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The Value of Adding More Protein to Your Life

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High protein foods such as chicken, fish and eggs are excellent to incorporate into any weight loss plan.

Don’t underestimate the power of protein incorporated in your weight loss plan. It is low in carbohydrates which help cut calories, it takes longer to digest leaving you fuller for longer, and it helps repair and rebuild muscle tissue creating a leaner physique.

Protein sources include meats, nuts, legumes, grains, eggs, dairy products (such as milk, yogurt and cheese), and soy products (such as edamame or tofu).  Protein which is derived from meat or eggs has all the 9 essential amino acids and is considered complete.  All other protein sources are incomplete and need to be combined in order to gain the full benefits. A word of caution, refrain from eating too much red meat as your main protein source as it contains higher amounts of saturated fats which will negatively affect your weight loss program.

Daily requirements of protein vary from men and women and is based on the physical activity levels of the individual. It is suggested that for most women and men respectively, 0.5 g and 0.8 g of protein per pound of body weight be consumed on a daily basis. If you are an elite athlete or doing vigorous endurance and strength training, up to 1.5 g of protein per pound of body weight may be consumed to optimize muscle growth and help prevent soreness.

Excess protein is not stored in the body; it is excreted in the urine therefore it should ideally be consumed consistently over the course of the day, from five to six meals and snacks spaced roughly three to four hours apart.  If you are waiting too long in between meals, your body goes into a type of starvation mode where your body begins to breakdown your muscle tissue as a form of energy.

One source of protein which should be supplemented into any diet is protein powder which is derived from the following sources: whey (milk), soy, eggs, and rice. Depending on the brand you choose, it is virtually fat and carbohydrate free allowing easy combining with either water, fruit juices, milk, yogurt and berries, oatmeal, pancakes, and baked goods.

Here is a great recipe for the summer, protein popsicles. Combine 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder and 2 cups orange juice in a blender until well mixed. Add ½ cup of mixed berries and freeze in a popsicle tray. Enjoy for a cool summer treat that won’t interfere with your weight loss plan.

 


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