Friday, July 16, 2010

Anti-Aging and Weight Loss Success Secret Weapon

One of the biggest secrets to losing weight successfully and for looking younger is quite simple...protein.

We hear all the time that Americans eat too much protein. But that may not be really accurate.

While it is true we don't need a lot of protein at any one sitting, we DO need to eat protein regularly...several times every day. Research from the University of Texas backs this up and states that the most important factor for maintaining our lean body mass is eating protein regularly through out the day. You see, our bodies don't store least not as protein. If we eat too much protein it is converted and stored as--fat! That means saving it all up for dinner won't cut it in terms of looking youthful or being healthy.

The trick is, if we don't eat enough protein then our body will actually start to "eat" our own lean body mass...we will tear down our "less important" tissues in an effort to protect our most vital organs (like our heart.)

What exactly is lean body mass? It is most of the parts of our body that we love (read "not our fat")...including our bones, skin, muscles and parts of our essential organs. And once we get over the 40 year hump we start to lose that lean body mass. Figures indicate on average we lose 8 % every decade.

Less lean body mass could mean that our metabolism slows down (ever heard that it is harder to lose weight once you hit 40?) This is because muscles burn more calories than fat. So, that is enough all by itself to make me want to be sure I get enough protein in every day.

But that's not all...losing lean body mass affects our bones, making us more susceptible to breaks, our skin becomes more easily damaged and all of our organs are adversely affected. Think about it...pretty much all the signs of aging could be linked to loss of lean body mass!

So whether you are trying to drop excess fat or keep your body looking younger, one of the most important things you can do for yourself is to eat small servings of protein several times a day.

Don't think this means you have to be eating meat three times a day...mix it up with wild salmon (avoid "Atlantic" salmon as that means it is farm-raised and less healthy) or other fish, nuts and seeds, chicken and other poultry, dairy, eggs, and off course beans and legumes.

Add nuts and seeds to your morning yogurt or oatmeal, or a little Feta and Quinoa to a salad and you've got meals with protein that won't raise your cholesterol either!

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