How much protein do I need?

Protein is the secret to fat loss. 

You killed your workout. You’re on a high and now, you’re hungry. In this situation, most would be tempted to nom on a cronut than a porterhouse steak. The truth is, we need protein everyday and here is why.

Each time you workout, you break your muscle tissues down and it is essential to replenish your body – after all 75% of our body is made up of protein. Unfortunately, most women don’t have enough protein in their diets for many reasons:

  • There is a misconception protein increases body fat. This is further from the truth. Its what you eat with the protein that could be the culprit (the french fries along with half a bottle of tomato sauce – enough said).
  • Another reason for not having enough protein is that most of us don’t understand how much we actually need and not tracking it.

Me in Barcelona with Lean Steak

Me in Barcelona with Lean Steak

There are many benefits to increasing your protein intake including (but not limited to):

  • Protein increases your metabolism – it takes the body more energy to break down protein. Therefore, raising your metabolism and burning calories at the same time (oh yeah!!! multitasking to the max)
  • Protein makes you feel full and satisfied – protein increases insulin sensitivity and helps control hormones like leptin, helping to avoid hunger
  • Protein gives you sexy shape and tone – yes ladies, we all want that perky booty but spending hours at the gym is not enough. Protein aids in building muscle which gives you shape. It will not ‘bulk’ you because women don’t have the same amount of testosterone as men do which is needed to ‘bulk up’.

So, how much protein do I actually need?

Ok, get your calculators out. Research states that you need approximately 1.0-1.6 grams of protein for every Kg of your body weight. For example, if you are 60kgs, you will need about 60 to 96 grams of protein a day.

Best Sources of Protein:

Here are some sources of protein to consider for your next meal. I suggest tracking what you eat on an app such as my fitness pal to ensure you’re getting enough everyday.

  • Poultry including Chicken & Turkey (28g protein per 100grams)
  • Fish (salmon is my personal favourite at 22g protein per 100 grams)
  • Beef (choose grass fed where possible 30g protein per 150grams)
  • Lean Pork (choose free range pork. 21g protein per 100grams)
  • Eggs (choose free range. Not to be confused with cage free. A large egg contains 6g protein)
  • Whey protein powder (depending on the brand, one scoop can have 20-30 grams of protein)
  • Beans (all kinds – black beans have the most protein content at 15g in 1 cup)
  • Nuts (almonds and walnuts contain the most protein)
  • Dairy – full fat milk, Greek yogurt & cheese (almond milk does not count)

References:

Lemon PWR.:Protein and Amino Acid Requirements of the Strength Athlete.;Int J Sport Nutr , 1991;1;127-145

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