Protein is one of the three macronutrients needed for optimal function of the body, regardless of your body goals e.g. weight loss, fitness, you should eat more protein.
In this post, we will be explaining…
What is protein?
Protein is one of the three macronutrients needed in our diet, the other two macronutrients are carbohydrates and fat. “Macro” meaning it is needed in a large amount.
Amino acids are the building block of protein and there are 20 amino acids, different combinations give you protein.
One gram of protein gives 4 calories.
Sources of protein
The major source of protein are animal products e.g
These are regarded as complete proteins because they contain essential and non-essential amino acids.
Other sources of protein include plant protein e.g
These are known as incomplete proteins because they don’t contain all the needed amino acids (vegans beware)
It is possible to get complete protein from a straight vegan diet through the combination
Why you should eat enough protein
If you are in Nigeria or other developing countries there is a real risk of not meeting your recommended daily value (DV) of protein.
You should get 15-35% of your 2000 calories from protein that is about 60g of protein a day for a physiological man.
Now for you to get 60g day you have to at least eat 20g of protein per meal,
- One large egg (60g) contains 6g of protein
- 100 gram of chicken breast contains 31g of protein
- 100 gram of milk contains 3.4g of protein
Hypothetically to reach your recommend DV you need to eat 3 eggs, 100g chicken breast, drink 2 cups of milk, and snack on nuts within the day.
This isn’t a problem in developed countries but if you are in my beloved Nigeria “how you wan take see am?” .You are going to be tagged a carnivore.
In Summary, you should eat more protein because if you are like me and you are in Nigeria you are not getting nearly enough from our starch-filled diets.
This is why you lot are going around with under-toned muscles, pot bellies, and a trunk Winne-the -pooh would be proud of (too many carbs not enough protein).
You should also eat enough protein because it will help you with your body goals
Benefits of eating adequate protein
The first benefit of eating more protein is weight loss, here is how it works
- Keeps you full
Protein keeps you full by making you eat less, therefore, reducing your calorie intake making you lose weight through a net deficit.
It suppresses ghrelin which makes you feel hungry making you less likely to snack on junks.
You can increase your protein intake by simple acts like reducing your scoop of rice and adding an extra egg.
It is also not stored, unlike other macronutrients. But gluconeogenesis can occur if it is too much.
- Requires energy for digestion
For protein to be digested it has to be broken down and it uses up energy, more than the other macronutrient this is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF)
p.s you use up energy
- when you are resting (BMR)
- during exercise
- digestion and breakdown of food (TEF)
By eating enough protein you use up more energy in breaking it down slightly increasing your total energy expenditure.
Protein is the building block of muscles so more protein equals more muscle growth right? Well close enough.
- The synergy between protein and exercise is what builds muscles not just protein and laying around. But eating enough protein can help you keep your muscles from breaking down during fasting. (HAPPY RAMADAN)
Muscles are hard to sustain, they are like a crying toddler you constantly have to pacify.
The more muscle you have the higher your BMR, because of the increasing demand of the muscles you naturally burn more calories at rest aiding your weight loss.
The older you become the more your body changes one of the changes is sarcopenia. Which is loss of muscle by increasing your protein intake you can counter this.
Aids fitness and bodybuilding
To lose body fat you need a high protein diet and low carbs (Atkins diet) to prevent muscle breakdown.
To gain muscle mass you need a calorie surplus with loads of protein.
The protein needed for elite athletes is 1.2-2 g per kg of body weight so do the math
By eating a high protein diet and low carb you force your body to use fat as fuel.
The misconception about a high protein diet damaging your kidney is false. If you have healthy kidneys you have nothing to fear but if your kidneys are damaged then you should limit you should not be doing this.
In short, you should eat more protein because it helps your weight loss goals or fitness goals.
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