Welcome to my 5 part series that highlights the top mistakes I see women making in the pursuit of creating a body they love (aka weight loss) and keeping it off (ah, the elusive “lifestyle”).  You have made it to mistake number 3 but if you missed my previous posts please follow the links below to get yourself caught up.

Let’s do this David Letterman style…

#5.  Believing will power and goal setting is the answer. (Find the full post HERE!)

#4.  Believing the right diet or exercise program is the answer. (find the full post HERE!)

#3.  Not eating (or believing you are eating) enough protein.

My favourite meal at Browns Social House.  YUM

My favourite meal at Browns Social House. YUM

First let me define true sources of protein.

Anything with a face.

Did I lose some of you?

This is when the vegetarians in the room give me the stink eye and shake their heads.  YES there are vegetarian sources of protein and I will get to that but bare with me here.  I specialize in working with women who have endured a lifetime of battling weight gain, hating their bodies and feeling less than.  They live in a silent prison where the voice of the mean bitch inside them beats them down on a daily basis.  I teach weight loss from the perspective of empowering women about food.

If you don’t want to eat meat that is totally okeedokee in my books because I am all about food freedom, however, that means you are not going to be a good match for my program.  If you currently aren’t eating any true source proteins but are still hating on your body and frustrated with your lack of transformation, then give this post some consideration.

Phew… glad I got that out of the way.

So what is the big deal about eating true source proteins (aka as meat)?

They are a key macronutrient when you are trying to get your body to BURN fat and drop unwanted pounds.

Just so everyone is clear, I do not expect you to go caveman, nor do I believe you should be drowning in red meat.
This is about creating clarity and giving you some information so YOU can make choices that feel good for you.

Remember there is NO ONE RIGHT WAY.

Don’t want to eat red meat.  Great.  THEN DON’T.

Don’t want to eat chicken. Super awesome.  Totally YOUR call.

Are you getting my message?  YOU create your blueprint but it has to start with understanding the pieces of the puzzle and the role each plays in your body.

Focus on the proteins you do like and will eat and don’t get caught up in all the ones you don’t like or can’t eat.  

Focusing on what you can’t do, won’t eat and don’t like, is a sabotaging gremlin that rises up to create resistance.

Resistance = staying stuck.

If you have the courage to look at your patterns, I bet this isn’t the first time you have danced with this one. Revisit post #2 and continue to do your emotional work so you KNOW what your gremlins are.

Women can handle eating anywhere from 2 to 3oz servings of protein 5 times per day.

Rough guidelines about the size of the palm of your hand and about 1 to 1.5 ” thick.

Whaaaaat?! 5 x per day???

Yes, ladies you can (and should) be eating 5 meals per day and you should be eating a protein at each meal if you are looking to drop weight.

Complete proteins are hardest macronutrient for your body to break down and create the highest thermogenic effect.  The thermic effect of food plays a key role in weight loss which is one of the reasons consuming the right amount of true source proteins are so important in weight loss.  Beyond its thermic effect, protein contains all the building blocks for every biological function in your body so if you want to feel great it is THE cornerstone for good health.

Bottom line is that eating complete proteins help to speed up your metabolism.

“Losing weight is about understanding food and working WITH it.”

First things first.

You need to start tracking your food for minimum of 3 to 5 days to get an idea of how little or how much protein you are currently eating.

(spoiler alert.. if you want to get the most out of these next 3 posts LOG YOUR FOOD so you can apply what you learn!)

Ok, so let me address the question I know some of you are asking.

“What about things like beans, lentils, and quinoa?  I thought these were high in protein?  Can I use these as protein sources?”

In the land of E.A.T! the answer is NO and here’s why.

I consider these foods complex carbohydrates because the majority of their calories come from carbohydrates and NOT protein.

In order to consume enough protein from these plant based sources you would be OVER EATING complex carbohydrates.  Complex carbohydrates (also known as starchie carbs) more than any other macro nutrient will manipulate your body composition. They need to be treated with respect and understanding and NO, this does not mean eliminating them.   Make sure you are signed up for my newsletter so you don’t the future post on these bad boys (you had to know carbs would be in my top 3!!)

For example:

1 cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein and 40 grams of carbohydrates

To put this in perspective a 2 to 3oz serving of protein contains anywhere from about 15 to 20 grams of protein (this is how much protein is IN the serving size).

A serving size of complex carbohydrates for a woman is usually closer to 25 to 30 grams per serving.

This means in order to get enough protein from a single serving of quinoa you would need to eat 2 cups which would put you at a whopping 80 grams of complex carbohydrates* ! For many of my clients this is well above what their bodies require (especially for fat loss).

*DISCLAIMER.  I am NOT suggesting that women eat under 80 grams of total carbohydrates this number is only specific to complex carbohydrates and does NOT include non startchie vegetables, fruits and condiments.

1/2 cup of cooked lentils contain about the same.  8 grams of protein and 20 grams of complex carbohydrates.

1/2 cup cooked chickpeas is 7 grams of protein and 22 grams of complex carbohydrates.

1/4 cup of uncooked steel cut oatmeal contains 5 grams of protein and 27 grams of carbohydrates.

So if you are using these as a protein to aid you in weight loss STOP.

This is a great example of when healthy food can steer you wrong and exacerbate the frustration of losing weight OR worse yet cause you to GAIN weight!

When you start to have a real understanding of the importance of protein, how to work with it and how to differentiate between proteins, carbohydrates and fats it is a GAME CHANGER.

Here is a quick cheat sheet to help you manage your 5 meals using the colour coding method I teach in the E.A.T! program.

Make 3 servings a day Light or Lean.

These are proteins that have minimal fat and are usually “light” in colour.
Examples are: Chicken breast, turkey breast, non fat greek yogurt, egg whites and white fish.

Make 1 serving a day Medium

These are proteins that are a little bit higher in fat and / or are more processed (lower quality)

Examples are: Protein powder, canned fish (tuna or salmon), fresh salmon, 1 whole egg plus additional egg whites or a protein bar (I like Elevate bars).  Shellfish also fall into this category (prawns, crab, scallops etc)

Make NO MORE than one serving a day DARK

These proteins are pretty self explanatory and consist of all your dark or higher fat meats.

Examples are: Beef, bison, chicken thighs, dark turkey meat and 2 or more whole eggs

Don’t eat dark meat?  Awesome, totally your choice SO choose to have either another medium protein or better yet choose another light.

So what can my vegetarian eaters do?  It becomes a bit more tricky but if you can get in a few true source proteins AND start working with some alternate sources like hemp protein powder or another plant based protein supplement that will definitely help.  Only you can determine where you are willing to start.

Just by working with some of these protein boundaries you can start to create better health for yourself and start to build out YOUR nutritional blueprint.

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If you are interested in learning more about my upcoming E.A.T! program and are local to Richmond BC you can take a read here to find out more or drop me a line and set up a 15 minute discovery session to find out if one of my E.A.T! programs are right for you.  In person or on line I am here to help anyone willing to do things differently and bring coaching into the mix of creating your nutritional blueprint.  Gremlins and all, I’ve got you covered if you are prepared to show up for yourself and find YOUR new way.

Also, if you register before August 15th as a bonus you will get a seat for Keri-Anne Livingstones “The Lighthouse Effect” workshop.  This is my kick ass coach and this workshop is the perfect way to kick off your E.A.T! experience

Want to just pick my brain?  Drop me a line lisa@lisacarpenter.ca and I will tell you how you can set up an hour session to go over any of your nutritional hurdles.  You don’t need to be local to take advantage of this opportunity!


I only have 10 5 spots available for this last LIVE class.  Are YOU worth it?

“Over the top valuable. I can’t put a price tag high enough on the value of this course. There is no amount of money that can equate to the value of gaining understanding and control over my own body.”

“Considering the wealth of knowledge that was gained during the short 10 week course, I will take this information and use it the rest of my life so this course has been invaluable.”

“This program was hugely valuable for me. Was the starting point getting me out if this daily grind I found my self unconsciously doing. I would tell people if you are liking to change your life and getting serious about the things you want to do. Then this is the program.”