How Much Protein Do You Need?

Protein is key if you want a strong and healthy body but a lot of people are confused as to how much protein they should be eating.  And a lot of people are fearful that if they eat too much protein they could actually damage their health.  So how much protein do you really need?

Here’s some helpful info:

You Need Protein To Build Muscle But How Much?

You definitely need protein in order to build muscle but just how much?  Some people assume that if they eat more protein they’ll build muscle faster.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.  You definitely do need to meet your protein requirements in order to build lean muscle, but if you take in more than you need, your body isn’t just going to turn the excess protein into more lean muscle tissue.

Your body can only use so much protein in one day.  If you consume more than you need it’ll be stored as body fat if it’s not used as energy.

How Much Protein?

If you’re active you will require more protein than sedentary individuals.  Generally, 0.6 to 1.1 gram per pound of body weight per day is what the average active person would require.  The exact amount will depend on your genetics and goals

Protein And Your Health

A lot of people tend to believe that high protein diets are hard on the kidneys but if you’re already a healthy individual, eating a higher amount of protein isn’t going to be a problem.

Most people will do fine having up to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight each day.  This is more than most people would require but it’s not going to damage your kidneys.  More likely it’ll get stored as fat.

Higher protein diets do tend to cause dehydration though, so just be sure that you drink more water when you increase your protein intake.

What Are Some Good Sources Of Protein?

There are two types of proteins that occur in nature: complete proteins that contain all the essential amino acids and incomplete proteins which only contain some of the essential amino acids.

Complete Proteins:

  • Whey
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Meat & Seafood
  • Quinoa
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Moringa

 Incomplete Proteins:

  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Legumes
  • Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Coconut Flour
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Most Plant-Based Protein Powders

Eat Your Protein!

Protein is a very important nutrient in your diet.  You absolutely need it to build muscle and to maintain it so make sure you’re getting what you need but don’t assume that just because some is good more must be better.

Healthy Food Swaps!

Some Healthy Food Swaps To Try

When it comes to nutrition you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of what you’re eating.  A few healthy food swaps can result in a superior nutrient profile which will ensure your body is getting all the nutrition it needs to recover from all those great workouts you’re doing.   Sometimes the simplest changes have the biggest pay-offs in terms of your long-term progress with regards to fat loss as well as in terms of how healthy you are.

Here are some quick and easy swaps that will ensure you’re getting optimum nutrition:

Eat Yams Rather Than Potatoes

Not that potatoes are unhealthy, but they tend to rank fairly high on the glycemic index scale, which means they’ll cause a large blood sugar response followed by a crash.  Yams rank lower on the glycemic index scale.  They release more slowly in your body and this keeps your insulin response under control and also helps keep your hunger under control.

Eat Real Fruit Rather Than Drinking Fruit Juice

Don’t drink your fruit!  Eat real fruit so you get the benefit of the fibre.  Also, it’s really easy to drink the juice of 6 oranges without feeling full so you end up consuming extra calories and since there’s no fibre your blood sugar will spike.

Go with real fruit and you’ll feel less hungry and improve your digestive system health.

Have Greek Yogurt Rather Than Flavoured Yogurt

Commercially bought flavoured yogurt (even fruit flavoured ones) has a TON of sugar in it and less protein than Greek yogurt.  You can add a few fresh berries into your Greek yogurt if you need more flavour.   And don’t look for low fat/no fat yogurt.  You need fat and if it’s fat free it most likely has sugar added to it.

Eat Natural Peanut Or Almond Butter Rather Than Commercial Peanut Butter

Commercial peanut butter is FULL of sugar – icing sugar actually!  Opt for natural peanut butter or better yet, almond butter.  Almond butter is actually better digested by most people than peanut butter is.

Eat Salmon Rather Than Beef

Beef is a good source of iron so it’s okay to eat in your diet from time to time, but salmon is going to provide you with the essential fats your body needs to stay healthy.  Salmon is very high in the omega fats that so many people are not getting enough of.

Easy Swaps For Optimum Nutrition

So there you have it!  A few easy swaps to start implementing right now to take your diet and optimize it.  These small changes in your diet will result in big changes in your health and well being!

How To Deal With Stress

Stress

Stress is your body’s response to a real or perceived threat.  It can actually be both good and bad.  Stress can be good for motivating you to focus and take action.  Problems start to occur when it causes you to feel completely overwhelmed.  This can cause you to try to avoid the problem that’s causing you stress and this can make the problem and the stress even worse.

How Your Body Responds To Stress

When you experience stress, your body releases a hormone called cortisol.  In small amounts, cortisol isn’t a problem.  But when the stress is chronic, the concentration of cortisol in your body stays elevated causing all sorts of problems.

One of the things that elevated cortisol levels cause is it makes you crave unhealthy foods.  To add to this, when cortisol levels are high many of these extra calories get stored as abdominal fat which is the dangerous fat.

You may also find that you eat a lot more when you’re stressed.  This is because cortisol can interfere with the hormones in your body that control appetite.

What You Can Do To Combat Stress

There’s always going to be sources of stress in life but luckily there are things you can do to keep it under control.  Here are some tips to deal with stress so it doesn’t have a negative effect on you:

  • Identify your specific stress. Take the time to figure out exactly what’s causing you to feel stressed. Rather than saying, “My job is causing me so much stress,” figure out exactly what part of your job is causing you the most stress.  Maybe you’re stressed because you’ve taken on a project that is beyond your skill set.  Once you pinpoint exactly where the stress is coming from, you can take steps to take care of the problem.
  • Exercise. You can reduce cortisol levels in your body by exercising just thirty minutes each day.  I recommend interval training to get the most out of your time.  Interval training is where you alternate between lower and higher intensity periods of exertion and it actually allows you to achieve a more challenging workout in a shorter period of time than exercising at a consistent pace.
  • Eat well. You need to fuel your body smartly, especially when you’re stressed.  Eat healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats.
  • Get enough sleep. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night.  By doing this you can reduce your cortisol level by more than half of that of people who get less than six hours.  Don’t underestimate the importance of getting enough sleep.
  • Take time to relax everyday. Some people think relaxing is a waste of time and only meant for lazy people but it’s actually a necessity if you want to get your stress under control.  Your mind has a profound impact on your body so you need to take that time to relax so your mind has a chance to rest and reset.

Have A Plan

You know there’s always going to be stress in your life so start thinking of healthy ways you can deal with your future stress.  Maybe start a workout program and start stocking your kitchen with healthy foods.  Plan when you’ll have your relaxation time every day.  Have a sleep schedule that allows you to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Talk to friends and family and include them in your stress busting plans.  Stress will always be there but we get to decide how we deal with it and how much effect it has on us.

What do you do to relieve stress in your life?  Comment below so we can all help each other!