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One of my biggest mistakes in trying to get fit was not getting enough protein in my diet. I would load up on salads and veggies, and I was losing fat but in all the working out I was doing I wasn’t gaining near enough muscle as I felt I should have been. With my cardio and decreased calorie intake and lack of protein, I was losing fat, but I was also losing muscle mass.
Protein plays an important part in our health. It is a part of every cell in your body, and no other nutrient plays as many parts in keeping you healthy. Protein is necessary for the growth and repair of muscles, bones, hair, and eyes, for the creation of antibodies, for metabolism, digestion etc.
Your body needs different proteins for different purposes.
The easiest form of protein is from meats–beef, chicken, turkey, fish, etc. and dairy. They have the most protein. But you can also get protein from beans, peas and peanuts, although they are “incomplete proteins” because they are lacking some essential amino acids.
Some vegetables and fruits contain a very small amount of protein, as well as grains.
So How much protein do you need? Here are some numbers to consider:
The RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight of adults (or roughly 0.36 grams per lb of body weight).
NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) recommends that for active people ,endurance and strength training, a higher intake is advised at around 0.4-0.6 per lb of bodyweight (and up to 0.8g/lb bw for full time athletes).
As a general rule, 10-15 percent of your calorie intake should come from protein.
When I dieted in the past, my protein intake was not even half of any of these amounts, and I wondered why I wasn’t gaining as much muscle when I was working out like crazy. But you can’t build muscle without protein.
So when you want to start dieting or exercising more, don’t forget to include a sufficient amount of protein!
Thanks for reading!