If you have friends who are serious athletes or are into bodybuilding, you might have heard them talking about leucine. What exactly is it and what’s all the fuss? It turns out that this may be the secret weapon to losing weight the right way—and to keeping it off.
So let’s give it the attention it deserves.
What’s Leucine?Leucine is an essential amino acid that helps with protein synthesis. In other words, it’s a one of 9 building blocks of protein that can only be obtained from the diet. It is present in protein-rich foods including milk and other dairy products, tofu and other soy foods as well as fish, chicken and lean meat.
What’s the Big Deal?Once absorbed, leucine goes directly to muscle tissue, where it activates a chain of events that ultimately creates lean muscle. Think of it as cash to build a home—the home being muscle. When you have enough cash, you can pay the contractor to buy the equipment they need to build your home. Similarly, when you have enough leucine, your body can start making muscle protein. And the more leucine you have, the more muscle you can build.
What Does Leucine and Muscle Have to Do With Losing Weight?On most weight loss diets, you end up losing muscle in addition to fat. That’s because when you take in fewer calories than your body needs, your body has less energy to fuel basic biological functions. To make up for that, your body breaks down muscle proteins for energy. This is bad because it is your muscles that help burn calories. Here’s where leucine does its magic while you lose weight; by stimulating protein synthesis it helps your body preserve muscle mass while you lose the right kind of weight—from fat, that is. In turn, your metabolism stays up, which is the key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight for the long haul.
Free Recipe from the Challenge!(Lots more when you join!!)
Pita PizzaMakes 1 serving
½ whole wheat pita – whole pita, sliced in half and lightly toasted
2T chopped green bell pepper
2T chopped onion
2T tomato sauce
3 mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2oz mozzarella cheese, part skim, sliced and shredded
2oz grilled chicken breast, cooked and sliced into bite size pieces
½tsp grated parmesan cheese
Grill, bake or sauté a small (seasoned to taste) chicken breast until fully cooked.
Take cooked chicken and slice into bite size pieces and set aside.
Slice whole wheat pita in half.
Slightly toast in toaster or under broiler in oven.
Once toasted, top pita half with tomato sauce and spread evenly to cover.
Then sprinkle with shredded mozzarella, bell pepper, onion and mushrooms and 2 oz of cooked and sliced chicken ( ½ small chicken breast).
Lightly sprinkle with parmesan cheese and place pita on a cookie sheet and bake in oven for 15 minutes at 375 degrees.