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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Start Losing Again

Lots of people , me included have weight loss problems...
stalls, plateaus and even weight regain.
Here's something I read yesterday:

Often the problem is insufficient protein. How do we know? Because when the patient returns to getting higher levels of protein, weight loss resumes.

Here's how to start losing again:

1. Know how much protein you are getting. Each day. Don't just estimate. It is very hard to know how consistent you are if you don't keep a little chart. Any page of lined paper on the fridge will work fine. Just number it for the days of the month, and make a note every time you get some high quality protein.

2. Get enough protein. The ASMBS (American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery) recommends getting at least 60 to 80 grams of high quality protein per day. That is a good start, but if you are stalled, or are gaining weight, or are losing hair, try this:

In this plan, you increase protein, but you don't increase calories.

That's because calories from protein increase to 25% to 30% of your total calories. You use protein to "crowd out" some of the calories from fat and carbohydrates.


Calories Before -1500, 60 grams of protein, 16% of calories from protein
Calories After - 1500, 112 grams of protein, 30% of calories from protein

You are increasing the percentage of calories from protein. You are not adding total calories. In fact, often this plan will reduce calories. That happens because you are using a very satisfying protein to "crowd out" problem foods and snacks.

- "The highest quality protein products are made of whey protein" -- ASMBS, June 2008

- Whey is a particularly satisfying protein.

Why the Protein Percentage Plan Works So Well

The first reason you need protein is that your body is constantly replacing and rebuilding cells. For those kinds of uses, the ASMBS recommendation of 60 to 80 grams is often sufficient. But for weight loss, there is more to consider. Here's what the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences concluded in 2005:

"A number of short-term studies indicate that protein intake exerts a more powerful effect on satiety (not being hungry) than either carbohydrate or fat."

We interpret that to say, protein is more satisfying, calorie for calorie.

Below is an informal summary of a study representative of the research showing that higher protein - as a percent of calories - supports weight loss. It is for non-surgical weight loss, but we believe it can help WLS patients too:


Stage 1: The volunteers were given 2000 calories per day. 15% of the calories were from protein. That would be 75 grams of protein a day. On average, they didn't lose weight, and they felt hungry.

Stage 2: The volunteers were given the same 2000 calories per day. This time, 30% of the calories were from protein. That would be 150 grams of protein a day. On average, they lost weight, and they weren't hungry.

Stage 3: This time same 30% of the calories were from protein, but the volunteers were told to eat as much or as little as they wanted. They averaged 2000 calories. Again, on average, they lost weight, and they weren't hungry.

The key, we believe, is to get your protein to 25% or 30% of calories. One way to do this is to try the Protein Percentage Plan.

The reason it works is because you are replacing high-calorie fat, and carbohydrate, with protein, and, we expect, getting fewer overall calories.

Here is how much protein to get:
1200 calories per day, 75 - 90 grams of high-quality protein
1500 calories per day, 94-113 grams of high-quality protein
2000 calories per day, 125-150 grams of high-quality protein

Please note that I did remove any references herein that I felt construed advertising. As a result, I had to paraphrase in a couple of cases, but I kept the meaning of what was written intact.

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