Tag: hunger

How Much Protein Do You Actually Need?

How Much Protein Do You Actually Need?

Protein is the building block used to create new cells. This includes anything from new skin cells to muscle tissue.

Protein is also an energy source and, though, it provides the same amount of energy as carbohydrates, it is not a good energy source. It has a long metabolic process, requiring a lot of energy to break down, and gives you a very slow and weak energy source.

This is great for people trying to cut back on carbohydrate intake, or to lose weight, but is not good for high performance and function.

To function at your best, you should use carbohydrates for fuel and protein for recovery.

Amino Acids and Protein

Proteins themselves are made of amino acids linked together. Each amino acid has a distinct shape that enables it to perform a unique function.

There are 20 different amino acids. Most are obtained by food while some can be created in the body.

However, if any of the 20 amino acids are lacking, then a protein, or new building block, cannot be made.

Without complete proteins, a new cell cannot be formed and the energy obtained from the extra amino acids is used as energy, or stored as body fat.

This means that we should be consuming complete proteins and not just amino acid sources in order to gain the best results.

How Much Protein Do You Actually Need?

Naturally every day we lose thousands of cells every day that need to be replaced with new cells. This includes anything from dead skin cells to broken down muscle tissue.

Individuals who exercise or do strenuous work, in which muscle is broken down often, need even more protein than sedentary individuals, to replace the lost cells.

However, there is a limit to how much protein we should be taking because it has been discovered that taking too much protein (over 1.5g/lb or 3.3g/kg of body weight) can put an unnecessary, and potentially harmful, strain on your body’s systems.

Also, your body can only grow so much in one day so taking extra protein, no matter how big and muscular you are, will only put more strain on your body and give you a weak energy source.

Therefore, it is best to consume only what is needed to recover and use carbohydrates and fats as your main fuel sources. 

To ensure you get enough protein to maintain or gain strength, aim to consume 0.5-0.7g of protein per pound (1.2-1.6g/kg) of body weight daily.

For individuals who do not exercise or break down muscle often, it is recommended that they consume only 0.4-0.5g per pound (0.8-1g/kg) of body weight daily.

In either case, any excess protein that is not used to build new cells will then be used for energy or fat storage.

Protein is not a bad source of energy, but it is not optimal either. It is much slower to break down and uses the most amount of water during metabolism.

By maintaining a constant level of protein daily, based on your needs, then the better energy sources, carbs and fats, can fluctuate depending on your daily activities.

Carbs are fast digesting while fats are slow digesting. So on days that you have a lot of intense activity consume more carbs while on less intense activity days you should rely more on your fat intake for energy.

Good protein sources are meats, beans, legumes, and dairy products.

Protein supplements can help to accumulate more protein in a diet but should be used sparingly, as whole food will always give you better results, guaranteed!

 

If you want to learn more, check out: The Truth About Protein Supplements!

Tip: Supplementing with BCAA’s, or branch chain amino acids, can be effective, but only if you are lacking one of the 8 essential, or 2 semi-essential, amino acids. Any excess amino acid that cannot be used to make a complete protein will be used for energy or stored as fat.

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Carbs for Fuel and Performance

Carbs for Fuel and Performance

Carbs are the #1 source for fuel in the body.

The main function of carbohydrates is to supply the body with energy, and they are also the only fuel source for the brain.

Our body does not “need” carbohydrates to survive, but they are vital for optimal performance in all forms of athletes, as well as everyday life.

The amount of carbohydrates required for optimal health and performance is different for everyone, based on body weight and activity level, but we all need that fast-acting energy source to be at our best.

Many diets focus on manipulating carbohydrates for different purposes. These are effective as long as you are using the right amount of fuel for your needs, and not forgetting about your health.

When manipulating carbohydrates in your diet you can choose:

  1. No Carb
  2. Low Carb
  3. Moderate or Regular
  4. High Carb

Each serves a specific purpose that we will go over in the following.

 

Low-Carb Diets

Low carb diets limit the number of carbohydrates you are allowed to consume each day. This is great for non-active individuals or those trying to decrease their cravings or dependency on sugars.

If you find yourself often sedentary (without exercise), or craving sweet treats too often, you may want to give this a try. Just don’t limit your carb intake too much.

By limiting carb intake through low carb diets, you are starving your body and brain of the fuel it needs to perform optimally.

This is not deadly, but your brain and muscles will not function at their highest performance.

If you just go low carb, consuming only 30-130g of carbohydrates per day you will often feel tired and slow as your brain doesn’t get enough fuel to perform its best and your body runs on its slow-acting fat stores.

So make sure that even on low carb diets you get at least 130g of carbohydrates, no matter your bodyweight, to keep your brain focused on tasks, not hunger.

Any extra carbs you have after that should be based on your activity level for the day.

 

The (No Carb) Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic Diet, a no carb diet, is getting more and more popular these days for its ability to relieve people of their sugar dependencies in order to lose weight and become healthier.

Of course, this lack of carbohydrate intake poses a problem for our brain’s fuel. However, our bodies have a solution.

Our bodies are smart and will adapt to a lack of carbohydrates by creating ketone bodies as a secondary fuel source for the brain to live on. This is a survival mechanism, but it can also be harmful if ketones are in the blood for months at a time.

Ketone bodies are acidic and will change our blood pH which in turn puts stress on other systems in the body.

So realize that Ketogenic is only a short-term diet.

The Ketogenic Diet is not meant to be maintained for more than 3-6 months. It is a lifestyle change that allows you to restart your relationship with carbohydrates after a few months.

When you start over, simply start adding in good carbohydrates that are non-addicting like fruits, whole grains, and some starches. Breads and sugars tend to be addictive so only have those on occasion.

 

Carbs for Everyday

While carbs should not be too low, they should also not be too high.

If carbohydrate intake is too high without adequate exercise, then there will likely be an excess of energy leading to fat storage. Any carbs that are not used through exercise, or metabolism, will be stored in your muscles, liver and then fat cells.

It is easy to use carbohydrates while they are in the blood or muscles, but when they are stored as fat their function changes. They go from being a fast-acting fuel source to a slow-acting fuel source in the form of fat.

Therefore, carbohydrate intake needs to be regulated depending on the amount of exercise you do.

A good range of carbohydrates to have daily for inactive individuals is between 1-2g per pound of body weight with a minimum of 130g to maintain optimal brain function.

Intake should be spread throughout the day in small increments rather than eaten all at once so that you always have a little fast-acting energy ready.

Your main carb intake should come from whole fruits (not juices), beans, oats, and grains; not addictive carbs like breads and sugary treats.

 

High Carb for Athletes

Athletes that do intense exercise exceeding 1 hour on a given day, should have a high carb diet. This allows for higher performance and faster recovery.

An optimal range of carbohydrate intake for highly active individuals is 2-4g per pound of bodyweight.

The majority of carbohydrates should be consumed before, during and after exercise.

During intense exercise, that exceeds one hour or more, it is helpful to intake about 20-60g of carbohydrate per hour, depending upon body weight and intensity, to increase endurance.

To replenish glycogen stores post exercise, carbohydrates should be consumed at a rate of 1.2g per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight every hour until stores are replenished (based on body weight).

 

The Final Word

Overall, when it comes to carbs, find what fits you.

If you are not very active, then you do not need more than 130g of carbohydrates daily. If you are highly active, you need a lot to keep up with your activity level.

Most of us are in between so just keep a normal amount based on your bodyweight and make sure you are getting your carbs from healthy sources, not breads and treats.


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Why You Need Fat In Your Diet

Why You Need Fat In Your Diet

Fats, also known as lipids, are valuable sources of slow, but long-lasting energy consumed in the diet.

This valuable nutrient is great for helping you stay fuller for longer but is easy to overconsume, and just like anything else you eat, if you do not use it for energy, then it is stored as body fat.

There are three types of Fat:

  1. Saturated Fat,
  2. Unsaturated Fat,
  3. and Cholesterol.

Saturated Fat

First, saturated fat is known as “bad” fat due to its properties linking it to many heart illnesses.

However, one important thing to remember about saturated fat is that it is created in the body. For fat to be stored in the body it must be converted into saturated fat so that it can be solidified at normal body temperature.

This means that saturated fat does not need to be in the diet!

Yet, it is not recommended to avoid natural meats that have relatively high amounts of saturated fat, because these meats also have higher nutrient content as well. Without saturated fat in your diet, your health will suffer through a lack of fat soluble vitamins.

To avoid excess saturated fat, simply do not eat the fat that you see on meat and avoid foods that have an abundance of saturated fat in them, with few other key nutrients.

Unsaturated Fat

Next, there are two types of unsaturated fat:

  • Polyunsaturated
  • and Monounsaturated.

Both forms of unsaturated fats are essential and must be consumed often to maintain a healthy body.

To ensure you get an adequate amount of these essential fats, consume foods rich in unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat, such as nuts, avocados, olive oil, fish and lean meats.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is also linked to many heart illnesses, but this is more due to the excessive saturated fat in our diets rather than the cholesterol consumed.

Like saturated fat, cholesterol is also formed in the body.

Cholesterol is used by the body to create hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. This makes cholesterol a highly valuable nutrient, especially for those looking to build muscle and get stronger.

We are told to avoid excessive cholesterol in our diets, however, the body makes way more cholesterol than is consumed in a regular diet, and those that train hard need a lot of cholesterol to keep their hormones up.

It has been found that only when saturated fat is high in the diet alongside a lack of exercise, so too are the dangers associated with cholesterol and heart illness.

With this in mind, realize that cholesterol is not harmful. Lack of a healthy diet combined with a lack of exercise is.

Eat Your Fat!

Realize that fat is important for every diet. Even body fat is important for optimal body function as well as fat-soluble vitamin storage.

Fat is a great source of energy, an insulator and allows the body to perform optimally. Without proper amounts of all 3 types of fat in your diet, your health and performance will suffer.

To ensure an adequate amount of these essential nutrients, consume these foods regularly:

  • Eggs
  • Red Meat
  • Lean Meat
  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Avocados
  • Olive Oil

 

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How To Improve Your Metabolism!

How To Improve Your Metabolism!

Improving your metabolism comes down to being able to manage your Metabolic Rate at a healthy level. You should be able to consume enough nutrients for your body’s dietary needs while allowing for optimal performance and recovery with your daily activities.

Your Basal Metabolic Rate is the amount of energy or calories, your body uses just to survive throughout the day by maintaining its current state. The greater this number is the more calories your body needs to survive daily. The more it is raised, the more calories you can afford to eat each day.

With a high metabolic rate, there is less effect on your body through overeating and under eating. By having a high metabolic rate, or increased metabolism, it is harder to gain weight while being easier to lose weight.

If you love donuts, then you might want to consider increasing your Metabolism so you can splurge a little more often.

 

2 Ways To Increase Your Metabolic Rate:

Two ways to increase your basal metabolic rate are:

  1. Increasing Muscle Mass or
  2. Increasing Your Daily Activity.

These two can work together when increasing the training stimulus. Your body wants to do what is best for survival, so it does not care to build unnecessary muscle mass unless it needs too. Muscle is calorically expensive to maintain compared to other tissues so there must be a reason for your body to build muscle or maintain it for survival. As long as you create enough stress for your body to need muscle growth for healthy survival, it will.

An important thing to remember about calorie expenditure is cardio burns calories today, while muscle burns calories forever. It is a caloric investment to build muscle. To maintain your investment you must have enough activity to stimulate its use. This is where increasing daily activity comes in to play.

Increased activity, or exercise, helps to build and maintain muscle. This will increase the number of calories needed both to repair and maintain the newly accumulated muscle, raising your Basal Metabolic Rate.

To build muscle it is important that you eat more nutrients and total calories than normal. With an increased nutrient intake along with increased activity levels, your body will be able to grow more muscle and raise your Basal Metabolic Rate.

 

How To Decrease Your Metabolic Rate:

To decrease your metabolic rate you must do the opposite; decreasing activity levels and consuming fewer nutrients. This will make it easier for your body to gain weight while decreasing its ability to lose weight.

This can be very dangerous and unhealthy if not monitored.

Remember, the goal is to manage your metabolic rate to a healthy level. You should be able to consume enough nutrients for your body’s dietary needs while allowing for optimal performance and recovery with your daily activities.

 

To learn more about managing your metabolism read the articles JACKED and SHREDDED from our articles page.

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Think Before You Eat!

Think Before You Eat!

Each time before you eat, think of what your goals are and if this meal choice will help or hinder your progress.

Eating is a common social pass-time, but it can stop you from reaching your goals if you don’t put some thought into what you consume. Think about if you are actually hungry, or just eating because you are bored.

 

Before you overindulge, think of these things…

Are you hungry, or are you actually just thirsty? Sometimes, thirst is mistaken for hunger. If you are not keeping up with your water intake, you may actually just be thirsty.

Are you craving something sweet, or are your electrolytes out of balance? In the kidneys, glucose or sugar is filtered with sodium (Na+). When your Sodium (Na+) to glucose ratio is off, which is common during weight loss or low carb diets, cravings will often occur in the form of sweet and/or salty foods.

When cravings occur, it is often helpful to have 1-2Tbs of natural peanut butter, which will help fight off cravings while still maintaining a healthy diet.

If that does not work, you can try having flavorful tea.

 

If you have to go off your diet…

For most diets, it is reasonable to not be completely strict all the time. It is reasonable to go off of your diet 10-15% of the time and still make progress.

Still, the stricter you are with a diet, the greater your results.

Always remember to keep your goals in mind. Think of what your meal really consist of and be accountable for what you put in your body.

Think of why you started a specific diet. Think if this meal will help you reach your goals. Each time before you eat, think of what your goals are and if this meal choice will help or hinder your progress.

If you want to learn more about managing your diet, check out our Strength Articles in which we discuss a wide variety of topics to help make you healthier and stronger!

 

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