Last week, I talked a little bit about how amino acids are revolutionizing the science of weight loss. Today, I thought I would discuss the importance of amino acids when it comes to dieting in a bit more detail. So, let’s back up and start at the beginning…
What are amino acids?
Twenty percent of the human body is made up of protein, and amino acids are the buildings blocks of all proteins. Protein plays a crucial role in almost all biological processes, and that’s what makes amino acids the very foundation of your body, necessary for building and maintaining your muscles and vital organs.
A large proportion of our cells, muscles, and tissues are made up of amino acids, so they help give cells their structure. Amino acids have an influence on the function of organs, glands, tendons, and arteries. They are also essential for healing wounds and repairing tissue, especially in the muscles, bones, skin, and hair, as well as for the removal of all kinds of waste deposits produced in connection with metabolism.
And I’ve found that adding certain amino acids to your supplement arsenal and getting them from the foods you eat is absolutely essential if you want to lose weight.
The science behind amino acids
Amino acids are classified into three groups: essential amino acids, nonessential amino acids, and conditional amino acids. The body cannot make essential amino acids, so they have to come from the food you eat. And, if you aren’t rotating your proteins, are vegetarian/vegan, or are simply not eating enough protein or getting your protein from poor sources, you are likely to lack these crucial elements for a super-charged metabolism.
Not only are amino acids the basis of all life processes, but they are also necessary for every metabolic process, hence their crucial role in weight loss. They are responsible for the optimal transport and storage of all nutrients (water, fat, carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, and vitamins). They can also be used as a source of energy by the body, and this is why protein boosting is the key to super-charged weight loss.
Why are aminos so important for a low-carb, high-protein diet?
It’s not enough to just eat higher amounts of protein and lower amounts of carbohydrates. The proportion of the different amino acids in what we eat or supplement have to be just right. That may be why some of the other higher-protein diets didn’t work for you or didn’t get you to your goal or help you stay that way—they didn’t focus on amino acid balancing.
And this is why The A-List Diet succeeds where others fail.
Nick’s Diet Story
Nick, a good-looking Italian-American guy from Queens, came to see me because he worked out, thought he was eating right (he was a big fan of my previous book, The Hamptons Diet), but he still had a gut.
He carried about twenty-five pounds around the middle, and there was certainly room for toning. He said to me, “Doc, I don’t know why I’m here. I read your newsletter and I think I know what you’re going to tell me, but I need some extra help.”
Well, six weeks and thirty pounds lighter, he was very glad he came to see me in person.
After examining his blood work and what he ate, it was clear to me why the typical meat, fish, and vegetable diet wasn’t working for him. He was eating too much of the wrong proteins, creating inflammation, causing insulin resistance, and making his body too acidic for weight loss. That’s where most people go wrong when they embark on high-protein diets—they eat any protein they want and don’t realize the importance of getting the balance right.
So I moved Nick from chicken eggs to quail eggs, and I substituted more alkaline vegetables, such as collard greens instead of spinach and endive instead of zucchini. Most importantly, I added amino acids to his program in the form of protein boosts. He consumed the protein boosts twice per day as I recommended, and it was this change that jump-started his metabolism and leaned him out.
Nick’s story ends really well: He is about to get married to a very famous singer he met at my office.
Recipe of the Week
This week’s A-List recipe spotlight is soups:
Creamy Avocado-Broccoflower Soup (page 182 of the A-List Diet book)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cups broccoflower florets
- 1 small avocado, peeled and pitted
- 1 green bell pepper, cored and seeded
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
- 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- coarse sea salt
- In a medium stockpot, heat the vegetable broth over medium heat but do not boil.
- Add the onion and broccoflower and warm for several minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and transfer the soup to a blender. Add the avocado, bell peppers, and celery and puree until the soup is creamy (add more water or broth if desired).
- Add the turmeric, cumin, and basil and season with salt. Re-blend and serve warm.