There is so much chatter about protein and its importance. So if you're still feeling skeptical of its importance, I'm glad you're here.
I have so many people come to me and tell me they eat a high protein diet. It doesn't take long for me to realize 1. that person is 9 times out of 10 not eating enough and 2. they are not eating enough protein.
A perfect example is a lady who came to me a few weeks ago and said she felt like all she ate was protein. I had her track a few days to get an idea of where she was at. Sure enough she was not eating enough protein. She was eating about 60 grams of protein. For someone who is 150 pounds trying to lose weight you need to at least be over 100grams.
The benefits of protein begin with reducing appetite and cravings. Eating enough increases muscle mass and strength but also maintains it. Eating enough protein also boosts your metabolism. So it is very important that you're eating enough of it.
So Will protein help you lose fat? Yes. and Will protein help you gain muscle? yes.
How can you do both of those things by eating more protein ?
Protein actually helps you maintain muscle while trying to lose weight. If you’re not eating enough protein you could lose muscle rather than fat. So you need to be eating enough protein whether you are trying to lose fat or build muscle.
If you're looking to lose weight you can have your protein set closer to .6 or .7 of your body weight. For example if you weigh 200 pounds and you're trying to lose weight. You should have your protein set at around 120 or 140. Now that can seem like a lot if you haven't been giving too much attention to your protein intake. But what I would suggest is track your protein and see where you're currently at. Then make a small change in your protein intake. For example if you're eating about 60 grams and need to be at 120. For next week I would shoot for 70 grams of protein. Wait until you're hitting that consistently. Then add more protein to your daily intake. This would take several weeks if not months. That will get you, sustainably, eating enough protein. Also, you don’t want to drastically jump your protein intake because it could cause bloating and gas. Nobody wants that.
If you're trying to maintain or build muscle you'll want to be at .9 or 1 or even 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. You’ll want to increase your desire to get stronger and develop more muscle. Your muscles need protein to simply sustain. So if you want them to grow you definitely need to increase it steadily.
So how do you know whether to increase your protein intake? Here are some signs you're not eating enough protein…
You could start to lose muscle. You may notice in your progress pictures that your muscle isn’t developing and you’re not seeing changes. It could be time for some more protein.
You may feel exhausted. This could be mid day or during your workouts.
There could be a loss of strength. If you notice you’re not making progress in the gym with the amount of weight you're lifting. It may not be the caffeine you’re drinking but the protein you’re not eating.
You could have weak hair and nails. Flimsy nails and breaking hair could definitely be a sign of your lack of protein.
Your metabolism will slow down. There is a noticeable difference in your appetite when you’re eating enough. If you’re getting hungry every few hours or more than normal. Great! Your metabolism could be waking up!
if you feel less satisfied after meals. This could be a huge sign you’re not eating enough. Also a sign of not eating enough protein. The balance satisfies you.
Low protein diets are linked to decreased growth hormone, estrogen and prolactin and increased stress responses and thyroid imbalance. So again, there are endless reasons as to why you need protein.
To get more protein in you can eat things like chicken, turkey, beef, protein bar, protein shakes, greek yogurt or eggs.
Really quick, let’s acknowledge a common question. 👇
Are protein powders bad for you? Nope, you want a good quality protein but as long as you don’t have more shakes than meals in a day you are good to go.
What protein powder is best? You don't want to go with a cheap brand. Cheap brands usually mean cheap quality. Gas and bloating may be a side affect of a low quality protein powder. Here is a great option for quality protein.
Hopefully you now know how much protein you should be eating. How to know if you’re eating enough and how to get some more protein in.😊