Proteins are a basic foundation of the human body; virtually every cell is composed of protein. So what is protein exactly and what does it do for us?
Proteins are strings of complex molecules that are made up of smaller units called amino acids. These help build muscle, blood, and internal organs. A few examples of proteins that help regulate the human body include hormones, keratin, enzymes, bones, and even DNA.
Protein is an essential part of weight loss as it takes more energy to burn protein than to burn fat and carbohydrates. Some people may find it challenging to eat the recommend amount of protein needed daily.
Protein requirements for every individual may vary, however, the average human being should consume between .75 grams per lb of bodyweight or bodyweight goal. For weight loss, the recommend amount is .75 to 1 gram of bodyweight goal. For athletes or very active individuals it is recommended that intake be 1 grams of bodyweight goal. Note: in order to maximize results a balanced diet and the adequate amount of protein is needed DAILY.
There are many way to incorporate protein into your diet. Here are good protein options. Aim to include at least one protein choice into every meal.
A high protein diet is an important factor when trying to lose weight. As you are losing physical body weight, both fat and muscle are getting burned through. Having an adequate amount of protein in your diet can help prevent extensive muscle loss and help fuel fat burning.
Signs you are not getting enough protein:
You are constantly weak and hungry:It takes more than daily gym visits to look and feel strong. If you don’t eat enough protein to fuel your body’s tissues with the necessary amount of amino acids (protein’s small subparts), your body has no choice but to start breaking down your muscles to get amino acids from their fibers
You are struggling to lose weight:Eating enough protein is especially important on a diet because it helps ensure that you lose fat, not metabolism-boosting muscle, as you slim down.
You’re losing your hair:Hair is made primarily of protein; your hair needs adequate protein to grow and stay healthy. If the body is deprived of protein from your diet, it will try to conserve protein levels as much as it can and shift hair growth into a “resting phase” (WebMD)
You’re always getting sick:The immune system depends on the right fuel to function correctly. A study published in Progress of Food and Nutrition Science concluded that being deficient in protein results in the loss of T cells, important germ fighters. As a result, the immune system can’t ward off bacteria or viruses as well.
Your lower legs and feet swell up instantly:Proteins help to hold salt and water in blood vessels; without enough protein, these fluids can seep into surrounding tissues.
Your skin gets patchy in places: A protein deficiency can sometimes result in a flaky dermatitis, or irritation of the skin, especially on the back of the thighs and on the buttocks. Lack of a certain protein in the skin’s protective barrier can make skin more vulnerable to allergens and other irritants.