Losing weight, especially when you get older, is a tremendous challenge. Judging by the number of ads on TV and the internet, and the amount of money spent on diet books, programs, supplements, and the like, losing weight is both an important goal and incredible struggle for most people.
I have tried a lot of different methods for losing weight and I’ve concluded that there is one key to losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. I have validated the concept not only by applying it myself for decades, but also by talking to other people who have been able to maintain a healthy weight over time. If you are skeptical, ask people you know who are older and stay consistently thin, and I bet they use the same method as I do, or something similar.
The simple key to weight loss is protein consumption.
A diet consisting mostly of protein, especially lean cuts of meat (e.g., chicken; turkey; lean beef, sparingly) and fish, has innumerable benefits:
- Protein contains only 4 calories per gram, compared to 9 calories per gram for fat (carbohydrates also have 4 calories per gram)
- Protein, like fat, but with many fewer calories, gives you a feeling of “satiety.” What this means is that you feel sated, or full, after eating it, which makes you less likely to eat as much at one meal or to eat soon thereafter.
- The most important benefit, though, is: protein does not significantly raise your “glycemic index,” which means that your blood sugar level stays stable. Diabetics know all about this, but many in the general population are not familiar with this concept. Without going into too much detail, foods that spike your blood sugar, like refined sugar, breads, pasta, and most potatoes (all so-called “simple, or “refined,” carbs) shortly afterward cause you to be very hungry when your blood sugar levels later inevitably drop. These hunger pangs create craving for more food. The roller coaster ride of blood sugar levels throughout the day caused by consuming a lot of refined carbs make it almost impossible to not overeat.
If you can discipline yourself to eat 4 – 5 small meals per day consisting mostly of protein and some complex carbs (e.g., fruits; vegetables; whole grain foods, sparingly since they somewhat spike blood sugar), you will rarely feel hungry and you will be consuming a small number of calories. This will allow you to lose weight, or at least not gain weight, depending on your level of activity and exercise.
Of course, you also need to make sure you are getting sufficient carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals to be healthy, and in this regard, you might refer to the South Beach Diet for guidance. I believe it is the best protein and complex carb-based nutrition plan available.
I eat several small meals each day consisting mostly of lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and some whole grains, and I am rarely hungry and maintain a good, healthy weight. The huge benefit, once again, is that once you are eating this way for a couple of days, you almost forget about food! Sometimes I have to actually remind myself that it is time to eat, if you can imagine that. I have found this is the easiest and best way to lose weight for the long run.