Last issue we started talking about the ever-popular protein based diet. We began by discussing carbohydrates, and the effects of those carbohydrates in the body. This issue, we'll discuss protein, protein and more protein. Let's get busy with the scoop.First of all, protein is not the body's preferred source of energy. The body's preferred source is from carbohydrates. This knowledge is necessary to help you better understand the protein diet.

Also, the body has a hard time converting dietary protein into body fat when used in excess of your daily caloric requirements. You see, protein is broken down into amino acids. These amino acids are the building blocks for protein and muscle synthesis. Out of the three energy nutrients -- protein, carbohydrates and fat -- protein is the last to be converted to body fat. Also, protein does not cause that spike in insulin that we mentioned last issue. This, in turn, does not have the usual effects of insulin release.

Further, because protein is not a ready source of energy, the body must get its energy from somewhere. The obvious solution, to those that support this particular program, is that the body will start to get that energy from stored body fat, causing the person to burn the stored body fat. Sounds pretty cool huh? Well, theoretically it is. Also, when put into practice, this diet seems to be very effective.

One of the reasons why people find this diet easier to use, is that they sometimes feel that they are not on a diet because they can eat several, previously forbidden foods. Those that participate in the protein diet find that they can eat fried chicken, cheese, butter, steaks, eggs and all sorts of goodies. This tends to make some feel more comfortable with dieting using this plan. Especially, if you've found that you have had a lot of difficulty using other diets, such as the high carbohydrate, low fat diet.

Well, that's it for this issue of Semper Fitness. Next issue, we'll discuss some of the supposed cons of the protein plan and give different examples of the types of foods that you are allowed to eat. Until next issue, stay pumped, stay motivated and oo-rah!

Semper Fi!