The Benefits of Protein

Meet guest blogger Mike! Read a little about him under the Nutrition page.  I often get asked about protein and protein powders so here is part 1: the benefits of protein!

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The Benefits of Protein

By: Mike

Regardless of what your goals are (losing fat, gaining muscle, maintaining) protein is essential to your success. Protein is the building blocks of muscle and tissue repair and will be essential to your success. Let’s see why.

If you are attempting to lose weight “cutting”, it is important to get a large portion of your daily caloric needs from protein (40%-50%). I say this for two reasons:

  1. Eating a diet high in protein when restricting calories will ensure that most weight loss will come in the form of fat loss, and not muscle loss.
  2. Protein is very satisfying and will keep you full for longer than carbohydrates and fats which will help you restrict the number of daily calories.

If you are trying to gain muscle, protein is also essential. You can lift weights all you want but if you aren’t providing yourself with enough protein, then your body can not break down and rebuild your muscles efficiently.

Finally if you are trying to maintain your current weight, then it is important to get enough protein so that you maintain your muscle mass and don’t overeat and gain more fat.

A popular number for the amount of protein that you need is 1 gram/lb of bodyweight, i.e. a  150 pound individual should be getting 150 grams of protein.  This number is on the high side, and it is more important if you are trying to gain muscle. However, if your goal is to lose weight, the more protein that you eat in your diet, typically, the better success you will have. A good goal to aim for is trying to center your meals around a protein (Eggs, Meat, Fish)

Another awesome trick in your toolbox that was essential to my success in losing 70lbs is having protein as a snack. That sounds simple, but if you think about snack foods, (chips, cookies, crackers) or even healthy snacks (fruits and veggies) there is almost no protein.

The easiest way to get protein at snack times is by supplementing protein using protein powders. Protein powder is low calorie, typically all the calories are from protein, it will keep you full for a long time, it is easy, can be taken on the go, and incredibly cheap. Sounds too good to be true, but its not.

Conclusions:

Incorporating a large amount of protein into your diet will ultimately help you achieve your goals.

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