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Old 12-27-2005, 10:27 AM   #1
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Eat protein with each meal?

I have read that eating protein with each meal is a must if you are looking to lose weight. Does anyone know if this is true??

 
Old 12-27-2005, 11:11 AM   #2
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Re: Eat protein with each meal?

It definitely makes a huge difference. There are several reasons why. First, protein is harder to digest. No matter what you eat, your body has to expend a certain amount of energy to digest it. So the net effect is that not all of the calories in a given food are absorbed. Some are used to digest the food. This is referred to as the thermic effect of food. Carbs, especially simple carbs or carbs that have no fiber, are fairly easy to digest so there's a low thermic effect there. Protein, on the other hand, as a high thermic effect as do complex carbs with fiber. That's why it's to your advantage to have a meal meal that focuses on lean protein and complex carbs. Second, because protein is harder to digest, any meal that contains a significant amount of protein will take longer to digest. You could eat a bowl of pasta or a bowl of pasta with chicken, but the one with chicken will take longer to digest. That means your blood sugar won't increase as fast as it would had you just eaten the pasta alone. One of the keys to weight management is controlling your blood sugar, making sure it never gets too high. When it increases too fast, like when you've eaten candy or drank a soda, insulin will be over-secreted to clear out all that sugar. You'll basically have given your system to much energy at that one moment. So you increase your chances of some of that energy being stored as fat. Eating protein with every meal allows you to achieve a more moderate insulin response. Your blood sugar increases at a more manageable rate and gives your body time to burn the energy as it comes in. Third, protein keeps you feeling fuller longer. Again, this is cause it takes longer to digest. The problem with eating a meal that just has carbs is that you digest it fairly quickly and you end up feeling hungry a lot sooner. So protein really helps regulate your appetite. Lastly, anyone trying to lose weight is most likely in a caloric deficit. The risk there is that you could lose muscle along with fat. And you want to minimize muscle loss as much as possible since it's one of the factors in how fast your metabolism is. Simply put, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even at rest. Your body has no way to store protein so if it's protein needs aren't being met, it will look for ways to make up the difference. So it'll go to the only source it has available, your muscle. So by eating protein with every meal, you ensure that your body always has a steady supply of protein. This is especially important if you're exercising on a regular basis. Exercise increases the body's demand for protein.

You should be eating 5-6 small meals per day, roughly one every 3 waking hours. Each should contain a source of lean protein along with a complex carb. If you do this and cut out processed carbs, eat some good fats and avoid the bad ones (saturated and trans fat), and keep simple carbs to a minimum, I think you will see good results. Add in regular exercise and you will see a world of difference.

 
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Old 12-27-2005, 12:09 PM   #3
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Re: Eat protein with each meal?

For me, it is absolutely essential. It is not that the protein itself leads to weight loss, but that it helps keep blood sugar levels more stable, from what I have read . . . and that seems to make sense with what I experience.

 
Old 12-27-2005, 01:55 PM   #4
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Re: Eat protein with each meal?

So...if I eat protein with each meal..is it OK if my snacks don't have protein? I occasionally snack on goldfish crackers or pretzels or fruit salad, and I do have to have chocolate several times a week (I have tried to cut it out, and I am a chocolate addict! And I find that I feel better emotionally and not so deprived if I allow myself a small amount of chocolate 2-3 times a week). I just don't see how I could have protein in all my snacks, too. I don't eat red meat also, so chicken and fish and cheese and yogurt is the extent of my protein (can't stand eggs!).

 
Old 12-27-2005, 02:57 PM   #5
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Re: Eat protein with each meal?

Natalie00,

This is another reason why I suggest eating 5-6 small meals per day. It will help control your appetite so you won't need or really want to snack. Chicken, fish, cheese and yogurt are good sources of protein. Just make sure the cheese and yogurt are low in fat. It's good that you don't eat red meat since it's high in saturated fat. I generally don't eat it more than once a week, which brings me to the subject of cravings. I love steak so I have to have red meat once a week. I'm also a serious chocolate addict. The thing about cravings is that it's better to give into them rather than let them build up. Because when you finally do break down, you have a high risk of going overboard. When it comes to chocolate, I'm worse than you. 2-3 times a week is not enough. I basically need some chocolate daily. That's why I allow myself a protein bar everyday. Sure it's a processed food, but it's high in protein and coated in real chocolate, not the fake kind. I have it at the end of my workday as a reward for eating healthy. I figure it's worth eating a processed food with chocolate in it if it means controlling my cravings. Or on some days, I'll eat a handful of M&Ms instead. Treat it as a reward and you'll enjoy it more. As far as other snacks go, I hear a lot of people snack on nuts. They have fiber and the healthy kind of fats. Just don't eat too many cause they're high in calories.

 
Old 12-27-2005, 03:20 PM   #6
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Re: Eat protein with each meal?

Thanks for the reply.

How about 1 reeses peanut butter cup or a handful of reeses pieces? Thae peantut butter adds about 3-5 grams of protein. How thats for justifying eating chocolate! HAHA.

Ok...I probably eat chocolate closer to FOUR times a week. I can control myself now, I couldn't before. Some people say if you give it up completely,then the cravings go away (but they must be aliens, because even after a month I was still seriously craving chocolate!!).

6 small meals a day is hard for me, I don't have access to food that many times a day (meaning access to a kitchen to cook that many times. I usually keep little bags of pretzels, peanuts, or dried fruit around). But as of right now, I eat hardly any protein so I think that if I atleast add 5-10 grams at breakfast, and about 10-15 at dinner, I will be doing a lot better. I don't have much to lose, but would like to drop a few pounds, and I am not eating a whole lot of calories as it is so I was hoping adding protein would help.

 
Old 12-27-2005, 03:58 PM   #7
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Re: Eat protein with each meal?

You can't break a chocolate addiction. Trust me, I've tried. I went a whole 2 months without it but still craved it. I would also pick something other than peanut butter cups. Peanut butter is high in fat and any food that contains both sugar and fat is ideal for gaining fat. Plain M&Ms or Hershey kisses might be a better choice cause it's lower in fat.

Eating 5-6 meals per day is difficult. I didn't mean to make it sound easy. As someone who's single and has a desk job, even I find it to be hard work. There are days where I think I should just go back to eating like the average person. But then I look at the average person (overweight, out of shape, feels tired often, and gets sick often) and that gives me the motivation to not do what the average person does. I've been eating like this for 3 years now and even though my weight is not where I want it to be, there are two benefits that I love. I never get sick and always have plenty of energy. Eating 5-6 small meals requires planning. I usually pack stuff that I can just keep at my desk like nuts or a sandwich. I have access to a refrigerator, so I bring yogurt and cottage cheese too, but I realize not everyone has this convenience. So pack stuff you can leave sitting out at room temperature. But even if you can't do all that, adding protein to your current meals is a good start. I see so many people who just eat a bagel or muffin for breakfast and then an hour later, they're complaining about hunger. If they just ate some eggs or yogurt or cottage cheese, it would go a long way towards controlling their appetite.

 
Old 12-27-2005, 05:57 PM   #8
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Re: Eat protein with each meal?

HI,
IS IT OK TO HAVE CARBS WITH SAY MORE PROTEIN? BUT REDUSE THE SIZE PORTION OF THE CARBS?

I UNDERSTAND THE "ATKINS" DIET BUT I HAVE HAD A LOT OF TROUBLE WITH IT...I DO WHAT HE SAYS ...NO CARBS WHAT SO EVER DURING THE FIRST TWO WEEKS THEN SLOWLY ADD THE COMPLEX CARBS/ AND EAT MOSTLY PROTEIN...BUT THAT DON'T SEEM TO WORK WITH ME..I LOST 30 LBS IN 3 MONTHS DOING ATKINS BUT GOT TO A STAND STILL/ I EXCERISE EVERYDAY WALK/RIDE STAY-BIKE...AND AT NIGHT I DO GO GET A SPOON FULL OF PEANUTBUTTER THATS SEEMS TO CONTROL MY APPETITE.
SINSE I HAVE HAD TROUBLE WITH "ATKINS" IN A RUT...ECT,,,ECT,, I just got on a low fat..low carb kind diet if you will...and that seems to be working pretty good I've also learn to control my portion size and I thik that was my trouble all along..In the "Atkins"
' he says eat until your full as long as you follow his diet..a very very low carb/hi protien diet,but I just could not stay with it.

After trying more than a year and get to a place where nothing seems to work and you just stay the same weight it gets very frustrating...and you just have to move on.....so I chose the low carb hi protein diet controling my portion size it's kinda like the atkins but I just add more of the good carbs like fruit, apples/ pears/bananna/nuts/ low fat yogurt and more veggies but in a control portion...I feel better look better and don't have the acid reflex that I once had.
"Atkins" they say being in keytosas makes you pee out the fat and the mussels has a better place to be stored as the fat gets out?..its rather a complacaited diet if you don't do exzatly what they say....but I just got burn out on atkis to be honest with ya
but all my friends tell me what I 'm doing is not good for me?
so I just don't know anymore...and I've tried all the diets out there more than just a jo jo efect with me.
anyone have any ideas?..I'm open to anything right now...thanks.

Last edited by chevyman; 12-27-2005 at 06:21 PM.

 
Old 12-27-2005, 06:19 PM   #9
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Re: Eat protein with each meal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chevyman
HI,
IS IT OK TO HAVE CARBS WITH SAY MORE PROTEIN? BUT REDUSE THE SIZE PORTION OF THE CARBS?

I UNDERSTAND THE ATKINS DIET BUT I HAVE HAD A LOT OF TROUBLE WITH IT...I DO WHAT HE SAYS ...NO CARBS WHAT SO EVER DURING THE FIRST TWO WEEKS THEN SLOWLY ADD THE COMPLEX CARBS/ AND EAT MOSTLY PROTEIN...BUT THAT DON'T SEEM TO WORK WITH ME..I LOST 30 LBS IN 3 MONTHS DOING ATKINS BUT GOT TO A STAND STILL/ I EXCERISE EVERYDAY WALK/RIDE STAY-BIKE...AND AT NIGHT I DO GO GET A SPOON FULL OF PEANUTBUTTER THATS SEEMS TO CONTROL MY APPETITE.
SINSE i HAVE HAD TROBLE WITH ATKINS I just got on a low fat..low carb kind diet if you will...and that seems to be working pretty good I've also learn to control my portion size and I thik that was my trouble all along..In the Atkins he say eat until your full as long as you follow his diet..a very very low carb diet,,,,but I just could not stay with it.
after trying more than a year and get to a place where nothing seems to work and you just stay the same it gets very frustrating...and you just have to move on..so I chose the low carb hi protein diet controling my portion size...I feel better look better and don't have the acid reflex that I once had.
but all my friends tell me what I 'm doing is not good for me?
so I just don't know anymore...and I've tried all the diets out there more than just a jo jo efect with me.
anyone have any ideas?..I'm open to anything right now...thanks.
Chevyman , i can understand how you feel on Atkins, i did that a while back not to lose weight but to restore my Neuropathy. My energy levels tanked!!! Everyone's different but i personally thrive on a 40/30/30.(Body For Life and/or The Zone) later!!
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To surpass the 120 yr Life Span !!!!

 
Old 12-27-2005, 06:41 PM   #10
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chevyman HB User
Re: Eat protein with each meal?

excuse me,
OutToLunch,
BUT WHAT TYPE OF "MEALS" DO YOU TAKE TO WORK WITH YOU? 5/6 MEALS A DAY? Are you sure your not meaning just a low calorie snack? low-fat snack or something along these lines? Do you really mean a full meal 5/6 times a day?
what type foods are you meaning?..I guess I'm lost here..sorry.

 
Old 12-27-2005, 07:33 PM   #11
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Re: Eat protein with each meal?

I'm really not sure what is going on with my body. I have chronic fatigue syndrome, so exercising is nearly impossible. I do pilates 2x a week, and that is all that I can handle. I also don't get hungry very often, and I never get very hungry, like my stomache growling. When I get up in the morning I eat because I should, not because I am hungry. I have put on about 15 lbs in the last year, and I am sure what my CFS and not being able to exercise has a lot to do with it, but I don't see why I have gained weight when I am rarely hungry and have to force myself just to eat 1,200 calories a day( many times I eat less). I have tried eating more to see if it "revves" up my metbolism, but all it did is make me gain weight! I have no thyroid problem. Frustrated!

 
Old 12-27-2005, 09:31 PM   #12
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chevyman HB User
Re: Eat protein with each meal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie00
I'm really not sure what is going on with my body. I have chronic fatigue syndrome, so exercising is nearly impossible. I do pilates 2x a week, and that is all that I can handle. I also don't get hungry very often, and I never get very hungry, like my stomache growling. When I get up in the morning I eat because I should, not because I am hungry. I have put on about 15 lbs in the last year, and I am sure what my CFS and not being able to exercise has a lot to do with it, but I don't see why I have gained weight when I am rarely hungry and have to force myself just to eat 1,200 calories a day( many times I eat less). I have tried eating more to see if it "revves" up my metbolism, but all it did is make me gain weight! I have no thyroid problem. Frustrated!
hi,
I don't understand your post?...do you want to lose 15 lbs? because of what your calorie intake is a day at 1200 and your not loseing? is that what you mean?...you maybe just having water retintion...have you seen a Dr? and if your not so disabled can you walk?..I know chronic fatigue is a bad thing but if your able to at least walk at a fast pace for just 5 min a day that is a great form of exercise.
also what you eat can have a effect on your weight... not eating is a bad thing too that also can fffect your weight...but if your only eating 1200 calories a day....then you should be loseing weight unless your retaining water fluids....my advise to you is see A Dr.

 
Old 12-28-2005, 05:46 AM   #13
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Re: Eat protein with each meal?

I think protein is a valuable component of each and every meal. Protein is the only component that provides much anything besides CALORIES!

A perfect and almost realistic balance for me is a 50C-30P-20F. My DREAM balance would be 55C-30P-10F-5A (alcohol)...but I find it inpossible to do...To get the 10% fat requires the almost complete elimination of meat...no can do!

 
Old 12-28-2005, 10:19 AM   #14
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Re: Eat protein with each meal?

chevyman,

By meals, I mean something that contains lean protein, complex carbs, and fiber, but's low in fat and sugar. An example would be a grilled chicken sandwich. Basically I grill a chicken breast the night before while I'm cooking my dinner, put it in whole wheat bun or 2 slices of whole wheat bread, add in lettuce and a tomato slice, and I'm all done. A sandwich like that gives you a good amount of protein, plus fiber, complex carbs, is low in fat, low in sugar, and still has plenty of nutrients. It's also not a huge meal, but I would say it's more than a snack. And it's not something you need to reheat or keep refrigerated. If you don't want to cook chicken breast the night before, one thing you can do is cook a turkey or chicken on the weekend, and slice off of portions whenever you need to fix a sandwich. This is better than buying deli meat which is loaded with salt. Or you could just buy cans of tuna and fix a a tuna sandwich and pack that with you. Sandwiches are one type of meal. Another I do is pack yogurt or cottage cheese along with fruit and take that with me. I also keep nuts in a jar at my desk and eat those with my yogurt or cottage cheese.

Eating 5-6 meals per day is a bit of an adjustment for people used to eating 3 big meals. That's why it's good to start with eating snacks between meals and then work your way up to something more substantial. There's also a lot of trial and error involved. I used to cook all my meals the night before and pack them, but I got tired of cooking all the time. So now I cook in bulk on the weekends and just pack what I need the night before, then reheat it at work. And some of the meals I pack, like yogurt with fruit, don't require cooking at all. Just understand that there is a fair amount of work involved and try to come up with meal ideas that are manageable for you and your daily routine. For example, if you're a student on the go, don't pack anything that needs to be cooked or refrigerated. But if you're someone who works in an office with a kitchen, take full advantage of it and use it to reheat foods or keep them cool.

 
Old 12-28-2005, 10:21 AM   #15
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Natalie00 HB User
Re: Eat protein with each meal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chevyman
hi,
I don't understand your post?...do you want to lose 15 lbs? because of what your calorie intake is a day at 1200 and your not loseing? is that what you mean?...you maybe just having water retintion...have you seen a Dr? and if your not so disabled can you walk?..I know chronic fatigue is a bad thing but if your able to at least walk at a fast pace for just 5 min a day that is a great form of exercise.
also what you eat can have a effect on your weight... not eating is a bad thing too that also can fffect your weight...but if your only eating 1200 calories a day....then you should be loseing weight unless your retaining water fluids....my advise to you is see A Dr.
I've seen tons of doctors. CFS really screws up your body, mentally and physically. Yes, I have put on about 15lbs since getting CFS while my calorie intake has stayed the same. I am not disabled, and walk more than 5 minutes day. So I'm guessing it is just the decrease in physical activity that has lead to the weight gain although I seem unable to lose weight even when I decrease my calories.

 
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