3 SIMPLE REASONS TO INCREASE PROTEIN INTAKE
The purpose of this article is to help you realise how important it is to consume sufficient protein, and you’re not getting enough, you need to increase your protein intake. For a lot of you embarking on a healthier lifestyle and trying to shed body fat, this is what you’ve been missing all this while.
DOES PROTEIN INTAKE ‘SCARE YOU’ ?
You’re probably a bit freaked out to consume ‘more’ because you’re worried your kidney will stop functioning tomorrow, or you’ll become fat the moment you stop eating all that protein, or that your bones will grow weak, or that you’ll grow muscles too fast. Believe it or not, these beliefs have no evidence-based support (assuming you’re a healthy individual – if you have any health conditions, then please, check with a medical professional first before making any changes to your diet).
Another excuse I’m hearing more often recently is that it’s too expensive to eat healthy – which is really a perspective issue once you realise that it’s far more expensive to be sick than to eat healthy.
I always tell people that I’d rather spend a little more and eat better now than to pay for treatment of lifestyle-related diseases in the future.
So let’s get right into my 3 simple reasons you should be eating more protein
#1 – YOU’RE TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT/LOSE FAT/ON A ‘DIET’
If fatloss is your goal, the best thing to start with is to ensure you’re getting sufficient protein. Protein helps manage hunger, protects your lean muscle, and helps you recover from your workouts. The amount of protein you require is discussed at the end of this post.
Always plan your meals around a protein source. Ensure you have some protein, then you add the veggies, and then you add the rice. Sadly for many Malaysians… we’ve got it the other way around. We add on some protein as if it’s some form of ‘luxury’ or ‘treat’ and ensure we have enough rice or noodles on our plate first.
#2 YOU’RE FALLING SICK OFTEN
Getting enough protein daily will help your body get what it needs to support healing and your immune system. Daily stress from work, family commitments, and intense workouts and your nutritional deficiencies will deplete your body’s own stores of glutamine and weaken your immune system.
If you’re someone who’s always sick when your friends around you seem totally fine all the time, try bumping up your protein intake using whey protein. Whey is an excellent source of glutamine and it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammation properties. Whey also helps with fatloss by increasing insulin sensitivity.
The source of whey protein you consume is also important as not all Whey is created equal. You should source for whey protein that is derived from milk from cows that are allowed to grow and roam free in their natural environment, and have not been treated with antibiotics or given any hormones, as research is showing that these can pass through the milk and protein and ultimately into you. You want to drink something that came from happy cows.
#3 YOU’RE VEGETARIAN
So many vegetarians I know are very very deficient in protein. Although there are many great plant-based sources of protein, the body can’t use plant-based protein as efficiently as animal-based protein. What this means is that you’re going to need more protein than your non-vegetarian friends in order to get the same benefits.
The scary part is, many Malaysians I know who claim to be vegetarian don’t really eat a lot of vegetables but eat plenty of rice and potatoes and bread and biscuits and fruit juice all day… if that’s you should call yourselves bread eaters, not vegetarian. Eat your veggies… please.
SO HOW MUCH PROTEIN SHOULD YOU CONSUME?
The current US Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8g/kg bodyweight per day, and the whole purpose of this post is that research is revealing that protein intake beyond the RDA helps promote promote healthy ageing, appetite regulation, and weight management.
You also need to understand that typically, the RDA is the amount you need to consume as a bare minimum in order to be sufficiently ‘healthy’ and fall under a ‘normal’ category. You shouldn’t aim to be ‘healthy’, you should aim to ‘thrive’.
So for optimal health, studies recommend it, and we at DailyMuscle get our people to consume 1.2-1.6g/kg bodyweight per day. This means a 70kg individual would be consuming up to 112g of protein daily (the average Malaysian falls very short at approx 30 to 60g of protein daily based on food journals I’ve reviewed over the years).
Now go forth and eat more protein.