Can't Live Without It
Protein is considered “the building block of life”. Protein is commonly known for aiding in the development of lean muscle. But did you also know that protein is essential for repairing cells in the body? We also need protein to build strong bones, regulate hormones and maintain healthy hair and nails. It is the jack-of-all-trades when it comes to keeping your body functioning normally.
How Much is Enough?
The general consensus is that 10-35% of your daily caloric intake should come from protein foods. That equates to approximately 46 grams for woman and 56 grams for men. However, the amount of protein you may need depends on many factors, including weight, activity level, gender and age. For example, active individuals will need more protein than sedentary individuals because physical activity causes the breakdown and rebuilding of muscle at a greater rate.
Come and Get It
There are so many wonderful sources of protein. Some might even surprise you! Animals, such as chicken, beef, pork and fish are a good source of protein. But did you know that there are many good plant-based sources as well?. Beans, seeds, nuts and green leafy vegetables are a good way to introduce protein into you diet. Beware of high protein foods that are also high in saturated fat as not all proteins are created equal. Try to stick to lean proteins like chicken and fish. Our bodies don’t store protein the same way they do carbohydrates and fat, so try to sneak in some protein into every meal throughout the day.
Will Protein Help Me Lose Weight?
A higher protein diet may help you lose weight because protein helps you tame your hunger and keep your blood sugar levels stable. However, most medical professionals agree that you should balance your intake of lean protein, smart carbohydrates and healthy fats for best long term results. Beware of diets that are not sustainable and cause big swings in your metabolism.
Will Protein Make Me “Ripped”?
Sure protein will help build muscle, but only if you actively use those muscles. Just throwing more protein into your diet will not likely change your physique. A balanced diet, exercise and other healthy habits are key to a building muscle mass. If you are working out a lot and using those muscles, adding more protein to your diet will help get you “ripped”. And remember, every body is different, so do what feels best for you! And by all means, seek advice from a professional before making major changes to your diet or exercise routine.