Learn About Protein
Learn about protein. Discover how to support your blood sugar levels, lose weight naturally, and burn more fat by consuming protein in your diet.
Let’s Dive Into Protein
Did you know that your muscles, tissues, and skin are all built of protein? Protein is broken down into amino acids that help to maintain and replace tissues. Your body takes longer to break down amino acids. The lengthier breakdown time provides a longer-lasting source of energy that helps to keep you fuller longer and reduces your appetite.
Protein helps to build muscle, and the more muscle you have the more fat you burn.
Less protein equates to less muscle mass and a slower metabolism. Who wants that?
Another reason I love protein for weight loss is because it only has 4 calories per gram, whereas fat has 9 calories per gram. More bang for your buck!
Amino Acids Are the Building Blocks of Protein
20 different amino acids make protein. Amino acids are divided into two types, non-essential and essential.
- Essential amino acids – There are 9 Essential amino acids. You must consume these amino acids from food sources.
- Nonessential amino acids – There are 11 Nonessential amino acids. Your body makes these, and they are not essential to your diet. If you are ill or under a great deal of stress, your body typically demands a greater quantity and these may become “conditional”.
It is important to eat protein throughout the day with every meal and snack so that your body can receive a variety of amino acids to build protein.
Protein Helps to Support Your Blood Sugar Levels
I cannot explain the importance of steady blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar levels are steady throughout the day your metabolism is on fire, your mood is steady, and you can think clearly. Consuming an adequate amount of protein and moderate amount of healthy fat throughout the day can help to support your blood sugar levels.
How Much Protein Should You Consume?
One thing to consider is that protein is broken down daily, and it needs to be replaced. We cannot store it for later use like fat and carbs. A key general guideline is to aim to consume 1/2 of your body weight in grams of protein per day. This will help to support your blood sugar levels, keep you fuller longer, burn fat, and build muscle leading to natural weight loss.
It’s all about balance, right? If you consume more protein than your body can break down your body may store its components as fat. You also want to avoid consuming too little protein to prevent loss of muscle while you lose weight. Therefore, I encourage you to incorporate some protein with each meal and snack. Please note – these are general guidelines for customized recommendations schedule a consult.
Set a goal to consume 1/2 of your body weight in grams of protein daily.
Sources of Protein and Quality Matter
Animal Sources of Protein:
- Seafood: Tuna, cod, salmon, shrimp, scallops, sardines
- Meat: Turkey, chicken, beef, lamb pork
- Dairy: Cow’s milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese
- Whey Protein Powder
You may think this means that you need to amp up on your animal sources of protein, but that is not the case. You can combine plant sources of protein throughout the day to meet your needs. Learn the most nutrient-dense sources of protein.
Plant Sources of Protein:
- Nuts: Almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, brazil nuts
- Seeds: Hemp, pumpkin, flax, chia, sunflower, sesame
- Beans: Lentils, kidney, mung, white, black, green, lima, chickpeas, adzuki
- Grains: Steel-cut oats, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, teff, brown rice
- Soy: Tofu, tempeh, edamame (consume soy in moderation)
- Plant-Based Protein Powders
The Quality of Protein
The quality of the protein powder is of utmost importance. Poor-quality protein will not break down easily and may tax your liver and metabolism. Natural sources of protein will help to fuel your body, burn fat, and build lean muscle.
Learn how you can use the Fooducate App to select high-quality protein sources and enhance your weight loss in this video.
Consuming Protein Daily for Weight Loss
Whew! Okay, that is a lot of information. Essentially, your goal is to mix and match protein sources throughout the day. Aim to hit your daily target goal of 1/2 grams of protein per day. Monitor how you feel and experiment with different sources.
Now Let’s Hear From You!
Leave a comment in the box below. What did you learn from this blog post? Please ask questions too. I’m happy to help in any way that I can.