Are you facing the all-too-familiar challenge where your weight is stagnant no matter how much you work out, control your diet or get quality sleep? If that is the case, don’t worry. Maybe it is time to relook at your protein intake.
Yes, you read that right. Protein is an important requirement for building muscle mass and losing fat. It is one of the three macronutrients, the other two being fats and carbohydrates.
Importance of a high protein diet:
A high protein diet not only boosts metabolism but also reduces appetite and can have a positive impact on several weight-regulating hormones. Protein is the single most essential nutrient for weight loss and a fitter body.
The amount of protein that the human body requires daily is dependent on many factors, including age, overall calorie intake and the level of physical activity. Based on these factors, the recommended range of protein intake is between 0.8 g/kg and 1.8 g/kg of body weight.
However, it is always best to consult a dietician or physical trainer to find the right amount of protein suited for your needs. Once you know the right amount, increasing your protein intake is simple.
How to intake protein?
You can either take it through supplements or by simply consuming a variety of complete proteins. Speaking of the latter, there are a range of protein-rich foods you can incorporate in your diet such as lean meat, eggs, fish, almonds, milk etc.
Having an artificial supplement to fill up a nutrition gap is fine, but it lacks the other nutritional benefits available in organic or natural foods. So, it is always better to rely on natural sources.
Contrary to popular belief, it is also very easy to add them to the diet. Plus, it doesn’t have to be boring! You can start your day with a bowl of fruits with some a handful of almonds, have some eggs, make a salad with some grilled chicken and lots of vegetables.
Nuts like almonds are a rich source of protein, a nutrient which is not only energy-yielding, but also known to contribute to growth and maintenance of muscle mass. They are also packed with antioxidant compounds and other nutrients like Vitamin B2, Vitamin E, magnesium, and phosphorus that are beneficial for the body.
For desserts you can eat some nuts such as almonds dipped in melted dark chocolate. Prior to working out you can quickly grab a banana and munch on some almonds – this gives an added boost of energy.
Also, according to a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition it has been found that consuming 43 grams of dry-roasted, lightly salted almonds every day reduced hunger and improved dietary vitamin E and monounsaturated fat intake without increasing body weight.
Rewards of combining daily workout with a protein-rich diet:
All that being said, getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity is a must since diet alone cannot do wonders to your body! So, no matter how busy you are don’t forget to make time for some exercise.
The rewards of a protein-rich diet, clubbed with a daily workout extend far beyond slimming down or adding muscle tone. There are dozens of subtle changes that visibly revamp the body and the psyche; maybe your skin looks brighter, your step is springier, you’re more confident or perhaps, you sleep better.
(Yasmin Karachiwala is a celebrity fitness instructor. Views expressed by the author are her own.)