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Are You Getting Enough Protein?

Protein is a powerhouse macronutrient and should be your main priority regardless of your dieting phase. Adding protein to your diet can be beneficial for several reasons. Protein is an essential macronutrient crucial in building and repairing tissues, producing enzymes and hormones, stabilizing blood sugar levels, supporting immune function, and providing energy. 

Including an adequate amount of protein in your diet can help with the following:

  1. Muscle development and maintenance: Protein is vital for building and repairing muscle tissues. Consuming enough protein can support muscle growth and recovery if you're involved in physical activities, exercise, or strength training.

  2. Weight management: Protein is known to increase satiety and reduce appetite, which can help you feel fuller for extended periods. This can aid in weight management by curbing cravings and reducing overall calorie intake.

  3. Metabolism and energy production: Protein has a higher thermic effect than carbohydrates and fats, meaning your body burns more calories to digest and process protein. 

  4. Healthy aging: As you age, muscle mass naturally declines. Consuming sufficient protein can help preserve muscle mass and strength, crucial for maintaining mobility, independence, and overall health as you age.

If you are on a journey to get healthy and boost your metabolism to lose weight and tone up, you'll want to ensure you eat an adequate amount of protein. 

How your body loses weight.

You've probably been taught that weight loss is "calories in vs. calories out." Our bodies are complex, and although a calorie deficit is needed, many other factors go into weight management. Your insulin and glucose levels, hormones, muscle mass, activity levels, and overall diet will all come into play.

A protein-rich diet can help you build muscle, boost your calorie burn, aid in hormone balancing, reduce cravings, and help you feel full and satisfied.

Are you eating enough protein?

You aren't alone if you struggle to consume enough protein. Most Americans don't eat enough protein. UCLA Health clinical nutritionist Dr. Michael Garcia states, "We find most adults are not quite getting enough protein." And if you are over 50 years old, a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging shows that more than 1 in 3 adults 50+ aren’t consuming enough protein.  

You might not notice if you aren't getting adequate protein, but over time, you won't feel your best. If you aren't eating enough protein, you may find yourself unusually fatigued, moody, hungry a lot, and have brittle or damaged hair and nails. 

How much is enough?

Here are my top tips for hitting your protein goal:

1. Increase your portion sizes. If you usually eat 4 ounces of protein, try adding another ounce.

2. Create macro checkpoints throughout your day so you have smaller targets to hit at each meal. Divide your protein goal by how many meals you will have & aim to hit those smaller targets.

3. Pre-log your food the night before or early in the day so you have plenty of time to adjust.

4. Plan your protein first & then build out the rest of your meals from there.

5. Start your day off with a solid dose of protein at your breakfast meal.

6. Grab a food scale & weigh your protein to make sure you track accurately instead of eyeballing it.

7. Consider supplementing with a clean protein powder.


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