The protein question… are you getting too much or not enough?Nov 10, 2022
You guys hear me talk about blood sugar balance all the time.. and how an essential component for that is having enough of the macronutrient PROTEIN.
But there is a flip side to this coin.. protein is a macro that’s overhyped in our culture. I’ve had women who have come to me telling me their trainers are telling them to get 120 grams of protein/per day.
So protein. How much is enough?
I want to start by telling you that while there are definitely people out there overhyping it and not aware of the fact that too much protein actually can spike insulin… most of my clients have oatmeal for breakfast and popcorn or fruit for a snack and pasta for dinner aren’t aware of the fact that they’re having way too many carbs and definitely not enough protein.
Before we get to how much… let’s get into WHY you need it:
- First, and what I know you want to hear, is that protein supports weight loss and muscle growth. It’s the macro that keeps us fuller for longer so we avoid cravings that can lead to overeating and an energy crash later on. If you find yourself thinking about food 24/7, you might consider checking your glucose, A1C, and insulin levels and from there… increasing protein. If you’re on a low-calorie diet and not eating enough protein, you will lose muscle over fat and slow down your metabolic rate. The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn. You need protein to fuel those muscles and to get results!
- Next, hormones are derived from amino acids (aka protein). It plays a huge role in our thyroid and gut health as well as menstrual cycles, mood, weight, and metabolic function.
- Finally, protein provides your liver with amino acids that it needs to do its important job of detoxing the body. Your liver pushes out excess estrogens and toxins so that they don't recirculate in the body and wreak havoc on your hormones and cause unwanted symptoms.
So the question becomes, how much do you need?
It’s going to depend! Everyone is bio-individual.
First, your protein needs will change as you age.
- On the one hand, women who are menstruating need to be aware that they’re getting enough protein during their period week when hormone levels are at their lowest because protein provides the body with the amino acids it needs to make hormones.
- While women who are pregnant will have protein needs that will increase as they need protein as the building blocks in creating another life
- And then, as you get older and go through menopause, protein becomes even more important for boosting your immune system, keeping your metabolism going, and keeping your bones strong and healthy!
The most common misconception I get frustrated with is that you don’t get protein from plants… you DO!
When tracking protein, whether you’re plant-based, paleo or vegetarian, it’s just about getting enough complete proteins that contain all 9 essential amino acids that the body can't make on its own!
Next, if you want to know if you’re getting the right amount for YOUR body, an easy way to calculate is to strive for about .5 to .8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. That means a 150LB woman would aim for at least 95 grams per day or about 32 grams per meal… maybe a little more, maybe a little less depending on how that feels for her and her hunger and fullness, time of the month, age, stress, and activity level.
If you’re wondering how much you’re currently getting, start by tracking to get some answers. If you’re on the lower end like a lot of my clients are, up the amount you’re in taking slowly, rather than all at once. Remember, that’s how we get habits to actually STICK. As you do so, notice how you feel in terms of sleep, cravings, weight, mood, energy, and menstrual cycles.
And if you don’t know where to start, this is part of the work I do with clients and that I teach in my course, allowing them to understand their unique needs, what they can fill their plates with so they can lose weight and improve energy, and have strong healthy hair and nails to boot. Giving them the knowledge behind how to get all the amino acids in and what to ADD to their diet to feel best in their bodies, bloat-free. Teaching them to get in tune with their bodies, rather than all the diets and cleanses out there so their results are sustainable.
To learn more, email me [email protected]