Quick Protein and Amino Acid lesson:
There are advantages and disadvantages to both animal and plant proteins. I like to include both to get the benefits of both, yet not the drawbacks of too many of either. It's all about balance, there is that word again! It belongs everywhere and in all that we do. Most of our problems are due to taking a good thing and doing too much of it, like the teenager who played the vinyl single 45 record (anyone remember those?) over and over until all in the house including their own self was sick of it and the song was ruined. We can do that with exercise, fasting, protein, supplements, or just about anything good and thus make it not good!
If you are having trouble losing body fat and you KNOW you are on a calorie deficit, regardless of your diet style, all you do is keep going, the body catches up and it's always a delayed action. If after 6 weeks no change, then it's just more food energy than you thought. Troubleshoot your intake consistently over time and you will find it. The laws of thermodynamics did not change regardless of your emotions or paranoia about anything diet related or your health issues. Trust me, with my hernia and distended stomach and stress my mind goes down that path too right now and I have to constantly pull it back and recenter. Lately Randy has had to help me with that because I've been an emotional wreck with hormones and health issues. It's always the same thing, back to center, back to food energy and balance.
Animal and plant proteins can differ greatly in their proportions of essential and nonessential amino acids. Animal proteins such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy contain ample amounts of all 9 essential amino acids. Plant proteins (with the exception of soy and quinoa) are classified as incomplete or low-quality proteins because they contain limited amounts of 1 or more of the essential amino acids. However, plants can provide ample amounts of dietary protein in addition to providing fiber (which is NOT in animal proteins), as well as a variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. These help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, obesity, and diabetes.
Some of us have allergies or food reactions and can't have some animal or plant proteins, so we learn to work around it right?
Depending on your food sensitivities the list of proteins will be different for you.
If you are Vegan or vegetarian you need to plan to get enough protein yet not to many calories and yes that is really hard to do without going too high on calories. Most Vegan proteins are really carbs or fats with only a little protein, unless you can include some protein powder isolate and go a little on the animal side with some egg whites or white fish. Egg Whites have the highest biological value (BV) of any food protein. Here is a list of all of the amino acids. Egg whites and animal products have all of them, Vegan foods do not with the exception of soy and quinoa. Essential amino acids are those which must ALL be in your diet or else it's like the protein you ate didn't do any good. You can't absorb the amino acids unless they are all there, not necessarily in the same meal but within a couple of days. Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Valine. Plant based diets can lack in high BV protein, riboflavin, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, calcium and zinc unless carefully planned. That all effects your hormones and ability to use and lose body fat. All you have to do is plan in foods or supplements to include those. Sometimes you need a little less carbs and a little more protein for the fat loss to happen a little easier, but it still has to be a calorie deficit and exercise burn only gives a slight edge. The main thing to focus on is food energy and keeping it consistently under your maintenance. Here is a list of some vegetarian food pairings that make a complete protein: Legumes with grains, nuts, seeds or dairy Grains with dairy Dairy with nuts Dairy with nuts/seeds and legumes And here are some common meal items that naturally complement each others' proteins: Beans and rice or tortillas Peanut butter sandwich Macaroni and cheese Tofu with rice (or any grain) Hummus with pita bread Grilled cheese sandwich Yogurt with nuts Noodle stir-fry with peanut or sesame seed sauce Lentil soup or dairy-based soup with bread Whole grain cereal with milk Pizza Lasagna Tacos filled with beans or lentils Quinoa salad with black beans and feta
Notice that all of those meals are high calorie! It's very hard to get everything you need for your body AND stay at a consistent calorie deficit with those foods. It can be done but it will be not be easy.
So what about that food energy?
Maintenance is what your body needs to stay the same and never lose. Anything over that is how you gain weight. So some days you might eat under, and other days over. If it's too much over that is how we gain. And even though it seems like we don't eat at or over every day, we go over some days and that is why we can seem to be on a plateau.
Carb grams x 4 = kcal (or Calories) Fat grams x 9 = kcal (or Calories) Protein grams x 4 = kcal (or Calories) Alcohol grams x 9 = kcal (or Calories) Each macro total Calories divided by the total Calories for the day gives you the % like in those pie charts you see in calorie and macro tracking programs. See it all adds up. So the trick is to stay at maintenance, but also have most days during the week UNDER maintenance to lose fat. If done c