Why Protein Is Important (And How To Know You’re Getting It)

Want to look great? Then you’ll need protein on your side.

We all know that we need protein in our diets, but very few understand why protein is important to our overall health.

In fact, increasing protein is even more important than cutting carbs when looking to tone up, lose weight or increase your overall health.

I seldom meet anyone that realizes they are not getting enough protein. Unfortunately, I come across this constantly all over the world—people do not eat enough protein, and it is killing their metabolism.

If you are looking to stay or get lean, energetic, strong, and healthy, protein should be in your fridge for easy eating. Here are a few reasons why.

protein shake

Why Protein Is Essential

1. Weight loss

Like I mentioned earlier, protein helps your metabolism run efficiently. Also, protein takes energy to digest, therefore burning more calories—and keeping you satisfied longer so you won’t binge.

Related: 5 Ways To Avoid Overeating

2. Muscle growth

Protein feeds your muscles so they can become strong and shapely. It is also what makes your muscles grow and muscle is what keeps you lean.

3. Prevents injury

Protein allows your body to heal itself—which is essential after a butt-kicking workout!

Related: 6 Ways To Spice Up Your Workout Routine This Year

But How Much Protein Do I Need?

You need a lot of protein to build and maintain muscle, but it can be confusing to figure out just how much. The below outlines how much protein you need, and easy ways to keep track of your intake.

1. Figure out how many grams you need a day

This seems overwhelming to a lot of people, but I have a simple rule of thumb for you: consume at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. For example, someone who weighs 100 pounds would take at least 100 grams of protein.

Related: 6 Essentials For A Healthy High Protein Breakfast

It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman: it is still one gram of protein per pound of body weight. Use your current weight, not your goal weight! It’s that simple.

2. Figure out how many servings you need a day

Rest assured, you don’t have to consistently carry your scale around, measuring your protein at each meal – there are easy and effective ways to do this. For example, 20 grams of protein is a serving. A 20-gram serving of meat is approximately the size of a deck of cards.

Related: 6 Surprising Protein Facts That Meat-Eaters Will Love

So let’s go back to our example. A 100 lb. person would need at least five servings of protein during the day (100 pounds = 100 grams of protein, divided by twenty grams of protein = five servings).

3. Divide up these servings throughout the day

Now that you know the numbers, just divide these servings among the meals you are eating. For example, this 100 lb. person would have one serving of protein with every meal if he or she were eating five meals a day.

Related: What You Should Eat To Fuel Your Workout: Carbs, Fats, And Protein

You don’t need to go crazy counting your protein intake. Just use this as a guide and do the best you can. There are a variety of protein-packed snacks and meals out there – I recommend switching up your options to avoid getting bored with a certain food.

But what foods are high in protein? I’ll tell you!

How To Get Enough Protein

Now that you know how much protein you need, the next question is, how the heck do you get that much protein in a day?

Don’t worry—it is really simple. Eat three meals a day with enough lean protein from lean beef, poultry, game meats, or eggs. Then have three protein snacks—like a protein shake, for example. At 25 grams of protein per scoop, shakes are an easy, delicious, and convenient way to get enough protein a day.

Related: Simplify Your Diet: The Benefits Of Healthy Green Smothies

Greek yogurt is another delicious way to supplement your protein intake. Most Greek yogurts are around 20 grams of protein per cup. Have two cups of Greek yogurt, and you have a solid forty grams of protein that takes less than a minute to eat.

The Takeaway

Few realize why protein is important to overall health. Protein gets and keeps you lean by increasing your lean muscle mass, thus transforming your metabolism into a fat burning machine. It assists in helping your body to heal itself, and it takes energy to digest therefore burning more calories while keeping you satisfied longer. Start eating more protein today!

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john rowleyJohn Rowley is a health and wellness expert who helps people transform their bodies while finding their passion, purpose and drive for success. With his tell-it-like-it-is attitude, John inspires others and changes lives by restoring physical, mental and spiritual health to help lead  a better life. Rowley is the author of the best-selling books The Power of Positive Fitness and Climb Your Ladder of Success Without Running Out of Gas.

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