It doesn’t have to be that confusing.
I said in one of my recent posts that I would expand on a post regarding adding strength, add muscle. In my last post I talked about progressive overload, progressively adding load using different methods, the end result being strength.
So here it is. In a continuance of the series I bring you protein. We’re obsessed with protein. Most of us, ok, all of us. What do we think of when we hear protein? Beef, chicken, fish. That’s pretty much it. Don’t worry though, I’m not going to make this a post about plant based diets and the negative repercussions of eating animal products. You can read some of my previous posts to understand why you should be eating a whole foods plant based diet.
Anyway, why are we obsessed with protein? Money. Plain and simple. It makes people money. Quick question: How many different brands and types of protein powders are there available for you to buy from? Lots! And a lot of them are crap, containers spiked with nitrogen and cheap fillers just to get your money. Did you know that the average person needs only .4 of a grams of protein per lb of body weight? And the really active person needs maybe 1 gram per lb of body weight? So if you are the average woman, you need less than 40 grams of protein per day. But being active you may need over 100 grams to sustain muscle growth. And that should not be that difficult to obtain. But don’t be obsessed with it. I think generally we tend to not realize where we get our protein. As mentioned earlier, most people don’t realize that rice, potatoes, green leafy vegetables all have protein. Probably more than we realize. Did you know that a medium sized potato has about 5 grams of protein? 1 cup of brown rice has about 5 grams of protein? It makes sense when you think about it. The strongest and largest animals on the earth are herbivores.
But we can’t be obsessed with it. We should be obsessed with eating healthy. We should be more focused on the quality of protein. We should be focused on health really. I really believe if you focus on eating healthy, and by healthy I’m not just talking about not eating junk food, you will then get the protein that you need along with other things we need such as fiber. That’s the question people should be asking ‘Where do you get your fiber?’.
And too much protein can cause damage to your kidneys, and depending where you get your protein from, can even cause diseases such as cancer.
Are you suffering from lack of protein? Do you show the signs of lack of protein? Flaking and dryness of the skin, delayed wound healing, hair loss and hair that falls out easily? There are other symptoms such as muscle and joint pain, low energy but these could be due to other reasons. Unless you are eating really unhealthy, totally consumed with junk food, you probably are getting enough protein. And if you aren’t sure, or want to know definitively, there is a urine test you can get to determine if you are. Basically protein is nitrogen. If your body is nitrogen positive, you are getting enough protein and you will do one of the things to enable your body to grow.
Ok, so I said I wan’t going to make this a post about plant based diets. But, I want to give you the simple answer, to the protein problem:
Whole foods plant based diet.
Consume a whole foods plant based diet, eat until you are full, all the time and you will more than likely get the protein you need. And you won’t be adding unwanted fat. That’s it. It may be hard to believe but all plants have protein and because plants are nutrient dense, have lots of fiber (animal products have zero fiber) you will find you need to consume much more to get the same calories as when you were eating animal products. More food, more fiber, better protein, a win all around. If you are working out, following a whole foods plant based diet, but you aren’t gaining muscle then you more than likely are in a caloric deficit. In other words, you get to eat more!
It is that simple.
Yours in health,
Next post I will be finishing up my breakdown of what we need to do to grow and get stronger.