How much protein do I need to consume daily? Does protein really make a difference in our metabolism? Should we eat protein at certain times of the day? These are common questions that I hear all the time from current and prospective clients.
The name protein comes from the Greek word protos, which means “first.” Your body uses proteins in your diet to build new cells, maintain tissues, and synthesize new proteins that make it possible for you to perform basic bodily functions.
How much protein do you need to consume daily? Most nutritionists agree that active women need about .5 grams per pound of their weight in protein per day. That would be 65gms for a 130lb woman. If you exercise more than an hour five or more times per week, you should increase your protein intake to .75 grams per pound.
Does protein really make a difference in your metabolism? When you eat protein; your body burns 20 to 30 percent of the calories for the digestion process. Your body has to work harder to digest protein and you burn more calories. It speeds up your metabolism while digesting. If you eat some form of protein every 3-3.5 hours, it will keep your metabolism burning at a higher rate all day.
Should we eat protein at certain times of the day? You should eat some protein in every meal or snack you have during the day. You definitely want to eat protein at breakfast as it helps kick your metabolism up first thing. If you know that you will not be able to eat for a long period of time, eat a snack with protein; it will keep your stomach feeling full longer. Eating a protein enriched snack within 30-45 minutes after a workout (cardio or strength training) will put your body to use rebuilding and repairing the micro-tears in muscle tissue that occur during your workout.
Here are some protein enriched snacks and meals to try:
- Greek Yogurt (14gm)
- Oatmeal, skim milk & blueberries (11gm)
- 6-inch turkey & veggie sub (20gm)
- Apple slices with almond butter (4gm)
- Salmon, brown rice, broccoli (28gm)
- Vanilla frozen yogurt with chocolate syrup (2gm)
Holly Kouvo is a certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist who specializes in helping people lose hundreds of pounds. Learn more at www.FittingFitnessIn.com