Why does my body need protein?
Protein does a lot for your body. It helps to keep you from being hungry (and then overeating). It helps feed your muscles after a workout, and it even increases the metabolism. When you work out, your body uses fuel. After a workout, your body seeks to replenish all that it has lost during exercise. If you eat protein after a workout (within 30 minutes) your body will be sated.
However, if you do not, the body looks to stored protein; in other words, it actually breaks those muscles down to feed itself, undoing all your hard work.
Why am I always so hungry?
When you do not eat enough protein every day, your body will be hungry. Sugary snacks and carbs just increase the body's hunger. Protein keeps you fuller, longer.
Avoid sugary snacks and high carb meals. For dinner or lunch, think lean meats. Shoot for chicken breasts, salmon (but stick with wild if you can), any type of nuts, beans, hummus and eggs. Peanut butter (or other nut butters) are another great way to add protein and healthy fats.
You should try to have at least 25% protein at every meal. Even vegetarians can do it, with beans, nuts, peanut butter, hummus and eggs.
Will eating protein make me lose weight?
Another added benefit of eating protein is that it gives you a leaner look! Muscle takes up less room than fat, and eating protein feeds the muscles, helping you build and maintain them.
And all that added muscle on your body? It burns more calories than fat, keeping your metabolism revved all day long! So you burn calories no matter what you are doing.
Here's a fact that will wow you: Did you know that a pound of muscle burns just over 35 calories a day (no matter what you are doing) and a pound of fat burns only two little calories.
Since men have more testosterone than women, they are genetically programmed to bulk up, while women lend themselves to a lean look when they have muscle.
Protein has the amino acids that the body needs to build muscle, so you need to eat some protein every single day, to maintain and build muscle.
What are some other benefits of protein?
Additionally, protein also works to help your hair and nails grow and it keeps skin clear. Protein also helps to strengthen your immune system. But remember not to go overboard, because too much protein can be a problem, too.
Stick to about 28 grams of protein per day if you are a woman. Men should eat about half a gram per pound of their body weight. So a man that weighs 200 pounds should eat about 100 grams of protein each day.
Have more questions about protein and getting healthy? Contact Ralph Roberts, a nationally certified personal trainer, today! Ralph has a protein shake every day, and he can recommend other ways for you to get enough protein daily.