I Get Asked ALL the Time…
How much protein do we actually need?
The Better Question to Ask Is…
Does it really matter?
YES and NO!!!
I really hope you will read through the end of this email because the “no” could be the secret ingredient you’ve been missing.
Sports Nutrition - The Masculine Approach
Let’s first dive into the “yes” and the pure nutritional side of eating. I put on my nutritional therapist practitioner “hat.” I look at the numbers, the grams of protein intake. Looking at numbers is a masculine nutritional strategy and it should be legitimately considered.
The timing of your protein throughout your day is more important than the overall quantity of protein.
You see, our bodies can’t store unused protein. If we eat too much during one sitting, it just sits there until it gets excreted. So, what we need to concentrate on is how well we’re spreading out our protein throughout the day.
According to sports nutrition researcher, Dr. Christopher Mohr, our bodies need 0.25g of protein per kg of body weight every meal. Basically, that means if you weigh 125 lbs., you can assimilate approx. 14g of protein per meal or snack.
Take your body weight, divide it by 2.2 and then multiple by .25
The problem I see is that the typical American diet usually lacks sufficient protein during breakfast (and sometimes lunch), and then grossly overdoes it at dinner.
Think of it this way:
- 1 egg gives you about 6 grams of protein.
- Generally, 1 ounce of cooked meat gives you about 7 grams of protein.
- If you eat a half-pound burger (about 8 ounces) for dinner…
- You’re consuming as much as 56 grams of protein in one sitting!
Here’s a Few Tips
- If this describes your typical protein intake at dinner, cut your protein in half and save it for breakfast or lunch the next day.
- Be sure to replace the excess protein portion with more vegetables for extra fiber to help you feel full and satiated.
- Not sure how much protein is in your portion size? Google it!
And don’t forget that your calorie burning potential is highest when the sun is highest in the sky (yes lunchtime - so this is best time to have a hearty meal). During the evening, our metabolism starts to slow down. So, if you’re eating a huge burger for dinner and it’s more protein than your body can assimilate, the majority of it is going to remain sitting undigested because your calorie burning has slowed down for the night.
What Should You Take Away From This?
- Start to notice if you’re generally overdoing protein at night and under-doing it in the daytime. If you eat a typical American breakfast high in carbohydrates and sugars, chances are it’s time to up your protein at breakfast time and decrease it in the evening. Note that I used the word “generally”. No need to be hyper-focused on this number.
- If you discover you need to add more protein to your breakfast, try this yummy BLT Breakfast Salad Recipe! You can always add an extra egg or leftover protein from dinner. And don’t forget vegetarian protein sources such as beans or raw nuts and seeds (such as chia, hemp, flaxseeds, pumpkin, walnuts, almonds).
- Spreading your protein out throughout the day will help you optimize calorie-burning potential and will ensure you’re absorbing the nutrients you need to enhance your mood and energy levels!
Mind Body Nutrition - The Feminine Approach
Why the number of protein grams might not matter.
Most of us think we need pure nutritional facts to solve our food and body challenges. We are taught that if we eat quality “real” food in the right amounts we should be able to achieve a certain body size, shape or level of health. Right? Well, it’s not that simple. And that’s what I’ve learned as a Mind Body Nutrition + Dynamic Eating Psychology expert.
Yes it’s valuable to learn the nutritional facts and be aware of, for example, how much protein grams we are consuming, a masculine strategy, but the approach the nutritional world is missing is the balance with “feminine” nutritional strategies. Nutritional advice has become too one-sided. We need to consider both approaches.
Masculine Approach and Feminine Approach
left brain, logical, linear, one-pointed, straight, to the point, goal oriented, intellect, mind, hard, heroic, purpose, clarity, systems, hierarchy, protection, boundaries, order, commitment, will, strength, information, science, numbers, calculating, measurement, problem solving, directional, singular, war, combat, fight, muscle, survival, king, prince, father, brother, warrior…
right brain, creative, nourishing, embodied, artistic, circular, emotional, musical, unpredictable, chaotic, flowing, watery, colorful, connecting, associative, soft, loving, caring, food, body, earth, procreative, communicating, inclusive, intuitive, open, receptive, spacious, non-linear, curvy, sensual, touch, pleasure, images, pleasing, surrender, yielding, dance, birth, earth, mother, queen, princess, devouring mother, sister, goddess, unknown, mystery…
The Feminine Nutritional Approach
- Considers the connection between our minds, our bodies and our spirits.
- It looks at what’s driving our behaviors with food and body. This is a really big question that begs us to look deeper and consider our challenges with food and body as symptoms, not the root cause.
- It has us take a softer more relaxed approach to food and our bodies.
- It asks us to broaden our definition of good health beyond a number on the scale or a certain size or shape.
- It asks us to question what the media and culture tells us is an ideal body image and instead take a realistic look at humanity and diversity.
- It looks at how digestion, assimilation, calorie burning and all the nutritive functions of the body are literally and scientifically impacted by stress, relaxation, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, pleasure, eating rhythm, eating speed, awareness, our personal story, feelings of self-worth, our level of satisfaction with key relationships, careers, and more…
The Essence of Mind Body Nutrition
What we eat is half the story of good nutrition – the other half of the story is who we are as eaters. Who we are bringing to the plate literally and scientifically influences how we digest and absorb a meal (and life).
What should you take away from this?
If you want to improve your health and wellness, consider the nutritional facts but also consider that you are human, with human behaviors that are influenced by a multitude of factors that aren’t usually considered. It’s time to evolve and grow the field of nutrition and tap into how we are nourishing our whole selves. It’s time to stop buying into the 66 billion dollar weight loss industry. It’s time to stop buying into the messages from media and culture that we’re not enough and must change if we don’t fit it’s ideals.
And before I wrap up (and if you’re still with me, thank you for listening), I know that what most of us want is nutritional tips so that’s what I am providing. We want the facts, the recipes, the meal plans, the protein grams, etc. But what I’ve found both personally and professionally is that what we need is a more well-rounded approach if we want to achieve true health and feel and BE our best.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, questions.