"Protein is an essential nutrient."
So writes Dr. Ron Rosedale author of The Rosedale Diet, a low sugar, adequate protein, higher fat diet similar to
The Diet Protocol
Dr. Rosedale continues:
"You want to use it as a building block because your body requires protein to repair damage and replenish enzymes. All of the encoded instructions from your DNA are to encode for proteins. That is all the DNA encodes for. You need protein, but you want to use it as a building block. I don‘t believe in going over and above the protein that you need to use for maintenance, repair and building blocks. [This is what we mean by 'adequate protein']
I don‘t think you should be using protein as a primary fuel source, though your body can use protein very well as a fuel source. It is good to lose weight while using it as a fuel source because it is an inefficient fuel source. Protein is very thermogenic, meaning it produces a lot of heat, which means that less of it is going into stored energy and more is being dissipated--just like throwing a log into a fireplace. Your primary fuel should be coming from fat.
You can calculate the amount of protein a person requires or at least estimate it by their activity level. The book Protein Power actually went very well in to this. You have to calculate how much protein is required by activity level and lean body mass. There is still some gray area as to how many grams per kilogram of lean body mass, depending on the activity that person requires. It can range anywhere from one to two grams of protein per kilogram of lean body mass, maybe even a little bit higher if someone is really active. You don‘t want to go under that amount for very long. It is better to go over than to go under that amount for very long."
Another diet expert, Dr. Paul-Robert Thomas, creator of the cool diet, has this to say about protein:
"Proteins are the noble elements of our organism since they form the very matter of our cellular skeleton and of the genetic code. Whereas sugars and fats are first and foremost fuels, proteins are the plastic elements and structures of our cellular factory, and are comprised of long amino-acid chains whose sequence carries the description of our species and the "message" of life.
"Each animal and vegetal species has its own protein constructions. In Man, certain proteins can be synthesized by the organism while others must mandatorily be absorbed in the form of foreign proteins which will be gradually broken down again in the various organs into elementary protein fractions; the amino acids. Using the latter, the organism then reconstitutes the protein chains needed for life. The residues of these reactions are finally eliminated by the kidneys, mainly in the form of urea."
As Dr. Rosedale mentions above, protein is very "thermogenic". This is expressed by Dr. Thomas in this way:
"More than 30% of the potential caloric energy of the proteins is dissipated in the form of heat at the time of digestion. This heat increases in turn the body temperature. This is the reason why, a few minutes after eating a meal (even a cold one), we are permeated by warmth."
This is one important reason why eating adequate amounts of protein at every meal promotes the burning of fat and weight loss.
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