Sunday, July 19, 2009

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Protein : The Weightloss Solution to Insulin Resistance

Studies have shown us that protein foods do not cause insulin to spike and therefore are ideal foods to eat when managing weight problems. When insulin resistant people eat carbohydrates, their pancreas reacts by significantly increasing insulin secretion to maintain normal blood glucose levels. Advocates of high-protein low-carb diets say this over secretion causes carbohydrate to be stored as fat, and therefore insulin-resistant people should best consume low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets.

Eating fat with carbohydrates also delays the rise in insulin, but it will not help with weight loss. Eating enough protein helps prevent you from getting hungry again too soon.

Protein is an important ingredient needed by the body to make dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain that tells you when you are hungry or full. Without adequate protein intake you may not be able to make enough dopamine, and you will feel depressed, lack energy, and have significant food cravings.

Another important reason to include adequate protein in your diet is because muscles are made from protein. As you lose weight some muscle is lost because the body finds it easier to use energy stored in muscle protein than in fat. This lost muscle must be replaced or you will end up with less muscle than when you started losing weight. The amount of muscle you have determines how fast your metabolism runs. Less muscle means a slower metabolism, and a slower metabolism means you may regain your weight more quickly.

Some popular diets say that you can “eat all of the protein foods that you want and still lose weight.” This may work for some people as long as the total amount of food they eat each day is less than the energy they burn.

Eating more protein than your body needs will not help you to lose weight faster, and, in fact, it may slow down your rate of weight loss.

A balanced diet coupled with regular exercise is still the best way to lose weight and keep it off. Try to eat for hunger and not emotional reasons. If you must eat for emotional reasons, eat non-starchy vegetables or lean protein.

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