Weight Loss Support - Protein

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03-29-2009, 09:40 PM
I have been thinking of adding some nuts or pumpkin seeds to my diet for added protein but my boyfriend keeps telling me that protein builds muscle mass and doesn't help in shedding pounds and/or fat. I am wondering how true this is?

Thanks in advance


Thighs Be Gone
03-29-2009, 09:58 PM
chunky, in my experience, the protein helps me feel satiated...when I am feeling a little hollow, I can be sure protein will do the trick every time..I like raw almonds, fish, chicken breast, etc.

as far as building muscle mass, what little muscle a woman would build from eating it is a very good thing..also, your body cannot store protein, it is very important to have your daily allotment without fail

03-29-2009, 10:03 PM
Thank you. I really love pumpkin seeds and I mentioned to him I was gonna start adding a few to my daily diet and he went into this big lecture basically stating that protein is for body builders and that is not my goal, blah blah blah. Made me feel stupid, really :|. Thanks again.


03-29-2009, 10:09 PM
Protein won't "help" you lose weight any more than carbs or fat will. It won't help you lose any less than carbs or fat either. Your body needs a certain amount of protein to function, just as it needs a certain amount of fat and carbs as well.

Many people find that meals or snacks with protein help them feel full longer. For example, an apple with peanut butter keeps me full longer than just an apple. But it has more calories too.

I enjoy nuts as a snack in the morning, at work. I go to the gym at lucnh, and the nuts tide me over through exercise, until lunch. And personally, I find that if I eat more in the morning, then I need less to eat in the evening. Which is helpful, because if I'm going to overeat it's in the evening, so reducing that is helpful for controlling my calories over the day.

I'm not sure about pumpkin seeds, but nuts are calorie-dense. When I have nuts, I have to portion them out--a quarter cup, or a third of a cup--so I don't overeat them. It's easy for me to have 2 portions of nuts without realizing it, which can throw off my entire day.

Nuts and seeds are good! They are full of healthy oils and are very satisfying. When losing weight, it's important to enjoy the foods you do eat. Just work the calories into your plan for the day and you'll be fine.

03-29-2009, 10:13 PM
I recently discovered by using Sparkpeople that I have consistently not been getting enough protein in my diet to support my fitness and nutrition goals. Protein does support muscle growth and repair, but you're not going to "bulk up" on pumpkin seeds. :) Building muscle by eating a healthy amount of lean protein and doing strength-training exercise is an excellent way to turn your body into a calorie-burning machine. Healthy, fit muscles (built with protein) help your body burn off fat and metabolize the calories you take in efficiently.

I am a huge fan of healthy, lean protein and strength-training 2 or 3 times per week.....not enough to "bulk up" (I'm not looking to enter any weight lifting competitions, haha!) but enough to ensure my muscles are toned and strong. Since paying conscious attention to this issue in my own life, I have noticed a significant difference in my arm and leg strength, the tone and shapliness of my muscles, and my ability to stay feeling "full" after meals (protein can help you feel satisfied for an extended period of time after eating). An added bonus for women: strong muscles and strength-training exercise can help with bone density, which can help prevent osteoporosis later in life. All that to say, find out what your protein range per day should be, and aim for that with good, lean sources of protein. Pumpkinseeds and nuts are great, but in moderation as their fat content (though mostly good fats!) is quite high in larger quantities. Other good sources of protein are low fat dairy products, eggs, peanut and other nut butters, lean meats, fish, beans, and soy products. Variety is the spice of life! :)

03-29-2009, 11:05 PM
Calorie restriction, ultimately sheds pounds. High protein, low carb diets are just as effective as higher carb diets - it's calories from any food, not just proteins that adds pounds (and it's all generally fat that is stored).

I've heard the theory that protein adds muscle, but there's very little evidence to that - there's more evidence (still, I'm not sure I'd call it "proof") that protein in the diet helps prevent/minimize muscle loss, during dieting.

But it's all beside the point, because building muscle is not counterproductive to weightloss, on the contrary it's a boon. Firstly, without very heavy lifting (and probably steroids), a woman isn't going to "bulk up." Gaining muscle helps wieght loss, because it takes more calories to maintain muscle than fat, so with every pound of muscle you gain, you burn more calories (even doing absolutely nothing).

Sadly though, nuts (or steak) aren't going to add muscle. Only exercise does that.

03-30-2009, 12:27 AM
Just to add to the conversation... it's hard for women to "bulk up". Yes, protein is absolutely positively part of that process. People build muscle by first tearing down the muscles -- typically lifting weights until exhaustion -- and then by helping to rebuild it with the fuel they get from a high protein diet. It's easier for men to do this than women but it doesn't just happen by accident.

So, eat all the protein you like -- you will not "bulk up" unless you are doing the exercise part too! But know that nuts and seeds do have some protein, but also a lot of fat (not that that is bad, but it is high in calories). The best forms of protein are lean meats and even some dairy...

That being said, building muscle mass can be excellent for women! Muscle is metabolically active and burns calories at a higher rate. It also helps us to look "toned" and fit. A pound of muscle is much smaller than a pound of fat -- so women who build muscle and lose fat will be smaller than others who weigh the same but have less muscle and more fat.

So, don't be afraid of building muscle, but learn how to do it right!

03-30-2009, 01:04 AM

No offense to the BF, but that's a load of crap. Protein helps you feel more full (in addition to veggies) and less likely to overeat or eat again before your next scheduled meal.

You have to lift weights like CRAZY to look like a bodybuilder... and they not only live in the gym, but it's a well-known fact that steroid use has also helped professional body builders get the look they're aiming for.

Doing resistance training HELPS you burn more calories! :) You don't have to look like a body builder but it does help your overall physique and in burning calories :cool:

I LOVE almond butter! Try it with a snack of crackers, celery, or apples. It tastes terrific! :)

~ tea

03-30-2009, 11:10 AM
Thanks everyone. He thinks he is some big diet and fitness expert when he has never had to shed a pound or anything of the sort and even though I am the one who has done the work and has lost 104 pounds, he still debates everything I say and do when it comes to battling the weight. Thanks for listening to my whining and leaving me helpful and encouraging comments.


03-30-2009, 11:27 AM
Michelle, tell him to back off. Seriously. He's wrong, because he's gotten some basic facts garbled. He may mean well, but it sounds like he's basing his advice of some half-digested gym rat lore. Yes, if you are weight training and want to build muscle, you need protein. Doesn't mean that eating it is counter-productive to weight loss. In fact, eating adequate protein will help prevent loss of muscle tissue, which is inevitable when losing weight. Moree muscle = more compact body + higher metabolism.

Get your information from reputable sources, and don't get into arguments with him. Just tell him that your plan is one that you've researched and that it is appropriate, and you'd appreciate no more unsolicited advice.

Here's a site that has some wonderful information and is dedicated to busting all of those myths about getting fit, especially in light of the advice of guys just like your BF.

In particular, take a look at this article to start: http://www.stumptuous.com/basic-nutrition

03-30-2009, 01:43 PM
I crave protein... if I'm hungry, I don't want pasta or sugar, I want a big slab of chicken or a rare steak. High protein meals fill me up like nothing else.

For breakfast I have a protein shake(130cals, 1.5g fat, 24g protein) and then what I call my super smoothie. Blend a serving of supergreen powder with a 60cal yogurt with lots of ice and water. Couple that with a daily dose of multivitamins and it's bound to be a great day. I drink the two over a hour or two period but I'm not hungry for hours.

My other meals consist of a lean meat and vegetables/fruits. Days of carb side dishes are over for me. It's just not worth the calories.

Seriously, if you've lost anywhere near 100lbs you're not the one needing advice. Great job!

04-01-2009, 08:37 AM
Thanks everyone so much for the helpful advice :hug: