If you are like just about everyone else in the world who has tried to lose weight, you have probably come across many stumbling blocks. More than likely, you’ve tried at least one of the many fad diets that are out there, or you’ve tried starving yourself, with absolutely no success. Face it, this type of yo-yo dieting doesn’t work. It never has, and it never will.
When you come right down to it, the best and easiest way to lose weight effectively, and keep it off, is to maintain a healthy diet and, of course, some form of exercise. You don’t need to go out and purchase any expensive diet plans where you have to buy certain foods from the creators of the diets, nor do you need to hit the gym for three or four hours every day. All you really need is a little common sense and the proper nutrients, especially protein.
Protein is necessary for just about every cell in the body, from your muscles to your hair to your fingernails, and everything else in between. It is necessary for muscle growth and maintenance, not to mention muscle recovery following exercise or workouts. Protein also provides weight loss shots our bodies with energy, and the energy burned from protein outweighs the energy burned from carbohydrates or fats. Having the right amount of protein in your diet can actually promote weight loss.
Do I Need a Special Diet Plan?
Unless you are on a specific diet for medical reasons, or are a bodybuilder or athlete who must have certain amounts of certain nutrients, you don’t need to follow any sort of specialized diet plan to be able to get more protein and lose weight. With the exception of protein supplements, protein mainly comes from food sources, and there are a number of delicious foods out there that are protein-laden and are fit for most weight-loss promoting diets.
One of the first things that you should do before going on any type of diet is to consult your physician. You many have conditions that require you to eat certain foods, or to not eat other foods. Your doctor can help you to decide exactly what your dietary needs are and how you should go about getting them. Another great source of dietary information is a nutritionist, who can also help you to figure out the best diet for you.
If you are not looking to lose weight, which is baloney, since all of us want to lose at least a few pounds sometimes, you can still benefit from a diet that is high in protein. It will promote healthy muscles and provide you with much-needed energy throughout the day.
Kind of off the subject of protein, but still talking about diets, the one thing that you should never do is to deprive yourself of foods that you really love, unless, of course, you are allergic or intolerant to them. If you want a sweet or greasy treat once in a while, go ahead and have it. Just don’t go overboard. Pretty much anything is alright on occasion and in moderation. In fact, you can use protein supplements to make a sweet treat a little bit healthier. Take two scoops of chocolate protein powder, one cup of skim milk, and one scoop of chocolate ice cream, and mix in a blender for a delicious protein-packed milkshake.
The following are healthy meal plan choices that you can easily adhere to because the foods are all quite delicious and satisfying. These are only options, and this does not mean that you should eat all of these foods per sitting.
Breakfasts: eggs (boiled, poached or scrambled); whole wheat toast with cream cheese; skim milk; protein supplements
Mid-Morning Snacks: protein supplements (shakes, smoothies, shots or snack bars); herbal or green tea sweetened with one teaspoon of honey; fruit
Lunches: beans (any type, they’re loaded with protein), tossed chicken salad with shredded, cubed, cottage or ricotta cheese; beef or chicken roll-up with pickles, mustard, lettuce, cheese and tomato; herbal and green teas, water or diet soda
Afternoon Snacks: protein supplement, such as shakes, smoothies or snack bars; diet soda, water, green and herbal tea; fruit (bananas are loaded with nutrients, and are filling too); light microwave popcorn
Dinners: lean red meat; poultry, white meat; pork; beans, all kinds; fish; lasagna; spaghetti and meat sauce; baked potatoes; mixed vegetables; water or skim milk