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Protein: Why Do You Need To Eat More!

Utsav Agrawal
Utsav Agrawal
Every time you start a new diet or fitness regime, there’s one piece of advice that definitely comes your way: Eat More PROTEIN! 

And it’s not hard to see why - Proteins are essential for survival and overall health, but they also play a significant role in body recomposition. Here are some reasons why protein is critical:

1.	Protein & Muscle: Muscle mass is predominantly constructed from protein. Adequate protein consumption not only helps maintain the muscle mass you already have but also helps build more muscle.

2.	Protein & Connective Tissue: Protein constitutes a huge percentage of connective tissues such as tendons, ligaments, and bones. Consuming less protein over time can weaken your joints and bones. 

3.	Protein & Hemoglobin: Oxygen is transported through the blood and to your muscles with the help of hemoglobin. Dietary protein has a considerable effect on your hemoglobin levels, which means that inadequate protein in your diet can cause a decline in its levels. 

4.	Protein & Geriatric Health: The elderly lose somewhere close to 10 percent of muscle mass every decade. Adequate dietary protein (>1.5gms/kg body weight) can help slow down this process.

5.	Protein & Energy: Undereating protein can result in a lack of energy or create excessive lethargy, primarily due to loss of muscle mass.

How Much Protein Should You Consume:

If you have a sedentary lifestyle, 0.8gms/kg of protein is the minimum requirement for maintaining good overall health. An active individual, on the other hand, needs 1.2-1.8 gms/kg of body weight.

But if your goal is fat loss and you are following a calorie deficit diet with an active lifestyle, then your protein requirement would be at least 1.5gms/kg of body weight.

You’re probably wondering “Why do I need to consume more protein while losing weight?” Well, when you’re trying to lose fat, there are higher chances of losing muscle mass as well. You don’t want that to happen, do you? 

Tips For Completing Your Protein Macros:

Now, eating enough protein is sometimes easier said than done. Many people still struggle to complete their protein macros. If you’re one of them, here are a few tips for you:

1. Start your day with high protein: If you are going to eat breakfast, let it be protein! It’ll help you feel satiated and keep you fuller for longer which means you could end up eating fewer calories later. Some high protein breakfast options include whole eggs, egg whites, chicken sausage, tofu/paneer, protein powder smoothies.

2. Prioritize eating protein with every meal: Think of protein as the "main" course and build the rest of your meal around it.

3. PLAN YOUR MEALS: This cannot be stressed enough - if you keep coming home or going to work with no meals planned, your diet is doomed to fail! You will end up eating something you’re not supposed to eat. Map out your entire week’s meals. Write them down if you have to but don’t plunge into the week without a plan.

4. Keep High Protein Snacks Handy: Always have high protein snacks available, especially if you are traveling a lot or short on time. Protein cookies/ bars can be a good option; protein powder or even boiled eggs work beautifully!

In a nutshell - eat your protein and stay fit!

References -
1.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24092765/
2.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19841581/
3.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16779921/
4.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4424378/
5. jbc.org/content/119/2/749.full.pdf