.
There are other ways to obtain your body's proteins needs with fewer fat calories. Soy protein is the highest quality plant protein available. It is a great source for the amino acids your body needs as well as the antioxidants that help maintain healthy cells. Soy protein does not have the high fat calories, and is long acting and slowly metabolized (helping you to keep feeling full). Some high-protein, low calorie drinks can help meet these protein needs as well as being an enjoyable food source.
So what happens if you don't eat enough protein? This is a very important point because many people don't even come close to meeting their daily protein requirements!
When your body doesn't get sufficient protein you can experience food cravings, fatigue, moodiness, depression, poor memory, and poor sleep. Further, you can find yourself out of shape and with excess fat. Your body may even steal protein from your muscles and organs, including the heart! Over time, your metabolism may slow down and you may even be at increased risk for a variety of diseases.
The second key element of designing a healthy weight management program is to know your resting metabolic rate (RMR). This is the number of calories your body burns while at rest per day. If you eat 500 calories less per day than your resting metabolic rate, you will lose about 1 pound a week. If you eat more than your RMR, and you don't exercise to burn off those excess calories, then you will gain weight.
When designing your weight management program it is generally considered unhealthy for women to consume less than 1200 calories a day and for men, 1800 per day. As a woman if your resting metabolic rate is 1700 calories or less, you will need to consider exercise as part of your weight loss regime in order to see results in the first week or two.
Armed with these two pieces of information you will be able to assess many of the faddish diets that abound and cut through the diet-hype. Of course, there are many other aspects of healthy weight loss, but these two principles are cornerstone to building a healthy program that will enable you to sustain long term weight loss.
Suzanne is a weight loss and nutrition mentor. She is dedicated to helping others lose weight and take control of their own health through good nutrition. For a FREE weight loss profile and survey go to http://fitandtrim.net/?refid=AboutAuthors-24562 or for more information go to http://www.fitandtrim.net/shoponline