Protein is not just for great skin, hair, and nails; it’s critical for health. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to repair damage, digest food, fight infections, build muscle and bone, create hormones, and even think and have good moods.
Higher protein diets can help fight high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Not to mention protein’s great benefits for metabolism boosting, satiety (feeling full after a meal), and weight management.
Protein is important, and this is a given.
There are a few factors to consider when calculating how much protein we need. Below, I’ll go through those calculations with you. Then I’ll list the amount of protein in some common foods.
How much protein is enough
There isn’t a real rule that applies equally to everyone. There are a few factors to consider when figuring out how much protein you need.
Start with the minimum recommendation of 0.8 g/kg (0.36 g/lb) per day.
So, for a 68 kg (150 lb) healthy non-athlete adult, this is about 55 g protein/day.
Mind you, this is a minimum to prevent protein deficiency. It’s not optimal for good repair, digestion, immune function, muscle/bone building, hormones, thinking and great moods.
It’s not enough for athletes, seniors or those recovering from an injury, either. If you fall into one of these camps, you may need to increase the minimum protein intake. Aim closer to 1.3 g/kg (0.6 g/lb) to 2.2 g/kg (1g/lb) per day.
Athletes need more protein for their energy and muscle mass. Seniors need more to help ward off muscle and bone loss that’s common in old age. And injured people need more for recovery and healing.
How much protein is too much?
As with fat and carbohydrates, eating too much protein can cause weight gain. Extra protein can be converted into sugar or fat in the body. The interesting thing about protein is that it isn’t as easily or quickly converted as carbohydrates or fat; this is because of its “thermic effect.”
The thermic effect is the amount of energy required to digest, absorb, transport and store a nutrient. To digest protein, your body needs to spend more energy (i.e., burn calories) than when metabolizing fats or carbohydrates.
If you’re concerned that high protein intake harms healthy kidneys, don’t be. If your kidneys are healthy, they are more than capable of filtering out excess amino acids from the blood. The problem only occurs in people who already have kidney issues.
FUN FACT: Plant proteins are especially safe for kidney health.
How much protein is in food?
- A 3.5 oz chicken breast has 31 g
- A 3.5 oz can of salmon has 20 g
- ½ cup cooked beans contain 6-9 g
- A large egg contains 6 g
- ¼ cup nuts contains 4-7 g
- 1 medium baked potato contains 3 g
Protein is an essential nutrient we should all get enough of. “Enough” is about 0.8 – 1.3 g/kg (0.36 – 0.6 g/lb) per day. If you’re a healthy non-athlete adult, you can aim for the lower level. If you’re an athlete, senior, or injured person, aim for the higher level.
Too much protein can cause weight gain, so it’s best to have just enough.
Are you one of those people who needs more protein?
Recipe (high-protein): Baked Chicken Breasts
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp paprika
Preheat oven to 450°F. Place a layer of parchment paper on a baking dish.
Place the chicken breasts in the prepared dish. Brush on both sides with olive oil.
In a small bowl, mix spices until combined. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the chicken on both sides.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through to at least 165°F at the thickest part.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: Serve with lots of veggies.
The Silent Killer
Stress is recognized as the #1 proxy killer disease today. The American Medical Association has noted that stress is the basic cause of more than 60% or all human illness and disease.
Stress may be literally taking years off your life. Stress can affect EVERY part of our body all the way from our brains to our reproductive system.
Brain & Nerves
- Lack of energy
- Increased or decreased eating
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble sleeping
- Mental health problems (anxiety disorders & depression)
- Acne & other skin problems
Muscles & Joints
- Muscle aches and tension (especially in the neck & shoulders)
- Increased risk for reduced bone density
- Faster heartbeat
- Rise in blood pressure
- Increased risk of high cholesterol & heart attack
- Stomach pain
- Weight gain
- Increased risk for diabetes
- Other digestive problems
- Loss of libido
- For women – painful or irregular periods
- For men – impotence & lower sperm production
- Lowered ability to fight or recover from illness
It’s Not Going Away
We are all under stress each and everyday. In today’s world stress is all around us. Our response to the stress we face may be a bigger issue than the actual stress itself.
Growing up we are taught many things in and out of school, managing stress is NOT one of them. Then as adults we find ourselves in VERY stressful situations without the tools to deal with them. Often times after these stressful events or long-term chronic stress we develop health issues such as adrenal fatigue. Or we end up on medications that could have far worse side effects…
Creating your Toolbox
Just as there is no “one” nutrition plan for everyone there is not “one” way to manage stress. Each person has to identify what works for them and put different tools in their “stress management toolbox.” Below are some ways to manage stress.
- Practice Mindfulness
- Set boundaries
- Avoid stimulants and sugar
- Avoid negative people
- Learn to say no
- Practice self-care
Take Care of YOU!
Stress is affecting us more than we even know. Creating the time and space to slow-down and calm our minds and bodies is essential for optimal health and well being. Next time you find yourself highly stressed, STOP, take 5 deep breaths, and notice if you feel different?
What is a roller coaster mindset and how does it apply to your fitness and nutrition goals? Well, simply put a rollercoaster mindset is going all-in to something, only to fall off the bandwagon shortly thereafter and repeating that process over and over again. I hear this so much from prospects coming into our program that they were really good and all-in with other programs but then just ended up falling back into bad habits. Often times more than once. So, first, if this resonates with you, you are not alone! It is one of the most common issues I hear about from those on their way to making fitness and proper nutrition a lifestyle versus a temporary fix. So how do you ditch this mindset and get onto a path of constant success? Let’s take a look at my top 3 ways right now.
Don’t tell yourself you’ll be better tomorrow
– Make the Habit (Easy to Start, Tough to get one to Stick)
– Workout Consistency
– Meal Planning and Prep
Find your deep down why
– Ask yourself why you want to achieve your current goal…then ask yourself again…then ask yourself again!
Get integrated into a program with people/coaches who actually care about your best interests
– Movement Variations
– Progressively Increasing Intensity and Resistance
– NUTRITION COACHING
– Progress Tracking
Why? Fitness should be a lifestyle and how long will you do the exact same thing before you get tired of it? In most cases not very long, so incorporating variety will help you remain consistent. So, how can you incorporate variety? Let’s take a look at three simple ways to start making your training regimen exciting again:
1. Replace all steady state cardio with interval training
Outside of being excruciatingly boring, hopping on the treadmill or the elliptical and going at the same steady pace has been proven to be less effective at burning fat.
- Tabata (Japanese researcher Izumi Tabata first developed the system in 1996)
2. Ditch the Machines for Free Weights
Machines isolate single muscle groups and can only be used in the way they were designed. Free weights can move through space freely and provide you with an infinite amount of movement patterns that engage multiple muscle groups
- Med Balls
3. Get integrated into a Fitness Community You Enjoy
- Variety in Training
We are officially live with Episode 1 of The Barbosium Fitness Podcast!
If you are following us on Facebook, be sure to like our Barbosium Fitness Page for the latest tips, tricks, and proven training methods to help you become a 24/7 Fat Burning Machine, Have a Surplus of Energy, and Be 110% Confident with what you see in the mirror.
In this episode we will cover:
- Implementation vs Information Overload
- Being efficient with your time
- Recognizing the importance of the little things