Why would you pick a Coke Zero over a a piece of Tofu? Well if you are counting calories you just might! Many people are dieting by choosing foods that are less in calories because that is what they are tracking. If you eat more than you burn off you will eventually gain weight. Yet more importantly, counting your protein and taking out certain foods is what will help you lose weight the healthy way and TONE UP!
Let's focus on what really matters when it comes to optimizing nutrition and achieving lasting fitness goals.
Your organs, tissues, muscles, and hormones are all made from proteins. Food-based protein is used by every part of the body in order for cells to develop, grow, and function properly. Consuming protein is critical because every body function depends upon this cellular building block! Adequate consumption of this nutrient is vital for avoiding deficiency and all of the negative consequences that ensue.
What happens when your diet is missing protein?
Muscle Loss: Many body proteins are rapidly degraded due to a short half-life, which means that you need to consume protein in order to support the continuous production and supply of this cellular foundation. Protein deficiency goes something like this: your body breaks down its own proteins to collect amino acids (needed to form critical new proteins); because muscles contain a large amount of protein, they are a choice location for amino acid withdrawal. Chronic protein deficiency results in weakened, diminished muscles.
Poor Recovery Time: Injury compels protein production so that tissues can be repaired or replaced in the damaged area. This process is slowed when a person is protein deficient, so a wound that would normally heal within a matter of days may persist for weeks.
Chronic Infections & Swelling: Insufficient protein consumption can lead to a weakened immune system response and persistent infections, while the ability to recover from infections is also jeopardized if your diet lacks this vital nutrient. Protein deficiency upsets the body's chemical balancing act, which can cause fluid to leak into tissues - this is called edema. In cases of mild edema, swelling is most noticeable in the hands, feet, and ankles. More severe edema impacts the face and abdomen.
Brittle Hair and Nails: Hair and nails are comprised of a specialized protein called keratin, and minimal protein effects the growth capacity and likelihood of breakage when it comes to these beauty features. Slow-growing, thinning, or breaking hair and nails may be an indication of mild to moderate protein deficiency. In most cases, hair and nails will return to health with proper protein consumption.
- Weight loss and maintenance
- Stabilized blood sugar level
- Improved ability to learn and concentrate
- Reduced brain fog
- Boosted energy
- Supported muscles and bones
- Amplified absorption of important nutrients
- Plus! keeps you feeling full
Protein, Enzymes & Hormones
Enzymes speed up certain chemical reactions, such as digestive enzymes, which help break down food and release energy into your system.
Hormones behave like "cellular messengers" and help to manage all kinds of activities in the body: take insulin production, for example - a hormonal process that helps regulate blood sugar in our body. A high-protein diet reduces hunger, helping you eat fewer calories, and this is caused by improved function of weight regulating hormones. Blood sugar that is managed properly can also help alleviate mood swings throughout the course of your day!
Our immune system needs protein to make specialized proteins that help the body defend against foreign invaders, and these proteins are called antibodies. Our systems also make transport proteins that move things around our body – like hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to all the cells of our body, or specialized proteins that carry vitamins and minerals to the cells that need them.
Protein & Exercise
This nutrient is essential for fitness. Anyone who engages in a consistent exercise routine is going to need to increase the amount of protein in their diet: when we exercise, muscle fibers are being torn and broken apart, and protein is the fundamental component of tissue repair.
It’s important to combine protein with carbohydrates because the body absorbs protein more readily this way, leading to increased muscle mass and sustained post-workout energy.
Maintenance, repair, and growth of lean muscle mass all depend on protein.
Individual protein requirements are determined by body size and type/amount of physical activity. For example, heavy resistance exercise increases the rates of both protein synthesis and breakdown in muscle for at least 24 hours after a workout. Unless protein is consumed during recovery, breakdown will exceed synthesis (the biological process by which individual cells build their specific protein), resulting in the loss of muscle mass.
Looking for a great post recovery shake to maximize your results. With my Free 5 Day Better You Program you will receive a customized nutrition plan that covers all your pre- and post- workout protein essentials; a personal coach can advise you about proper nutrient consumption and determine your unique protein number for achieving optimal fitness results!
80% of your physique is determined by nutrition, and this is why protein is so important! That other 20% is physical activity. Exercise is imperative for healthy living! The BTES App can be a great tool for reminding you to stay engaged in activities that help build essential muscle and support positive eating habits.
go get a little more protein in today girls. And nope! You will NOT bulk up.