Why should we eat protein
After talking to an extended family member who has poor health with diabetes and is prone to strokes, it dawned on me, people with conditions are not properly in the know even when there under the guidance of health professionals.
On the phone call I received, it went like this “Hi Steve, I go and see my Consultant every couple of months about my diabetes, and they just talk to me about carbohydrates, proteins and fats and I don’t exactly know what these are, why should we eat protein as advised by my consultant”
If people under the care of professionals are still confused about vital nutrients to our health and survival then there is a problem, a serious problem, I believe this needs to be addressed as protein forms a big part of any weight loss or fitness plan.
Also, Health professionals have the tendency to talk in tones we don’t understand, they seem to forget that we don’t have the education they have, although it’s simple to them it may not be to us, most of us if not all of us have heard the word protein but do you know what it actually is and does?
What I aim to do is simplify and educate why protein is important, not just for people with conditions or wanting to lose weight but for everyday survival.
What does protein do?
Proteins are a vital nutrient for our bodies and plays a wide role in weight loss due to the impact it has on the metabolism process (the bodies way of using/converting energy). Protein won’t store as fat if its unused by the body, unlike carbohydrates.
When we workout, whether we’re doing resistance, HIIT or continuous training, our muscles rip and tear to adapt to the “stress” and protein will help repair the muscle, making them stronger and leaner for next time that “stress” is performed.
Protein will also be used by the body as a source of energy when there are no carbohydrates or fat reserves left the body will break down muscle to survive.
A good example of this is marathon runners because they run for such a long time they have used their energy from carbs and fats supplies. That’s why they look quite skinny.
You mention “proteins” so there’s more than one?
In total there are 22 “proteins” however they are not called proteins anymore! Huh, I hear you say, exactly! it’s easy to become confused on this subject just like my friend did on the phone, basically, when we eat a source of protein such as meat our body will break it down and it becomes an amino-acid.
As mentioned there are 22 Amino-Acids and these are split into two groups, essential and non-essential, I don’t want to go into the science too much as it’s too confusing, I’m trying to keep this simple.
There are 14 non-essential amino acids and 8 essential, what we mean by non-essential is the body doesn’t need to source from food it’s capable of making these without food, unlike the essential amino acids that can only be derived from food sources.
Food sources that contain all 8 of essential amino acids are called complete proteins and a good rule to go by is meats are normally “complete proteins” you can also get protein from non-meat sources but usually there “incomplete”
I understand how complicated this can be so please leave a comment if you don’t understand any section of this post, alternatively drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
So if I eat more protein I will lose weight?
Essentially yes but you still have to watch calories, as mentioned proteins won’t usually store as fat? at this point, you probably think what am I eating every day to make me put on weight? in a nutshell……. crap
Unless you prepare your food for the day ahead then you’re more than likely eating processed garbage as most protein sources need to be cooked in one way or another such as beef,chicken and fish
You can find some proteins in fruit and other food but these won’t be complete proteins.
If you live an extremely busy life and don’t have time to prepare food then look into buying powdered protein click here for a rundown of some great powdered proteins,
Never replace real food for shakes or any other fad diet, your diet should always be your first priority before any supplements.
Where can I find good quality proteins from real food
See table below for a good list of proteins that are easily accessible from local grocers, butchers or supermarkets
[table id=5 /]
That is just a short list there is much, much more if you don’t like any on the list then please get in touch and leave a comment at the bottom.
How much protein should I have a day?
Now that you’re clearer on what protein is and how it can benefit weight loss it’s important to know how much the body needs, more specific to you how much you want to be eating to lose weight.
It’s also vitally important to remember carbohydrates are NOT the enemy, overeating carbohydrates is the enemy, in fact, overeating full stop is the enemy and most of the time you’re probably not hungry, your bored or thirsty!
It’s recommended by the Dietary Reference Intake UK that for every kilogramme of body weight you need 0.8 grams of protein, this is just general rule as everyone will vary depending on their activity levels, age, muscle mass and training goals.
I would recommend adding a bit more than 0.8 grams per KG of body weight as this will help you feel full and boost your metabolism.
Protein isn’t negotiable it’s vital, the likely hood is your not getting the right amounts in your diet and eating too many carbohydrates.
If you have the time to prep your food either make time or buy some protein powder if your not sure what to buy then check this post out by clicking here that gives you the breakdown of different powders.
If you serious about losing weight then you need to get serious about proteins as this is the key to your success, it’s easily accessible, sustainable, tasty and not bad on price either.
If you’re unsure about any of this post then please leave a comment I reply to all feedback or questions, hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for taking the time to read it.