It’s a popular saying from a fast-food restaurant back in the early 1980's. But did you know protein may be able to answer why we may have constant hunger pains and trouble losing weight?
I always thought I knew a little bit more than the average person when it came to fitness. I was always active, worked in a gym, had access to personal trainers' knowledge, and a skilled weightlifting partner if I needed one.
It wasn't until I was completely stumped as to why I wasn't losing weight that I realized I didn't know quite enough. I was 19 years-old and almost all sugar had been cut from my diet so my body should have responded quickly! A personal trainer sat me down and had me rattle off what I ate during the day: soup, fruit, veggies and animal crackers. It didn't take long before she asked, "Well, where's your protein?"
I was a weightlifter, didn't eat protein and I couldn't even explain why!
Protein, like fats and carbs, are a macronutrient. Our bodies need them to run efficiently. Protein is what helps build and repair tissue, helps support muscle growth. Plus, it takes a while to digest, which means it will keep you feeling satisfied.
For the past 15 years, I've centered my meals around protein. Eggs, turkey, fish, chicken, and forms of dairy like cottage cheese and Greek yogurt. But just how much protein you should be consuming is not an easy answer. It depends on your activity level, age and weight.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends 10 to 35% of our daily calories should come from protein. Protein contains 4 calories per gram. Similarly, there are 4 calories in a gram of carbohydrate and 9 calories in a gram of fat. The Food and Drug Administration recommends at least 50 grams of protein per day. That's a good place to start. This link gives a good idea of some of the types of protein and the amount of protein in each.