As a Registered Dietician I get a lot of questions from friends about what they should be eating, and I’ve heard some pretty crazy things. One friend recently told me that in an effort to lose weight he’s been eating fruits and vegetables exclusively for several weeks. Macronutrients are a vital part of a healthy diet; they alone will not sustain your body. While every body is different in its needs; however, a major component to all balanced diets is protein.
Have you ever wondered how much protein you should eat? Let me lay it out for you:
I recommend about 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight for active individuals that include weight training in their fitness regimen. For those that are less active, consume .8-1 gram per pound of body weight.
Have you ever wondered why you should consume protein? Here are the main benefits of a protein rich diet:
Protein Helps Maintain Muscle Mass & Prevents the Breakdown of Other Body Tissues
Protein is made up of several different amino acids. Those amino acids are the building blocks of life and their sole responsibility is to prevent muscle loss by rebuilding tissue. People who make protein a staple in their diet have the amino acids necessary to build and maintain lean muscle mass. Staying active is also key for maintenance of muscle mass and you can improve muscle mass by combining higher levels of protein with resistance training.
Protein Increases Metabolism for Energy
Small meals throughout the day that are high in lean protein can aid in boosting metabolism by firing up your bodies system every 2-4 hours. In comparison to other types of nutrients, your body has to work harder to digest protein strands, thereby boosting your metabolism. Because protein can help stabilize insulin levels, energy levels tend to be steadier as the body processes protein and carbohydrates together.
Protein Controls Caloric Intake by Increasing Satiety to Support Dieting Goals
Eating meals or snacks that are balanced with protein and carbohydrates including fiber can help you feel fuller than unbalanced meals. Eating more protein may help control how many calories you are taking in as a whole.
How are you keeping up with protein consumption in your daily diet? Leave a comment below and let us know how you’re doing.