We’ve all done it… limit what we can eat, how much we can eat, when we can eat… it’s a perpetual cycle that generally leaves us all cranky, hungry, and unsatisfied. What is the main purpose of a diet? Is it to be healthier? Skinnier? More muscular? Whatever your reason for dieting, calorie restriction always rears its ugly head and reminds us that in order to reach our goal, we must create a deficit. Within that deficit however, you don’t have to be hungry. High quality protein foods like dairy, soy, or eggs, for example, are extremely crucial during calorie restriction.

High quality proteins are the building blocks our bodies utilize to maintain lean body tissue in muscles and organs. During a diet, since we all know that along with the fat we unfortunately lose muscle in the process, an adequate supply of high quality protein provides a healthy supply of essential amino acids therefore, loss of muscle mass is minimized and vital organs are protected.

High quality protein foods assist in providing the proper balance of amino acids and nitrogen essential for the body to effectively improve and maintain. Protein is associated throughout the nutrition world with increased satiety, better maintenance of our metabolic rate, effective supply of necessary amino acids and so on. All of these elements help our bodies maintain lean muscle mass. The amount of protein we consume during the day affects our food choices later on in the evening. By consuming more protein during the day, you will feel less hungry at dinner time and eat much less since your body feels satisfied.

Another gripe with calorie restriction is the drop in energy. High quality protein foods can definitely conquer that simply because protein assists in preserving a higher metabolic rate. Maintaining a higher metabolic rate translates into a greater calorie deficit and that means… drumroll please… GREATER WEIGHT LOSS!

Protein is vital because any diet that contains limiting amino acids will surely have restricted protein synthesis since specific amino acid sequences of a protein could not be formed. The deficiency of any one amino acid, despite an excess of other amino acids, develops a gap and the body does not process the way it should.

High quality protein foods generally come from milk, eggs, meat, fish, etc. Foods containing proteins from unrefined sources such as grains or vegetables, other than soy, are considered not suitable as primary sources of protein when restricting calories. Again, I must stress, on a calorie restricted diet, it is crucial that there be no limiting amino acids because once that source is depleted, we automatically restrict protein synthesis. Insufficient amounts of essential amino acids, despite an excess of other amino acids, will cause a glitch and our bodies cannot synthesize specific amino acid sequences.

Your main goal should be your health and well-being. Be good to yourself… Think Healthy & Think Smart!!

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