Protein is critical to good health. Here’s why:
- Protein is critical in building muscles, repairing tissue and making enzymes, hormones and other chemicals in the body. Almost half of the protein we consume every day is used to make enzymes for the purpose of digestion.
- Protein is necessary for the body to produce new cells and transport nutrients to those cells.
- Protein enables brain cells to communicate to each other.
- Consuming the right amount of protein can help you lose weight – 100 calories or more each day.
Plant-based protein is the best source as animal foods have been found to increase rates of cancer. So, how much protein do you need to consume every day? About 50-90 grams, depending on your weight and level of activity. A simple formula to determine your individual protein needs is as follows:
- Divide your weight in pounds by 2.2. This converts pounds to kilograms.
- Multiply this kilogram # by between .08 to 1.8. .08 if you are a couch potato and 1.8 if you are a professional athlete. If you exercise regularly (4 days a week, 30 minutes each day) 1.0 to 1.2 is a good # to use.
Example, I am 190 pounds. 190 / 2.2 = 86.36 x 1.0 = 86 grams of protein I would need to consume each day.
Your body can’t absorb more than 30 grams of protein at one meal, so the key is to consume protein throughout the day in order to maximize its absorption.
Eating healthy must become a daily habit. Turning new behaviors into habits requires three things:
- Repetition and
Being aware of those behaviors that improve your health and your life is always the starting point. Once you decide to engage in a new good habit, the key to sticking to that habit is to track it for at least two months. Tracking creates individual accountability and will keep you engaged in the behavior until it becomes a habit. Habits, on average, take about 66 days to form. Make a habit of being aware how much protein you consume every day and then track it for 66 days.