Want to Lose or Just Maintain Your Weight: Get Your Protein!

If I had $5 for any client who told me he/she is on a diet or needs lose weight, I would be a wealthy woman! That is why I am diverting from my usual Carmel Wardrobe Stylist blog post and featuring a client, Susan St. Angelo, who now counsels clients in wellness and nutrition. I hope you enjoy her blog!

Four Things to Know About Protein

As women get older, we need more protein not less. Hear me out on this. Yes, I know conventional theory says to eat less and exercise more. For some of us, that works, and for many of us that isn’t working. At least, it wasn’t for me. It depends on what you eat and how much. Photo by Kenneth Surillo.

My Outdated Theory was Wrong

In the past, I would give up protein and instead keep fats and carbs thinking that protein was keeping me fat. How misinformed I was! Once I got to know my body and what it needed, it was a game-changer! Now, if I don’t eat enough protein, I notice that I reach for carbs which is not good for me. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Everyone is different, and what works for me may not work for you.

What You Really Need

Aim for 0.8-1.2g of protein per pound of your current weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you will take 0.8g times 150 which equals 120 grams of protein per day for the minimum amount. 1.2g times 150 equals 180 grams of protein per day on the higher side. There’s a range that’s allows women to gauge what works for each person. Aim for more protein if you are strength training– 1.4 – 2.0g of protein per pound of your current weight and eat protein right after a strength training session.

Protein builds lean muscle growth, increases fat loss, feels full longer, and strengthens bone, hair, skin, and nails. It decreases cravings so if you are an evening snacker, try eating more protein during your last meal. Combine protein with healthy fats and carbs should be the goal. And more is not always better. Our body absorbs 25-35g of protein at each meal so you might need to consider protein if you include snacks. Spread protein throughout the day for satiety. Eat protein at each meal.

Types of Protein

According to MyFitnessPal, these are the 10 dietician-ranked healthy proteins: eggs, salmon, Greek yogurt, chicken, tofu, cottage cheese, grass-fed beef, lentils, chickpeas, and almonds. One consideration: with plant-based proteins, you might need to eat more to equal the same amount of animal proteins. As you can see, it’s not all animal-based protein. There’s lots of protein options to choose from.

Read Labels & Buy a Scale

A few other tips to think about as you begin to increase your protein is to purchase a small scale. It can help you identify how much protein you are getting in each serving. If that’s not doable, then be sure to read the labels of the proteins you eat. If it says, “high protein”, it means it must contain 10 or more grams of protein per serving. Many people are jumping on the protein shake or smoothie bandwagon. If this is you, be sure that protein powders are not your entire source of protein.

I hope each of you will make protein, fats, and carbs your friend as you age. We only have one body, and it’s our job to take good care of it!

Susan St. Angelo is a health and well-being coach. She is a graduate of IIN and works with women who are in transition with their career, relationship, and making healthy lifestyle changes. She is currently studying breath work through Pause to become a breath work facilitator. Here is her contact info:

Susan St. Angelo

Keep it sassy, Indy!

Beth Divine, MA, AICI-CIC, Carmel Wardrobe Stylist