The weight loss battle is one that many Americans struggle with. It’s understandable for you to feel frustration, anxiety and trepidation both during and even before you begin a new weight loss routine. This is especially true when you have tried before and have not been able to get the results you need. Oftentimes, the problem, however, is not your sense of dedication to a specific program or your inner resolve to work hard. It might be your diet. No, we’re not talking about eating too much. That may not be the issue. It may be the nutrition of the food you eat that can be the problem, not simply the amount of food you consume. Nutrition plays a big role in weight loss. Let’s talk about how, as well as some thing to keep top of mind when looking for a weight loss solution.

Your Body Needs Enough Protein

Protein is the building block of the body. Our bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and organs all rely on protein in order to function. A brief look at how protein is used by the body can help you attain an understanding of why it is such a critical component of a weight loss program. When we eat, the foods we consume all have macro nutrients. One of these is protein. When the food is broken down in the stomach, the different macronutrients go through a separation process. When they get transferred into the blood stream, they can now be taken to their respective destinations. Think of the blood stream like a subway system. The small bits of protein float around the blood stream until it’s time to get off at a stop. The stop is going to be some tissue that needs the protein in order to rebuild. It could be an organ, tendon, ligament, etc. Quite often, the tissue most in need of protein is muscle tissue. When the protein gets off at this stop, the muscle tissue can then use it to repair itself or to form new muscle tissue. Without enough protein, the muscles aren’t able to repair themselves or grow.

So how does protein help you lose weight? Well, muscle tissue also uses other macronutrients: fat and carbohydrates. It burns them for energy. The more muscle tissue you have, the more your body needs to burn fat. If you eat enough protein, your muscles are able to grow, and they can then begin to consume the fat that is all over the body. Some people feel that if they get too much muscle, they will “bulk up” and this will hurt their weight loss. This is the opposite of the truth. Your muscle tissue is going to need to burn fat in order to sustain itself. So eating better will involve consuming protein in order to achieve significant weight loss.

Your Body Also Needs Enough Carbs

The Atkins diet and similar diets all encourage the near elimination of carbs from the diet. There is some logic behind this, but getting rid of carbs altogether is not the solution to losing weight. The logic behind the approach is if you don’t eat carbs, your body is going to burn fat instead. It burns fat and carbs for energy. If you take away carbs, it’s going to target your fat cells. The problem with this approach to nutrition is it doesn’t take into account the needs of muscle. If your muscles don’t have enough carbs, they don’t have enough energy. They can even begin to cannibalize themselves. If the body senses there isn’t the right amount of fat and carbs to digest, it starts metabolizing muscle tissue. This could negate much of the body’s ability to burn fat and because muscle is the prime fat-burner in your system.

The Solution: See a Good Nutritionist

Eating better is not just about having lots of vegetables or lean protein. The diet has to be balanced. Nutrition is about giving your body what it needs to self-sustain and grow. Healthy eating will give you the right nutrition to sustain a long-term weight loss program. A professional nutritionist is therefore your best bet in order to make sure you get the balance you need in order to keep your weight loss goals alive.

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