Protein is important in any weight loss program. You want to make sure you’re getting enough protein, but also gleaning it from the right sources. Timing also matters when it comes to protein and weight loss. How can you wade through all this information and figure out what is best for you? Just take a look at these easy pointers below.
Why You Need Protein
Protein is essential to not only your existence, but your fat loss success as well. Protein also helps you to maintain shiny hair, and healthy skin and nails. Muscle, bone and blood cells also contain protein. These components allow you to function and your body to not only communicate with itself on a neurological level, but to move, feel, repair and grow.
While our bodies can synthesize some building blocks from the foods we eat, our bodies can’t make all the proteins that we need, so it is essential that you also get protein from food sources to round out your protein requirements.
Sources of Protein
Part of your dietary program will undoubtedly consist of protein. As one of the three macronutrients (the others being carbohydrates and fats), a good portion of your daily caloric needs will be met by consuming protein.
Great sources will obviously include meats, seafood, poultry, eggs and dairy, but other foods can also contain sources of protein and might surprise you. Spinach, for example, has some protein as do beans, rice, apples, olives, quinoa, avocados, potatoes and broccoli.
With the abundance of protein in unlikely places, how much do you really need? Again, there are varying opinions on this, but it does definitely depend on how active you are and the stress placed upon your muscles. Athletes, people who are on a fat loss diet and those who are injured and healing all need more protein than someone who is sedentary. Anywhere from 0.5 – 1.2 grams per pound of bodyweight is acceptable for daily consumption.
Yes, timing can matter, but what matters most is getting the protein you need. The old school rules had you eating every three hours, in smaller amounts so it could be properly absorbed throughout your day. Now, researchers are saying you don’t have to be that vigilant when it comes to your intake, as long as you get it in.
Try this recipe to incorporate even more protein into your diet:
Cottage Cheese Pancakes
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 egg (whole)
2 egg whites
1/2 t baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 t vanilla extract (pure)
1/4 t stevia
1 cup oatmeal
Grind oatmeal in blender or food processor until it forms a flour. Mix ingredients until blended; lumpy is okay. Ladle onto hot skillet to make several pancakes and cook until bubbled and browning. Serve with natural maple syrup.
There are many fun and tasty ways to include protein in your diet including protein powder smoothies, protein bars and cookies, and entrees with meats, fish, eggs or dairy.
To learn more using protein as part of your weight loss program, be sure to visit Viance Nutrition. Get additional delicious recipes for fat loss at Viance.com.