All protein is NOT created equal.

It’s simple, yet often misunderstood. So let me be clear: The reason other popular high-protein diets and gimmicks fail is because they aren’t based on a thorough, science-backed understanding of protein. They don’t account for the micronutrient breakdown of what we eat, which is the key to long-term success.

I’ll pinpoint where the others have failed and how you can use that knowledge to finally find success in meeting your health goals. Here’s what you need to know:

Proteins are made up of amino acids — these are the building-blocks of life. Having the right balance of them is vital.

When you eat protein, the body breaks it down into different amino acids. And there are three superstars in particular — which I’ve nicknamed the “A-List” of aminos — that can actually ignite your metabolism and easily melt fat.

The “A-List” amino acids

There are 22 amino acids found in different amounts in different foods. Your body is constantly absorbing, changing, and recycling the amino acids you feed it.

Only three out of the 22 are known as branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, and can be found in a wide variety of protein sources. They include:
– Leucine (found in: beans, beef, chicken, pork, seafood, and fish)
– Isoleucine (found in: chicken, fish, lamb, pheasant, turkey, and eggs)
– Valine (found in: seeds, almonds, beans, beef, chicken, lamb, pork)

These three A-List aminos will be your key to effortless weight loss and help you shed pounds like you’ve never done before.

That’s because they’ve been scientifically shown to supercharge your metabolism, zap away fat, and help your body build lean muscle. The research on BCAAs is so compelling, I’ve actually started referring to them as “the missing link between health and weight loss.”

But, it’s nearly impossible to get the right balance of these amino acids through diet alone. After all, how are we to know exactly what is in each food down to the cellular level?

That’s why I developed two tools that took weight loss to another level for my patients— my A-List A.M Jump-Start Shots and A-List P.M. Reboot Shots. These protein booster shots are portable, taste great, and will ensure you get the proper amounts of essential BCAAs.

Throughout The A-List Diet, I lay out the blueprint for incorporating these into your diet through foods, drinks, shakes, and supplements — as well as how to rotate your proteins throughout your daily meals.

The science behind protein-boosting and BCAAs changed my practice and after seeing how much success my patients have found with it, I know it can change your life, too.

A-Lister’s Corner

Dear Dr. Fred,
I’ve been following your diet plan for the past month. I have my 25 year class reunion in a month and want to drop a few more pounds — I’m very close to the weight I was at when I got my senior portrait taken!
If I really increase my protein intake, will it help me lose that last bit of weight faster?
– Penelope M., Butler, PA

Hi Penelope,

Thanks for writing in! Congrats on the success you’ve found thus far with the A-List!

I see your thought process here. But this is where most diets fail people. They’ll often advise you to just eat a lot of protein.

Know that you actually can’t load up your plate with just any protein you want and expect to see dramatic weight loss results. You have to have the right kind of protein—made up of specialized amino acids. (You can find an entire list on page 53 of The A-List Diet).

When you diversify your proteins — between grass-fed lean beef, pasture-raised chicken breast, wild-caught tuna, and pasture-raised pork, for example — you vary the types of micronutrients and amino acids you put into your body. This cranks up your metabolism and helps shed visceral fat and promotes leaner muscle.

You should also be sure to eat what’s recommended for your dieter type and metabolic needs (Chapter Two), as well as which foods will keep your pH alkaline (Chapter Six)

You’ll definitely need to eat a good amount of protein to reap the benefits, but don’t go overboard! Be sure to space them out over each meal. The key is to aim to eat about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day. When you get that balance right, your body will go into fat-burning mode.

Have fun with your blast from the past! I’m sure you’ll look — and feel — terrific.

Recipe of the Week

Here’s one of my favorite protein-packed meals and a staple of the Mediterranean Diet, which is what many of my meal plans are based off of (but with a twist).

Crispy Lamb with Cumin (page 231 of The A-List Diet)

• 1 small egg white
• 1 tablespoon dry sherry
• 1 tablespoon coconut flour
• 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, or more to taste
• ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 pounds boneless lamb leg or shoulder, cut into 1/2 x 2-inch strips
• 3 tablespoons macadamia nut oil, divided
• 2 tablespoons cumin seeds, lightly cracked in a mortar
• 2 tablespoons dried red chiles
• 4 scallions, white and green parts only, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch lengths
• toasted sesame oil, for drizzling

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg white, sherry, flour, salt, and pepper. Add the lamb strips and set aside to marinate for 1 hour.
2. Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat until a drop of water sizzles on contact. Swirl 1 ½ tablespoons of the macadamia nut oil into the wok and carefully add the lamb in a single layer. Let it sear for a moment, then stir-fry just until the lamb is no longer pink, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate. (If your wok isn’t big enough, this can be done in two batches, but you will need more oil.)
3. Swirl the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons of oil into the empty wok, add the cumin seeds and chiles, and stir-fry for a few seconds, just until the cumin seeds start to pop. Press the chiles against the side of the wok to char their skins.
4. Add the scallions and stir-fry for 1 minute. Return the lamb to the wok and stir-fry until it is cooked through, about 2 minutes more.
5. Turn off the heat, sprinkle the stir-fry with salt and a few drops of sesame seed oil, and serve immediately.