When you want to lose weight, protein is king.
If you do not get enough protein in your diet, your body and your health suffer. However, there are different opinions about the amount of protein we need per day. The most official agencies nutritionists recommend us a fairly mild amount of protein (0.8 grams per kilo of body weight)
This is equivalent to:
- 56 grams a day for a sedentary person.
- 46 grams a day for a sedentary woman
These amounts of protein may be enough to prevent a deficiency of this nutrient, but studies show that it is far from sufficient to guarantee good health and correct body composition. The “right” amount of protein needed for a person varies depending on many factors, including activity levels, age, muscle mass, physical goals, and health status. So what amount of protein do we need to lose weight, build muscle and for our activity levels? Let’s go see it
PROTEIN WHAT IS IT AND WHY DO WE WORRY?
- Proteins are the main building blocks of our body.
- They are used to create muscles, tendons, organs, and skin.
- Proteins are also used to make enzymes, neurotransmitters and various small molecules that have important functions.
- Without the protein, life as we know it would not be possible.
- Proteins are made of smaller molecules, known as amino acids, which are bonded together as if they were the pearls of a necklace. The bound amino acids form long chains of proteins, which then fold into complex shapes.
- Some of these amino acids can be produced by our body, while others have to be obtained through food (essential amino acids).
- When we talk about protein, it is not only important how much we take, quality is also key.
- In general, animal protein provides all the essential amino acids we need, since animal tissues are similar to our tissues.
- If you are eating products of animal origin (meat, fish, eggs, dairy products) every day, you are probably doing things right.
- If you are not eating foods of animal origin, then it is a little harder to get all the protein and all the essential amino acids your body needs.
- Most people do not need protein supplements, but if in your case you think you do not get the right amounts of protein, a protein shake can help you get them.
Conclusion: Protein is a structural molecule assembled of amino acids, many of which our body can not produce on its own. Foods of animal origin are generally high in protein and provide all the essential amino acids.
PROTEIN HELPS US SLIM AND PREVENTS RECOVERING THE LOST WEIGHT
- As I have mentioned many times, protein is very important when we try to lose weight.
- To achieve the goal of losing weight, it is key that we consume fewer calories than we burn.
- Eating protein helps us achieve that since it increases our metabolic rate (calories we burn) and reduces our appetite (calories we eat).
- When we take protein in 25-30% of our daily calories we get to increase our metabolism by about 80-100 calories/day, compared to other low protein diets (this is confirmed by serious studies).
- But the most important thing is that protein reduces our appetite and this causes a spontaneous reduction of the calories we eat. Protein is a much more satiating nutrient than fat or carbohydrates.
- In a study conducted with obese men, it was found that an intake of 25% of calories in proteins was able to increase the feeling of fullness, reduce the desire to snack between meals and also reduce by 60% obsessive thoughts about food.
- In another study, women who increased their protein intake by 30% of their daily calories managed to eat 441 fewer calories per day. They also managed to lose 4.5 kilos less in 2 weeks, just by adding protein to their diet.
But protein not only helps us lose weight, but it also helps us not to regain lost weight.
- In a study, it could be seen that only increasing the protein intake to 15-18% of daily calories was able to prevent 50% of people who had lost weight from recovering it again.
- High protein intake also helps us build and maintain muscle mass.
- Different studies have confirmed that taking a protein intake of 30% of daily calories may be good for weight loss. This equals 150 grams per day for a person who has a 2000 calorie diet.
Conclusion: A protein intake around 30% of calories seems to be good for weight loss. We managed to increase the metabolic rate and cause a spontaneous reduction in calorie intake. If you find it hard to get these amounts, slimming shakes can help you.
MORE PROTEINS HELP US TO MAKE MUSCLE AND STRENGTH
- Muscles are made largely of protein.
- Like most tissues of our body, the muscles are dynamic and are constantly in decomposition and reconstruction.
- To gain muscle, the body must be synthesizing more muscle protein than it is destroying.
- In other words, it is necessary that there is a positive protein balance (also called nitrogen balance, since the protein is rich in nitrogen) in the body.
- For this reason, people who are looking for a lot of muscle will have to eat a greater amount of protein (and also lift the weight, of course). There are many studies that confirm that a higher protein intake helps build muscle and strength.
- In addition, people who want to lose weight and maintain their muscle mass, need to increase their protein intake by losing body fat, with this we can avoid a loss of muscle mass, very common when dieting.
A very common recommendation to gain muscle is to take 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of weight.
Conclusion: It is important to eat enough protein if you want to gain and/or maintain muscle mass. Most studies indicate that taking 2.2 grams per kilo is the most appropriate.
OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES THAT CAN INCREASE PROTEIN NEEDS
- Without taking into account the personal goals of muscle and physical mass, people who are physically active do need more protein than people who lead a sedentary life.
- If you have high physical needs, because you walk a lot, run, swim, or do any type of exercise, then you need more protein. Endurance athletes also need a little more protein, around 1.3 grams per kilogram of weight.
- Older people also need more protein, since this prevents osteoporosis and sarcopenia (a decrease in muscle mass), both of which are very common in older people.
People who are recovering from injuries also need more protein.
Conclusion: Protein requirements increase significantly in people who are physically active, as well as in people of advanced age and in people who are recovering from injuries.
CAN THE PROTEIN HAVE NEGATIVE EFFECTS?
- The protein has been accused of being unfairly responsible for different health problems.
- It has been said that a diet high in protein can cause damage to the kidneys or osteoporosis.
- However, none of this is confirmed by studies.
- Although protein restriction is useful in people with kidney problems, it has not been shown that the protein can cause kidney problems in healthy people.
- In fact, it has been shown that a higher protein intake reduces blood pressure and helps fight diabetes, two of the main risk factors for kidney disease.
- If the protein may have some negative effect on kidney function (something that has never been shown), it is superfluously compensated by the positive effects on these risk factors.
- The protein has also been blamed for causing osteoporosis, which is rare since different studies have shown that the protein actually helps prevent this disease.
In general, there is no study that indicates that high protein intake has negative effects on healthy people.
Conclusion: Protein does not have any negative effects on kidney function in healthy people and studies show that it helps to improve bone health.
HOW TO GET ENOUGH PROTEIN IN YOUR DIET
- The best sources of protein are meats, fish, eggs and dairy products. These foods have all the essential amino acids that our body needs.
- There are also some plants that are very rich in protein, such as quinoa, legumes, and nuts.
- If your goal is only to stay healthy, you can get it by eating protein in each of your meals (along with nutritious plant foods).
Items that may interest you :
- 20 Protein-rich foods
- 14 Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake
I hope I have helped you to be clearer about the protein, I hope you get your goals, be it health, physical, if you need help, do not hesitate to comment me in the comments area