“Protein provides essential amino acids that are the building blocks of muscle…Exercise, particularly lifting weights, provides a signal for muscle to be retained, even when you’re cutting calories.”
-Stuart Phillips, Ph.D., professor of kinesiology at McMaster University, and author of an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study on the benefit of a protein rich diet.
Proteins are the building blocks our bodies need to stay healthy and function properly.
Protein plays a part in all functions of the body. Proteins help to digest and absorb nutrients, burn fat for energy, build muscle and even aid in the production of collagen & elastin in your skin.
When bodies lack protein, they begin to break down muscle in order to keep functioning. Muscle depletion won’t just affect appearance and strength; your heart and lungs are also muscles that will suffer without adequate protein in your diet. A lack of dietary protein will also cause a decrease in the absorption of calcium in the bones, which results in weak and fragile bones.
Try to consume protein at every meal. Aim for 90-100 grams of protein per day in order keep your body from breaking down your muscles. A high protein diet will also keep you satiated longer and keep your blood sugars level. If meat isn’t your preference, there are plenty of other sources. Reach for plant proteins, nuts, seeds, beans, and grains rich in protein. You can also find protein supplements to add to your diet. Protein bars and shakes are convenient, and many are very delicious! Be careful, though. Some protein powders can be dense with heavy metals or high in sugar. Some bars are labeled as “high in protein,” but are high in calories and full of sugar. Be picky and check the Nutrition Facts.
Here are some suggestions for finding a quality protein supplement:
- Try to find a bariatric weight loss clinic with a physician. These offices will often sell medical-grade protein products.
- Check the carb-to-protein ratio. Carbohydrates should be equal to or no more than twice the grams of protein.
- Look for products that contain a combination of whey and soy protein. Whey is absorbed quickly into your muscles, while soy will make you feel fuller longer.
- Make sure to choose supplements that have less than 10 grams of sugar.