By Jessica Allion
High-protein shakes and protein bars seem to be the “in thing” these days and every food marketer in the universe appears to want a piece of the protein pie …with good reason! The benefits of protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.
Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Your hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.
So you can see how it would almost seem impossible to get too much of it! …or is it?
THE POWER OF PROTEIN
Protein is a “macronutrient,” (along with carbohydrates and fats) meaning that the body needs relatively large amounts of it. Vitamins and minerals, which are needed in smaller quantities are “micro-nutrients.” The body does not store protein, unlike carbohydrates and fats that get stored when we refuel our bodies with more than we need.
Protein can be converted by the body into glucose for energy, but it takes twice as much effort as converting carbohydrates or fats into glucose. The extra effort translates into fewer calories available. (source: http://www.webmd.com/men/features/benefits-protein)
How protein makes us “feel” full
When it comes to feeling full, clinical studies consistently showed that a high protein diet increased satiety and decreased hunger compared with high fat or high carbohydrate diets. In addition, most, but not all of the studies reviewed show that most people on high-protein diets took in about 10% less energy (roughly 200 calories) per day, which could account for at least some of the weight loss seen with this type of diet. (source:http://www.webmd.com/men/features/benefits-protein)
So you may assume the solution is to eat protein all day long. …not exactly say the nutritionists, but we could all benefit from getting more protein from better food sources such as fish, poultry (without skin), beans & nuts. Herein, lies the popular protein bar and protein shakes that have overwhelmed our supermarket shelves.
Do not be fooled by what the manufacturer puts on the front of the package. Always read your labels and look for real food on the ingredient lists.
“The thermic effect you receive from protein metabolism is much higher than the thermic effect from carbohydrates or fat. Eating a meal high in protein is going to stimulate muscle protein synthesis; because muscle protein synthesis is so metabolically costly it will deplete your ATP stores in an effort to metabolism this macronutrient. Your body’s effort to produce more ATP for energy and to continue this process will significantly change body composition. If done consistently over a long period of time this will result in an increased metabolism leading to less body fat and more muscle mass (if combined with heavy/high volume resistance training). (excerpt by Derek Dolgner)
Recommended Protein Sources:
I reached 200 pounds after having my children and several things have led me down my path of wanting to be healthier and better for myself and for my family; countless fitness dvds, a gym membership, leading a weight management class at my church and a personal trainer telling me I had good symmetry.
My husband and I have competed in several competitions from 2012 from 2015. Every competition brought more information on how to be better and stronger both mentally and physically.
I have learned many things on my fitness journey, but the one thing that I hear over and over no matter what size they are, is the self-talk that many women tell themselves regarding the way they see themselves. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have the tools and wisdom of the people around me to help women of all shapes and dynamics to help them on their journey.
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