CHIA SEED, AGAVE NECTAR…
“Ch-ch-ch-chia” offers so much more than fodder for late night commercials and white elephant gifts. The seeds that sprout green “hair” and “fur” on terra-cotta heads and animals are a nutritional wonder food.
PROTEIN – THE SECRET WEAPON IN WEIGHT LOSS
Protein is an important nutrient because it provides the components your body needs to build and maintain healthy skin, hair, muscles, ligaments, even your bones. Your body requires protein from food every day to stay healthy. But the real power in protein is in the fact that your body takes quite some time and energy to digest and absorb it. Including protein in most meals will help keep you feeling satisfied for several hours and essentially turn your body into a fat burning machine.
Healthy protein is vital, but it is important that you consume the right amount. It’s all about balance-a low protein diet can cause weight gain while a high protein diet can lead to kidney stones, osteoporosis, gout…etc.
RICH PROTEIN FOODS INCLUDE:
Lean steak – any type, all fat removed
Lean Pork – all fat removed
Chicken Breast – skin off
Premium or Heart Smart Minced Beef
Other seafood such as prawns, mussels, oysters, lobster or scallops
Eggs, 2 per serve, 1 – 2 times per week
Dairy (greek yogurt, cheese, milk, cottage cheese…)
Lean Lamb – such as lamb steaks or back straps
Lean Veal – all fat removed
Turkey Breast – skin off
Fish fillet – all types
Some whole grains (hemp bread, quinoa, men’s bread…)
Legumes (beans, lentils, peas, chick-peas…)
That said, many protein foods like meat, dairy and eggs contain reasonable levels of fats, so of course should be consumed in moderation. What is moderation? For your main meal option a protein serving of meat, chicken or fish should be between 100 – 150g depending on your body size and activity (kitchen scales are a good idea for monitoring this!). As a general guide, the portion should be about the size and ¾ thickness of the palm of your hand – minus your fingers! For Snack Options you should aim for a little over half this quantity (70 – 90g). When cooking your protein, grilling or baking are good options as they don’t require you to add any extra fat and any fats already on the meat can be drained off. If you fry or stir fry your food, use a non stick pan or wok and a light spray of cooking oil. Avoid deep frying or shallow frying in a lot of oil as most foods will soak up the oil and increase the fat content. Also avoid crumbing or battering your food as this will add unwanted carbs and fats. Meats and poultry can also be cooked in casseroles with a variety of vegetables, but go easy on the starchy vegetables and be careful adding too much oil to your cooking!
WHEY PROTEIN-THE BEST PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTATION:
Whey protein has all the essential amino acids in the right quantities in order to promote and sustain development and growth. But an important distinction should be made between Low temperature whey protein and Heat-processed whey protein.
Low temperature whey protein contains immunoglobulins which support the body’s immune system. This whey protein is created by employing a special low-temperature method which leaves the protein and immuoglobulins intact.
Heat-processed whey protein has been “denatured” which means the protein and immuoglobulins have been depleted.
Low-temperature/undenatured whey protein helps maintain optimal health for active women and men by maintaining lean muscle, reducing oxidative stress, increasing energy production and supporting immune function.
WHAT TO DRINK
The best drink for weight control and good health is plain H20. It is a great thirst quencher, has zero calories and is used by your body in almost every biological process. For good health and an optimum metabolism you should aim to drink about 6 – 8 glasses of water a day. You can include the water in coffee, tea and diet drinks in this, however try to make most of your intake plain filtered water. To turbo-charge the benefits of water, add ice and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Alcohol is always a tricky area if you are dieting. In general it is best to avoid alcohol intake however if you’re finding it challenging to cut out altogether, the occasional glass of white or red wine is ok but you should limit it to 2 – 3 glasses per week. Any more could compromise your weight loss.