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Old 08-26-2010, 12:41 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default The ongoing protein dilemma...

There are two schools of thought on this (probably more; as a matter of fact, everyone who pays attention to what they put in their mouth probably has an opinion on it). One is the "Americans eat too much protein" argument, supported by the government-established RDA limits and data from people in other countries who eat very little meat; the other is the "protein builds muscle tissue and helps you lose weight more than eating carbs and fat" argument, supported by all the low-carb folks.

I've said this before and I'll say it again. You can find anything to support any position on the internet, in books, on TV, from dieticians, whatever. So pulling out various pieces of information to support any position is basically an exercise in futility. My bottom line is, and has always been, that you have to do what works for you.

I know when I started losing, I was focused only on the calories in vs. calories out. Once I got used to that, I focused more on the pie chart, playing around with it. I tried a lot of different proportions and I finally settled on about 25%-30% protein. More than that and I didn't feel my best, and it wasn't a way of eating that was sustainable for me, thus setting up a derailment. Less than that gives me too much room for fats and carbs, which, I believe, are more prone to turn to fat if you don't burn the calories. Many people on the boards have commented that the higher they take their protein, the quicker the weight comes off, but YMMV. It is very individual. It is worth thinking about playing around with, though, as you go further into your journey. And (sounding like commercial here), it couldn't hurt to check with you doctor since you are starting a weight loss and exercise program, and he or she could possibly address this issue.

Right now I think it's important to start to build good habits and be aware of what you're eating. Trying to change too much too soon may send you off track and be overwhelming. As you feel comfortable in your new habits, you can fine tune them. It's a process. Experiment. You will hit on the ratio that makes you feel best.

And last but not least, don't eat something to make somebody else happy! That's part of why we have food issues in the first place . Eat it to try to see if anything changes with how you feel or your weight loss, but don't eat for somebody else.

Sorry this got so long; hope you have a great day!!

And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good.
-John Steinbeck
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