The glucagon diet: protein allies for weight loss

Weekly menus and expert advice to activate the hormone and maintain its action on the body for a long time

Glucagon, the weight loss hormone, can help us lose the extra pounds. Because, as the expert in this article teaches us, it is not calories that influence body weight, but the molecules we take in through our daily diet.

Every time we eat, in response to the food we eat, our blood changes, affecting not only its composition, but also the metabolism and hormonal profile. And it is the hormonal profile that significantly affects the accumulation of weight and fat or the loss of pounds and fat. In fact, we know how important it is to keep blood glucose levels in the blood normal. Controlling blood sugar after each meal also allows you to slow down the action of the pancreas in producing a hormone, insulin, which can promote the transformation of glucose (hepatic lipogenesis) into fatty acids (palmitic acid) which accumulate in the abdomen , in the breasts, buttocks and thighs. With high blood insulin values ​​you do not lose weight, because the higher your insulin values, the more your ability to store fat is increased.

A new ally: glucagon

But there is another hormone that positively influences body weight in this case: glucagon. If insulin has the task of bringing glucose to the cell when the blood levels of the latter are high and converting it into fat when it is in excess of what is needed, glucagon, on the other hand, comes into play when blood sugar is low. and its job is to bring it back to normal values ​​by freeing it from the glycogen deposits present in the muscle and liver. This is why we speak of insulin as the "body weight accumulation hormone" and of glucagon as the "weight loss hormone": these are two antagonistic hormones. "When there is one there is not the other, and vice versa", explains prof. Pier Luigi Rossi, specialist in nutrition science and preventive medicine in Arezzo.

Its actions on the body

"It carries out two important actions", continues the expert:

  • “The first is done on the liver, freeing the glucose reserve stored in the hepatocytes. That is, it 'drains' the liver of excess carbohydrates to ensure an adequate and continuous supply of glucose to the brain, without falling into ketosis, famine ".
  • “The second action is carried out on adipocytes, cells of the fat mass. It works by making fats come out of the adipocytes, emptying them. So it triggers weight loss. But there is more: the adipocytes discharged from their excess of glucose and triglycerides, not only reduce their volume, but also no longer produce the inflammatory proteins that do so much harm to the lymph and lymphatic vessels (think of how many have cellulite on the legs) and to the whole organism ".
  • Protein for dinner and breakfast

    “The secretion of glucagon – explains prof. Pier Luigi Rossi – is activated through the intake of lean proteins. These, in addition to stimulating the release of anabolic hormones that are positive for the health of the entire body, also inhibit the sense of hunger. Glucagon is active mainly during the night, but – as mentioned – it stops as soon as carbohydrates are introduced, because the consequent increase in blood sugar causes insulin to be produced. This is why it is important to choose lean protein intake at dinner and then also in the next meal: breakfast the next day ". And it is important to carefully follow the diet tables without skipping meals or changing the proposed menus: each food day combination has been carefully chosen to ensure weight loss.

    The food day

    What to eat, therefore, to promote the secretion of this hormone?

  • Eat a protein breakfast. Not having breakfast or eating high doses of simple sugars (carbohydrates) as soon as you wake up leads to being hungry during the morning and constantly "nibbling". On the contrary, a protein breakfast prolongs the action of glucagon, which remains active from dinner the night before until lunchtime.
  • Mid-morning snack. The professor. Pier Luigi Rossi recommends sipping a hot drink (green tea or herbal tea of ​​your choice), which can be replaced with unsweetened citrus juice or with a mixed fruit and vegetable juice. Next to this you can eat a small portion of unsalted oil fruit. Kernels of walnuts, almonds or pine nuts are all foods rich in unsaturated fatty acids and vegetable proteins. This feeding model allows you to prolong the beneficial action of the hormone glucagon until lunch.
  • For lunch, carbohydrates. In this meal, you can consume foods such as pasta, cereals or legumes along with a portion of vegetables (salad), which should be taken as an appetizer. Vegetables, with their soluble and insoluble fiber, allow you to control the absorption of glucose contained in carbohydrate foods in order to keep post-prandial blood sugar low and ensure control of insulin secretion. This favors the action of glucagon even in the afternoon.
  • Snack. In the middle of the afternoon it is recommended to have a hot drink along with a jar of low-fat yogurt and fresh seasonal fruit.
  • Dinner: proteins and vitamins. In the last meal of the day, the dose of protein is increased. In addition to the mixed dish of raw vegetables, you can choose to eat these protein foods: fish, white meat, red meat, lean raw ham, bresaola, fresh and soft cheeses, eggs. Dinner ends with a hot dish based on seasonal cooked vegetables. Depending on personal taste, vegetables can be taken in the form of minestrone, vegetable cream or puree. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, are ensured by a portion of wholemeal bread which, optionally, can be replaced with a small portion of cereals (barley, rice, spelled) or legumes. This food combination guarantees a healthy ratio of proteins and carbohydrates capable of activating the hormone glucagon as soon as possible during the night. Also, starting dinner with a cold dish and ending with a warm one promotes digestion during the night.
  • The menus of the week

    MONDAY

    BREAKFAST: 1 hot drink; 1 soft-boiled egg; rye bread (g 30)

    MORNING SNACK: Centrifuged 2 apples and 1 stalk of celery; 20 grams of hazelnuts

    LUNCH: Salad of lettuce, carrots, rocket; rice soup (30 g raw weight) and lentils (40 g raw weight); extra virgin olive oil (3 tsp)

    AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 cup of unsweetened barley; 1 jar of low-fat yogurt

    DINNER: Fennel, celery and green apple salad; cod fillets with capers and olives; chard with lemon; whole wheat or rye bread (40 g); extra virgin olive oil (2 tsp)

    TUESDAY

    BREAKFAST: 1 hot drink of your choice; lean cooked ham (30 g); 1 cup of red fruits

    MORNING SNACK: Juice of 2 oranges and 1 lemon; 20 grams of walnuts

    LUNCH: Crunchy celery and Brazilian salad; polenta with vegetable ragout; extra virgin olive oil (3 tsp)

    AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 cup of unsweetened barley; juice of 1 apple and 2 carrots (or fresh seasonal fruit to taste)

    DINNER: Red chicory and escarole salad; lemon chicken breast; pumpkin puree (one serving); whole wheat bread or rye (40 g); extra virgin olive oil (2 tsp)

    WEDNESDAY

    BREAKFAST: 1 hot drink of your choice; lean raw ham (30 g); 2 slices of winter melon

    MORNING SNACK: Juice of 1 orange and 1 apple; 20 grams of walnuts and hazelnuts

    LUNCH: Ricciolina and endive salad with pears; cannellini bean soup (40 g raw weight) and spelled (20 g raw weight); extra virgin olive oil (3 tsp)

    AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 cup of unsweetened barley; 1 jar of low-fat yogurt

    DINNER: Fennel and carrot salad; lean pork slice with aromatic herbs; sautéed mushrooms (one serving); whole wheat bread or rye (40 g); extra virgin olive oil (2 tsp)

    THURSDAY

    BREAKFAST: 1 hot drink of your choice; parmesan or parmesan (30 g); 1 pear

    MORNING SNACK: Juice of 2 oranges and 1 lemon; 20 grams of almonds and pine nuts

    LUNCH: Rocket and valerian salad; pasta (70 g raw weight) with turnip greens and anchovies; extra virgin olive oil (2 tsp)

    AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 cup of unsweetened barley; 2 tangerines

    DINNER: Celery and carrot salad; sea ​​bass baked in foil; pumpkin curry (one serving); extra virgin olive oil (2 tsp)

    FRIDAY

    BREAKFAST: 1 hot drink; low-fat yogurt (200 g) with 1 sliced ​​apple

    MORNING SNACK: Juice of 2 kiwis and 1 pear; 20 grams of almonds

    LUNCH: Fennel, carrot, rocket salad; mix of dried legumes (60 g raw weight) with grilled Treviso radicchio; extra virgin olive oil (3 tsp)

    AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 cup of unsweetened barley; small bunch of grapes

    DINNER: Escarole salad; turkey breast in golden sauce; steamed cauliflower; whole wheat bread or rye (40 g); extra virgin olive oil (2 tsp)

    SATURDAY

    BREAKFAST: 1 hot drink; cooked ham (30 g); 2 rice or spelled or corn cakes

    MORNING SNACK: Pink grapefruit juice; 20 grams of almonds and pine nuts

    LUNCH: Endive and lettuce salad; maltagliati (70 g raw weight) with cabbage sautéed in garlic, oil and chilli; extra virgin olive oil (3 tsp)

    AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 baked apple with cinnamon; 1 jar of low-fat yogurt

    DINNER: Escarole and valerian salad; turkey meatballs and baked vegetables; pottage; whole wheat or rye bread (40 g); extra virgin olive oil (2 tsp)

    SUNDAY

    BREAKFAST: 1 hot drink; cow's milk ricotta (40 g); 1 pear

    MORNING SNACK: 2 mandarins; 20 grams of almonds

    LUNCH: Rocket and Valerian salad; barley soup (70 g raw weight) with artichokes; extra virgin olive oil (3 tsp)

    AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 cup of unsweetened barley; 1 cup of natural fruit salad

    DINNER: Mixed salad with radicchio and bean sprouts; Aromatic vinegar beef tenderloin; pumpkin and potato cream; extra virgin olive oil (2 tsp)

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