Nutrition Objective #3!
In week one we eliminated fast food, and last week we made a goal of 3 fruits and 3 veggies per day. Hopefully you have developed the habit of getting your fruits and vegetables everyday. If not, keep working on it!
This week your objective is to get protein with every meal or snack you eat.
Protein is arguably the most important of the three macronutrients in regards to our strength and fitness goals. In my work with one-on-one nutrition clients that are having trouble losing weight and making progress in the gym, inadequate protein is usually the biggest issue. When we stress the muscles through strength training, we actually break the muscle tissue down. We need to eat protein to give the body the tools to rebuild that muscle tissue bigger and stronger in response to the stress we just placed upon it.
Our muscles are literally made of protein. So are the muscles of animals. So when we are eating a steak, we are eating a slice of muscle from that cow. When we eat and digest it, our body breaks it down into amino acids. It then repackages those amino acids to rebuild all kinds of tissues in the body including skeletal muscles. Our bodies turn cow muscle into human muscle. How cool is that!? (Its the CIIRRRCLLLLLLLE OF LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE!)
Meat is not the only source of protein, you can get protein from plant sources as well! However, animal protein is what is called a “complete” protein meaning it contains all the essential amino acids. Plant sourced protein is incomplete meaning it only has some of the amino acids. So if you are a vegetarian, eat several different types of plant source proteins to ensure you are getting everything you need.
Your objective (still avoiding fast food and eating your fruits and veggies) for this week is to get about .8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight each day. So, if you weigh 200 lbs, you should be eating about 160g of protein per day.
This may seem like a lot, but if you get some protein at each meal, its not as hard to do as it sounds. A 4oz. peice of chicken breast has about 25g of protein in it. That is about the size of a deck of cards. Be sure to choose lean sources that don’t also have a lot of extra fat. If you want a burger, choose the lean 93/7 ground beef instead of the 80/20 etc.
I do usually recommend a whey protein shake after workouts (we will talk more about supplements in the next couple of weeks) but for the most part we don’t want to rely too heavily on protein shakes, bars etc. However, try to get your protein from whole food sources. I do keep whey protein at work as an emergency snack to make sure I am getting the protein that my body needs throughout the day. For example, this morning about an hour before my alarm was going to off my dog, Skylar decided she wanted to go outside and let me know by standing her entire 75lb beefcake dog-body on my legs. After going back to sleep for a few minutes I slept through my alarm and barely made it to the gym in time. I was unable to eat breakfast so I made a quick protein shake. Was it ideal? No. But, I am still on track for my protein intake for the day and I’m not ravenously hungry.
Check out this article to read more about ALL the benefits of protein. DO IT! Its a little heavy on the science but contains some great information about how protein also helps us drop body fat! https://www.biolayne.com/…/protein-just-muscle-building-su…/
Comment below on your favorite ways to get protein in at every meal!