If we want to lose weight, we need to cut the carbs and up the protein right? Not necessarily…

You’ve already read how a low fat diet got me into probably the worst shape of my life. You may have also heard me mention how carbs aren’t the enemy, we just need to make sure we’re eating the right ones at the right times, depending on our lifestyle and goals.

So where does good ol’ protein fit in? More is better, right? Yep, one time that’s what I thought. So I’d eat it six times a day, in the hope it’d keep me full and build me the lean muscular physique I was aiming for. And did it? In a word…no.

I felt sluggish, my digestion wasn’t great and I wasn’t actually that satisfied. Could it be that (shock horror) I was having a little too much? And so my research began…

I was intrigued to find that according to the Institute of Medicine, women really don’t need more than about 46 grams of protein per day (52 to 56 grams for men) and this does not necessarily need to come from animal sources, which are extremely acidic.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says the acidic residue left in the body from excess animal protein has also been linked to osteoporosis, liver disease kidney disease, kidney stones and cancer. In an effort to neutralize itself, the body takes calcium compounds from the bones. So dairy is not a good calcium source! It was then I began looking at another protein source: plants.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “eating a good variety of plant-based protein throughout the day will provide all of the essential amino acids your body needs.” This was music to my ears! So I cut down the chicken breasts, turkey steaks, eggs and tinned fish and turned my diet 80% vegan.

I still eat fish at dinner time a couple times a week, and organic eggs on weekends. My favourite plant protein sources are hemp powder, millet, quinoa, kale, spinach and Broccoli (11.2 grams of protein per 100 calories – just saying!!!)

Now I am not saying everybody reading this needs to do the same, but try replacing some animal protein with plants and see if you too feel and see the difference. And by the difference, I mean more energy, better digestion, brighter skin and eyes – and more lean muscle tissue than ever before!