Magazine article The Middle East

Protein Power: By YMCA Fitness Training Expert and Nutritionist Clare Canning

Magazine article The Middle East

Protein Power: By YMCA Fitness Training Expert and Nutritionist Clare Canning

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Successful weight loss and weight maintenance is a complex issue. The simple energy equation 'less energy in and more energy out equals weight loss' may be true, but there are many barriers which prevent us maintaining a healthy weight.

For most of us, weight gain is not difficult to achieve. Faced with an abundance of tasty, calorific foods, and a lifestyle which promotes low energy expenditure, weight gain is easy. Weight loss and maintaining weight loss is the difficult issue.

In the quest to find solutions to the 'obesity epidemic', many studies have looked at the effect of a moderately high protein diet, indicating that it may have a positive affect on weight loss and weight maintenance. Current healthy eating guidelines for protein, fats and carbohydrates (in terms of the energy they provide) are 10-15% 30% and 55-60% respectively. A moderately high protein diet would provide 15-20% protein and 50-55% carbohydrate.

Based on a diet of 2,000 kcals, this would look something like this for protein (110g) and carbohydrate (250g):

1 pitta bread, 200g yoghurt, 30g almonds, 150g beans, 150g lamb and 120g bulgar, 60g dried fruit and 3-5 portions of fruit and vegetables, e.g. aubergine, tomato, carrot and peppers.

Longer satiety after a meal is important, as we are less likely to snack between meals. Compared to fat and carbohydrate, protein has a greater satiety value--it makes you feel satisfied for longer.

If comparing three meals of the same energy value, where one meal was higher in fat, one higher in carbohydrate and one higher in protein, the meal higher in protein would make you feel fuller for longer.

The process of digestion, absorption, transportation and storage of the food we consume requires energy; this is called 'dietary-induced thermogenesis'.

Compared to carbohydrates and fat, protein uses more energy to process, and therefore contributes to your overall daily energy expenditure. …

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