Do we really need to avoid carbohydrates to lose weight?
Carbs. Do we need them? Yes! Will they make us fat? Not necessarily. Carbohydrate is a macronutrient, along with protein and fat. Each person requires a certain amount of each of these nutrients depending on their age, size, medical conditions, and activity level. If we consume any nutrient in excess then our requirement will be met and the excess stored as body fat. It doesn't matter which nutrient we overconsume- any excess will be stored as fat! If this is the case, then why have we all decided that carbs are causing us to gain weight?
There is often talk of people needing to boost their protein intake. But why is this and how do we get more protein?
Protein is a macronutrient that works as a building block for repairing tissues, organs, muscles, and cells. It also promotes fullness and makes us feel more satisfied after our meals. Which in turn can aid with weight loss because we are less inclined to snack! If you are struggling with losing weight it could be possible that you aren't consuming enough protein. Not only does protein make us feel full, but our bodies have to work hard to break down and digest it! Making its thermic effect greater than that of carbohydrates and fats.
When we eat protein, it is broken down into amino acids which are then used by our bodies as energy or to grow. To get enough amino acids to allow these processes to happen we need to eat enough dietary protein. Animal protein is a rich source of amino acids, while there are some amino acids available in legumes and vegetables. It is important to eat a variety of protein sources (both vegetable and animal) to ensure that you are getting a wide variety and good combination of nutrients.
Does this mean that we need to be buying expensive protein powders and eating chicken breasts or tuna at every meal? Not necessarily!