The Robert Graham Center: Policy Studies in Family Practice and Primary Care

Protein Is The Key to Weight Lose

I heard that. The collective gasp of the Venus Factor community. But hear me out, I am not trying to go against everything we are doing, on the contrary. This is not a license to pig out, my husband is 6’4” and although we now both lift weights, and I am lifting more than I thought I can, he will always lift more than me, always. So its stand to reason he will always eat more than me. This is not about quantity, this post is about quality.

What does a man do when he think he need to go on a diet? He cuts the snacking and the carbs. He will never ever cut his meat intake. Never! That is what I am talking about ladies. PROTEIN, cut everything else, leave the protein…love the protein.

We need to make sure we get our 70-80 grams a day. I have a list of food that has at least 20 gram of protein in it, and I make sure I eat 3 things off that list every day. I am building my daily calorie budget from the protein up.

power-storyDay 5 of week 3. Wearing jeans I almost through away in the last closet clean-up. Ladies we can do this!
Hey there I’m with you on that. Yes my husband is a foot taller than I, and I know Kimberley is in the same both – All our men will never give up their protein.

But at the same time, some of us really tiny women will not hit the protein goal every time on our lowest deficit days. We are all different. I love my protein and it’s the first thing I go for. It satisfies me and I crave it. And even though I am so tiny, I have way above – off the charts – lean body mass for my height – so much that John just does the wave off – I am a freak (but a well-balanced and proportioned freak so it’s not so bad).

I have no problem meeting the protein quota now that I am extremely low body fat and need to eat a bit more calories daily. But I can honestly say when I was in my big fat loss phase and eating 1000 calories a day (I’m really short so it’s not all that much less than maintenance for me – compared to normal height girls) – no way did I meet the 80 g every day and I still gained muscle.

I’m not saying it’s not important, and not to shoot for it, but it’s a totally different game for us smaller girls. Definitely get as much as you can and try to get more on the higher calorie days if you can’t on one or two other days.
It is even more important once you hit maintenance. I can’t figure out how people can’t hit their protein numbers with low calories but I realize that they are eating a lot of stuff that they are used to eating like pasta, bread, cereal and rice with their meals. Empty calories to me. I ditched that stuff ages ago. I’m not into low carb, paleo either. But the meals are built around a protein source and fresh produce. Does not have to be boring either. Lots of ways to fix vegetables. I guess that’s where we differ from guys. Men don’t seem to get vegetables.

Just saw your comment about men and vegetables and there’s a joke I always say about my house: if something happened to me, the kids would never eat a vegetable because my husband never thinks about that!! Usually, he’s making dinner and I ask, “What are we having for a vegetable?” His response, “oh, yeah, hadn’t thought about that”
I have found that since I am not traveling as much, I am hitting my protein numbers every day. I really hope I can keep it up when I start traveling again!

Eating Out Is Hard To Do

Today is week 4, day 4 for me and things are going very well, generally. I’m down 12.5 lbs, several inches and feel great.

I’m still working on the strategy for eating out, though. I think that’s one of the hardest parts for me. I’ll have another opportunity to test myself on Saturday.
I went out unexpectedly last night, but it was an eat up-add fat day so I didn’t do too badly. But certainly not fantastic. Probably the hardest part is not really knowing how I did – I can guess at the calories in what I’m eating but it’s all just guessing. So, maybe I met my maintenance calories, but then again, maybe I went over…. That’s probably why I like tracking calories and measuring food as a general rule – there are still unknowns of course, but it just feels more controlled.

dining outI seem to follow up on that with a 24hr fast – helps me feel better if I have an “I’m not sure” kind of day. That seems to be my trend: if I have a night out (whether an eat up day or staying at deficit), I tend to have a 24 hr. fast the next day. Feels like the best way to deal with the fact that I don’t know for certain how much calories were in what I had.

There are so many things that affect when you or I or someone else makes a significant drop. And I keep trying to maintain a reality check in my head: this is a 12 week process or  what is the venus factor system, there will be weeks when weight comes off gangbusters and weeks where it seems like nothing is moving. It’s the behavior change that will lead us to lose what we want and then maintain it.

Leigh, I did look at the salads and thought about them, but it’s really cold here and I really felt like some comfort food (steak and Guinness pie – did not eat all of it. I usually go to a filet as well (I rarely order fish or chicken in a restaurant – not really sure why!) That’s a great idea to just tack on some butter when putting in calories – would likely be more accurate although I can also ask for them to grill it without butter if I need to save on some calories.

Andrea, we tend to go through phases where we’re eating in all the time, then one week it seems like we’re out several times. But I have used the fast before when I know it’s coming – really a great tool!

Lisa, good idea that I use often as well. This place, unfortunately, is a local pub that doesn’t have nutrition info, so it’s kind of hard to guess portion sizes until you see it in front of you. I did think ahead to what I might want to have, but ended up picking something different. Hey, any good plan allows for some flexibility!

Tracy, those are great results and it’s awesome that your husband is being helpful. Makes all the difference when the people closest to you are on board. I think there are so many things about this program that are great, before you even get to the weight loss. Understanding your food choices and portion control; freedom to eat what you want with the Venus Factor reviews; tools like fasting to help achieve your calorie goals; increased strength, flexibility and balance; the support on these forums!

Thanks for all the support, everyone!! If history repeats itself, our friends for dinner on Saturday will want to go to a local steak restaurant. That will definitely make it easier to keep control: ordering my usual filet & veggies, maybe a couple shrimp from the app my husband always orders. I may also do a fast from dinner Friday night…although that would be my 3rd 24hr fast this week, so not sure about that one.