EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PROTEIN
If I’m a woman, will protein make me bulky!? It’s a common misconception that couldn’t be further from the truth. Protein is a vital part of the diet, it not only helps to maintain and grow lean muscle mass but additionally can help to reduce hunger, boost metabolism and stay on top of your game - perfect if your goal is weight loss.
What is protein and why do we need it?
Like any living creature we have to feed our bodies to survive. All foods can be broken down into two main categories - MACRONUTRIENTS (carbohydrates, fats and protein) and MICRONUTRIENTS (vitamins and minerals). Protein is a macronutrient that helps to make up the building blocks of the body. Its main purposes include cell growth, supporting immune function, metabolism, hormone production and most well known for building and repairing muscles.
In truth, men and women have very different body compositions and it is actually hormones within the body (namely testosterone) that cause men to achieve muscle growth (gains). Women have much lower levels of testosterone, which makes it extremely difficult to increase muscle mass significantly. Eating protein will help to aid muscle recovery after exercise which in turn will build and maintain lean muscle, this creates a lean toned look (think Stef Fit!), it will not however make you grow huge, bulky muscles!
How does protein aid weight loss?
Protein has a higher thermic effect than any other food group, this means that your body has to work harder to digest and metabolize protein… put simply, by eating protein your body actually burns more calories just by breaking it down.
Due to the longer period of time that it takes for your body to break down protein, this increases the time between eating and when you feel hungry again, which will help to curb snacking and avoid unhealthy foods by making you feel fuller for longer.
When you are dieting to lose weight you have to maintain a calorie deficit, which means reducing the number of calories consumed daily. By increasing the protein in your diet this will help to maintain the lean muscle that you’ve worked hard for and encourage the body to burn stored fat as a source of energy.
Should I be using a protein shake?
A protein shake is no different than getting protein from whole food sources such as chicken or eggs and can be consumed by EVERYONE from gym bunnies to busy mums that don’t have time to prepare their own lunch. The main difference is convenience. The most important factor to consider when eating protein is the timing. You should aim to include protein with every meal spaced throughout the day so that your body is in constant supply. Protein shakes are also a great low calorie, high protein snack that will help you to feel more full and stop you reaching for the sugary sweet stuff!
Tip: Add 1 scoop of Slender Blend to Greek yoghurt and berries to create a tasty, nutritious, low calorie snack with a hit of protein!
Try a high protein breakfast
For most people who work full time or have children, it’s not always easy or time effective to prepare protein rich food throughout the day, especially breakfast time when our go to is usually the most convenient options such as toast or cereal. These are both nutritionally poor, high GI options which means that you will get a quick boost of energy, followed by a crash that will leave you raiding the fridge by mid morning.
A high protein breakfast will help to keep you feeling more full for longer which will aid weight loss goals and reduce unnecessary snacking! A protein shake is a great option first thing as it packs a huge hit of protein (Slender Blend contains 24g per shake) is quick and easy, you can drink it on the go and you can create tasty smoothies to add additional vitamins and minerals to your diet.
How does protein aid muscle recovery?
If you have started exercising or increased your regular exercise intensity to help aid weight loss or reach your goals faster, then a post workout protein shake is vital for recovery. Exercise causes tiny tears in the muscle fibre, the muscles then repair and rebuild stronger – this is how constant training helps to increase muscle strength. Protein is essential to help speed up muscle recovery by repairing muscle fibres, promoting lean muscle growth and replenishing depleted energy stores from workouts. Post workout protein will help to reduce muscle soreness and speed up recovery so that you can continue to perform at your best and give it your all in every session.
Is too much protein bad for you?
There is a certain amount of protein that your body can store and utilize to carry out all of its necessary functions. Any excess protein is eliminated from the body without use. There is little evidence to show that too much protein is harmful, and you would have to be consuming a huge amount to be having too much, however it is more likely that you are not eating enough. Contact our team of nutritionists who can help you to work out your protein intake to help reach your personal goals - firstname.lastname@example.org