(Article first published as Protein Balance Found to be Key to Successful Weight Loss Diet on Technorati.)
Medical researchers have been busy working to determine if successful weight loss is merely a matter of caloric balance or if calories from different food sources have a different effect on how our body stores fat. New information now provides evidence that some calories are more demonic than others and can impact your path to permanent weight loss.
Caloric Balance is Essential to Weight Loss Efforts
study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine compared five different protein and carbohydrate balanced diets on their ability to initiate and maintain weight loss. Study participants initially lost an average of 24 pounds and then were placed on one of five specially prepared diets which varied from low carb/high protein to high carb/low protein.
The results showed that those on the low glycemic, high protein diet were 45% more efficient in maintaining their lost weight. Dr. Thomas Larsen, the co-author of the study theorized that the higher protein content provided a stronger satiety effect while improving blood sugar control. He concluded, "There has been considerable controversy over the role of glycemic index in general, and obesity treatment in particular. This study provides very strong, supportive evidence for the importance of this low-glycemic concept."
Protein Boosts Metabolism, Assists Weight Loss
published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition provides evidence that health adults should eat three-quarters of their body weight in grams of protein each day.
Critical metabolic changes begin to take place when you increase protein consumption to 30% of calories and decrease or eliminate sugar and refined carbs that drive blood sugar levels out of control. Since protein is much more difficult to break down, your body exerts more energy to metabolize a calorie of protein than the same simple carb calorie. And protein provides essential branched chain amino acids that your body requires as basic cellular building blocks. The answer is clear. All calories are not created equal.
One of the best ways to shift your body into fat burning mode is to begin each day with a good source of protein. This fuels your metabolic engine and limits blood glucose surges that can last all day. Ideal sources of protein include red meat (free range beef, minimally cooked) and cottage cheese, as well as milk, eggs, fish, chicken, legumes, peanuts, cheese, nuts, and seeds. Try increasing the amount of healthy protein in your diet and watch your weight loss goal become reality.