Saturday, October 5, 2013

Adequate Protein Intake For A Better Body

"Oh you look so great now that you're skinny--with no muscle tone and your clothes just hang on you, but at least you're thin!", said no one ever.  Can you imagine the gasps if someone were to say that? But you've seen it, you know you have.  Ladies who have lost weight and they really don't look that much better because they unfortunately have lost their muscle tone along with the weight.  What keeps that from happening?  It's all in the protein, baby. 

We gals need protein, and lots of it, in order to keep our bodies where they need to be.  Do you cease to need muscles after 30?  No way!  In fact, if anything, you need more muscle because of everything you have to do to maintain health (like exercise), help your families, and stay viable in the workforce.  Muscle makes everything easier--especially physical activity.  

Maintaining a healthy weight is important and so many women diet heavily after age 30 in hopes of maintaining the healthy weight of their youth!  But food deprivation alone will strip you of muscle along with the fat, leaving you thin, yes, but most likely lacking in energy and muscle tone.
 If I'm losing an average of a half a pound of muscle every year after 30, it's not just going to happen for me like it once did, when I could eat all of those fab foods and then on the weekend do some kind of weekend warrior type of activity and lose anything I had gained.  Not going to happen...But the protein and working out will help things out a whole lot.  So how much protein do you need?  

Here's the formula:  My (or your) ideal weight (135 lbs.) ÷ 2.2 = 61.3636 (Ideal weight in Kg)  Next, 
61.3636 X 1.5 = 92.04 grams of protein needed per day.

OK, that sounds like a whole lot of protein, but it really isn't that much.  For instance, 4 oz. of chicken or beef has nearly 30 grams of protein right there.   And a one cup serving of Greek Yogurt has 11 - 20 grams.  Another important thing is that you need to spread the protein intake over the course of the entire day rather than consume it all in one sitting.  And the most important time to have protein is in the morning after going all night without anything to combat muscle loss as you are sleeping.  Also, varying the things you eat for protein is important.  So while beans and legumes are considered medium sources of protein compared to meats, greek yogurt and whey protein, they do offer other great nutrients in addition to their protein.  Plus, depending solely on meats for your protein could actually be muscle robbing in the long run because they are acid producing.  So it's important to then add fruits and vegetable because they are alkaline producing and will combat the acid effect.  

Today my goal was to consume 92 grams of protein.  Here's what I had:

Kashi Go Lean Crunch Cereal  1.5 cups - 13 grams protein
1 cup milk - 8 grams protein

Snack:  1 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt - 11 grams protein

Lunch:  Open Face Tuna Sandwich - 19 grams protein
1/2 oz chedder cheese -  4 grams protein

Snack:  6 dates - 0 grams protein
1/2 oz. Swiss Cheese - 4 grams protein
Protein bar - 14 grams protein

Dinner:  Protein Shake with 1 cup milk - 31 grams protein

Total Protein consumed: 104 grams

I totally surpassed my goal protein intake.  And I KNOW I surpassed my calorie intake goal as well.  I don't even want to go there! This was an experiment and I can see where I could have done better.  For instance, I could have cut out the swiss cheese and I could have cut the milk down to 1/2 cup for the protein shake.  But as you can see, protein is fairly easy to come by!  

So, if I were to choose between being thin with no muscle tone or being a bit more thick with muscle intact, I'd pick the latter.  Let's keep that beautiful muscle while keeping fit and healthy. 

What are some of your suggestions to keep healthy and full of energy? 

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