One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

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Let’s talk about Protein While I Review a Product

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Better Whey of Life yogurt

Better Whey of Life recently contacted me about reviewing their protein enriched yogurt cups. I was actually excited as I’ve been considering adding whey protein to my diet for sometime now but the thought of buying one of those humongous tubs of protein powders just gives me the creeps. What have I turned into some crazed body building maniac? Plus isn’t it possible to get enough protein from a healthy well balanced diet?

Funny you should ask! (ok, ok, I asked but I needed a bridge) I did a bit of research as I’ve been curious myself. According to the ADA

"The average American diet contains enough protein for recreational or even competitive athletes."

So if it’s good enough for athletes what about the average Joe? Or should I say the average dieter?

One of the critiques I’ve heard about Weight Watchers is that the plan indirectly advocates a low protein diet. Good sources of protein like nuts, beans and meats are all considered "high point" items. And most Weight Watchers would agree that "high point" items should be kept to a minimum. As a Weight Watchers girl myself I’ll be honest, my strategy while losing was simple, keep fat to a minimum and fiber to a maximum while eating as many whole unprocessed food as possible. But where did protein fit in? Honestly, I never gave it much thought. I was always overly concerned about points. Maybe the critics have a point.

EIther way Protein is an important aspect of our diets. From my research we should be getting about .4 to .5g of protein per pound of body weight. (.8-1.2g per kg)

That’s great and all but how much is in what we eat?

Food Protein WWP
4 oz Skinnless chicken breast roasted 35g 4
4 oz raw salmon 22g 4
1/2 cooked pinto beans 8g 2
1 whole egg 6g 2
1 cup raw chopped broccoli 3g 0
1 medium banana 1g 2
Info from NutritonData.com

This is just a sampling of foods to give you an idea of protein values in common items. In my opinion eating eggs for breakfast about 3 times a week, pairing a lean protein with my veggies at dinner and cracking open a can of beans every other day is more then enough for me. Looking at yesterday’s food journal I ate around 72g even before trying the Whey Protein Yogurt before bed. That’s exactly what I’m suppose to be eating. The yogurt added another 15 for a total of about 87g.

Now I have to confess I ate peanut butter and a Zone bar yesterday. That’s two things I probably would NOT have eaten if I was trying to lose (the whole too high in points thing). They added about 25g of protein. Skipping those I would have actually been a bit shy of my protein requirements and the 2 point protein fortified yogurt with 15g would have come in handy.

Have I rambled on enough about protein? Let’s get to this review… Based on my simple research I think the yogurt is a good option for those that are watching calories (or points) but want to be conscious of their protein requirement. The strawberry banana has 145 calories, .5g of fat, 3g of fiber (2.3 wwp) with 15g of protein. As for taste, the yogurt is a bit more "yogurt-y" then traditional sweetened cups, like Dannon or Yoplait. It’s got a tartness and thick texture that I found tasty. But if you are used to super sweet yogurt it may take some getting used to.

SO what do you know about protein? Are you conscious of your intake? Do you take protein into consideration when deciding what to eat or are you scared of it because it’s too high in points?

Oh! and here’s some links I came across while researching a bit of protein. Thought you might find them useful…




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Discussion

There are 33 comments so far.

    Rachel

    March 23, 2009

    Thanks for the protein links – I’m going to look into them. You hear so much conflicting info…
    I’ve been tracking on Spark People and following their recommendations which say for me (163 lbs), I should be in the 60-127 g. range (big range!) and get 15% of my calories from protein.
    As a vegetarian, it’s a little tough, so I’m usually just at 60ish grams. I’m working on a system for meal planning in which I have 1 bean or legume dish a day, 1 tofu or tempeh dish a day and 1 additional source of protein either from lowfat dairy (greek yogurt is great for upping the protein) or from putting a scoop of whey powder in a smoothie. So far I think that’s working best for me :)

    mom

    March 23, 2009

    So my daughter how did the yogurt taste?

    roni

    March 23, 2009

    Mom, Mom, Mom… “As for taste, the yogurt is a bit more “yogurt-y” then traditional sweetened cups, like Dannon or Yoplait. It’s got a tartness and thick texture that I found tasty. But if you are used to super sweet yogurt it may take some getting used to.”

    I guess I did ramble on too much. lol

    :)

    Maggie

    March 23, 2009

    When I tried eating vegan for a while last year I read that most Americans are in no danger of not getting enough protein every day. We eat more meat per person than any other country on earth! So unless you are restricting meat from your diet (and a lot of other things like nuts, grains, and legumes), it sounds like protein deficiencies are only in very poor countries.

    Susan

    March 23, 2009

    The RDA for protein is .4 grams per pound of body weight for sedentary adults (it is slightly higher for recreational, endurance and strength athletes) is an ongoing topic of a great deal of debate.

    At my current weight (124 lbs), that would amount to ~ 50 grams of protein/day. My current protein intake is ~ 1 gram per pound of body weight, or 124 grams of protein each day.

    I’m very conscious of my protein intake and make certain to have a serving of lean (or very lean) protein at each feeding opportunity throughout the day. That, along with a post-workout protein shake to aid in muscle recovery, makes it fairly easy to hit my daily target.

    Daphne

    March 23, 2009

    Thanks for reviewing our Better Whey of Life Yogurt! Keep spreading the word about lean proteins and high fiber (especially if the protein is whey protein). It’s definitely the way to go!

    Here’s another recent article about higher protein diets and weight loss from the Natural Products Insider…http://tinyurl.com/da7wgc

    Jeanine

    March 24, 2009

    This is too funny. I just finished reading this same yogurt review over at Skwigg’s World (skwigg.com) right before clicking on your blog, Ronni. Both of you reviewed it today and both of you got responses from Daphne. I like Carb Master yogurt. It has 12 grams of protein and comes in several flavors that are really good – especially the vanilla. It is a Kroger product.

    Daphne

    March 24, 2009

    Jeanine — You have now read about Better Whey of Life twice! Email me if you would like a free coupon to try the product yourself (info@betterwheyoflife.com). We would love to know how you think it compares to Carb Master.

    Daphne

    lee (getting fit)

    March 24, 2009

    Is this product widely available? I think I’d like to try it.

    Jeanine

    March 24, 2009

    Daphne, I would definitely like to try it! I downloaded the $1.00 off coupon, but free is even better! I’ll be e-mailing you. However, it is not in my neighborhood, yet, so hopefully it will be soon.
    Jeanine

    Berni

    March 24, 2009

    I can’t get by without some protein, a lack of it turns me into a crazed eating machine. I especially have to have protein at breakfast, it really keeps my cravings in check. I think it also keeps me feeling happy and less stressed during the day. I’ve never really been scared of it, even when counting points, I always just think of it as an essential and build the rest of my meals around it.

    MizFit

    March 24, 2009

    I could ramble forever :) and did some today and will next tuesday at mizfit but for me it’s LOW PROCESSED WHITE and not high protein.

    I need protein at every meal or Im not satisfied and am a snacking machine post eating.

    maybe read this article I wrote for Experience Life for more info/resources?
    http://www.experiencelifemag.com/issues/october-2008/fit-body/critical-mass.html?ht=critical%20mass%20critical%20mass

    such a person topic as it is all goal dependent too huh? :)

    Christy

    March 24, 2009

    Now that I have stopped counting WW’s points and started counting calories I find that I actually eat better. I have 3 main (balanced) meals a day and 2-3 small snacks. I stay between 1550-1750 calories a day…normally around 1650 though. I eat protein at my 3 main meals….egg and/or soy milk for breakfast, chicken or soy meat product at lunch, and for dinner I have any lean protein I chose. Protien is totally import to our diets. I agree with Mizfit…without protein I am hungry WAY too soon after meals and I end up snacking.

    Allison

    March 24, 2009

    Holy protein-packed cow! I thought I was getting enough protein…and I’m definitely not. My trainer keeps saying, “EAT MORE PROTEIN, EAT MORE PROTEIN!”

    Now I know why.

    Thanks!

    dietgirl

    March 24, 2009

    A less proccesed altnerative is Fage 0% greek yogurt – 79 calories and 13.2g of protein for the wee 150g container – naturally occurring protein without needing whey added to it :)

    Courtney

    March 24, 2009

    working out 15-20 hours per week, i need a lot of protein. that being said, it seems silly for them to market a high protein yogurt. did they not research and see greek yogurt has at least 16 grams of protein and NO FAT? i drink 2 glasses of whey protein a day, and its disgusting. i love yogurt, and the thought of putting more protein in something i love is repulsive!!

    recap: gross! chobani greek yogurts: 16g protein, no fat! and only a dollar!

    sassyaztec

    March 24, 2009

    I agree with you on the WW pts mentality. Lots of people who are just “working the program” won’t include a lot of protein because of the points. But I use WW as my base, to reboot I guess. I have slowly stopped having my beloved cereal and milk for breakfast and have eggs instead. I listen to my body and I’m much happier, fuller and do less snacking with more protein in my diet. My body screams at me when I don’t have enough protein.

    Now the yogurt? Doubt I would buy it a) we don’t ever get any cool products, I can’t even find Greek Yogurt at THREE different grocery stores b) yogurt is my low point snack, I wouldn’t look at it for bonus ingredients. Yogurt is yogurt for yogurt. Does that even make sense??

    Lisa
    http://sassyaztec.blogspot.com/

    Michelle

    March 24, 2009

    Thank you for this review. I have been trying to eat healthier by using a program I found online that tracks all the nutrition of what you eat (ie carbs, protein, fat, fiber, sodium, etc). In essence, it takes your current weight and calculates how much of each you should be eating a day to lose weight. So as I enter my foods for the day I can see if I have had too many carbs or not enough protein! It has truly helped me LEARN how to eat healthier whole grain, unprocessed foods.

    BUT I have found that I ALWAYS am deficient in protein. My trainer told me that protein is extremely important in helping with weightloss especially if you are exercising along with eating right! And that even though most people DO get enough protein, it is very easy to go below what we need as we are trying to eat healthier. So sorry to ramble, but I am very, very happy for this review, b/c I am ALWAYS trying to find a way to get more protein! (now, let’s hope they have it at my small town grocery store!)

    Thanks again, Roni!

    Michelle

    March 24, 2009

    Oh, I just read the comments about Fage and am curious as to how the whey yogurt texture and taste compares to the Fage. I have a hard time getting Fage down!

    Annalisa

    March 24, 2009

    Greek yogurt might be better. I buy the fage which is 60 calories for 4 oz and has 15g of protein (off the top of my head — i might be a little off). It’s pretty straight forward in ingredients too!

    Because Fage is thick and unsweetend, I do 3 oz of fage and 1 oz of a organic french vanilla. I usually add 1 tbsp of flax (2g protein, 2 g fiber) and some berries. This is a great pre-gym meal for me. I can usually get in 30 mins of weights and a spin class before I feel drained.

    Thanks for the review, Roni!

    Paige

    March 24, 2009

    I *have* to have my protein or I cannot function. I run 6 days a week (sometimes twice a day) and lift weights three times a week. I incorporate peanut butter into meals at least once, and sometimes twice, a day. I don’t go crazy with it though. I will put a tablespoon into my morning oatmeal, or snack on caramel rice cakes topped with peanut butter (after strength training). Like Mizfit said, without protein, I am a snacking, bottomless pit!

    KUrunner

    March 24, 2009

    Can I ask where you got the information about how much protein we need? (I looked at the links but there isn’t anything cited.)

    My old trainer said that people working out need about 1.5g/lb as do most of the fitness magazines I read. I have shelves of diet books that say Americans eat too much protein all ready and should stop around 0.3g/lb. But all of the journal articles I’ve been able to find say that dieters need about 1g/lb and that athletes need about 0.8g/lb. Runners World says 0.6g/lb for serious runners. It’s so confusing!

    I don’t usually track my protein, but after a heavy workout, I’ll have a scoop of whey protein. Before bed, I have a scoop of casein protein or cottage cheese. But for the most part, I try to get my protein from whole foods like eggs, tuna, and chicken. (Muscle and Fitness Hers has a great article about the benefits of different types of protein in the Nov/Dec 08 issue.)

    As far as the yogurt goes, I highly recommend Greek yogurt. Lots of protein, lower sugar, and boy is it yummy!
    http://www.chobani.com/

    Nicole

    March 24, 2009

    The problem with most of those links is they talk about how much protein you NEED for your body to function and avoid malnutrition. The vast majority of Americans are not at risk for protein deficiency simply because of the way we eat. The WW protein guidelines are also based on how much protein the human body needs for survival.

    My problem with that is I am not sure that the minimum protein requirements are optimal for weight loss, or for athletes, or anyone trying to build muscle. They may be sufficient but I don’t believe they are optimal. When I did WW, I felt a lot better on the Core plan than I did when I tried to count points.

    For me to lose weight, I have found that the ideal amount of protein is about 0.5-0.7g per lb of body weight. I find that amount of protein really helps me feel satiated and just ‘feel good’ in general. I do think that as I move from “overweight” to “healthy weight,” the “g of protein per lb of body weight” I will eat will probably increase to 0.6-0.8g/lb.

    I do use protein powder and bars, but usually only when I am going to be working out/doing martial arts for several hours (i.e. 11-2 or 6-9) with only minimal breaks that don’t allow for much time to gobble up “real food.” They also sit lighter in my stomach than say, a chicken breast.

    Lola Fierce

    March 24, 2009

    You know what else is loaded with Protein, BULGUR. Yes. I was very surprised. I bought the Bulgur with Soy and for 1/4 a cup there is 10 grams of protein. This is outstanding.

    And, when I was working out more, I was definitely having protein shakes. I got to where I actually liked them (with psyllium husk to keep me full) as a snack. Now that I’m counting points, I’m nervous to use my points for that. But, you must have enough protein to build muscle. And you must have more muscle to burn fat. So its all sort of circular….

    I love how your learning is evolving.

    roni

    March 24, 2009

    What a great discussion guys! I love getting everyone’s input!

    KUrunner

    This link has a recommendation…
    http://www.thedoctorwillseeyounow.com/articles/nutrition/protein_2/
    as does this one…
    http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/nutrition/a/protein.htm
    and this one…
    http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20081107/weight-is-key-to-protein-requirements

    Michelle – As doe the texture compared to fage I’d say it’s some where in the middle between greek and “dannon”

    I also want to say I agree with those that say greek is the way to go. But I also know where all aren’t at that stage yet.

    Lee – I haven’t seen it in my stores yet.

    Lola – I’m always learnin’!! :) It’s what keeps it fun!

    MR

    March 24, 2009

    I’m a little wary about the recent high-protein craze. The WHO, and various government health departments have for years recommended only about 15 to 20% of calorie intake come from protein. People living in developed countries meet this requirement many times over.
    There is no medical evidence to prove that strength training increases the need for protein by much. In fact, studies have shown that endurance training burns more amino acids (from protein) than weight training and therefore requires higher protein intake. Excess protein is just broken down and flushed from the body.There are also health risks associated with excessive protein intake such as kidney disease and calcium depletion.

    Personally, I try to include carbs, fats and protein in every meal in approximately a 60-20-20 proportion.

    Daphne

    March 24, 2009

    Hi MR:
    The friendly debate continues! Here is an interesting article that shows the WHO body of evidence on protein science is causing the health community to reevaluate its protein recommendations. http://tinyurl.com/c6sotj

    In summary, the “summit’s conclusions complement examination of evidence by the International Dietary Energy Consultancy Group (IDECG), World Health Organization/Food and Agricultural Organization and Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) panel, which has determined that there is either a benefit or no harm with protein intakes three to four times the minimum requirement.”

    Daphne (AKA @proteingirl — just a bit fanatical about high quality proteins :)

    Alison

    March 24, 2009

    This cracks me up because I literally JUST bought my first Chiobani at the store today and then got home to this post. I have never been too concerned about protein… I try and eat some at every meal and in snacks. I think since WW is so big on getting in fruits/veggies/filling foods now, I base my meals around the protein and then those things to get the biggest “bang” for my points.

    As far as the big jug of whey protein, they do sell smaller batches, AND I know you make a lot of smoothies… you should try adding some whey to them, TOTALLY changes the texture to smooth creamy goodness!

    Mattison

    March 24, 2009

    Cool review Roni! Btw, have you ever tried Weight Watchers yogurts? I was just wondering, because I am thinking about getting some flavors soon. I’m particularly interested in the Boston Creme Pie flavor… I’m thinking it might taste like chocolate & vanilla pudding! Wishful thinking? lol

    KK (Running Through Life)

    March 24, 2009

    I start every day off right by making a protein fruit smoothie with whey protein. I am a big believer in lots of lean proteins!

    Jenna

    March 29, 2009

    just from your table ( I am sure other things have protein, I understand that is a small table) but I get 72 grams a day….I eat chicken twice or turkey burger (assuming that is high in protein) and I eat 2 bananas a day. I am on weight watchers but I am breastfeeding part time so I get 5 extra points. I still find myself to do much better ont he plan and not seem to get cravings and be hungry if I go get my protein and whole grains. And chicken isn’t high in points…..a bonless skinless breast is about 1 point an ounce! I don’t think that is bad at all! the turkey burger is abotu the same. banans are two points for a bug banana and eggs are also 2 points. and all are super filling and helps you stay satisfied!

    The yogart sounds interesting….where do you buy it?

    roni

    March 30, 2009

    Thanks Jenna and I totally agree with you on the chicken! I haven’t seen the yogurt in the stores. I’ll ask the maker for ya!

    Daphne

    March 30, 2009

    Hi Everyone: Here is how you can (hopefully) find a store near you. Feel free to email me at info@betterwheyoflife.com if you have a specific store request.
    http://betterwheyoflife.com/where_to_buy.php

    Thanks for your support!
    Daphne