Protein is low in most women’s diets, pushing out good quality protein sources over the last 50 year has become a worrying trend. Low-calorie diets have arisen because carbohydrates have fewer calories than the equivalent 10grams of fats and proteins. However low calorie is not nourishing. Adding a good source of protein into your diet is essential this blog will explain why it is important, especially to women, and how you can snack on protein. Protein will help you feel fuller for longer, sustain you throughout your day. It is an essential part of every woman’s diet.
The carb ‘hungry cycle’
Let’s begin with a simple explanation of the macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals you receive from your food. Calorie counting isn’t necessary if you are eating fats and proteins. Carbohydrates are the lowest in the calorie spectrum, but they also make you the hungriest and put you in a hungry cycle. If you are eating protein and fats you won’t get hungry. It is as simple as that.
Read more ‘Watch your macros not your calories’
Understand your macronutrients
Proteins are broken down in your body to form amino acids. There are nine essential amino acids. These amino acids need to be consumed every day, hence the name ‘essential’. Protein foods include meat, seafood, eggs, chia seeds, fish and hempseed.
Organic meat contains all nine essential amino acids in one mouthful, as do eggs. Vegetarians and vegans need to select foods that combine to create a complete protein in a slightly different way. I have written a blog and produced a video outlining how to add more protein to vegetarian diet. Vegans and vegetarians need to combine protein and carbs to make up the essential amino acids. The easy-to-remember combo is ‘grain and pulse’ to form a complete vegetarian protein.
Carbs are broken down by your body into glucose, and insulin is instantly released by your body whenever glucose is in circulation. Insulin and glucose are a team and work together. Insulin mops up glucose and feeds it to muscle or liver cells or panics and puts into storage – fat storage (also known as love handles).
Eat veg to stabilise your pH
Your amazing body has a pH of 7.4. Do you remember the pH from school? The acidity and alkalinity scale? Your body will do whatever it can in many amazing ways, including pulling calcium and magnesium from your bones to keep your pH of 7.4 stable.
Meat is acid-based. Eating too much meat without vegetables will increase the acidity in your body; vegetables are alkaline and will balance out the pH. Steak and green kale, mung bean and alfalfa salad is a winner. – Phew, that is lucky – I know you love a mung bean.
How much protein do women need?
The simple answer is 0.8-1 grams of protein per pound of body weight to maintain your weight if you are sedentary. However, if your goal is to build muscle, increase your strength to keep your bones strong as you age then 1-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. As you age your body cannot synthesise or create protein in an efficient way that you can in your 20s or 30s.
For simplicity sake, let’s say you are 10 stone which is 140 pounds therefore if you are sedentary and not interested in building muscle you need to consume 1 gram of protein per pound which is 140 grams which is the equivalent of 3.5 chicken breasts – a day!
To build muscle you need 168 grams of protein which is the equivalent of 4 chicken breasts a day or 10 tofu burgers a day!
Beginning to get an idea of how much protein you need to consume. As you know by reading my blogs, I firmly don’t believe that this needs to be an EXACT science. I don’t want your macro balance and protein intake becoming a bigger headache or soul destroyer than calorie counting. Simply add protein to every snack and meal. Over time notice your change in body composition and strength change. Then you will naturally become interested, curious and less self-sabotaging and understand your body and your moods. Changing habits make a compound effect on your health, a transformative change which is long term. My book Gorgeous! how to look and feel fantastic every day: www.get-gorgeous.com/book outlines this strategy and more in-depth.
Overview of protein content in your food
Meat and fish – complete proteins
Turkey Portion: 140g Protein 47g
Chicken Portion: 1 breast Protein 39g
Steak Portion: 105g Protein 31g
Mackerel Fillet Portion: 150g Protein 31g
Cod Portion: 120g Protein: 25g
Tuna Portion: can 100g Protein 24g
Dairy – biggest source of riboflavin (vitamin B2), B12 and phosphorus
Fage 5% Greek Yoghurt Portion: 227g (1 cup) Protein: 20g
Cottage cheese Portion: 112g Protein 15g
Cheddar cheese Portion: 40g Protein: 10g
Eggs Portion: 1 medium egg Protein: 8g
Full-fat milk Portion: 240ml (1 cup) Protein: 7.7g
Whole milk is very high in saturated fats, about 70% of its fatty acid content. Polyunsaturated fats are present in a minimal amount of 2.3% and monounsaturated fats make up the rest — about 28%. Interestingly naturally occurring trans fats are naturally found in dairy products.
HOWEVER, in contrast to the trans fats found in processed foods, dairy trans fats are beneficial for health because of the addition of vaccenic acid and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is also in Coconut Oil. Read more ‘Coconut Oil is pure poison’ headlines to terrify
Milk is very high in B12 and the calcium found in milk is also easily absorbed. Dairy products are a good source of phosphorus, a mineral that plays an essential role in many biological processes
Chickpeas Portion: 140g (3 tbsp) Protein: 12g
Red kidney beans Portion: 120g (3 tbsp) Protein: 10g
Baked beans Portion: 250g (small tin) Protein: 10gRed lentils Portion: 120g (3 tbsp) Protein: 9g
Soya & Quorn products
Soya mince Portion: 30g dry weight (1 cup) Protein: 13g
Quorn mince Portion: 100g (4 tbsp) Protein: 12g
Tofu Portion: 100g (half a pack) Protein: 8g
Soya milk Portion: 200ml (1 glass) Protein: 6g
SOY products like Tofu contain isoflavones which can act as antioxidants but also act as weaker plant-based estrogens it is currently not recommended for menopausal women
Balancing your macros and becoming aware of what you are consuming can take time to understand and put into practice, once you have the balance right for you introducing intermittent fasting will create dramatic effects on your weight loss and more importantly your health. If you would like to understand your body more, get to grips with the nutritional balance that will work for you feel free to book in your free consultation time with me.
You and I will discuss where you are currently and where you would love to be in 3 or 6 months time. I look forward to chatting with you, you know how I love to chat 😉
Get Gorgeous is a journey together – yours and mine.
PS. Don’t forget the gorgeous book – your insight into great health and vitality Gorgeous! how to look and feel fantastic every day. Click here to find out about your Gorgeous book
Find out what other gorgeous girls have to say…
Gorgeous!(Panoma press £14.99) is the new book by Adele that recently launched provides women with expert guidance to change their perception of food. Adele is also passionate that for sustainable weight loss to occur, the right mindset needs to be in place from the offset.