First what is Protein?
Proteins are made up of building blocks called Amino Acids. There are 22 of these Amino Acids - some can be manufactured by the human body, but 9 out of 22 Amino Acids must be consumed in the food we eat. These are called "Essential Amino Acids".
Proteins in food come in two categories: COMPLETE PROTEINS - meaning foods that contain all amino acids (most meats contain complete proteins) and INCOMPLETE PROTEINS - contain some but not all amino acids (nuts, grains, some vegetables). This means that your best bet in getting enough protein into your day is eating meat, however if you are eating a large array of nuts, grains, beans, legumes etc. you may be getting enough.
Protein, along with Carbohydrates and Fat, are macronutrients. However, unlike carbohydrates and fat, proteins are not stored in the body and therein lies the need to draw enough protein from your diet, as there is no backup reservoir if you run out.
And what does Protein do?
Proteins main role is to build and repair tissue. It is critical in the role of making hormones, enzymes and other chemicals, and is also a building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, nails and hair.
How does protein help in weight loss and fitness?
1. Muscles are active tissue, which means they burn calories even at rest. So keeping this in mind, it makes sense that the more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn. For every bit of muscle gained, your metabolism increases - and to increase lean muscle mass, you must do strength training. When you do strength training, you make very slight tears in your muscles. These are called micro-tears, and this is what makes you so sore the next day. When your body heals these tears, it makes your muscles stronger and bigger as a defense mechanism - so that next time you lift that weight, your body can handle it better. Proteins are the main compound needed to help this process, so you need to ensure you are having enough protein when you are training!
2. Because protein is so important in many critical functions, it is obvious that is essential in keeping healthy and feeling good - and it's a lot easier to head to the gym or not succumb to cravings when you are feeling your best!
3. Many studies have shown that a high protein, low carbohydrate diet keeps you feeling fuller for longer and gives you a cleaner, longer energy boost than eating high carb, high sugar foods. Protein has been shown to decrease levels of Ghrelin (the hormone that makes you feel hungry), effectively suppressing appetite. Increasing "clean protein" intake along with decreasing empty carbohydrates or fatty foods has been shown to significantly help in weight loss, and makes you feel a lot better too!
Will I bulk up if I increase my protein too much?
No. If you are aiming to lose weight, with a clean diet and a good fitness plan you will at best maintain muscle mass while losing fat. This will give you definition and tone, but to actually "bulk up" or increase muscle mass dramatically you have to be eating a huge amount of food, and training very heavy and very often. It takes a lot of effort to gain muscle mass, especially for women; it most definitely doesn't happen overnight!
How do I make sure I'm getting enough protein?
A good gauge is about 1g of protein for every kilo of your body weight. Having too much protein is not really an issue - you will rarely store protein as fat - so many say it is better to go over than under with your protein intake! HOWEVER, based on what YOUR need is we will tell you exactly what your needs are!
Thomas Harnett BSAS, CFT, Emt-P 937-470-6815 cell 937-748-9905 office email@example.com