In case you didn't know, Protein is a pretty important food group.
Therefore I have decided to answer all the major questions people have to help you get better results with your training and eating.
If I have not answered everything you need to know about Protein in free series below, comment below the post and let me know.
I would love to make sure you have all the information you need to get fit, strong and healthy.
Protein is a very important food group but for decades it has been viewed through the lens of bodybuilding and strength.
However, in the past few years it is moving into the realm of positivity in the media mainstream.
Proteins are made of smaller molecules called amino acids that the quite literally, the building blocks of all life.
It’s not a good group you want to be reducing too much.
We need these amino acids to facilitate chemical reactions to keep our bodies running and to build our muscles, organs, hair, skin, nails and teeth.
Each of you need different amounts but a simple starting point is to get at least 1-2 palm sized portions per meal.
Protein is a major part of your body’s cells so it’s a good idea to source the best quality you can which includes lean meats, unprocessed versions, nuts, seeds, legumes and beans.
Also, your body can make some of the amino acids but there are 9 of them that it can’t make so it’s even more important to eat them via food.
What are your favourite protein foods?
How much protein do we need?
Imagine you had a sink with a little pool of water in it.
This pool of water is equivalent to your amino acid pool (the amount of broken down protein molecules in your body).
Imagine the sink never had a plug and it was constantly emptying.
This is similar to the amino acid pool in your body.
Your body is constantly making or breaking down protein as needed.
We don’t really have a place to store protein like carbs and fats.
Therefore we need to eat protein every day as we have to replace those losses. If we didn’t eat protein we would literally start digesting ourselves.
This is one reason why very low calorie diets can result in muscle loss because the body has to get protein from somewhere if we don’t give it enough food.
It is estimated that a healthy adult needs around 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight each day.
Someone who is trying to build muscle or train a lot would need anywhere from 1.2 - 2.4g per kg of body weight per day.
Again, I like the simple rule of eating 1-2 palm sized portions of protein per meal per day.
I would eat 1 palm sized portion for weight loss and toning and 2 palm sized portions if I liked protein and wanted to add lean muscle.
You now know that you need to eat protein every day.
What foods could you add to your diet to get enough protein?
When should I eat my protein?
Protein should be distributed throughout all your meals each day.
Your body can only process and utilise a certain amount of protein at any one time.
A lot of people will fast and a lot of people will eat coffee and a banana bread for breakfast and usually go protein heavy for dinner but they are missing out on the benefits of eating protein regularly throughout the day.
It’s is not absolutely essential to chug a protein shake straight after a weights session also.
Getting enough protein rather than the exact time it is eaten is more important.
Eating protein throughout the day is what matters.
What is a high quality protein?
A high quality protein contains all the essential amino acids (broken down version of protein and the building blocks of muscles and most cells) for the amounts that we require for our bodies.
It may or may not contain all the non-essential amino acids.
Generally, foods from animal sources like meat, fish, chicken, cheese, eggs and yoghurt provide high quality proteins.
Protein from food sources like vegetables, nuts and seed and grains tend to be limited in one or more essential amino acids which means you simply have to eat a wider variety of them to cover all your bases.
It’s recommended that vegetarians or vegans combine two or more different plant protein foods with complimentary amino acid profiles to make sure the body gets all the essential amino acids it needs.
You can mix up these proteins throughout the day to achieve this goal.
So, now you know why protein is important for weight loss, who it’s important for health, how much and when to eat it.
Is there anything else you want to know from this series on Protein?
Should you be drinking shakes?
Most dieticians will tell you that if you are meeting your daily protein requirements through your diet you don’t need to take a protein supplement.
However, for some people who travel a lot for work, it can be a great alternative if they don’t have healthy protein options available.
It’s also great for people who want to build lean muscle and need to consume extra calories but their appetite isn’t huge. A shake can be beneficial in this instance.
Whey protein is a very popular type of shake. It is considered to be a “complete protein” (see my earlier posts in the protein series).
It is complete because it contains all 9 essential amino acids that your body can’t make on its own.
So if you do need additional protein, it can be a food addition to your diet. It is absorbed really quickly and can help preserve your precious muscle tissue when trying to lose weight or during the natural ageing process.
Do you drink a protein shake?
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