As I might have mentioned at least once during this series, Protein is really, really important to your body’s survival… and thrival? Ok, spell check alerts me that “thrival” is possibly not a word, but onward. I hear making up words is the thing to do these days.
Even the word itself says how important it is. Protein is derived from the greek word protos, which means first. Every tissue in your body from your hair to your skin to your toenails (nevermind things like… uh… muscles, bones, and organs, as well as the tissue that holds them in place) needs protein to do its thing.
Never mind that from a weight loss perspective, protein is the macronutrient the stimulates your production of leptin, the hormone that says “Whoa, lady. You donot need that donut. We’re full!)
Protein is important, capice? But someone out there is spreading a dirty little rumor that 42 grams per day if you’re of the pink variety, and 56 grams if you’re of the blue sort is enough. This is based on the Recommended Daily Allowance (which also recommends that the average person needs 60% or 300 grams of carbs in a day) that says that’s the minimum your body must have. Basically, that’s where your body probably won’t eat its own muscles to make amino acids for you. But of course, that also doesn’t take into consideration what you do for a living or if you do anything in a gym.
But think about this too. If say you’re allotted 1800 calories for the day, and you eat 42 grams of protein, then you’re only spending 168 calories on your most important macronutrient. So what are you going to do with the rest of your calories? Yeah, hangry and know you need to eat something, and suddenly the aforementioned donut is closer than your nose. Or on your nose if it was covered in powdered sugar.
Don’t forget. Carbohydrates are important as I explained in Myth #21: You should avoid carbs if you want to lose weight, but your body is also MENSA smart. It can make sugar if it needs to from protein and fat (via gluconeogenesis. Say that at your next party, and people will think you’re MENSA smart too). However, unless you’re eating enough, the only way that your body can get the amino acids (which come from broken down protein) it needs is by breaking down your muscle tissue. Hellllooooo, nagging injuries… or worse!
So ditch the minimum. You’re a goal getter after all. Forty percent of your calories in the form of protein is not a bad starting place. (Each gram of protein has 4 calories.) Don’t overdo it on the synthetics though– no more than 50% of your protein from powders. If you need some ways to shake up your whey, click the “recipes” tag. I’m also working on some non-whey dishes including “M-word chicken” and “Savory Breakfast Cups.”
In Tomorrow’s Post…
Spending your money on supplements to lose weight? Check back tomorrow for the real scoop!