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Weight Loss Plans and Supplements Can Go Hand-in-Hand

written by: Summer Banks • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 10/7/2010

Losing weight can mean cutting calories and burning calories. Sometimes people cut out the wrong kinds of calories and accidentally cut out essential vitamins and minerals. Protein and supplements can be helpful in balancing out those missing ingredients and lead to successful weight loss.

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    Let's Talk Cliché

    The only true way to lose weight is to eat less and move more. This cliché is reiterated over and over again, but the truth is sometimes a simple solution. When cutting calories many people never take note of the types of food they are eating. The first food cut out in a diet is fat and the body can't live without the right amount of this building block of food. The second food cut out is protein and the body cannot live without protein.

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    Protein: The Supplement of Healthy Muscles

    You are on a weight loss plan that finally seems to be working. Every week you are hopping on the scale to find yourself two or three pounds lighter. When a friend asks how you are losing so much weight, you tell them you decided to eat just salads for a few weeks. An instant red flag shoots into the air.

    The muscles of the body need protein in order to rebuild, revitalize and repair. Without the needed protein, the body will burn the muscles of the body as fuel. The weight loss a person notices on a salad-only diet may be the loss of muscle from a lack of protein.

    Protein supplements are offered in a variety of choices today. Many bodybuilders choose protein to boost the rate at which their muscles build after a workout. The best protein supplement for those wishing to lose weight are the super concentrated protein “shots”. These “shots” often offer the body between 20 and 50 grams of pure protein and thus only have 4 calories per gram.

    High protein levels in a diet do more than just save the body from consuming its own muscle for energy. Scientific research has shown (1) that high protein diets actually help to curb the appetite. That means the more protein you eat, the less junk you will eat throughout the course of the day.

    While higher levels of protein during a diet are beneficial to the body in terms of muscle maintenance and curbing hunger pains, too much protein will simply be stored again as fat. (2) Protein offers the body four calories of energy for every gram. How much protein do you need?

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    How Much Protein

    When it comes to figuring out just the right amount of protein to consume daily, a calculator may be needed. There are three levels of activity used to measure the amount of protein needed; sedentary, active and very active. For the sedentary person, multiplying 0.8 by your body weight will tell you how much protein you need every day. The active person can count on eating 1 gram of protein per pound and the very active person can eat 1.2 grams of protein for every pound of body weight.

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    The Essential Multi-Vitamin

    Another huge oversight for people trying to lose weight is the multi-vitamin. There is little way to consume 1200 calories a day and give the body all the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy. Over the counter vitamins are available to help boost the body's stores of the essential vitamins and nutrients and are of great benefit to people trying to lose weight.

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    References

    (1) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051109181818.htm

    (2) http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=50900

    (3) http://exercise.about.com/cs/nutrition/a/protein_2.htm