A huge part of fitness is proper nutrition. You can work out all you want, but if you’re not fueling your body with the right foods, your body is not going to reach its optimum performance or potential.
Weight loss isn't just about cutting calories and burning calories. Not all calories are created equal, and while some foods will certainly hinder your weight loss efforts, others will enhance them. Protein is something that we all need, and not getting enough of it can slow both muscle growth and weight loss.
How Much Protein Should I Eat?
If you are not active, then you most likely are. But if you are working out, being active and trying to build lean muscle or lose weight, then you may not be getting adequate protein. How much is enough depends on your weight, and while everyone is different, the following is a good formula to start with:
Convert your weight to kilograms, and then multiply by 0.8 grams to get your minimum protein intake amount. This, though, may not be enough if you are active. This amount is more appropriate for someone who is more sedentary.
If you are participating in activities that require endurance, such as running, swimming or cycling, you may want to shoot for 1.2 to 1.4 grams per kilogram. If you are doing strength training activities, then 1.4 to 2.0 is better.
How Can I Get Enough Protein?
Much of your protein should come from foods. Lean meats, eggs, and vegetables like spinach and broccoli are all good choices. You can use apps like My Fitness Pal to track your intake. Simply type in the foods you are eating and it will calculate for you.
If you need to get extra protein quickly, protein powders can help. Choose good quality powders. You have options, although it is widely accepted that whey protein is the best way to go. If, however, you are a vegetarian or vegan, or don't tolerate dairy well, soy or hemp protein are other options.
If you are serious about getting into the best possible shape, a personal trainer can help. One of the benefits of a trainer is a more efficient, effective workout. This means getting a custom workout tailored to your current weight, body type and level of fitness. You won't waste time with exercises that aren't effective, and you will get faster results. You will also get nutritional counseling accountability and support. Contact Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club for more information on how personal training can help you reach your fitness goals.
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