Protein: The Coolest Nutrient?

Health, Nutrition, Weight Loss Add comments

I think protein is awesome.

It does all sorts of cool stuff in your body:

  • It forms antibodies to protect you when viruses and bacteria wanna play dirty
  • It forms enzymes to help you digest your food
  • It builds your body, from muscles and bones to organs and connective tissue
  • It carries oxygen through your blood and delivers it to your organs and muscles
  • It forms hormones to tell your body when to burn food for energy and when to store it as fat

protein molecule is awesome

Protein is like the all-star kid from high school that letters in every sport, gets straight As, plays in the band, leads the debate team, and still has time to organize a blood drive and parade.  In short, it’s a versatile superstar.

You should make getting quality protein the number one foundation of your diet because it does so much for you.  Plus…

Protein burns more calories.  Your body has to break down foods to get at the nutrients and energy in the food.  Protein takes about twice as much energy to break down as carbohydrate.  So getting at the energy in the food costs more energy and you use a lot more calories to do it.  When you eat more protein (in place of carbs and fats) you burn more calories all day.

Protein is delicious.  Lobster.  Steak.  Chicken.  Salmon.  Shrimp.  Oooh yeah.  When your diet is built around super-tasty food it’s a lot easier to stick to.

steak steak steak

Protein attacks belly fat.  Well, not directly… But a high-protein diet helps you body control cortisol, a “stress hormone” that leads to fat storage on your abs and upper back.  Less cortisol = less body fat.

Protein satisfies.  You feel full faster when you eat a high protein meal.  I can eat a plate full of cookies in nothing flat. Eating a can of salmon though?  It’s tough!  The fullness will help keep you from overeating.  Plus, high-protein meals keep you satisfied longer, so you’re not starving again an hour later (like you would be after the cookie binge).

Protein helps you firm up.  The lean, toned muscle you build from working out?  Yeah, it’s made from protein.  When you exercise, you create tiny little tears in your muscles.  To repair these tears, your body needs protein.  So if you wanna tone up, you need protein.  Lots of protein.  (And when your body is rebuilding proteins, it’s totally in fat burning mode too.  Win win situation.)

getting toned

That’s five good reasons to make protein the cornerstone of your diet.  Combine them and you can see how focusing on protein will get you burning fat and toning up.

A few tips to help you get the most from protein:

  • ALL plant proteins are incomplete protein sources (yes, even soy).  Get complete protein from animal foods.
  • Choose the wildest meat you can find.
  • Most protein drinks are loaded with fillers and other junky chemicals.  If you supplement with protein powders, read the labels carefully.
  • Your minimum protein intake should be one gram of protein for every pound you weigh.  Ex: If you weigh 150 pounds, get at least 150 grams of protein.
  • Protein is a mild diuretic, so drink lots of water when on a high-protein diet.
  • If you have gout or are diabetic, work with a doctor or nutritionist to plan your diet.
  • Make your protein as delicious as possible.  Try new foods, use lots of spices, keep things interesting

Have fun and go eat some protein!

2 Responses to “Protein: The Coolest Nutrient?”

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