Power of Protein

Alessia Bicknese

As someone who has previously struggled with weight issues, it’s safe to say I’ve tried 8 out 10 dieting strategies. From Garcinia Cambogia supplements, to CLA’s, to Weight Watchers, to liquid-only meal plans, to cayenne pepper mixed with maple syrup three times a day, to vegetarianism and finally, to no carbs (which has worked best for me, and has become my lifestyle for the past 4 ½ months), it’s safe for me to say that out off all of these, eating no meat has given me the worse outcome by far.

Like I mentioned beforehand, eating no carbs has resulted in an unbelievable weight loss for me. Not only did I lose nearly thirty pounds thus far, I have never felt healthier. My diet consists of high protein and healthy fat, tons of water, and carbs from certain vegetables and tons of cheese. On an average day, you can find me eating something like this for dinner: grilled balsamic chicken with melted mozzarella on top, and roasted cherry tomatoes. You can also find me eating a juicy steak, a chicken with cream sauce, a lemony salmon, or a burger with cheese and avocado. No carbs sounds pretty good, huh?

Well, that’s because it is! The only thing that I don’t eat is certain carbs. If you’re looking for a yummy and easy way to drop a few pounds, this is the way to do it. The only things I don’t eat are pasta, bread, rice, and junky foods. That sounds tortuous at first, but after a week of feeling amazing, you won’t want to go back.

Now, enough about me, let’s get into vegetarianism. I was a vegetarian for a solid week (I know, I’m pathetic). From that week, I was faint, always bloated, and I felt like I was accomplishing nothing from staying away from meat. If you can tell, I wasn’t doing the whole vegetarian thing for any reason, but to lose weight.

There’s a general conception that vegetarians are thinner, healthier, and live longer than meat eaters. But, most vegetarians eat anything they want. Pasta, rice, potatoes, corn, bread, ice cream, and pizza – the list goes on, and on. It’s not really a diet plan, and protein from animal proteins is one of the greatest things for you when losing weight. Not to mention, you can end up eating highly processed foods without even realizing it. Lauren of Empowered Sustenance wrote an article worth reading, about why she would never be vegan. The best thing she says in the article is when she references a “non-dairy” butter from Earth Balance. The ingredients in the butter include a long list of flavorings and different kinds of oils and artificial proteins. She then discusses the ingredients in real butter. Butter.

Being a vegetarian puts you at risk for a lot of health concerns. While eating tons of fruits and vegetables is great for you, taking meat out of your diet completely affects your body because it is something your body can’t make on its own. In other words, dietary sulfur, which is found in essential amino acids, is found specifically in fish and beef. When your body does not recognize or ingest these proteins, it could begin to break down over time, literally. The body could eventually develop issues with the metabolism, suffer from blood clots, and increase your risk of stroke or heart attack. Then again, there’s a lot to say about the issues of eating too much meat and protein if it’s not balanced correctly, like developing kidney stones, or other health concerns. However, that is why we must find an in between and balance out our diet properly.

Even though I don’t eat basic carbs, I still find carbs in other things, because I truly can. It’s not a replacement like tofu is to meat. I eat a bowl of broccoli with cheese melted over it, instead of a loaf of bread with butter. To me, tofu is a daunting product of vegetarianism, and there is nothing natural or fresh about it, like there is wholesomeness in a slab of chicken breast. It’s made to have essential amino acids, while meat naturally carries those amino acids.
All in all, your diet is completely up to you. I know that people have reasons for being vegetarian, like the most common: being animal lovers. It’s not that I don’t love animals, because I do. It’s just that I would rather eat a rib-eye steak and not think about where it came from, than eat tofu chunks with tears in my eyes due to its blandness and nihility.