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Protein Means Power and a Whole Lot More

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Combining Incomplete Proteins into Complete Proteins

Food combining is a way to eat incomplete proteins so that you get all the essential amino acids. You can combine legumes such as pinto beans, black beans, navy beans, and lentils with grains, such as rice, corn, and wheat or with nuts and seeds.

Food combining isn't your best source of complete protein. You'll be able to lose weight more easily when you eat animal protein at each meal. But on occasion, you can use food combining for variety.

Weight-Loss Benefits of Protein

By eating complete protein at every meal, you give yourself nutritional support to keep your energy high until your next meal. Proteins provide critical components your body needs for fat burning. The most common tendency of people who don't eat enough protein for breakfast is to crash during mid- to late afternoon. They then overeat the quick, pick-me-up, high-glycemic starches and sugars. This is a sure way to gain rather than lose weight.

Your Basic Protein Requirements

An average-sized woman needs about 15 to 21 grams of complete protein at each meal. An average-sized man needs about 20 to 28 grams, based on eating three meals a day. That's about 3 ounces of meat or fish for a woman and 4 ounces for a man. Three ounces of meat is about the size of a mini can of tuna or the size of a deck of cards. If you eat a protein snack, lower the grams of protein you eat at regular meals.

Low Blood Sugar Be Gone

When you eat the recommended amount of protein at each meal, chronic low blood sugar can be a thing of your past. Far too many people get stuck in yo-yo eating, starving themselves one moment and then eating high-glycemic-loaded meals when their energy is gone.

You are less likely to have your hunger numbers drop below 0 when you eat at least 15 grams or 3 ounces of complete protein for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That's not to say that eating protein completely solves low blood sugar. Proper eating of fats and carbohydrates also helps.

Some low-blood-sugar situations for women are also associated with hormonal cycles. You might experience the effects of low blood sugar in the days prior to your menstrual period even when you eat balanced meals including protein, but they should become lulls and not crashes.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Healthy Weight Loss © 2005 by Lucy Beale and Sandy G. Couvillon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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