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July 10, 2013

The Secret to Summertime Weight Control

The Hood Answer Mom, Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D.

Too much potato salad, hot dogs, and chips can wreak havoc with your waistline. Here's how to use the latest information about protein to eat better and put off summertime  weight gain. 

Get Enough Protein Every Day

A recent Journal of Nutrition  article adds to the body of evidence that says we may need more protein for weight control. 

In the study, eating about 1 ½ times the current suggested amount of protein better preserved muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat, and may help you more easily control your weight.

How much protein do you need? Adult protein requirements are based on ideal body weight. Here's how to figure your daily protein quota in grams.

1. Divide your ideal body weight by 2.2

2. Multiply the result of #1 by .8 to get the current recommended daily protein in grams for you


3. Multiply the result of #1 by 1.2 to get the suggested daily protein in grams in the Journal of Nutrition study

Example: A person with an ideal body weight of 135 pounds

1. 135/2.2 = 61.36

2.  61.36 x .8 = 49 grams of protein daily (current recommended amount)


3. 61.36 x 1.2 = 74 grams of protein daily (higher level linked to better muscle mass preservation)

Many everyday foods, including Hood dairy products, list the protein per serving on the label.

Use Protein to Curb Snack Calories

Nighttime noshing can pack on the pounds, but the morning meal can help you resist food cravings, says a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Women who included the most protein at breakfast (up to 35 grams) consumed fewer calories from high-calorie snacks later in the day than women who ate less protein in the morning or skipped breakfast. The breakfast-eaters in the study consumed meals with the same calories.

To prevent unnecessary calorie consumption as the day wears on, aim for at least 20 grams of protein at breakfast.

Examples of meals with about 20 grams of protein include:

• 1/2 cup Hood Cottage Cheese , 2 slices whole grain toast, fruit

• 2-egg omelet with 1/4 cup fresh baby spinach, 1 mini whole wheat bagel, 8 ounces Hood Milk

• Smoothie made with 6 ounces fat-free Greek yogurt, 1 medium banana, 2 ice cubes, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; 1-ounce whole grain roll

Eat Protein All Day Long

Many of us eat most of our protein at dinnertime, but it's better to spread protein throughout the day. Evidence  suggests that dietary protein promotes eating satisfaction and helps you feel fuller for longer. 

Snacks often come up short on protein, which could leave you hungry and wanting additional food. The best snacks combine carbohydrate and protein to help you feel more satisfied.  Here are some examples:

Hood Greek Frozen Yogurt  and fresh fruit

• 1/2 tuna fish sandwich on whole wheat bread

• Small bowl whole grain cereal and Hood Milk

Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D., is a writer, nutrition consultant, and mother of three. She is the author of several books, including MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better and Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy . Ward is also a contributing writer for Muscle & Fitness Hers and Men's Fitness magazines.

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