Do you know why women who want to lose weight tend to eat protein bars as a snack? Or, why most of the bodybuilders take in protein supplements before or after the workout? No matter whether it is in the form of bars, shakes, supplements, or proteins consumed through food, it is part of their daily intake. But, what is protein? How is it connected to weight loss and bodybuilding, and why should I include it in my healthy diet?
Protein is an important macronutrient which is composed of complex molecules of amino acids. We can divide them into two groups: non-essential (which the body can produce) and essential (which the body cannot produce). The second ones we take through the food we eat.
Our muscles, hormones, organs, tissues, and cells are made of proteins. When it enters our bodies, its function is to help every part of our body to:
- function properly
So, women who want to lose weight, and bodybuilders need it for building muscle and strength. It helps them endure trainings, and it speeds up the weight loss process. If you continue reading, you will find out more about protein and weight loss and its benefits.
Health Benefits Of Protein
Just like carbohydrates and fats, proteins also provide us with energy to function. About 20 % of our body weight is composed of protein. It is the primary element of our muscles, heart, brain, eyes, nails, skin, hair. Therefore, it is responsible for several health benefits related to our bodies such as:
- Strengthening the immune system – the antibodies in our bodies are actually proteins. Their function is to recognize viruses, bacteria, and similar diseases. Therefore, consuming more proteins means making our immune system stronger.
- Stimulating muscle growth – as we grow older, our muscle mass reduces. Also, in high-intensity training, we may sometimes injure our muscles. The consumption of proteins strengthens our muscles and repairs the damaged tissues.
- Preventing diabetes type 2 – proteins help us keep the levels of the insulin up, which regulate the sugar in our blood.
- Keeping our bones strong – proteins play an important role when it comes to our bones maintenance.
- Decreasing inflammation – many surveys show that protein is a key factor in reducing inflammation.
- Increasing the memory – proteins help in the functioning of our brains improving our memory and concentration.
- Boosting the mood – the amino acids that proteins contain help in the function of the nervous system. They also have an effect on synthesizing hormones which influence our mental health.
To keep your body healthy, never exclude proteins from your diet. On the contrary, they should be on the top of your healthy diet list.
Protein And Weight Loss
We have all heard about some negative effects of carbs and fats when it comes to weight. But, we have heard none about protein. That is because it is weight loss friendly and it is essential to include it in your healthy diet. Many call it a secret weight-loss weapon since it plays key role in losing weight naturally.
- Boost metabolism to burn more calories – proteins are highly thermogenic food. Thus, when we eat them, our body spends more calories.
- Build and maintain muscle mass – when we exercise protein helps us keep our muscles strong.
- Reduce hunger and cravings – it takes longer to digest proteins than carbs and fats. That means they make us feel full longer. That way, our appetite is reduced, and we have little or no cravings.
Nutritionists recommend that the lean protein is always the best choice. And, if you want to stay healthy and skinny, it should be part of every meal you have. Having low-protein intake can have negative consequences on your health. People who follow low-protein diets may have weak muscles, and experience trouble shedding weight.
Recommended Daily Intake Of Protein
Without proteins, our bodies couldn’t function properly. To stay healthy, strong and fit we should consume the right amount of proteins daily. The question is how much? The recommended daily intake would be 0,8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Each of us is different so the amount will differ from person to person. And, where can we find it?
- Dairy products
The right amount of protein intake will depend on the physical activity, weight, calories you burn per day, etc. Therefore, consulting a nutritionist is the best thing to do.
To Wrap It Up
Consuming proteins is a must. They help us lose weight, but also take care almost of every part of our bodies. Our muscles, skin, eyes, hair, nails, heart, brain, are all made of proteins. So, deficiency of protein may result in different health problems.
Our immune system, muscle growth, mood, memory, and concentration depend on its intake. These are only some of the reasons why you should always include proteins in your healthy diet.
If you find difficulties losing weight, or simply want to find out more about proteins and the recommended daily intake, please contact me.