The Power of Protein

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Protein is one of the most important things we can feed our bodies. It’s known for it’s ability to burn fat and build muscle. Behind the scenes, protein is the building block of every cell in the body, ranging from your bones to your skin, and it keeps your body in top shape. Not only is it essential to our body’s functionality, it also has several awesome side effects that will have you looking and feeling healthier.

Let’s discuss some of the great things protein can do for us:

1. Lean Muscle Gain – Exercising purposefully damages our muscle tissue, only to be repaired and grow back stronger. Our muscles are a powerhouse for calorie burning; therefore, the more protein we fuel our bodies with, the more calories we can burn. When we begin replacing fat with muscle, our bodies burn calories to maintain healthy, lean muscle.

2. Speeds up your Metabolism – That’s right! Did you know that eating enough protein each day can actually aid in speeding up your metabolism, which will help us burn fat quicker? It takes a greater amount of energy to process protein than it does carbohydrates, so our metabolism increases when consuming higher amounts of protein.

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3. Weight loss and Weight Maintenance – Consuming higher amounts of protein will boost fat loss in your body while helping you maintain lean muscle. On the flip side, for those who just want to maintain their current weight, protein helps regulate our appetite. Unlike fat and carbohydrates, protein makes us feel more full for longer periods of time, resulting in reduced cravings.

4. Quick Recovery – Because of the breakdown our muscles experience when we exercise, we need to fuel our bodies with protein to help grow and repair our cells. Protein provides necessary energy to help speed up this process. Most people believe that protein will enhance athletic performance, but that isn’t the case. However, it can aid in increasing muscle recovery, which makes our muscles stronger, quicker.

5. Overall Health – Protein has been proven to help balance hormones and acts as a natural remedy for anxiety. Studies also show that it helps improve our response to stress. As I mentioned before, protein is a building block to our cells, including our skin, hair, and nails. Our hair and nails are actually made up of mostly protein.

A few things to consider when consuming large amounts of protein in your daily diet:

  • Be sure to eat protein throughout the day, not just at one meal. This helps your muscles rebuild throughout the day.
  • Having several sources of protein will make your goals much easier. Consuming protein shakes numerous times a day will get old, quick. So explore other options! There are many types of food that provide our bodies with important vitamins and nutrients.
  • Protein supplements are a great way to help us reach our protein goals. The key word being supplement. Drink protein powder as an addition to your diet as opposed to solely relying on it. Do not exceed more than 2-3 shakes a day. Drinking too many a day can lead to digestive issues and can cause bloating.
  • Women tend to skimp on food with large amounts of protein because of their caloric density, but eating a balanced diet with a significant amount of protein yields many great benefits, including weight loss.
  • The USDA recommends a daily intake of 56 grams for men and 46 grams for women at a minimum. This is just a starting point and is based on an average activity level and an average weight individual. For people that are doing more intense exercises or attempting to lose weight, a higher level of protein is recommended.

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Because protein is a macro-nutrient, our body needs a large amount of it. Our bodies don’t store protein like they do carbohydrates and fats; therefore, we need to consume large amounts of it daily. Now knowing the benefits of protein, it shouldn’t be hard for us to want to eat more of it. It’s just a matter of working it into our diets. There are tons of foods that you probably already eat that are packed full of protein. Start taking a closer look into labels and be sure you are getting enough protein to help aid in the achievement of your fitness goals!

If you liked today’s post, please take a second to share it on social media so others can learn about the great things protein has to offer our bodies!

 

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10 Tips To Help You Find The Time

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In previous posts, I’ve mentioned the importance of making time for fitness. It’s tough! We’re extremely busy – taking kids to school, working full time jobs, making time for our families, cooking dinner, etc. And not only does exercising require time, it requires energy. In this post, I’m sharing 10 tips for finding time to exercise.

How do I find time to exercise? I’m a mom, wife, teacher, trainer, nanny, and waitress, so working out is impossible, right? Wrong. Life will always be busy. If we tell ourselves we will pick it up when things slow down, you’ll never begin.

Here are 10 tips that I’ve personally used to help me make the time for my health and fitness. If you have any additional tips that you find helpful, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

  1. Scheduling workouts – Write your workouts in your schedule. If it’s on my calendar, I’ll actually follow through. I forget about meetings that aren’t on my calendar. The same is true for my workouts.DSC_0271
  2. Ditch the gym membership that has you driving to workout. You can exercise just as well in your house. (Get inspired here) When you eliminate the 30 minute round trip to and from the gym, you’ve added time to workout.
  3. Accountability has been my biggest game changer. I was hesitant to get a personal trainer, but the accountability alone was worth the money. Aside from providing expertise, my trainer keeps me on top of my diet and constantly checks in to make sure I’m on track.
  4. Invest in your fitness – This tip will fluctuate with your budget, but I’ve noticed I have more motivation to workout when I have new equipment or new athletic attire. Making small investments along the way will keep you excited for your workouts. You can use the money you’re saving on ditching your gym membership! Making these investments also keeps me dedicated since I feel like I’ve wasted money if I don’t actually use my purchases.
  5. Join a group – Meet friends to do your workouts or create a group text with like minded individuals with the same goals in mind. This can serve as another form of accountability outside of a personal trainer. The more pressure you have to workout, the better.
  6. Multitask  Can’t miss the latest episode of The Bachelorette or Suits? No problem. Workout while you watch the show! This will, of course, be easier if you are working out from home.
  7. Limit your screen time – Watching TV and social media can be huge time wasters. We are constantly on our phones or computers. Put away the devices and pick up the dumbbells. Also, I’ve found that checking emails or looking at Facebook while exercising takes away from my workout. I now tell myself to put the phone up until I’m finished. This motivates me to get through my workout quickly so I can get back to a text or email.
  8. Work out in the morning – Not only does it give me energy, but it also gives me back my lunch break or evening. As the day goes on, my to do list seems to pile up, and it makes it easier to skip out on a workout that night.
  9. Bring the family If I can’t workout early in the morning or at night after my daughter goes to bed, I come up with a fun, full body workout that my daughter can do with me. She loves it and knowing she is watching makes me push myself even harder. Take advantage of opportunities to get the family involved in your workouts. Going hiking or throwing a ball around in the backyard totally counts!DSC_0291
  10. Challenge a friend – There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition. When bragging rights are on the line, we tend to find motivation. After getting a Fitbit, I quickly became obsessed with the number of steps my friends were getting. It really kept me on my feet.

These are just a few tips you can try to help you find the time to exercise. Show me your calendar, and I’ll show you what’s important in your life. Shouldn’t your physical health be one of your top priorities? Stop making excuses and start making time for yourself and your body!

 

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