Welcome back! In the ABCs of health we are doing P for protein! Regardless on where you fall in your protein of choice, from vegan to carnivore, you need protein.
I’ll tell you upfront that this is not even close to a detailed look at this macronutrient and all we need to do with it, but this is an excellent starting point. Check out my free pdf “Nutrition Made Simple” at alinekaehler.com/nmsimple for more details, as well as my full program.
We will skim the surface of 3 things during this video:
1. No protein, no you.
2. Protein sources.
3. How much protein.
Again, this is a bird’s eye view of a pretty important topic, and while this is true for EVERYONE, most of what I recommend is geared specifically towards the average mom that needs to improve her health, if you’re working on serious fitness goals or if you train more than simply for health purposes, you should know this by heart and go beyond. We can talk, but this video isn’t long enough for that!
1. No protein, no you.
That says it all, but the foundation of this is that proteins are chains of amino-acids that our body will break down, and each protein plays specific roles in the body. We hear a lot about protein and muscle, but it does a LOT more than that. All our tissues – from organs to skin, hair and nails are built with protein. Protein also creates important hormones and enzymes.
You need protein. Period. Your body knows what to do with it, so eat a good variety of protein, and get enough of it, and your body will do it’s thing.
2. Protein sources
When we think protein we think meat, and while that is true, there are many other amazing sources of protein, all of which are available to you according to your personal preference.
Proteins include lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, beans, legumes, tofu, peas, etc.
A note on supplements: no one needs a protein supplement! And you can certainly get all the protein you need without it. The benefit of a good protein supplement, be it a protein powder or a protein bar, or something of the sort, is that depending on how much protein you are aiming for it gets hard to eat that much protein from food every day. Supplements should be exactly what they are called: a supplement to what you eat, not a substitute.
3. How much protein
Instead of talking about how much protein you NEED, I will talk about how much protein is optimal, because this depends on your goals.
You only NEED about 0.8g/kg of protein per day, but that is only to prevent a deficiency, not to optimize body composition or performance. This is the basic recommendation for untrained, generally healthy adults.
In order to optimize body composition and build muscle, you should aim for closer to 1.8-2.4g/kg per day.
I know, it’s quite a bit, and when this is your goal, that’s when those supplements come in handy. You see, it’s not just a matter of preventing deficiency, we may need more protein for optimal function, including good immune function, metabolism, feeling fuller longer, weight management and performance. Thriving is more than simply getting enough protein to function.
It has been shown that high Protein diets increase lean body mass, improve recovery from exercise, and improve fat loss when compared to lower protein diets with the same calorie consumption.
All that being said… where to start? Simply start by finding good sources of protein, foods you enjoy, and add protein to all your meals. Master that, then build from there.
There is the nutshell. Eat protein. No protein, no you.
Keeping it simple,