Ok so last week we talked about the importance of getting enough and variety of veggies in your diet.
This week we’re still going to be on the topic of food but moving over to protein.
Now, there’s a good chance that when you think about someone making sure they’re eating enough you have images of bodybuilder types. Chugging down protein shakes and forcing down plain grilled chicken meal after meal.
While there are some that follow this path that doesn’t mean it’s what it’s all about. OR that it’s only people who are interested in bodybuilding that need to make sure they’re getting the right amount of protein in their bodies.
Protein forms the building blocks of your body. It helps to repair muscle tears and damage the happen during day to day life as well as training sessions.
Protein helps to grow the new skin we need as well as helping to transport various elements around our bodies.
There is also the added benefit of helping you feel full for longer! (which is great if you’re looking to drop a few lbs)
As you can see, protein is vital for the body to just be able to perform day to day functions as well as help you recover from the training sessions you put yourself through. No matter if your goal is to pack on extra muscle, get leaner, improve endurance and performance or just get an all round healthier and fitter life.
Protein, in the right amounts, is vital part of you being able to achieve those targets.
People and their protein consumption is like the Goldilocks and the 3 Bears story. In that you have people who don’t eat enough, people who eat too much for what they really need and then there’s the sweet spot of balance in the middle that’s just right.
That will depend on a lot of aspects, age, sex, activity level and goals. Even with this, the recommendations you find on the internet and in books are just that, recommendations. They don’t mean they will work exactly for you. You’ll probably find a range that can vary quite a bit. As with most things, it’s an experiment to see what works for YOU and what you’re working towards.
Before you start researching what you should be eating, getting all confused and consumed by the information let’s say this. Just like the calories that most people don’t need to count and weigh to get the results they’re wanting.
Most people don’t need to be so detailed on their protein consumption to have it work for them.
So, what can you do?
Your first step is to get a source of protein at every meal. Yes that includes breakfast, and no, things like protein Weetabix DO NOT COUNT
This doesn’t mean that you need to be eating steak for breakfast. Although that’s a tasty thing to do sometimes 😊
So, this could mean stepping away from the cereals and having something eggs based. Some yogurt and fruit and nuts. Porridge (yes oats are a source of protein)
Lunch and dinner, you’re probably already getting a source of protein in there. So breakfast will be the big one for you to tackle and then reap the benefits from
You’re ready to hit this level if you have been having a source of protein with each meal for 6 weeks consistently.
If you have achieved that then it’s time to make it a bit more personalised to you. Before you reach for the scales to weight your steak, chicken or tuna take a breath. For most sources you still won’t need the scales.
The simple way to take this next step is using your hand.
A serving of protein per meal will be equal to the size of your palm.
To start with, women have 1 palm sized portion per meal, men have 2 per meal. Over time you can adjust that to your needs a bit more.
- As with everything else with your diet, variety works. Sticking to the same sources will bore you and you’ll give up
- Increase your intake in stages and don’t make a massive jump up overnight
- Spices, herbs and marinades can be added to your meats and fish to add variety
- It IS possible to get your protein needs met without eating meat or fish if that’s your preference. You will just need to be a bit creative with what you eat
Protein Sources Ideas
Lean cuts/minced (5%) Beef, Turkey, Lamb, Chicken, Lean Pork (e.g. Tenderloin), Wild Game, Duck, Eggs, Egg Whites.
Salmon, Cod, Haddock, Halibut, Trout, Sardines, Mackerel, Prawns, Tuna.
Milk, Cottage Cheese, Plain/Greek yogurt, Protein powders.
Lentils, Beans, Chickpeas, Hummus, Tofu.
Just a quick note to finish on. If you are looking to get a protein powder know that all are not created equal. It’s worth spending that bit more and getting one that is well manufactured. Like the Form Protein powder that we stock. It can make a huge difference!