To start your day with energy you need to eat high quality protein for breakfast. Protein helps the body control the insulin variations and reduces the unwanted cravings and excessive hunger until the next meal.
That’s why we have to dig deeper and figure out what really is protein how to manage to eat enough to avoid further imbalances in our organism.
What is protein and why it’s important in our diet?
Proteins are body’s building “bricks” . Most our body organs are built on protein such as muscle, skin, bones and others. The digestive process, immune system, blood are all based on protein in order to work properly. Even hormones, antibodies, enzymes are proteins. Your body uses protein to build or repair body tissues
Imagine that your body is a car that needs fuel in order to work. So, for your body, that fuel is protein. Protein is a macronutrient along with carbohydrates and fat.
Protein consists of long chains made of 20 different amino acids. Eight of them are essential for the human and are called “indispensable amino acids ”: phenyl-alanine, tryptophan, methionine, lysine, leucine, isoleucine, valine and threonine. Another important amino acid is histidine which is required for growth (at children) and tissue repair.
Why is protein really important in your weight loss process?
One grams of protein has 4 calories. Even that the most people think about protein as fattening and high in calories it’s not true.
Foods that are higher in protein take a longer time to digest and metabolise. That means that your body is using more calories to process them. Also it takes more time until your body eliminates protein, so they keep you full for longer. That is why you are going to eat less and save 441 calories per day (study here).
How much protein do you need in keto or low carb diets?
Every person has different requirements on a daily amount of protein intake. For example a person that is highly active all day needs more protein than one that is sedentary and his lifestyle doesn’t include any physical activity.
Eating enough protein is vital to keep your body healthy. But also, according to doctor Dr. Stephen D. Phinney, eating too much protein can get you out of ketosis.The excessive protein is transformed into glucose and may keep you from entering intro ketosis( the state where your body uses fat as fuel), blocking the easy access to the body fat storage.
Find out your body weight and multiply that with:
- 1.5- 2g per kilogram of body weight
- 0.6-0.8 per pound of your body weight
You can also use an online keto calculator like this. It’s an easy method to find out how many macronutrients you are allowed to eat based on many aspects like body fat, age, sex, height.
For example I am 150 lbs, 5 feet 11 tall, lightly active and I’m allowed to eat a minimum of 70 grams of protein or 103 grams if I’m really active. Remember that if you are using a tool like MFP, change your macros according to the percentage goals that you have achieve by the end of the day.
What happens if don’t get enough protein?
The RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for protein is 0.8g per kilogram (2.2 pounds)of body weight. But what happens to your body when you don’t get to the minimum amount of protein? You might experience one of the next 10 signs that can show you aren’t getting enough protein.
- Constant cravings for carbs and sweets
- Fatigue, lack of energy
- Muscle loss, pain
- Inability to sleep well
- You get sick often
- Hair loss
- Breaking nails
- Digestive issues
- Inability to focus
Would excess protein be a problem?
As you may know the key point to a healthy low carb or keto diet is moderate protein, high-fat, really low carbohydrate intake.
The main concern is that eating a high-protein diet is that it may decrease bone health and damage kidneys. There is no clear linking between higher protein intake and renal diseases in healthy people. Some researches show that there is a link between the persons with pre-existent renal disease.
Also linking high-protein to osteoporosis is a misconception and recent studies show that dietary protein is actually good for healthy bones. Relatively high protein intake, including animal sources increase mineral mass and reduce the osteoporotic fractures. Actually studies show that dietary protein works with calcium to improve calcium retention and bone metabolism.
How to get enough protein in your diet eating real foods?
The best protein sources are grass-fed meats, animal organs, eggs, fish, dairy products (full fat of course, say no milk). If you are eating those you might get all the important amino acids that your body needs to work properly.
Top 10 foods that are really high in protein
Protein: 1 large egg provides 6 grams of protein
#2 Chicken breast
Protein: 100g has 20g.
Protein: 100g has 20g.
Protein: 100g tuna provides 19g protein.
#4 Beef, grass-fed steak
Protein: 100g brings 23 g protein.
Protein: 14 halves bring you 4.32g.
Protein: 22g per 100g;
#7 Cottage cheese
Protein: 11.12g per 100g.
#8 Peanut butter
Protein: 7g for 2 tablespoons
Protein: 19.84g for 100g(3oz).
#10 Mozzarella, Brie
Protein: 6g for 1oz.
Protein controls your cravings, helps you lose weight.
Eat enough protein.
Protein feeds your body with the fuel it needs to stay healthy and work at its best capacity.