Protein and muscle are key to a healthy body for everyone. Developing your body through strength and resistance training and providing it with the protein and other nutrients it needs to grow efficiently, will naturally provide the added bonus of increasing your metabolism, which will help you shed fat.
Some people think eating too much protein is going to make their muscles bulk up and/or gain weight. This isn’t completely true. Everyone needs protein, but eating extra protein doesn’t do much toward boosting your muscle mass and strength. Medical research in fact shows that consuming too much protein, more than 30% of your total daily caloric intake, could do more harm than good, causing a buildup of toxic ketones, which negatively impact the brain and central nervous system function and could lead to diabetes. Additionally, too little protein can cause what is called skinny fat, leaving you thin, but flabby.
Your body uses protein to build and repair muscle tissues, make the necessary enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals, as it is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
How to determine the right amount of protein
The amount of protein your body requires depends on your weight and your daily caloric intake. Adults should consume approximately 0.36 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. So if you weigh 165 lbs., you need approximately 59 grams per day and make up approximately 15% of your total daily caloric intake. For example if your daily calorie intake is 1800, plan on 270 of those calories coming from protein.
Which Proteins Should I Eat – Choose Wisely! Plant-based foods like soy and legumes can give you the same amount of protein as meats and provide you with a fuller feeling.
- Lean Beef, Skinless Chicken. The traditional option for protein. You can eliminate most of the saturated fat by removing the skin.
- Fish. High in protein, low in fat, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, contains less fat than meat and aids in fat loss.
- Nuts. One ounce of almonds provides 6 grams of protein, almost as much protein as one ounce of broiled ribeye steak, without artery clogging fat.
- Beans and Lentils. Beans contain more protein than any other vegetable protein. Plus, they’re loaded with fiber that helps you feel full for hours.
- Tempeh and Tofu. Non-GMO soy products are easy and healthy sources and alternatives to meat.
- Whey Protein provides a fast and convenient source at an affordable price, but do not neglect other protein sources, this is meant as a boost.
- Eggs high quality protein, nine essential amino acids, choline, the right kind of fat, and vitamin D. They provide the most value for your money.
- Cottage Cheese. Casein is a slow-digesting protein perfect for muscle maintenance and good for people who go long periods without eating.
- Other good protein sources. Quinoa, seitan, mushrooms, wheat germ, peanut butter, falafel, buckwheat and groats, cheese, Greek yogurt, etc.
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