With summertime fast approaching, it’s time to dip your toes into the pool — and I don’t mean the chlorine-filled kind. I’m talking about the amino acid pool.

The amino acid pool describes the entire amount of available free amino acids in the human body. The size of the pool amounts to 120 to 130 grams in an adult male. In order for your body to maintain a healthy metabolic balance, the amino acids in the pool need to be maintained in the correct combination. If one or more amino acids are not available in sufficient quantities, the production of protein is weakened and metabolic function may be limited. This delicate balance can be thrown off by eating the wrong proteins, the wrong combination of proteins, or damaged (that is, nonorganic) proteins.

This is precisely where those other high-protein diets fail to deliver. They just advise you to eat more protein, when the answer is to eat the right protein for your metabolic needs.

And if the amino acid pool isn’t maintained properly by eating the right proteins, guess what happens? Weight problems, hair loss, skin concerns, sleep disorders, mood swings, and/or erectile disorders. Not to mention arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular imbalance (high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure), or even menopausal complaints. Even though my A-List Diet book mainly focuses on the weight loss aspect of metabolic function — as I often tell my patients, weight loss is simply a side effect of good health. So this program is beneficial is many more ways than one.

My favorite aminos: the protein boosters

I have been in the nutrition business for more than twenty years, and in all my years of research, I’ve discovered one class of amino acids in particular has a tremendous metabolism-boosting impact. They’re called branched-chain amino acids (or BCAAs, for short).

In fact, the research on BCAAs is so compelling that I’ve taken to thinking of them as the “missing link” between health and weight loss. In one study, BCAAs were administered to patients on a high-fat, high-protein diet. In just six weeks, those taking the BCAAs had 7 percent less body weight and 49 percent less white adipose tissue. BCAAs have also been shown to increase “fat-free mass.” In other words, they help promote a leaner you after just thirty days.

And yes — taking BCAAs can even help you get rid of that stubborn belly fat. That’s why my patients love The A-List Diet. And you will, too!

In fact, in The A-List Diet I’ll tell you about my “secret weapon” BCAA protein booster shots that will help you lose weight like you’ve never done before.

A-Listers’ Corner

Question: What’s the best ratio of protein to fats to carbs?

Answer:  This is always a tough question, because in general I think it’s more important to focus on the quality of the food you eat rather than the simple ratio of macronutrients. High quality foods contain phytonutrients, antioxidants, and the correct fatty acids. They’re nutrient dense, slow down the insulin response in the body and allow the body to heal. They also slow down the aging process, repair cells, and repair the effects of inflammation, or at the very least reduce it.

That being said, when push comes to shove, the ideal diet to me is generally 30 to 35 percent from protein, 30 to 35 percent from fat, and the rest from carbohydrates such as vegetables, and some fruit. Just having one serving of vegetables per day reduces your risk of death by 16 percent. Consuming five servings of vegetables per day reduces your risk of death by 42 percent.

The good news is, my A-List Diet does all the hard work for you. Follow the guidelines and meal plans I lay out in it, and there’s no need to stress over counting calories and carbs. You’ll automatically get the right balance of nutrients, from high-quality foods.

One more thing…

I know no one likes to talk about this, but we can be just as addicted to food as we can be to any other “recognized” addictive substance like drugs, alcohol, and nicotine. But the good news is, it takes just three days to overcome your addiction to sugar and simple carbohydrates — hence the detox part of the A-List Diet.

Just know that, like any other recovery program, The A-List Diet is only going to work if you work it, as they say. This program will alleviate your physical cravings, break your food addictions, and help you control your addict-like behaviors. The psychological cravings will be the biggest challenge — but I promise, with consistency and commitment, you can do it!

Sadly, it is far easier to be unhealthy than to be healthy in this country, so I applaud you for the courage it has taken to even get to this point in your journey to lose weight and get healthy.