What’s the fuss about Protein?
A high protein diet can be beneficial for you if you’re trying to change your body composition! This blog is going to tell you why you might want to increase protein and what benefit it will have on your body composition.
First off, what is protein and why do I need it?
Proteins are the building blocks of our bodies and are made up of amino acids. They’re important particularly for muscle growth and preventing muscle loss in older adults over 50. Protein causes diet induced thermogenesis – an increase of heat in your body induced by your diet (calorie burning!). Secondly, protein keeps you full for longer compared to carbs and fats which mean you’re less likely to eat as many calories when you include more protein in your diet.
Protein can be found in many sources, not just meat products. It can be found in:
- Lean meats
- Nuts (careful of the fat content)
How much do I have to eat?
This varies. However, as a guide you want to eat between 1.6-2g/kg body mass. If you’re very active or above the age of 50, you want to head to the top end of that scale, if you’re younger and not quite as active, aim for the bottom end.
What does this mean if I weigh 80kg?
1.6 x 80 = 128g protein per day.
2 x 80 = 160g protein per day.
Numbers can get confusing when it comes to servings and nutrition. Therefore, using your hand as a guide, 3 times per day, you want to eat 3 hand size portions of protein per day to ensure you’re eating enough!
Is it safe to eat this much?
Despite the popular Newspaper’s best efforts, it is completely safe to have a high protein diet, unless you suffer from kidney disease or some cancers. The famous study by Lavine and colleagues in 2014 suggested there was a link between low protein diets in young people and mortality. This study was biased and had a weak correlation, IGNORE IT!
To summarise, increasing your protein will have a positive effect on your muscle health, appetite regulation and body composition. If you’re unsure how to do this or confused about things that you read online, book in with me to optimise your day to day nutrition!
Richie Barclay: www.chislehurstnutritionist.co.uk