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Protein Advice for Fat Loss

I've been thinking of writing a little article for awhile about this but, I'm lazy so here are the first 15 tips of about 30 I have to ramp up your fat loss from your protein choices.

Protein Tips:

1: Grass-Fed Beef is Magical. I only eat this about 3 times a week. the tougher the better.

but I always have significantly higher fat loss the next day. Like 1-2 lbs vs .5 lb (and I'm even currently in a bulking phase).

2. Organic Veggie-Fed eggs. CLA in Grass-Fed Meat and the organic veggie-fed eggs is significantly higher than non-organic eggs and plain beef. CLA has been shown to help convert fat into muscle. And CLA in whole food sources is more effective than supplements.

3. Just because Reese's Peanut Butter Cups have 5g of protein, does not make them a good source of protein.

4. Stick with the A-list *meats in 4 HB (organic eggs, chicken breast/thigh, beef, fish).

5. It's OK to eat fish, because they don't have any feelings. But, I wouldn't recommend it. Because fish taste nasty and salty.

If you're going with fish - I guess wild caught Alaskan salmon once a week would be the way to go. (I might post a recipe that makes this edible).

6. Try not to over brown or overcook your meats-this leads to glycation and raises the GI. You might as well just pour caramel on them if you're caramelizing them anyway. (this is a bit of an exaggeration). But this is more a concern for anti-inflammation diets. (I first came across this tip in Dr. Perricone's Perricone's Prescription.) dangers of overcooked meats

7. Eat the protein first. this lowers your insulin response to the rest of the meal and fills you up. (fills you up is a key part of this one. Tim mentions eating fat early in the meal as well is more effect at blunting glucose spikes than lean protein.) thanks for pointing that out ajm422. I still eat protein first as a preference and at recommendation from "the kiwi".

8. Protein you chew is better than protein you drink.

9. Check the ingredients. If you're buying from a store they can put tons of crazy stuff in there. I don't need sugar and potatoes in my chicken. Thanks!

10. Just a reminder: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are not a good source of protein. Neither are protein bars.

In fact you'll get more nutrition from a whey protein shake and half a snicker's bar than most protein bars on the market.

11. Game Meats are fun. plus they are high in CLA woot woot.

12. I'd skip the sausages if I were you. Even the ones without all the extra added goodness are usually higher in fat - and the process leads to inflammation.

13. If you're gonna have sausage (or a non-a list meat) try rolling it in cinnamon before you cook it.

14. If you're the founder of Facebook, only eat what you kill yourself.

15. Make sure you're eating enough protein to maintain muscle mass or if you're doing training to build muscle. If you're tired on this diet your protein is probably too low.

16. Be sure you're getting 1g of protein per lean body weight per day (weight minus fat).

bonus: don't drink water with your healthy meals. it will dilute the nutrition you get out of it.

I agree drinking water during "crap" meals is effective at decreasing GL (glycemic load) as Tim mentions. To quote pg 146 "It helps to drink more water to dilute digestion." I'm not trying to dilute digestion of my healthy meals.

The point is just get the fat loss over as fast as you can and stop looking for ways to get around it. If what you're doing is working and the best you can do---keep it up and slowly improve.

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(Sorry this is so long - I'm a wordy kinda writer)

6. This is a bit of a misnomer. Browning meats via high heat like grilling or broiling is due to the Maillard reaction, which is not the same thing as caramelization. The Maillard reaction occurs between amino acids and the breakdown of muscle fibers resulting in a number of complex compounds, most of which are not necessarily sugars. Caramelization is a similar process, and it's widely used in cooking, but it's just the act of breaking down larger sugars into simpler sugars. You do want to avoid this.

Caramelization must start with sugars. You caramelize onions and yams and things because they have lots of sugars to start with and heating them at high temperatures causes decomposition of the complex starches into glucose and fructose. You can't really "caramelize" meats because they don't have much, if any, sugars in them to break down. That's not to say you can't caramelize all that butter and stuff you're putting on the meats, but you can easily avoid this by cooking with fewer fats and sauces.

You DEFINITELY want to brown meats - this is accomplished by removing water (make sure your steaks and chicken thighs are dry before cooking - pat them down with paper towels) and cooking at very high heat - the Maillard reaction happens at around 300 degrees Fahrenheit. You don't need to worry about raising the GI of a steak because you grilled it. Or at least not measurably. And you're definitely gonna have better chances of sticking to the diet if you're eating grilled steaks and broiled fish fillets rather than boiled chicken breasts. Trust me.

7. Tim says fat eaten earlier in the meal is better for lowering the GI, and that adding fat had a stronger effect on GI than protein.

bonus: This one doesn't make much sense to me. Everything you eat is heading to your stomach to be broken down, and then to your lower GI tract to be absorbed. Adding water between bites is not going to somehow prevent macronutrients from being absorbed. It's true that drinking more water can flush your system of water-soluble vitamins, but it doesn't really matter if you have all your water before the meal or during it. Drinking water during a meal slows you down and helps draw the meal out, decreasing the GI (slow eating is Tim's 2nd most effective way to blunt insulin spikes).

I'd say it's a good list, but my opinion is that people should continue browning their meats for flavor and drink as much water as possible.

  • TwoTeams commented Aug 12th 2011:

    Wait -- if you don't drink water with your healthy meal, what do you drink? I tried to cut out soft drinks and artificial sweeteners in tea and lemonade, what else can I drink? I absolutely cannot stand coffee and can't drink tea without Equal or Splenda. Is there anything else?

  • justin commented Aug 12th 2011:

    I drink water 30 minutes before my meal and I don't drink anything with the meal. But if you drink something---water is still the best choice. The point is use the 'drinking lots of water' technique only during your 'crap' meals and keep it to a minimum or just regular use during the meal.

  • Cathieely Enter last name commented Nov 11th 2011:

    me to!

  • justin commented Jul 3rd 2011:

    I agree drinking water during "crap" meals is effective at decreasing GL (glycemic load) as Tim mentions. To quote pg 146 "It helps to drink more water to dilute digestion." I'm not trying to dilute digestion of my healthy meals. I just use a clock rather than water to slow my meals.

    The avoid overcooking meat is a tip from anti-inflammatory diet research. I still grill my steaks I just don't brown or slightly burn them.

    I eat protein then fat (then legumes) then veggies. You're correct Tim mentions fat has a stronger effect on blunting insulin spikes than lean protein. Many of my proteins are fattier. I eat in this order to make sure I get all the proportions correct. I should probably change that one to mention fat before lean proteins.

  • justin commented Jul 3rd 2011:

    thanks for the response btw. slightly burning or overcooking probably isn't that big of a deal for GI. But it does effect it. More of an anti-inflammatory concern. It's just one more thing for people to throw into the mix. I updated a few tips. thanks again.

  • Arelleth commented Sep 13th 2011:

    the water thing is interesting. I just drink a TON of water ALL the time. Maybe I should save the chugging of H2O for between healthy meals and on cheat days. I'm gonna try it, see if it makes a difference. thanks.

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So let me get this straight - I can have 6 peanut butter cups for breakfast as long as my fish supper doesn't go into a sulk :)

  • TeaLove commented Jun 22nd 2011:

    Lol. I think that is DEFINITELY what the op said :D

  • justin commented Jun 23rd 2011:

    no PB Cups or sulking fish. But I'm not entirely convinced that fish don't have feelings.

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"bonus: This one doesn't make much sense to me. Everything you eat is heading to your stomach to be broken down, and then to your lower GI tract to be absorbed. Adding water between bites is not going to somehow prevent macronutrients from being absorbed. It's true that drinking more water can flush your system of water-soluble vitamins, but it doesn't really matter if you have all your water before the meal or during it. Drinking water during a meal slows you down and helps draw the meal out, decreasing the GI (slow eating is Tim's 2nd most effective way to blunt insulin spikes)."

Adding water to meals doesn't prevent macronutrient absorption per se, but it does dilute stomach acid to a degree. Think of it in terms of undiluted stomach acid doing a more thorough job of breaking down proteins, thus making more macronutrients available for absorption. Overly diluted stomach acid may allow more protein to pass through the GI tract undigested, thus keeping you from getting the maximum nutritional bang for your digestive buck. (Sorry about mangling that expression, but I roll like that.)Thank you for making this list. Lots of good stuff in there!

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Good tips but a couple questions-

For grass fed beef- why 'the tougher the better' ? My thought is because it's leaner? Since it's grass fed wouldn't the fat be a plus?

'CLA has been shown to convert fat into muscle' ? You mean it helps burn fat and build muscle?

  • wombat commented Sep 13th 2011:

    ahh- I see where you are coming from there... had to ask as I got a new cut of grass fed (can't remember what it was) and it was tough, leave your jaw sore after eating it tough and I don't ever want to get that again.

    It appears that the reason people claim that it converts fat to muscle is

    "It enhances insulin sensitivity, which keeps glucose away from fat tissue, resulting in more muscle and less fat."

    http://www.articlesnatch.com/Article/Cla-Helps-Convert-Fat-Into-Mus...

    from everything I've read there is no way to convert fat into muscle that would be analogous to turning a fire into boiling water you can use one to make the other but there is no conversion.

  • wombat commented Sep 14th 2011:

    agreed about the would be fat into muscle. I just cringe when I see/hear "turn fat into muscle" or any variation of. that and "Muscle confusion" :)

  • justin commented Sep 13th 2011:

    'tougher the better' would be a steak vs ground beef. I can't really explain but may be chewing it more slows the GI response and the energy it takes to digest it results in few calories consumed. Grass fed beef has about the same amount of fat as chicken from what I've heard. I like fats, so if it has fat that's fine. Regarding CLA the studies show it actually converts the fat into muscle by increasing insulin sensitivity. It may burn fat and build muscle but the studies usually say it uses the fat to build the muscle. As i recall it's a 1:1 ratio, but I'd have to go to the library to fact check that.

  • justin commented Sep 13th 2011:

    I'm not sure of all the technicalities. If you're speaking specifically of converting fat cells into muscle cells you'd probably be right. However, studies have shown it is possible to actually convert fat tissue into muscle tissue in mice through scientific means. It's really semantics and I'm just quoting the studies' use of the word 'conversion'. For example the article you quoted the title is "CLA helps convert fat into muscle".

  • justin commented Sep 13th 2011:

    Perhaps the best way to say it is 'helps convert 'would be' fat into muscle'. As in the 2 cases shown here: http://www.sharecare.com/question/conjugated-linoleic-acid-promote-...

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Great discussion you have here. I'm only on day 2, but it's refreshing to see that I can have cuts that are a little more fatty than the filets I've been eating. I actually love the taste of the fat.

Thanks!

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Thanks for the tips. By the way, I do notice a big difference on my weight loss when I eat beef vs any other meat. I always thought a big ol' steak would pack on the calories, but it has had quite the opposite effect.

  • justin commented Jun 24th 2011:

    ya steak trumps shredded beef.

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this might sound like a daft question, but how do you identify "grass-fed" meat in the supermarket? im going to assume that the "premium" range or organic are too broad a term to specify grass fed......so how do you tell?!

Thanks

  • Janese3579 commented Jun 22nd 2011:

    I went to trader Joes and looked and it actually said "vegeterain fed" on the package of beef

  • Rano_pano commented Jun 23rd 2011:

    haha, id love some vegeterian fed meat....oh the irony!!......yeah, think the supermarkets in scotland dont really have anything like that...and ive looked....i presume that its alot more expensive....like most of the world, im on a bit of a budget!

  • Britt commented Aug 12th 2011:

    Egad! It is horrific to imagine cows eating non-vegetable sources e.g. meat!

  • Jason Walker Jason Walker commented Sep 13th 2011:

    Lol. It's the Corn Fed cattle that are the problem. It is funny because here in Canada a lot of Grocery Stores use Corn Fed as a selling feature. Grass Fed beef here can be found by local farmers, but it's very expensive.

  • orezscu86 commented Nov 10th 2011:

    Just so you know, veggie fed doesn't mean grass fed. Veggie fed just means they don't feed animal byproducts to the animal, but is typically just a code word for grain-fed, which is vastly inferior to grass-fed.

  • wombat commented Nov 10th 2011:

    as Grass Fed is a selling point almost every place I've been has a "grass fed" sticker on the meat that's grass fed.

  • justin commented Jun 23rd 2011:

    ya it will say grass-fed or veggie fed as it is a big selling point. Most likely need to go to a health food market instead of a big supermarket.

  • PansyLu commented Jun 23rd 2011:

    trader joe's is good like that - other stores not so much. we buy a steer and have him butchered so we know no hormones and grass fed and finished - very lean. And we don't have to meet him so I don't cry when we eat him.

  • Byron Mason commented Dec 28th 2012:

    Just buy the most expensive meat... that's the grass fed.

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5. It's OK to eat fish, because they don't have any feelings. But, I wouldn't recommend it. Because fish taste nasty and salty.

If this is the case, your fish is old - fresh fish tastes clean and healthy

Luckily in NZ we can only get grass fed beef - thanks for the tip, I will put more of it on the shopping list. I prefer Angus, much nicer.

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