Lemon water has become a popular trend lately thanks to the internet and in particular social media.
Lots of people are now getting into the act of drinking lemon in water or lemon water often if not daily.
The question though is; should you drink your lemon water hot or cold?
Or should you take the middle of the road approach and drink it at room temperature?
Everyone will have their preference as far as this practise is concerned and I will tell you mine straightaway.
I prefer my lemon in water drink cold and I mean ice cold. Yes, you read that right, ice cold lemon water is what I prefer.
Why do I like my Lemon Water cold or ice cold?
Here are my reasons why I like my lemon water ice cold.
Reason #1 for cold lemon water – It tastes better
The first is based on a little experiment that I did at home and of course you can replicate the experiment too. What I did was I prepared my lemon in water drink in 3 different cups. One cup had the lemon in water drink at room temperature. The second cup had the lemon in water drink in hot water and the third cup had the lemon drink in ice water with ice cubes in it.
I tasted all three cups, seperately of course, specifically looking for what my taste buds preferred. With the lemon in water drink in hot water, the lemon flavour was very shallow. It felt like drinking fluid for the sake of drinking it. That cup lacked excitement. So, you could describe the hot lemon in water as a plain medicinal drink without any storm. Not even an ounce of taste storm came out of it.
Next I drank the lemon in water drink at room temparature. The taste was okay. Still not exciting but rather described as less shallow than the taste coming out of the hot lemon in water drink cup. A slight improvement in flavour bounce but still unimpressive.
So, with so much weight of expectation, I proceeded to the third cup holding the lemon in water drink in ice-cold water. Yes, it did not disappoint. The lemon flavour in that cold cup hits your palate like a volcano. Boom, I felt it and there was no going back. This cup with the cold lemon in water drink was a clear winner. No contest. And that was it – I was sold as far as taste preference goes. Perform the experiment yourself and see what you come up with.
Reason #2 for cold lemon water – It preserves vitamin C nutrient
So, if you have your lemon in water in hot water, you are running a risk of consuming a denatured vitamin C which defeats the purpose of having this lovely drink.
But drink your lemon water in iced water or at room temperature and you are guaranteed to have the vitamin C nutrient intact and therefore useful.
Reason #3 for lemon in cold water – helps lose some extra calories
There is a physiological process that occurs when you drink water that is cold. That singular act of drinking an ice cold water triggers the diving reflex in humans. This is due to a shock effect and subsequent increase in sympathetic activity resulting from the release of noradrenaline as a result of the diving reflex. When norepinephrine is released into circulation, it revs up the metabolic rate which enables you burn some calories.
There is research evidence to support the view that drinking cold water does increase energy expenditure and oxygen consumption. In fact, this research suggest drinking 2 litres of water will result in burning 400 KJ of energy (100 calories) at rest.
So, whereas 16 oz (500 ml) of cold lemon in water enabling you burn 25 calories might not sound like much, it is still calories all the same. You should accept any extra energy expenditure that comes your way for free especially when it is effortless.
Those are my reasons for preferring my lemon in water drink ice-cold rather than hot. I know some people dislike the idea of drinking anything cold in the morning but at the very least have it at room temperature if you hate cold drinks. Ultimately the choice will be yours. How do you prefer yours? Share your thoughts below if you don’t mind.
This was the question one of my YouTube subscribers asked me a couple of days ago. She had recently watched a video that went viral and she had concerns and understandably so. Unable to resolve this issue satisfactorily in her mind, she turned to me for an answer.
It is okay to eat eggs. There is nothing wrong with that. But how much eggs you eat may have repercussions on your health especially if you plan to eat eggs every day. If you overdo it, then the dose may make the poison as the saying goes.
Pros for eating eggs
Eggs are highly nutritious. They are one of the best sources of protein for the human body. If you are not a vegan and do not have any objections to eating animal products, then I will encourage you to keep eggs as part of your overall nutrition. For individuals who may struggle to get their protein requirements daily, eggs are a nice food to turn to. One large boiled egg (50 gm) supplies you with 6 gm of protein. Not bad.
Naturally the way you prepare the eggs may boost the protein content even further. For instance, if you make an omelette with the egg(s) you increase the protein content some more with the cheese you may choose to add.
Secondly eggs are a good source of choline. Choline is an important nutrient that our body needs. Choline helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease and helps the liver perform optimally too. It may help you fight fatty liver disease by optimizing your liver function. Choline is useful for brain function and indeed the entire nervous sytem making messages pass from one nerve to the next possible which translates to better muscular function.
On the affordabilty angle, eggs are quite affordable. One of the cheapest foods around or should I say one of the cheapest protein sources around, They make a convenient protein source for those who want to bulk up their muscle mass. Regular folks can also avail themselves of this affordable protein source.
Lutein is a xanthophyl seen abundantly in plants especially the dark leafy greens as well as in carrots. Lutein is a carotenoid antioxidant and is absorbed into the retina of our eyes more precisely into the macula lutea of the retina. Adequate lutein is essential for eye health as it slows down macula degeneration. As it happens lutein is not exclusive to plants only, eggs have lutein too and we are grateful for that.
Cons of Eggs
Yes, the cholesterol debate rages on and I don’t intend to resolve it in this article. The role of dietary cholesterol to overall cholesterol levels in the body remains a contentious issue. The liver does make most of the cholesterol we need daily.
One fried large egg has 185 mg of cholesterol. When you eat 4 eggs, that translates to 740 mg of cholesterol. In an omelette, the cholesterol content rises to 195 mg per egg making 4 omelette eggs push in 780 mg of cholesterol per meal. Now for people who disregard the role of dietary cholesterol, would adding an additional 740 mg or 780 mg of dietary cholesterol daily to your body make you feel comfortable?
That’s a lot of cholesterol that your liver that is also manufacturing its own cholesterol has to deal with daily. I have never understood the wisdom of loading more cholesterol into a system that is already self-sufficient in cholesterol manufacture just so you can test the machine production capacity some more.
And by the way, eggs are just one dietary cholesterol supplier. On the typical Western diet, you have more cholesterol coming in from red meat, processed meat, dairy in particular cheese, butter, prawns etc. That’s yet more saturated fat for a liver that is already over-burdened. These foods loaded with saturated fats typically raise cholesterol higher than eggs and we eat them in the West often.
This might seem okay for someone who is perfectly healthy but bearing in mind that lots of people living in the West have diabetes, high blood pressure and are seriously at risk of heart disease, then the gospel of eating 4 eggs a day might need to be spread with caution.
One more thing. Choline as a nutrient is a double-edged sword. Whilst we are grateful to Mother Nature for giving us choline through eggs, we don’t want too much of it. No, we don’t. Because excess choline does get converted by gut bacteria to TMAO (Trimethylamine-N-oxide). TMAO is a metabolite of choline when the trimethylamines are oxdized. TMAO raises our heart disease risk. Certainly excess TMAO raises our heart disease risk. So whilst choline is good for us, excess consumption of choline increases TMAO levels which is bad news for the heart.
So, should you eat 4 eggs a day?
Probably not. You can eat 4 eggs in one eating session if you don’t do it as a daily habit.
I don’t eat eggs often but I normally will eat 2 eggs when I want to. There have been times when I ate 3 eggs in one day but that’s not a problem because I don’t do that often.
Body builders may eat 4 eggs daily to meet up with the increased protein demand. A safer bet is to eat 4 egg whites per day if you are keen to keeping the egg habit up. Egg whites have albumin which is a protein and eating egg whites only means you don’t have to worry about cholesterol issues. The cholesterol is in the egg yolk. Skip the egg yolk and you can eat 6 eggs a day if you want. A very safe bet.
As a lot of my YouTube subscribers have high blood pressure and high cholesterol problems, my advice is for them to avoid eating 4 eggs daily. Doing so will elevate their risk of heart disease even more.
Don’t let the dose make the poison for you. Eggs are good for you. Having 4 eggs a day may make the poison for you. My view.
Share your opinion below if it’s okay with you.
I want you to adopt a different approach to your new year weight loss plan resolutions this year.
Hear me out. You are going to love this, I think. Wink, Wink.
And it really doesn’t matter what diet type you have chosen. You can apply these new year’s fat loss tips and principles universally.
You see, I have a perfectionist attitude to life. As good as this looks on the surface, perfectionism can make life just a little bit complicated.
Yes, it is nice to spend that extra time to ensure the task in hand is perfectly executed. After all, it’s going to look all shiny and glossy in the end.
But something I have found out to my cost in life is that; perfection is a moving target. That’s where the complexity comes in.
No, I am not in any way suggesting mediocrity and ineptitude as substitutes for perfection. Instead, I am saying near-perfect may just be good enough.
Certainly near-perfect will do you good…a lot of good with your new year weight loss plan resolutions.
My view is that, this will make you get results that will stick…for a long time.
This will require a change in strategy though.
In the past, I will hazard a guess that you have always wanted to TRY to change your habits when it comes to New Year Resolutions, right?
The thing is, TO TRY, requires a lot of Will Power. Will Power taps into MENTAL energy…a lot of it. And that can be draining.
Mental energy AKA Will Power is not an infinite resource. That is why it becomes so easy to abandon New Year Resolutions in general after a couple of weeks.
Weight loss new year resolutions are no different. Weight loss new year resolutions get abandoned in weeks.
Ask any Gym management personnel. They will tell you the gym membership rush of January fizzles out by mid-February at best.
It’s very easy to slide back to our routine. The reason? Will power gets expended very quickly. It’s not your fault. It’s just human nature.
New Year Weight Loss Plan Resolutions – A New Approach
Instead of TRYING HARDER to Do This and Do That, we are going to adopt a SYSTEM CHANGE.
TRY HARDER won’t last, SYSTEM CHANGE lasts and lasts a long time.
What do I mean by SYSTEM CHANGE?
Okay, here we go.
Will Power #1 – I’m Going To TRY HARDER To Eat Healthier Main Meal This Year
No, we aren’t going to do that. We will adopt a System Change instead.
Having a healthier main meal can take all sorts of forms. It’s easier to do than you think. The idea behind this system change is calorie reduction but that is not to say we will be going hungry.
No, we won’t. Because we are still going to have a plate bursting with food but the main content of the plate will be made of healthier ingredients.
We won’t get into the argument of what constitutes your main meal of the day. It’s your choice. But whatever it is, we will be using this strategy consistently.
What’s the strategy?
It’s about food plating. When plating your food and indeed in the preparation (because you need to have this in mind at the preparatory stage), divide your plate into 3.
Fill half of the plate with veggies. The other half should be taken up by protein and carbs. Simple as it is, this system change works so well and it is effortless.
Veggies are so low-calorie you can eat lots of them without even blinking about how much calories they have.
Gorge on them. You’ve got the Veggie permit.
Will Power #2 – I’m Going To TRY HARDER To Reduce My Food Portions.
No, a System Change will fix this.
This leads on from the last system change. Just simply reducing your food portions is enough to fight the flab.
And I am not contradicting myself. Saying reduce food portion whilst asking you to gorge on vegetables. As alluded earlier on, non-starchy veggies are pretty low-calories, so not a cause for concern.
Also, when you hear this, your mind probably races to calorie counting, right?
No, we are not going to calorie count. I hate it. It’s annoying in the first place. And do you know something? People who calorie count think they are doing it right. No, they aren’t.
They are guessing. Also, remember, all calories aren’t created equal. That’s the main flaw with so-called calorie counting.
Research has proven time and time again that calorie counting is fraught with errors. Lots of errors. Errors on the calories consumed and errors on calories burnt side too. Most successes that have their roots in calorie counting happen mainly by accident rather than precise judgement.
We are going to keep this system change very simple.
Portion sizes is what we shall be using. A simple visual estimation will do. Yes, it isn’t precise, so is calorie counting anyway. I would rather do this than tear my hair out trying to dial in the calories in my food.
Your best instrument has been given to you by nature – your hand.
Protein Men will need between 40 – 60 gm of protein. This equates to 2 palm sizes of your hand. Women will need 1 palm size and equates to 20 – 30 gm of protein.
Carbs Men will need about 2 cupped hands sizes. This will give you about 40 – 60 gm of carbs. Women will need 1 cupped hand size delivering 20 – 30 gm of carbs.
Fats Men will need 2 thumb-size portions of fats delivering 10 – 20 gm of fats. Women will need 1 thumb-size amount of fats rendering 5 – 10 gm of fats.
I believe in having as much veggies as possible because they are really low-calorie in output but if you want to be anal about it, then 2 fist-size portions will be just about right on your plate.
If you do that for your meals, you will be fine. However, some people may need to adjust those portion sizes to suit their needs. For instance, if you are very active physically, or you have smaller meals during the day or you are bigger in stature, you may need to up those portions in accordance with your needs.
Adjusting it means: Men – have an extra 1 cupped hand of carbs and 1 extra thumb-size portion of fat. Women – have an extra half-cupped hand of carbs and extra half-thumb size of fat.
By the way, by fats I am referring to nuts, seeds, avocados, oils, butter and nut butters like peanut butter, almond butter, cashew nut butter.
This is one of the least complicated ways to construct your plate of food that guarantees calorie cut. You might dismiss it because it looks so simple. Well, simple works. Trust me.
As with everything in life, you have to see how you are getting on with this food portion plan. You can always dial it up and down to suit your target weight. It’s not set in stone. It is a guide…a good guide, at that. You can dial up the carbs but do dial down fats if you are dialling up carbs.
I like this system change because it is way simpler to do than attempting to count calories which will drive you mad.
Will Power #3 – I Will TRY HARDER To Eat Less Takeaways and Restaurant Foods
Erm, yes, but a System Change will get us a better response.
I shall do more home cooking this new year and I will start cooking in advance.
I know times are hectic. We are always in a rush. Looks like 24 hours in a day isn’t enough. We need more like 28 hours to fulfil all the tasks we need to do daily.
With a hectic lifestyle, it becomes increasingly difficult to cook meals. It’s just easier to order food from the takeaway a couple of blocks down the road.
Problem is; takeaway foods and restaurant foods are only optimised for taste. Yes, that’s why they taste so good. They want you to come back again and again. Repeat business is how they make their profits, right?
Foods optimised for taste only, are not generally healthy. They are usually packed with Salt, Sugar and Fats.
Let’s not get into the argument of whether fats are good or bad for you, shall we? That’s a whole new avenue that leads to a blind alley. Point is, uncontrolled fat consumption whether healthy fats or otherwise, will not do your waistline any good. Period.
These can frustrate your weight loss goals.
When you cook your own meals, you know what’s gone into that food. With restaurant foods and takeaway foods, you have absolutely no idea.
No, I don’t want to be a killjoy and say don’t buy takeaway foods at all or don’t go out to your lovely restaurant for a slap-up meal. By all means, do that. But reduce the frequency.
Home-cooking works…when done correctly.
A strategy that works so well is to cook over the weekend and store food in the refrigerator and just re-heat during the week.
That way when you are exhausted from your daily grind, you won’t pick up the phone to order takeaway for that evening. It is understandable when you do that because will power will not be enough to get you into the kitchen when your feet are aching after a hard day’s work.
But it’s very easy to get out your pre-prepared meal, re-heat and voilla, healthy food is ready. Buy another refrigerator if you have to.
Just cook in advance when you don’t really need will power to get you into the kitchen. Eat the food when will power is required and may fail you.
Will Power #4 – I Will TRY HARDER Not To Overeat
Erm, where have I heard that before…
SYSTEM CHANGE For Weight Loss
Everyone is in a hurry today. Everything is rushed. I acknowledge the fact that at work, the luxury of time is just that – a huge luxury. So, this system change may be difficult to implement at work.
But when you are home, it makes sense to adopt this system change because it’s the simplest thing to adopt amongst all the strategies I have mentioned.
What am I on about?
It’s about our speed of eating. Yes, how fast you eat can adversely affect your weight management. It sure does. No joke.
I was talking to one of our younger doctors the other day and he was telling me how patients come in as emergencies with “Food Bolus” when he was rotating through Ear Nose & Throat. Usually a large piece of steak stuck in their oesophagus because they won’t bother to chew their steak before swallowing.
You have to wonder, why on earth is it too much work to chew on your piece of steak before swallowing. Chewing on that steak could have saved those patients a trip to operating theatre.
Perhaps if this lady had chewed her food properly, she would have been saved a 6-year ordeal of being wrongly treated for Crohn’s disease. She unwittingly swallowed a large piece of plastic food wrapper with her food 6 years earlier.
For unexplained reasons, the Heinz plastic food wrapper was stuck in her bowel. She didn’t pass it the other end; if you get my drift and that was the reason she had bowel symptoms all those years. Wrapper surgically removed, “Crohn’s disease” gone forever.
Anyway, that is just a symptom of the world we now live in. Everything is rushed. Food is rushed.
Slow down, folks. Let’s take in a deep breath and slow down the pace.
You will be surprised that when you rush your food, digestion is affected. Not only does fast-paced eating lead to poor digestion, you miss out on the psychological satisfaction that your food is supposed to provide.
Another issue is when you eat too quickly, you feel rushed and the eating episode is over too soon, that you feel the need to eat just a little bit more.
Ultimately rushed eating leads to overeating and of course weight gain.
Eating slowly gives your brain enough time to recognise the “fullness factor”.
And do you know how long it takes for your brain to signal that you may be full?
20 minutes. That’s how long it takes, folks, 20 solid minutes.
How many people take that long to eat? Not a lot. Most people will be done long before that.
The French have an unwritten rule. Never eat whilst standing. That’s customary for the French. Why, because eating whilst on your feet means you are going to rush that meal. You aren’t going to feel relaxed on your feet munching, are you?.
I don’t need to tell you that the Japanese and the French have one of the lowest BMI rates on the planet.
When you dial down the speed of your eating, you will enjoy the food more and your body will have enough time to feel full, feel content, without the need to go for seconds or even thirds. Satiety will kick in at the appropriate time.
The decision to slow down your eating speed is one good reason to have high fibre foods. High fibre foods force you to chew thoroughly before swallowing,
Oh, please do me a favour, just chew thoroughly between bites, will you?
Savour the flavours as though you are a food critic.
Don’t forget to drink a good amount of water. Water helps ease digestion and staves off constipation too.
Another tip is to put your cutleries down inbetween mouthfuls. This will encourage you to slow down the pace as you will chew just a little bit more. Don’t forget that food digestion actually begins in the mouth, through enzymes in your saliva. So, in effect, you are aiding good digestion the longer the food spends in your mouth before swallowing.
Eat until you feel ‘Satisfied’ NOT ‘Stuffed’. There is a difference!
It’s all about the mindfulness!
This is easy to do. But if you feel you are going to struggle because of old habits of rushed eating, then use a timer.
Your clock or watch, your phone alarm, anything that can serve as a timer will come in handy for you.
Set your timer for about 40 – 45 minutes and tell yourself you are going to pace yourself to not finish your dinner until that timer beeps. That’s a system change that will help your new year weight loss resolution stick.
SYSTEM CHANGE No 2 for Overeating
What if you have difficulty with stuffing yourself?
Well, this next system change will do you fine.
It’s intermittent fasting. Yes, I agree, this is not to everyone’s taste. Not everyone fancies the ‘fasting’ idea.
But you don’t have to do intermittent fasting all the time.
Essentially when you overeat and your weight management problems pile up, just make it a policy to do intermittent fasting for 4 days in one calendar month. You don’t have to do more than that. Just 4 daysof fasting in a month. 1 day of fasting per week until you hit your weight target. That’s all.
Will Power #5 – I Will TRY HARDER Visiting The Gym This Year
Okay, nice try…
One inevitable event around every new year is that it is smack bang in the middle of winter. It is cold. It is frosty and if you live in my neck of the woods, it gets rainy and windy as well.
Now, is that a recipe for waking up at 6am, and start heading for the gym to get fit? I don’t think so. Your will power may last you up to 1st of February and you will run out steam. Very quickly. Even the evenings are chilly.
No wonder the gyms are empty by mid-February.
You can go with a strategy of small increments when you want to ‘Move More’ in the new year.
You don’t have to go all gung ho.
Start with walking. Just walk a little bit more. Walk more at work, walk more at home, walk more on weekends.
If you are friendly with your neighbour, hand them your car keys after work. That way you are forced to walk to everywhere except going to work unless of course you have a long-distance journey to undertake. Use your judgement.
You should be looking to walk any distance that is less than 5 miles. Give it a good go. You will discover you may just enjoy it.
As for the Gym, well you don’t have to go. Save yourself that subscription. There are exercise routines you can undertake at home that are time-efficient. No need spending endless hours in the gym busting gut and hurting yourself.
The resource below will tell you more about how to do that.
To round up, TRYING HARDER, is a recipe for failure. It’s a recipe that will make you abandon your new year weight loss plan resolution in weeks. The result – You feel G-U-I-L-T-Y.
Adopting the system change is one way to go about it. I’m not suggesting it is the only way. It’s one way. Adopt one or two system change strategy and you may just surprise yourself, this new year.
Remember, we aren’t striving for Perfection. We just want it to be Near-Perfect.
New Year Weight Loss Tips
Here’s a summary of the New Year Weight Loss Tips offered on this page. Just pick a few of the these tips and you can have a permanent weight management plan going forward.
Never adopt a perfectionist attitude.
Forget Will Power. It’s a monumental waste of mental energy and runs out pretty quickly anyway.
Ditch TRY HARDER to do this and do that.
Adopt a SYSTEM CHANGE instead. Works way better.
Overhaul your usual Food Plating distribution plan.
Dump Calorie Counting. It’s old and tired.
Your hand is your best tool when it comes to food portions. Use it as instructed above.
Change your eating speed.
Home Cooking works but facilitate it by cooking in advance.
Incorporate Intermittent Fasting for just 4 days a month.
Include Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis in your overall plan
Is there evidence that high protein diet weight loss actually works? As you know there are several ways to shed fat from our bodies.
One of them is the use of high protein diet. When I first started considering lightening up my body weight, I figured I could use the high protein diet weight loss method.
My plan was to replace a lot of my carbs with a lot more protein. This method of weight loss is called the low carb, high protein system.
Technically this was a feasible option and I used this option for a couple of weeks to hit my preset target weight.
I will explain later why I made this decision with this article.
What is a high protein diet?
A high protein diet is one where you consume more than the required amount of daily protein requirements. Sometimes two to three times the recommended daily allowance.
Proteins are essential for growth, wear and tear of daily living, bone development and in the case of children brain development as well in addition to the aforementioned uses.
Where do I get my proteins from on a high protein diet?
We get our proteins from 2 sources – animals and plants.
Animal sources will include cows, deer, pigs, goats, fish, birds like chicken, goose, turkey, duck etc. This will include your:
Plant sources include:
Proteins are made up of amino acids connected together in a variable amount of chain lengths to form polypeptides. Upon digestion, proteins are broken down back into their little units – amino acids. There is a concept of essential amino acids.
> Essential amino acids can’t be made by the body, so external sources are needed to provide these essential amino acids.
How much protein do I need on a high protein weight loss diet?
There are 3 ways you can calculate how high many grams of protein needed on a high protein diet.
The first method is using a simple percentage proportion. A high protein diet can be expressed as a percentage of your overall dietary intake. If you make the protein content of daily nutritional requirement above 35%, then you are within the realms of a high protein diet.
A second method of calculating how much protein you need on a high protein diet weight loss plan is to express your protein requirement per kilogram body weight or per lean body mass. It’s much simpler to calculate it on the basis of overall body weight because lean body mass calculations can be notoriously inaccurate.
Using overall body weight, a high protein diet would be along the lines of 1.2 g/kg body weight. If you weigh 100 kg, you would be eating about 120 g of protein daily (1.2 X 100 = 120 g of protein).
A third method of working out how protein you need on a high protein diet weight loss program is to use a factor of 0.08 and multiplying that by the number of calories you are eating daily. If for instance, your daily calorie intake is 1800, your high protein requirement daily would be 144 g (1800 X 0.08 = 144 g of protein)
Something else I need to mention is that consuming all of your protein needs for the day in one meal is not a good idea.
> A better plan for high protein diet weight loss plan is to spread your daily protein content over at least 3 meals. This way of eating is less stressful for your liver and your kidneys because both organs have to deal with detoxification and excretion of the by-products respectively.
If you were to have 120 g of protein for the day, you could eat 35 gm with your breakfast, another 35 gm with your lunch and the remaining 50 gm with your dinner (35 + 35 + 50 = 120 g of protein). That’s a better spread than consuming all the 120 gm in one meal.
Where do we get our essential amino acids from?
It is thought that animal proteins are more complete in terms of essential amino acids provision compared to plant proteins. However, plant eaters who consume quite a variety of plants needn’t worry about the completeness of their diet.
Different plants provide different amino acids.
Amino acids that plant A can’t provide, plant B would. You are covered.
Individuals who are really physically active like athletes and body builders will need between 0.8 g/kg body weight and 1.1 g/kg body weight.
The main reason being these guys have a lot of wear and tear. Therefore, their protein turn over will be higher, so they need more for repair.
How does high protein diet make you lose weight?
Several mechanisms are at play here when it comes to high protein diet weight loss. We shall talk about some of them. People always want to know if they can lose weight on a high protein diet.
Yes, you can lose weight on a high protein diet when done correctly. Indeed, weight loss is one the benefits of high protein diet. Most individuals who start a high protein diet actually do so because of the benefit of weight loss.
So, how does a high protein diet enable you to lose weight?
We explain how this happens and each of the mechanisms below can be interpreted as real benefits of a high protein diet too whichever way you look at it.
High protein diets manipulate your hormonal system to your advantage
For a start your urge to eat relies on a number of factors some of which take place in the brain. The ability to feel hungry and feel full as well is actually signalled from an area in the brain namely the hypothalamus.
Hormones are the messengers here.
To feel hungry, the hormone ghrelin has to be involved in the signalling process. When ghrelin is released, hunger ensues and you get the urge to eat.
To feel full, hormones like Glucagon-like Peptide-1 and Peptide YY are released and your brain is informed that you have had enough of food. Time to call it a day.
Both hormones decrease pleasure from food, motivation to eat and indeed the frequency and quantity of food consumed.
Some production and secretion of both Glucagon-like peptide-1 and peptide YY also takes place at the level of the small intestines.
High protein meals have the ability to suppress ghrelin whilst boosting Glucagon-like Peptide-1 and Peptide YY.
> High protein diets favour the secretion of Glucagon-like peptide-1 and Peptide YY with less preference to ghrelin. This singular action has the potential benefit of making feel less hungry, less often. You eat less often which translates to fewer overall calories.
2. High protein diets are energy suckers
When you eat, the food has to be digested, has to be absorbed, has to be transported to the liver via the bloodstream, transported across the cell membrane (coating around the cell) into the cell.
The end point being final transportation into the energy-production machinery inside the cell called the mitochondria.
Now all of these activities need energy at every step of the way for them to be accomplished to keep us alive and well.
Compared to the other 2 macronutrients, (fat and carbohydrate), proteins use up a lot more energy to have all of those activities accomplished.
The point being some of the energy that your food is supposed to provide is used up just to process the food up to the point of energy release for your daily activities.
> This process of energy consumption for food processing is called thermic effect of food.
The thermic effect of protein is about 25% whilst that of carbohydrate is about 8% and the thermic effect for fat is 3%. One reason for this high thermic effect of protein is that proteins take a lot longer to digest.
As an example, if you ate a high protein meal that is supposed to provide you with about 1000 calories, you end up with about 750 calories because 250 calories will be used up for that thermic effect.
Compare that to similar 1000-calorie carbohydrate meal. This will provide you with a lot more calories – 920 calories to be precise after a thermic effect loss of just 80 calories.
So, high protein diet assists your weight loss by reducing your energy output from your high protein meal.
3. High Protein diet gifts you with satiety
Controlled studies have been shown to consistently prove that consumption of a high protein diet is associated with sustained levels of satiety. There have been experiments in durations ranging from 6 days to 6 months.
The mechanism seems to be as earlier described. High protein meals signal the secretion of glucagon like peptide-1 and Peptide YY. There is some potential additive effect from another hormone called cholecystokinin.
Meals between 25% and 81% protein content have been tested and have yielded improved satiety results. The overall effect is that high protein dieters looking to lose weight actually end up eating less calories from the effect of feeling satisfied for a longer time.
4. High Protein diets are cravings busters
One of the things that contribute to obesity is endless food cravings. This is a phenomenon that leads to snacking to satisfy those cravings.
You would have noticed that obese people tend to snack all day and at night before bedtime to satisfy those food cravings.
The more you snack, the more the overall calories you consume. It all adds up.
> One of the factors responsible for cravings is the dopamine activity going on in our brains. An inverse relationship has been observed between levels of food cravings and levels of dopamine activity in our brains.
Researchers randomised teen age overweight girls with an average BMI of 28.6 and average age of 19, to 2 groups.
One group was given 35 g of protein in their 350-calorie breakfast alternating with 13 g protein but same 350-calorie content for 6 days. Girls in the second group were made to skip breakfast for the 6 days.
Homovanillic acid concentration is an index of the level of dopamine activity going on in our brain. The more homovanillic acid you have circulating in your blood, the less food cravings you will have.
Scientists can measure the level of homovanillic acid in our blood.
What the researchers found.
The researchers found both protein breakfast meals did reduce post-meal cravings for sweet and savory foods. There was also increased blood level of homovanillic acid in the girls having the protein breakfast meals.
Between breakfast meals, the High Proten (35 g protein) breakfast produced greater reductions in post-meal savory cravings and also elicited sustained increases in Homovanillic acid concentrations prior to lunch.
There was a positive correlation between the concentration of homovanillic acid and the protein concentration in the meal.
> With high protein dieting blunting your food cravings, you consume less calories thereby enabling weight loss.
5. High Protein diet is muscle-protective
One of the saddest things that happens to anyone trying to lose weight is that they also lose muscle. Whereas the initial intention was to lose fat, you end up losing some muscle in practice.
Why does losing muscle matter?
Losing muscle matters because muscle is one of the most metabolically active tissue in the body. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn per unit amount of food. Your calorie output is higher with more muscles.
The converse being the less muscle you have, the fewer calories you expend. You don’t want to conserve calories when you want to lose weight. If anything, you want to burn more calories.
> Therefore, losing muscle during a weight loss plan is an unwelcome development but this muscle loss is almost inevitable. A third of the weight you lose is attributable to muscle loss.
Eating a high protein diet protects muscle. High protein diet reduces the amount of muscle loss to less than a third.
Muscle protection helps your weight loss effort and if you add resistance training to your high protein diet weight loss plan, you lose even more weight by burning lots more calories.
How much carbs can you have on a high protein diet weight loss plan?
Starting a high protein diet can be somewhat daunting at first. You are never sure how much of the other macronutrients to exclude or include in your high protein diet.
One of the first questions you will ask yourself is: how much carbs can I eat on a high protein diet?
There is no definitive one answer to that “how much carbs on a high protein diet” question. It all depends on how high you want your proteins to be. But you want your carbs to be as low as possible.
You should adopt the low carb, high protein strategy which is the more popular strategy. In this case, you want your carbs to be less than 20% of your meal arrangements for the entire day.
In real terms, the amount of carbs you need in your high protein diet weight loss plan should be less than 80 gm per day. If your protein content is very high, then the carb content should be in the region of 20 – 30 gm per day.
> Carb-Protein balance should be a see-saw effect. If you push up your protein content, the carb content should be drop correspondingly.
Most people struggle to lose weight because they are eating the wrong foods. They get what they consider to be good advice from “experts”, go along with it only to discover that they are no further forward months later. Why? Bad food advice and bad food choices but they just don’t know it.
You need to get the basics right. My friend, Mike, talks about some of those foods sabotaging your fat loss efforts. Some of the foods he talks about will surprise you. Continue to see Mike’s story here.
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