- Why is protein so darn important?
- High Protein Frauds
- What is considered high protein?
- How to be strategic with your protein intake
- How to fit it into your lifestyle
WHY IS PROTEIN SO DARN IMPORTANT!?
THE MOST IMPORTANT MACRONUTRIENTDietary protein is one of the most important factors when improving not only your physique but also your health.
- Proteins are made up of amino acids which are essentially the building blocks of life.
- Our bodies break down protein we eat into individual amino acids and enter a storage reserve of amino acids that we have circulating in our blood.
- Think of this storage reserve of amino acids as an all-you-can-eat buffet for your cells, Vegas-style!
- This is extremely important because our bodies need these amino acids in order to produce very important molecules such as:
- Enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and antibodies.
- Without those 4 being produced efficiently, our bodies are going to be playing catch up trying to react to all the needs to our body rather than being proactive and being ready for whatever need our bodies have.
- Protein can be pulled from our structure tissues (muscles, tendons, organs) if we are in dire need of amino acids but that is not something we want to happen often for long term health.
- Protein is the jack of all trades.
- It can be broken down to do the job carbs and fats do but the carbs and fats cannot do the job protein does.
- Ohh and it helps burn stored body fat as well! Knew that would catch your attention!
- Increases level of hormone glucagon which helps to regulate our body fat. Helps body to break down stored glycogen into glucose for body to use.
- Also, it mobilizes adipose tissue (body fat) into free fatty acids (fuel) for our cells! Just think of all that fuel you have sitting around your body!
ARE YOU EATING ENOUGH PROTEIN!?
THESE QUESTIONS WILL HELP PAINT THE PICTURE1. Are hungry 1-2 hours after your previous meal? 2. Are you tired when you shouldn’t be!? 3. Are you flabby when you used to be muscular!? 4. Do you feel weak when you lift weights, run, do yoga, or anything strenuous throughout everyday life!? 5. Are you getting injured and not recovering quickly!? 6. Is your hair falling out!? (weird but is an important sign of lack of protein intake.) If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you more than likely are not eating enough protein! I don’t think anyone wants to answer yes to any of those questions so let me help you change all those yes’ to no’s!
THE HIGH PROTEIN MIRAGE:
THE HIGH PROTEIN STRUGGLE FRAUDSIn order to truly understand what constitutes high protein, I want to use our example of nuts to help paint the picture. I have a female client who is 5’2″, 140lbs and is maintaining her bodyweight on 1680 calories. Her macros are 140g protein, 56g fat, and 154g carbs which equate to 1680 calories. So let’s take our almonds example. 1 serving of almonds (1oz) is 160 calories, 14g fat, 6g carbs, 6g fat. If she were to eat all of her calories in almonds, she would be taking in:
- 147g fat, 63g carbs, 63g protein.
OTHER HIGH PROTEIN FRAUDSNext, we have the Fiber One “Protein” Bars Just think of the casual shopper who doesn’t look at the food label, and sees this with “protein” on the front and thinks “Hey, this has protein and my trainer said that I need to get in more protein so let me get some of these!” But little does that person know that this bar only has 6g of protein per bar. It also has 6g fat and 18g carbs which total up to 140 calories.
- Only 17% of the total calories of this bar are coming from protein!
THE HIGH PROTEIN CLUB:
HOW DO YOU GET INTO THE ILLUSTRIOUS HIGH PROTEIN CLUB!?
- At least 50% of calories are coming from protein
- The protein grams to fat g ratio is around 3:1
- Protein content should greater than carb content. May only can be close to 1:1 ratio when there is minimal fat content.
HIGH PROTEIN SOURCES
SO YOU TALK ABOUT THIS PROTEIN STUFF LIKE ITS MAGICAL, BUT WHERE THE HECK DO I GET IT!?Well since I love you all so much and want to make this as easy as possible for ya, I created The Ultimate Protein Cheat Sheet! This bad boy has all the high protein sources, how much protein they each have, recipes on how to integrate them into your diet, and much much more! Click here to go to that cheat sheet I created for you!
THE PROTEIN STRUGGLE PUZZLE
HOW TO FIT ALL THAT PROTEIN INTO YOUR LIFESTYLESo now that we know what are truly high protein sources, we must figure out exactly how to fit all this protein into our current lifestyle. 1. We must first figure out how many meals a day we want to have most days so we can get a picture of how much protein we need spread out throughout the day.
- I outlined exactly how to mold your meal timing around your current lifestyle in a previous post. I highly suggest that you read that one first in order to do this optimally.
- Ex. Chicken Sandwich:
- Carbs in the meal: Bread, Tomato, Lettuce, Sauce (siracha, ketchup, etc) and any other veggies toppings.
- Fats: Fat content in meat, Cheese, Mayo, and any other fatty sauces
- This will ensure that you are not sitting there at 8pm with 80g protein and minimal carbs and fats left. This inevitably leads to a massive protein shake which leads to the PROTEIN FARTS………..
REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE: MID 40’S WORKING MOMI know this all can sounds a bit overwhelming but let me walk you through a real life example of how it looks. Lets bring back my female client from before who is consuming 1680 cals, 140g protein, 56g fat and 154g carbs. She decided that 3 meals and 1 snack throughout the day fits her lifestyle best. Her top 5 protein sources are Eggs/Egg Whites, Chicken Breast, Protein Powder, Top Round Steak, and Non-Fat Greek Yogurt. So this is what her meals look like:
- Meal #1 @ 7:15am is: 40g protein, 48g carbs and 16g fat
- This is usually half of a protein vanilla birthday cake: 20g protein, 32g carbs, and 4.5g fat
- 1 whole egg and 2 servings liquid egg whites with sautéed veggies (broccoli, peppers, kale) topped with 1/2 serving 2% mexican cheese, 1/2 oz avocado, and 4 tbsp salsa: 20g protein, 15g carbs, 9.5g fat
- 1 coffee with 1 serving sugar french vanilla creamer: 0g protein, 1g carbs, and 2g fat
- Meal #2 @ 12pm is: 35g protein, 30g carbs, 14g fat
- This is almost always some type of big salad. She loves to bring salads with her to work because they are portable and easy to prepare at work.
- This salad consists of spring mix, baby tomatoes, baby carrots, mushrooms, and sliced green peppers. Protein source is 4 oz grilled chicken (weighed out raw before cooking). Salad dressing is 1 serving of the Bolthouse Farms Cilantro Avocado dressing (highly recommend these brand dressings). Then sprinkled 1 serving 2% sharp cheddar cheese on top.
- Pre Workout Snack at 5pm is: 30g protein, 30g carbs, 5g fat
- This is always a protein smoothie with some type of berries and small banana: 1 scoop of protein powder, 4 oz unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup strawberries, 1 small banana.
- Workout at 6:30
- Meal #3 @ 7:45-8 is: 35g protein, 46g carbs, 21g fat
- This meal is usually a wild card because it really depends on whether she is going to have ice cream or not. Most night she will fit in an ice cream cone so we will go with that. If no ice cream, she would’ve simply just added in some jasmine rice or another wrap in order to make up the carbs for the ice cream
- She will have 4 oz top round steak with sautéed peppers and onions in 1/2 lavash bread with a 1/2 serving of On The Border Monterey Jack Queso (which is the bomb if you’ve never had it!), 1/2 oz avocado and 1 serving chunky salsa. This meal saved her some carbs and some fats for her ice cream.
- Her ice cream consists of 1 serving of some kind low-fat frozen yogurt ice cream in a normal sized ice cream cone topped with some sprinkles.
- 1 tsp Now Foods Omega-3 Fish Oil
- By doing this, she only has 100g (sounds like a lot) of protein left for the rest of the day.
- By her being super consistent with her protein intake, she was never falling behind and having to play catch up with her protein intake.
- Protein shakes are super convenient when trying to hit your protein and when mixed with berries, are super duper tasty.
- If you are in need for some protein shake recipes, check out the Recipe Vault!
- At the end of her day, she had 35g protein, 46g carbs, and 21g fat so she knew that if she wanted to have some ice cream, here dinner needed to be high in protein, low in carbs and moderate/high in fats.
- By making her low carb fajita steak lavash wrap, she hit her protein, saved about 25g carbs and knocked out the majority of her fat while saving 5g for her ice cream.
- She has that ice cream almost every night and has been losing body fat like a champ! Why? Because she fits it into her macros (her budget)!
THE MORAL OF THE STORY: PROTEIN IS KINGWe need to consume protein to stay healthy, fit, and happy so we can live a long and amazing life! There is no doubt about that. So if you have not yet, click here and check out the cheat sheet I made so you can ensure that you hit your protein every single day! If this post helped you in with protein mastery, please feel free to share on Facebook, Pinterest, family, friends or with anyone you think needs to improve their protein mastery! That means you have to share it with everyone because everyone needs to improve their protein intake! Also, tell me in the comments what your Top 5 protein sources are! Can’t wait to read them! Thanks and God Bless, Zach P.S. Friend me on Facebook or follow on Instagram to see all the other awesome stuff I post (well awesome to me..) that doesn’t make it to the blog!
Want to see more of the food I use daily to hit my protein goals?
Check out my newest low-calorie recipe book that includes all of these recipes and making your protein goals easy to hit!