Updated: Mar 19, 2021
Prioritize your protein! There is no more important macronutrient (fat, carbs, protein) than protein. Protein contains amino acids which simply put are the building blocks of life. They are strung together in complex variations to form everything that you are. Your DNA's purpose is literally the coding for our proteins to make and maintain all of our diverse tissues. It is without question the most important, but often the least utilized. Did you know that America's consumption of protein has been on a steady decline over the last century? Did you know that this trend correlates nearly identical to obesity? You got it! There's something called the Protein leverage Hypothesis and it is in my opinion one of the most important things we can understand to battle obesity. I'll try my best at a simple explanation. We as humans have a certain set point regarding need for protein. Our bodies will fight tooth and nail to make sure that you get this minimum amount. So what happens when the food supply is full of high carbohydrate low protein food options (it very much is)? What happens is we will overeat ANY food until it provides us with that minimum standard. So calorie for calorie if you ate a steak compared to macaroni and cheese, you would eat substantially more energy (calories) from the macaroni then you would from eating the high protein steak. Levels of satiety hormones (Leptin, Ghrelin) will be influenced by this biochemical need and you will not even know that it's happening. Guess what....didn't reach your protein requirements? You'll be back in the kitchen within a few hours to chip away again. That's overeating energy to fulfill a requirement. That's the American way! The solution? Again, prioritize protein. Make that the most important part of your meal. If you eat 3 meals a day then women should have 30 grams of protein per meal as a minimum for most. Men would need to be 40-50grams minimum depending on body composition, but this is a recommendation based on minimum standards. Choose your proteins wisely. Your protein amount and quality will certainly matter. Not all proteins are created equal. When it comes to stifling your metabolism the #1 way to do so is to sacrifice your muscle. That's exactly what happens when you yo-yo diet, especially true when you drop your calories and with it drop your protein amounts. You're fighting a losing battle and guess what, you just sacrificed the largest consumer energy you have. This will result in a reduction in your resting metabolic rate and a negative hormonal cascade (thyroid especially). You're doomed and it's just a matter of time before you and your body say naahhhh F-this! Don't be the yo-yo. Animal protein naturally has the highest Leucine content (Leucine drives protein synthesis) and in doing so is far superior to alternative protein sources. Protect your vital RMR! The next level concerning quality would be regarding sourcing your animal proteins, and that's clearly up to your budgetary and ethical standards. I think we all know that grass fed, farm raised animal proteins will be better than Tyson factory animal proteins. I don't judge you based on what you can afford, I'd rather inform you to the bigger picture. If you're into macro counting then I would suggest 30% for non exercising individuals all the way up to 40-50% of your daily nutrient needs coming from protein sources. This way you'll likely be supporting all of your bodies protein needs and you'll fulfill your energy needs from a food with high benefit/risk ratio. Now if you read my #1 weight loss tip you'll be finishing up the majority of your macros with either fat or carbs, but not both(specific to weight loss). My final thought is that you should still seek balance and have periods of your life that should incorporate very low protein consumption to counteract too much of a good thing. Fasting is a great way to achieve this. Seek balance always, just go about it in the most advantageous way. Have more questions? Ask! This is just a starting point.