Weight-loss Trap #5: Eat More Protein

Since the introduction of the Atkins Diet, many of us started turning to protein as our go-to for snacks and meals. Since then, we’ve been on protein overload.

How many times have you been hungry and thought to grab a piece of turkey or a hard-boiled egg?

The truth is that most of us need a whole lot less protein than what we're consuming. 

What happens when you eat too much protein

We do need protein, this much is true. We need protein to preserve and build more muscle tissue.

But if you eat too much protein, your body will turn the extra first into sugar and then into fat.

With the increase of blood sugar, you then run the risk of developing candida, or worse - fueling cancer cell growth.

Another thing to take into consideration with excess protein intake is the extra burden on your organs: your kidneys have to work overtime to remove the additional nitrogen waste from your blood, which has shown to cause chronic dehydration in endurance athletes.

How much protein is too much?

If you get on the internet and start searching for ideal protein intake, you’ll see that the numbers are all over the map.

And to add to the confusion, most of the articles that I found that were big proponents of large amounts of protein were dated and contained a lot of old misinformation. 

Let me break it down for you.

For most of us, the ideal protein intake would fall into the 40-70 gram range. The exception to this would be if you were pregnant or excessively exercising for competitions. The 40-70 gram range is fairly broad and there are ways to get a more accurate number for individuals.

The best way to do it is to get a body fat scale, subtract your body fat from 100, which will give you your lean body mass.

Divide that number by 100, which will give you a decimal. For example, if your lean body mass was 80, the decimal is 0.8 (80/100=0.8).

You’ll then multiply that percentage (in this case, 0.8) by your current weight to get your lean body mass in pounds. So if you weigh 150lbs. and you multiply that by 0.8, you get 120 (150x0.8=120).

You will then divide that by 2, which gives you 60 (120/2=60). 60 grams of protein is your daily target. 

So, what does 60 grams of protein look like? 

Let’s start with the basics: chicken, steak and eggs.

Red meat, poultry, and fish average 6-9 grams of protein per ounce.

So that 9-ounce steak you like to order at your local steak house? Yeah, that’s a whopping 54-81 grams of protein! Hope you weren’t planning on eating anything else with protein for the rest of the day.

Eggs have 6-8 grams of protein per egg. If you make a 3-egg omelet with cheese, you’ll have half of your daily intake in one meal. And protein is found everywhere: Nuts, seeds, cheese, beans, grains and even vegetables. 

Quality over quantity

I firmly believe the quality of protein is the most important thing to pay attention to. You can be eating the right amount of protein, but if you aren’t paying attention to the source of the food... you’re missing the whole point.

Grass-fed and finished beef, pasture-raised organic chicken and eggs, wild-caught fish and organic vegetables are the goal for quality protein sources.

I’ve found that the confusion surrounding how much protein we need is one of the biggest weight-loss traps people get caught in. Swap the protein snack for a high-fat option like avocado, raw grass-fed cheese or anything with coconut milk/oil in it.

I hope the takeaway from the 5-part series on weight-loss traps is that you aren’t the problem.

There isn’t a damned thing wrong with you.

You aren’t too old, you aren’t lacking willpower or defective in any other way. You, just like most of us, have been misinformed.

If any of this information is new to you, I urge you to get on the internet and do some discovering of your own. Time for you to hop off the hamster wheel and finally get the results you’ve been searching for.