Let’s talk about something that is incredibly important for your diet: protein! Women, and some men, are less likely to get an adequate amount of dietary protein each day, which we need to work on. Why is protein so important? It helps provide a supply our bodies with essential amino acids which help to build lean muscle tissue. Yes, we want to build muscle; no, it will not make you bulk up. Your lean body mass will help to raise your resting metabolic rate (burning more calories at a resting state) – this is because muscle burns more than fat. Therefore, the more lean body mass you build through exercise (resistance training) and protein intake, the less fat mass you will have.
How much Protein should you take
For the average person, find your weight in kg. Do this by dividing your weight by 2.2. From here take your weight in kg and multiply that number by 0.8 to get your protein intake in grams.
However, if you are more active, you may want to increase that “0.8” to 1.1-1.4, depending on the intensity of your workout routine. This is important for optimal muscle repair.
Just like calories, we want to focus on the quality of the source, not just the quantity. So where should we rely on our protein intake?
Best Sources (in my opinion):
- Whey Protein
- Grilled chicken Breast (3-4 oz)
- Lean uncured Turkey (3-4 oz)
- Extra lean beef (3 oz)
- Egg whites
- Plain non-fat Greek / plain yogurt
- Cottage Cheese
- Shrimp (3-4oz)
- Salmon (4oz)
- Tilapia (4oz)
- Tuna (3-4 oz)
- Scallops (4oz)
The cleaner you prepare it, the better results these protein power foods will have on your body.
Be sure to remember to divide your plate into:
1/4 fiber and / or grains
1/2 vegetables or fruits
Here is an example of a power-packed dinner we put together the other night:
Grilled Lean Beef and veggie kabobs (grilled on our roommate’s giant foreman) and my new Mexican style quinoa!
Mexican Style Quinoa (very easy):
- Picante Salsa
- Handful of Spinach
- Cilantro (optional)
Prepare quinoa to accommodate the amount of people you plan to serve. Remember that all you have to do is double the amount of water to the amount of dr quinoa. Bring water to a boil before adding quinoa. Lower heat, and allow 15 minutes to cook/steam.
While the quinoa is cooking, wilt a handful of spinach on the side.
After 15 minutes of cooking, toss in some Picante Salsa into the quinoa along with the spinach and cilantro
This is a pretty quick, clean and easy dish to prepare…the only thing that takes a lot of time is the chopping of the veggies! 🙂
Remember – for a beautiful and or handsome body, you need to build lean muscle! Be sure to get your clean protein sources in each day.