Macros – Protein

A few weeks ago, I posted about the key facts and importance of counting macros for both weight loss and gaining muscle. This week I will be focussing on the benefits of protein and the huge impact it can have on your nutrition journey.

What is protein?

First off, all protein once digested turn into Amino Acids which are needed for the production of enzymes and hormones, helping our body to function daily. Protein can also help the production of glycogen which will in turn, encourage fat burning. Glycogen is produced when our blood sugars go down, in order to produce glucose for the body – therefore breaking down fat.

How much protein should we be eating? 

According to the English NHS website, protein recommendations for an active woman are just 50g a day; baring in mind this is the minimum required, this is not based on your height, body type, body weight, goals – etc, etc.

Ideally, protein intake for both losing weight and gaining muscle should be around 1.5-2g per kg of body weight. This means for a 55kg woman, they should be eating 110g of protein per day!

Protein has so many benefits including building and repairing body tissue and contributing to the bodies energy levels too. Therefore, for an active person, this is absolutely key to their needs!

Protein will effectively keep you fuller for longer and so many foods are high in protein, there are endless options to add great taste to your healthy meals now!

What foods are great for protein intake?

To increase your protein intake, foods that are perfect to include within your diet are:

Beef, Turkey, Chicken
Salmon, Tuna, Cod
Eggs, Cottage Cheese, Greek Yoghurt
Beans, Peas, Legumes, Tofu.
With just 4KCAL per gram of protein and a list of reasons to increase it within your diet, you won’t find it too difficult to increase whilst watching your caloric intake.
Protein supplements – Yes or No?
When a lot of people think of protein shakes, they immediately assume they are used to make people ‘bulk’ and build muscle. For women in particularly, building this amount of muscle is extremely difficult and something that requires a lot of intense training. Don’t be scared of protein – you will not get bulky and you would certainly feel the effects if you were eating too much.
I personally find it difficult to reach my protein goals every day and find that a Whey Protein supplement in my smoothies is the perfect addition to increase my protein intake daily! However, protein shakes shouldn’t be used a meal replacement as they will not provide as many nutrients as good, clean food will give you!
I’ve noticed a huge difference since increasing my protein macros. I feel a lot more energised and less achy after intense workouts and I certainly don’t get those horrible hunger pains throughout the day any more!
What are your favourite protein meals and tricks?
GL xx

 

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