Within the world of nutrition there are three macronutrients; Protein, fat and carbohydrates. Today I want to bring the focus onto protein and truly get to grips with what it is? Why we need it and where we can source it from?
….but firstly I want to explain a little on why i am writing these posts in the first place. Why should you continue reading…is it really going to help you get lean if not why bother?
Playing the nutrition blame game
As I said before there are three macronutrients (protein, fat and carbohydrates) Now they each seem to take turns on playing the bad guy. For ages fat was in the hot seat but with time it swapped places with carbohydrates and we started throwing out our bread and started blaming rice for our ill-fitting jeans….and now I hear whispers of protein being the cause for the fall of society, okay it’s not that extreme but you get the idea of playing the nutrition blame game.
The issue we have is a lot of our choices are influenced by what we read, hear and see in our daily lives and without the proper knowledge things get a little tricky and we end up not know what to eat.
So we end up avoiding bread, thinking fat is bad and assuming it’s our lack of discipline that is the problem. So we inevitably throw ourselves into whatever diet or latest programme promises us results….I know I have seen it and i’ve been there…not fun!
Breaking the rules
Being a rebel is so much more fun than playing by the rules. Let’s cheat the system and actually find out whats good, whats bad and what is the ugly truth with nutrition starting with my good friend protein. To keep things focused I am not going to go too deep into the science but rather cover the areas they directly affects your results and help get you that lean and strong body.
How does this help me?
Proteins principle role as far as we are concerned today is muscle repair…in other words all the squats in the world are not doing anything unless protein is there to help you recover.
[Click to tweet: “Exercise provides the opportunity and nutrition makes it happen”]
Incase you didn’t know strength training is going to be an essential tool for you getting lean and strong so without a suitable amount of protein in your diet it’s going to prove very tricky to get those results.
Plus as a bonus adding the correct amount of protein helps improve satiety (feel fuller for longer). This helps curb snacking and reduce overall calorie intake.
How much protein do I need?
There are a few different ways to determine how much protein you are going to need. Ranging from the very simple methods like:
0.8g of protein per pound of body weight (175lb male would need 140g daily)
Or to more complicated methods using body weight, height, gender and activity level. I am not going to argue the merits of each because they can both be right and wrong. All they do is give you a good starting point to work from.
Me personally I don’t want to be counting out every gram of protein I eat so prefer to use Precision Nutritions hand measurement guide.
It states that one portion of protein should be approximately the size of your palm. This will work out between 25-35 grams of protein per portion.
Males should aim for two palm size portions with each main meal.
Females one palm size portion with each main meal.
This provides a very simple and take anywhere approach to controlling your portion size at any meal.
What foods are best?
- lean red meats
- Lean white meats (chicken, turkey)
- Fish (line caught preferred)
- Eggs (free-range preferred)
- Plain greek yoghurt or cottage cheese
- Protein supplements (milk or plant based)
If you’re a vegetarian don’t feel left out I will be write a separate post all about getting your protein fix on a plant based diet.
Stay tuned for part two next week when we will dig a little deeper into carbohydrates and learn what really going on.