Tuesday, June 24, 2008

High-er Protein, Low-er Carb

So I've added a twist to my food plan. Lately I've been listening to a lot of podcasts as I drive the 45 minutes in between home and my Barbri class every day. Since my focus is on fitness, I've been listening to fitness podcasts like Dr. Fitness and the Fat Guy*, Fitness Rocks** and Livin' La Vida Low Carb. Obviously, the low carb podcast is all about just that. The host is on Atkins.

The low carb podcast often has experts on who talk about studies that support the low carb lifestyle. Of course, I realize there's an agenda, but it's interesting to hear what sort of data is out there. Basically, the host and his guests spend a lot of time talking about how we've been fed lies for so many years about how low-fat, high-carb is the healthy way to lose weight.

Add to that the fact that my Calorie Cycling team leader is always posting articles about how important protein is to building muscle and I started thinking about focusing more on where my food was coming from, macronutrient-wise. A lot of the articles suggest 1 g of protein (as a macronutrient, not by weight) per pound of body weight, although I've only managed that on one day so far.

So I'm not doing "low carb", I'm just doing lower carb. My goals are modest right now: get the protein up to my body weight (179 g) and keep the carbs under 200 g per day. Low carb people eat a LOT fewer carbs than that. However, I just can't get behind cutting apples out of my life. I am not that strong.

I've started slowly, but already I'm seeing results. Remember how I've been plateauing forever and then this weekend I broke through to the 170's at 179.6? This morning I was 179 even. Basically every day since I started consciously upping my protein, I've seen a loss the next morning.*** My measurements are going down too, so maybe the protein really is helping to build that lean muscle.

Maximizing proteins and limiting carbs really affects my food choices. I have to consciously figure out when I will be eating carbs and, when I do eat them, I have to make them count, since I'm still trying to get 25 g of fiber and 3 servings of whole grains per day. I also have to make sure there's some protein in almost every meal or snack that I eat to get up to 179 g per day. It's a challenge, but I like the results I'm seeing so far and I'm willing to keep trying.

* I like their enthusiasm, but Dr. Fitness is starting to get on my nerves with his slightly misogynistic comments on the attractiveness of their co-host and the women they have as guests.

** My favorite. A former physician who talks about scientific studies showing the benefits of fitness. I find his own story pretty interesting. He used to run a pain clinic in which exercise played a large part in his patients' recoveries.

*** Speaking of which, I need to break the scale addiction I have lately. I keep telling myself to weigh once a week, but every morning I'm curious as to what's going on and I pull out the scale.


Amazon Alanna said...

Personally, I think it's the *quality* of carbs that's most important... Americans eat way to many "white death" carbs. Humans were meant to eat some carbs, especially carbs from fruits and veggies! I'm glad you're not giving up apples. :)

Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS for listening to "The Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore" and I'm glad you get some useful information from it, Kelly! It's important for people to know there is solid science behind low-carb diets which is why I like to feature guests who use this way of eating as a means for managing weight and health.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that I lost 180 pounds and came off all my prescription medications in just nine months. The Atkins diet changed my life forever! Here's wishing you the best on your lower-carb program. :)

Kelly said...

Alanna, I totally agree. Now that I'm eating fewer carbs in lieu of more protein I have to get them all from fruits, vegetables and whole grains. No more frivolous "white" splurging (not that I'm above a splurge now and again, but not on a daily basis).

Jimmy, thanks for commenting. I do enjoy hearing what's out there about low-carb.

Anonymous said...

The protein obsession can get pretty out of hand. Americans eat more protein that any other people on earth now or ever, so I always think it's weird when people strive to push into especially high-protein diets, which can be murder on the gut. (Especially those that praise pork rinds and demonize apples.)

I went to a campus health seminar yesterday, which gave me this great new motto for protein: "The fewer feet the better." So, our no-legged friends tofu, nuts, beans, peas, etc. are the best way to go; then fish, then chicken, and so on. I guess millipedes are really fatty.

Rooting for you in Palo Alto!

Amazon Alanna said...

Lol...millipedes are fatty. I looooove it!

Kelly said...

That means we should eat people over cows or sheep. The Soylent Green people were onto something.

amyh said...

What are you eating to up your protein? I really struggle with getting enough because I'm not much of a meat eater. I do eat a lot of beans and nuts.

Kelly said...

Cheese, nuts, peanut butter (all natural only). I eat a lot of chicken and fish too. However, I think my big protein boosts come from Whey protein. I buy Jarrow Formulas Vanilla and it's pretty yummy in my fruit smoothies that I make for breakfast almost every morning after I work out. I want to try the chocolate powder too so I can make chocolate peanut butter smoothies/shakes. Yum!

I have discovered that not all protein powders are created equal. I tried the 365 brand from Whole Foods and it made my smoothies taste weird. So much so that I would only use 1/3 or 1/2 a scoop and what's the point of that? I dump a scoop and a half (27 g of protein) of the Jarrow into a 32 oz smoothie, and it tastes great.