“Proteins are organic molecules made up of amino acids – the building blocks of life. These amino acids are joined together by chemical bonds and then folded in different ways to create three-dimensional structures that are important to our body’s functioning.” Quote - Ryan Andrews, MS/MA, RD, CSCS
There are two main categories of amino acids in the body. First, we’ve got essential amino acids –These the body can’t manufacture, so we have to get them through our diets. Next are the nonessential amino acids – the body can usually make for itself.
Why is it important to get enough protein?
Since our bodies need proteins and amino acids to produce important molecules in our body – like enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and antibodies – without enough protein intake, our bodies cannot function well at all. Protein helps replace worn out cells, transports various substances throughout the body, and aids in growth and repair.
How much protein do you need?
How much protein you need depends on a few factors, but one of the most important is your activity level.
The basic recommendation for protein intake is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body mass in untrained, generally healthy adults. For people doing high intensity training, protein needs might go up to about 1.4-2.0 g/kg of body mass.
These suggested protein intakes are what’s necessary for basic protein synthesis (in other words, the creation of new proteins from individual building blocks). But we may need even more protein in our diets for high performance living, including good immune function, metabolism, satiety, weight management and performance. Basically, we need a small amount of protein to survive, but we need a lot more to thrive.
Can I eat too much protein?
Yes, you can overeat any of the macronutrients. If you overeat protein, this extra protein can be converted into sugar or fat in the body. However, protein isn’t as easily converted as carbohydrates or fat, because the thermic effect (the amount of energy require to digest, absorb, transport and store protein) is a lot higher than that of carbohydrates and fat.
You might have heard that a high protein intake harms the kidneys. WRONG! In healthy people, normal protein intakes pose little to no health risk. Even a fairly high protein intake (like 1.5g/lb) – does not seem to mess with the kidneys of healthy people.
Here’s additional reading on this - Dear Mom and Dad / The Protein Debate
1. - LEAN AND CLEAN
Most of your dietary intake should come from whole foods. There are a few times where supplement drinks and shakes are useful. But most of the time, you’ll do best with whole, largely unprocessed foods. Making sure you know where your veggies and meats came from is important.
You want as many Whole/Natural/Organic foods in your diet as possible. You don’t eat enough vegetables. I know, because I’ve never met a single person who does. Add more and you’ll start noticing the improvements to your health, performance and body composition right away. And don’t fear fruit either – it’s a healthy, nutritious way to add sweetness to your diet, important since you’ll be eliminating nearly all other sugars.
Some Examples of Lean and Clean –
-Extra Lean Ground Sirloin, Boneless Chicken Breasts, Mild Turkey Sausage, Ostrich, Bison / Buffalo, Elk, Salmon, etc….
-Omega-3 Eggs, Egg Whites
-Aged White Cheddar, Baby Swiss, Havarti, Parmiggiano-Reggiano, Feta Cheese, notice they are all white cheeses…
-Apples, Tangerines, Red Grapes, Pineapple, Strawberries, Blueberries, and many more….
-Spinach, Red/Yellow/Green Peppers, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Baby Carrots, too many to list…
2. - FREQUENCY
Are you doing this – no matter what? Now, you don’t need to eat a full meal every 2-3 hours but you do need to eat 6-8 meals and snacks. Forget the standard “three meals a day” edict. Eat three snacks a day, one after each traditional meal. And by snacks, I mean meals that are quick and portable – but still meals.
They too have to have good protein, good fats, veggies and fruits; things like homemade protein bars and shakes are perfect. And if you have the time, make a real meal! The important thing is that you eat well and eat often: every two to three hours, for a total of six or more meals/snacks per day.
3. - PORTION CONTROL
It is very important to understand how much of something you are eating. So pay close attention to portion sizes. It is far too easy to overeat foods like Peanut Butter, Meats, and cheeses. So understand what a single portion is when consuming these foods. It’s fine to use a pinch of something here or there, but if you are closely watching your calories, weighing and measuring ingredients accurately is the key to know EXACTLY how much you are taking in with each meal. Measuring cups and spoons should be used in these instances. Weighing food is always the more accurate method when figuring out your calorie intake.
So what about caloric intake, or macronutrient ratios, or all the other technical issues that come with weight loss? The short answer is that those things only become relevant once you’re practicing the above-mentioned habits, and by practicing them I mean putting them to use over 90% of the time.
Most people can achieve optimal health and wellness they desire just by following these BASIC rules of nutrition. Now obviously, everyone needs some individualization beyond these rules. For that, contact me at 402-880-3909 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
But before assuming you’re ready for individualization, make sure you’ve truly mastered the “basics”. Then, while keeping the habits as the consistent foundation, tweak away…..
In-Home Training versus Online Coaching. These are very similar but I would like to explain their differences…
Training is simple.
Trainer shows up and delivers a precise workout designed specifically to the clients needs/wants in a workout. The trainer is there supervising proper form in all the lifts. Trainer is there to make sure the client is doing the prescribed repetitions and sets for all the lifts prescribed. Another aspect of training is the social side of having someone there communicating motivational ideas on your program. Providing emotional support and accountability by being present is a key for most people when they are considering hiring an In-Home Personal Trainer….
Coaching is simple.
Coaching clients receive their workouts via email or fax on a pre determined consistent day. This workout is formatted based on the clients needs/wants also taking into consideration their exercise vocabulary. Basically, they are not given exercises they are not familiar with already. If a new exercise is required in the routine they will be given a hyperlink which will take them to video and written instructions to help complete the exercise.
Just like with In-Home personal training, motivation and accountability is provided but through a different medium. Phone calls, emails, and text messages are used to help the client stay on track. Weekly coaching calls (Mandatory) and Bi–Weekly client feedback reports help the designing of the program stay personalized to the specific client. Coaching is perfect for the individual who already exercises regularly but needs a specifically designed program that will help them achieve a higher level of fitness.
The programs we offer are at least 16 weeks (6-8 weeks to show physical change) two bench marks to show success. When it comes to changing how you look it is a race that tests your endurance not your speed! This competition is not a 50yd dash on a smooth track. It is a 26.2 mile marathon with hurdles on hilly terrain. The tricks and short cuts we try (starvation diets and stuff like The Thigh Master) can easily take their toll, discourage us and we just want to quit! Instead we must become more committed!
No one crosses the finish line without making a decision to persevere. The key is to keep moving forward never letting yourself go backwards. Sometimes you walk and other times you jog during the race (like when you hire The Final Rep)…..but no matter what you continue to work your way forward. Speed will not get you there, but PERSISTENCE will!