Wanna lose fat?
One of the most important factors in fat loss is actually building muscle. I’m not talking “big bulky slabs” of muscle or anything like that. Just some muscle that will give your body more shape, make you stronger, and help you to feel more alive and capable every day.
By building muscle, you will:
Burn fat faster
Muscle is more metabolically active than fat. By carrying muscle, your body will burn calories faster.
Which means you can work harder and burn fat even faster
Give your body more shape
Whether you’re after an “hourglass figure” or a “V-taper,” carrying some muscle will help with that.
Cool. So how do I get more muscle?
Well, to get more muscle, you have to do 2 things:
- Do some resistance training
- Eat more protein
Resistance training, using weights or your own bodyweight, stresses your muscles. Your muscles are then forced to recover and come back stronger.
They can’t come back stronger if we don’t give them the fuel to do so. That’s where Protein comes in. Proteins are the building blocks of our muscles. When we eat protein and our muscles are stressed, that protein heads right over to those stressed out muscles and builds them back up to be a little bigger and a little stronger.
Some of the best sources of protein include (but aren’t limited to):
- Lean meats
- Greek yogourt and other dairy products
- Tofu + Tempeh
- Protein powders
There are lots of other foods that include protein but generally not as much as those I just listed.
But how much do I need?
Good question! According to Precision Nutrition (who has a TON of useful nutrition information out there), 1-2 palm sized portions (both width and thickness) of protein per meal is what you need.
Usually 1 palm is recommended for women and 2 for men. Of course those numbers could change depending on individual metabolisms and activity levels but those numbers are a great place to start.
Those portions are based on someone eating 3-4 meals a day. If you eat more or fewer meals, just adjust accordingly.
So without further ado, here are 5 ways to get more protein into your diet!
1. Have protein powder in your morning coffee or a smoothie
In a rush in the morning? Cool. Blend a smoothie the night before, or toss a scoop of protein powder (preferably vanilla or chocolate flavoured) in your morning coffee.
2. Have a high-protein afternoon snack
Always find you need a snack in the afternoon? don’t reach for a sugary muffin that will leave you hungry again in an hour. Try pre-flavoured tuna cans or beef jerky (other types of jerky like turkey are great as well)
3. Prepare proteins in bulk on the weekend
Don’t get caught mid-week without healthy food to eat. Make a point of preparing lots of protein on the weekend ahead of time. You can even use different spices to get more variety
4. Use garnishes like hemp hearts and pumpkin seeds on your salad
This is an easy way to add a few extra grams of protein to a healthy meal. It won’t give you a ton of protein but if you had that along side a couple slices of lean chicken breast in your salad, you’re rocking!
5. Use it in your baking
Protein powders can make a great flour substitute in baking… Sometimes. It depends on the recipe and they type of protein powder you’re using. For a few great recipes, check out proteinpow.com
Go on, what are waiting for? Start getting some protein in your diet and help those muscles get stronger! You’ll be thankful you did later!