Imagine trying to build a house without all the needed supplies. You could have the best blueprint in the world, and the highest quality help, but without the raw building materials you simply can’t build the house.
That is what it’s like to work out and not supply your body with the needed building material—protein—required! Your body, like the house, just won’t get built properly without the raw materials.
If you do ONE THING with your diet to ensure your optimal success with your training, it’s to consume adequate protein. The studies prove it, and by watching my clients over the years there is no shadow of a doubt that those who do not get enough protein pay the price dearly in their lack of results.
The RDA for protein is approximately 0.35 times your bodyweight in protein grams per day—that’s about 50 grams/day for a 130 lb. person, or 70 grams per day for a 200 lb. person. Consuming the RDA will ensure that your basic bodily functions and basic health are maintained, but the RDA is only a drop in the bucket if you exercise regularly. If you work out hard or a person attempting to cut bodyfat and/or gain strength, just the RDA simply won’t do.
Protein’s effects are so powerful that those who consume a higher amount of protein tend to have more muscle and less fat than everyone else, even if they don’t work out at all. Shocking, but true. So how much do we need?
The answer is that 0.8 grams per lb. of bodyweight is a basic amount to shoot for if you really want to maximize your training results. This is the only way to ensure that you have enough of the ‘building materials’ your body needs. You see, every time you work out your body breaks down the protein contained in your muscles, and the only way you become stronger and fitter is for your body to rebuild that broken down muscle and replace it with bigger, stronger and fitter muscles. This simply can’t happen if you don’t have the protein in your diet to allow for the building to take place.
A huge mistake those trying to lose weight tend to make is reducing their protein intake as part of an overall effort to reduce calories. Someone who is dieting needs even more protein than someone eating a maintenance diet. This is because the body will burn protein for energy when energy intake is low, therefore you need to consume even more protein than usual to compensate. To really protect yourself when dieting it’s a good idea to consume 1 gram of protein per pound of weight, especially if you train hard. When dieting, the calories you take away from your diet should be from carbs and/or fat, not from protein.
A 4 oz. piece of chicken or fish contains about 25 grams of protein, a scoop of protein powder about 20 grams, and a cup of milk, a 1 oz. piece of cheese, or cup of yogurt or an egg all have about 8 grams of protein. It’s a commitment, but I promise you the results are worth it!
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