If you are interested in weight loss, muscle growth, strong immune system, cognition, smoother skin, and a hundred more amazing things you have probably heard of protein. Protein approaches, and philosophies, are the most contested and debated in the fitness world. So, for arguments sake we are going to focus on what we do know and how that can affect your weight loss goals.
If carbohydrates and fat are the fuel/energy for our body to make all the wonderful things happen, then protein would be all the structural components keeping our body operating. Like bricks, and mortar to the oil and wind energy of the other macronutrients. Protein is building and repairing damage all across our internal systems.
What is Protein?
It comes in three forms:
Fibrous - Muscles, tendons, bones, collagen (This will be our focus for today)
Globular - play many biological roles, including acting as enzymes, hormones.Hemoglobin is a globular protein found in red blood cells.
Membrane - Layers of the walls of cells
Why do we need protein?
Well, because they make up almost everything in our body, and they are made up of even small and more important compounds known as amino acids.
When we consume protein from plant or animal sources our body can break those down into 9 essential amino acids. They are referred to as essential amino acids because we cannot make them internally. We can however make the other 11 non-essential amino acids because our body is amazing.
You do not necessarily need to know the specifics of those 9 essential amino acids because as long as you are eating a diet full of a variety of vegetables and/or meats your body can make them out of those proteins found in them.
If you're a nerd like me, here they are:
* The 3 essential amino acids with an asterisk are known as Branch Chain Amino Acids.
BCAAs make up a large chunk of the body's total amino acid pool.
Together, they represent around 35–40% of all essential amino acids present in your body and 14–18% of those found in your muscles. BCAAs are mostly broken down in the muscle, rather than in the liver. Because of this, they are thought to play a role in energy production during exercise
How much protein?
The graph to the left represents the amount of protein, on average, for the normal adult. This is largely based on size, metabolism and goals.
You might have noticed that it is in kilograms. This is very important to note. Even if you're new to the health/fitness world you may have heard the "1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight".
That belief in requirement for protein came from a 1991 study, heres the kicker, in the UK. If you don't live in America, (or Liberia or Myanmar) then you may already know the problem. A kilogram represents 2.2 times more than a pound. This could explain us being the most over consumptive of protein in the world. An issue that has been leaked to a host of gastrointestinal issues and potentially heart issues because most forms of protein come in the form of red meat. Now, we aren't here to talk medical issues but how to effectively use fit tips for your weight loss.
As long as you stay within the guidelines you will be fine, keep in mind to consume the highest quality meats that you can with fiber. Fiber will keep the protein moving along the track and not deteriorate and cause issues.
Protein has a phenomenal satiating effect. Meaning you will feel full for longer, which is perfect for weight loss. Now combine that with repairing tissues through your fitness journey and you have a very powerful weapon in weight loss.