There are a lot of myths that surround protein.
“Protein makes you bulky.”
“Protein makes you gain weight.”
“Protein is only for dudes who want to build huge muscles.”
And as a trainer that’s been in the industry for 10 years, I’ve pretty much heard them all.
What you need to know is that protein is an essential part of any weight loss or fitness program.
In order to get sufficient amounts of protein, the protein we take into our bodies should be through both supplementation (such as IdealShake) and natural foods.
When it comes to natural protein sources, however, not all proteins are created equal. Today I’ll show you why the difference between “complete” and “incomplete” proteins matters for your weight loss goals.
Some proteins are complete, meaning that your body can readily use them for protein synthesis, whereas others are incomplete and by themselves cannot be fully utilized in protein synthesis.
In basic terms, complete proteins sustain lean muscle by themselves and incomplete proteins do not.
So, what makes a complete protein “complete” and an incomplete protein “incomplete”?
It’s All About Amino Acids
Proteins are made up of amino acids.
Protein is made up of 21 amino acids that are known as the building blocks of life. Of these 20 amino acids, 9 of them are “essential,” which means that they are not made in sufficient amounts by the body and need to be obtained from the food we eat.
Amino acids are linked to many aspects of health but for now we are going to focus on sustaining lean muscle and recovering after exercise, here’s why: Sustaining lean muscle and recovering after exercise are extremely important for weight loss because lean muscle burns more calories than fat, this in turn is great for your metabolism.
So as you’re losing weight you want to prevent the loss of lean muscle so that you can keep your metabolism going strong and using up the most calories possible.
Also, if you’re exercising, protein is important for building lean muscle. This is even more important for weight loss for two reasons:
1. You need to fuel your exercise to burn the most calories possible. No energy from a lack of the right nutrients means you won’t be able to exercise as long or intense which means you won’t burn as many calories when you working out. Not what you want.
If you’re exercising you definitely want to maximize your efforts, am I right?! Protein will help.
2. Protein is essential to helping you recover from a workout. The faster you recover means you’ll feel less sore. A lot of my clients feel like giving up in the beginning because they hate feeling so sore! Don’t let sore muscles sideline your fitness routine or your weight loss goals.
But before you start reaching for every high-protein food in sight, let me remind you that not all sources of protein are equal, and amino acid content is what separates complete proteins from incomplete proteins.