Music to my ears is one of my clients telling me they followed the food goals we planned together and a positive outcome ensued. This is a testament to the client, not the nutritionist, since they are the one doing the work.
I am sharing today what my client told me helped him lose more than 10 pounds without going on what is commonly called a “diet.” I try not to use that four letter word. My conversations circle around food choices and health.
Eating more protein, at least 20-25 grams at each meal, was the recommendation for this client. A comprehensive review article in the April 2015 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and a presentation by protein guru Stuart Phillips Ph.D., that was shared with me, were the basis for my counseling. Another thing you should expect from qualified professionals is that their advice is based on science, not intuition.
Higher protein intake, of about .54 to .7 grams per pound can lead to increased feelings of fullness, loss of fat tissue, preservation of lean tissue, and weight loss. And Phillips’ research provided solid evidence that people over 65 require these greater amounts of protein to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Muscle loss with aging leads to many negative outcomes.
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The best advice is to have protein at each meal. Breakfast is often the most challenging time for increased protein. A solo bagel or toast comes not close to 20 grams. Higher protein choices would be a breakfast burrito with beans, veggie omelet, Greek yogurt with berries, steel cut oats mixed with nut butter and berries and, get ready for it, cottage cheese. A half cup of low fat cottage cheese has a surprising 15 grams of protein. Pair it with whole wheat toast and peanut butter and you’ve hit the mark.
Sheah Rarback is a registered dietitian on the faculty of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. Follow her on Twitter @sheahrarback.