Protein - the key to a healthy diet

Hi guys,

Hope you’ve all had a good week’s training. Last week I talked about carbohydrate; the importance of getting the right amount/ quality of carbs in your diet, to help you get the results you’re looking for.
This week I’m talking about protein.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about protein. I’m sure some of you have at some point been seduced by the promises of a random protein supplement. There’s literally hundreds of them out there. But the truth is that for most of us they’re simply not necessary.

How much protein should you eat?
Put simply, protein is the essential ingredient to forming the muscles in our body.
A sedentary person needs about 0.75g of protein per kilo of bodyweight in their diet.
However, active people (like yourselves) need between 1 and 1.5g of protein per kilo of bodyweight.
You don’t need to go crazy – going way beyond these amounts won’t mean you'll get fitter and stronger. That’s why I recommend that those of you who have spent a lot of money on whey protein supplements hesitate before doing so again. Think about the quality of your training programme first. Ask for advice and see if a more structured programme, combined with better nutrition, could deliver better results and save you some money.

What are the best sources of protein?
Above all else, it is vital to get the quality of your protein right. If the source of your protein is dripping with saturated fat, then you’re doing more harm than good.
Here are some good sources of protein:

  • Tuna
  • Chicken
  • Beef (lean minced beef or steak)
  • Turkey
  • Pork
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Eggs
  • Cheese (low-fat)
  • Yoghurt (low-fat)
  • Nuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Tofu
  • Milk (skimmed/ semi-skimmed)
  • Beans
  • Lentils

When I talked about carbs last week, I mentioned that I personally felt leaner if my final meal of the day was based around protein. That could be a mixture of some of the above with as many different vegetables as you want.

An overload of carbs can make you feel bloated. And if all that energy has nowhere to go, because all you’re doing is sitting on the sofa or at a desk, then it will eventually be stored as fat. However, if you get enough protein in your diet, you will feel full and you won’t end up bingeing on bags of crisps or high-sugar treats to fill your belly.

So that’s why good quality protein is a key ingredient to maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle, and making the changes to your body that you’re looking for.

Over the next few weeks, I might drop the odd high-protein recipe into Tony’s Tips. For those of you who haven’t heard about my cooking - be afraid, be very afraid…

Take it easy,
Tony

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