Hey Power Girl, I was going to give you a break from nutrition tips, but your feedback tells me that you really want to know how to eat.
Last week I taught you everything I have learned about carbohydrates and this week I’m going to tell you about the key to eating the right stuff to make your muscles lean and strong.
You definitely need to do your Power Girl workouts and keep your body moving to make gorgeous, lean muscle…
BUT you also MUST eat this next type of food too.
If you do your Power Girl workouts but don’t eat enough of this special food than your muscles will be weak and flabby.
What is this special SECRET food type?
Your body NEEDS it!
Make sure you have some with every meal and snack.
You will NOT achieve your goals unless you have ENOUGH of this important food.
Let’s learn more about protein.
Proteins are considered the “building blocks of life.”
Wow that is MAJOR!
The “building blocks of LIFE!”
What exactly does that mean though?
Well our bodies use protein to build and repair our muscles and organs.
Most of our bodies are protein.
Proteins are needed to make our hormones, immune cells and all other sorts of tissues that our bodies need to be healthy.
Since we want to BUILD MUSCLE, it makes sense that we need to eat foods that make MUSCLE.
Since we want to BE HEALTHY, it makes sense that we need to eats foods that keep our IMMUNE SYSTEM strong.
The building blocks we get from protein are called amino acids.
When we eat protein foods, our digestive system and enzymes (which are made up of proteins), break the protein down into amino acids.
These amino acids get absorbed into our bodies and enter into our bloodstream.
Our bodies turn these amino acids into about 50,000 different proteins.
Now imagine what would happen if we didn’t eat enough protein?
Our bodies would have to FIND the protein from somewhere else – like our muscles and our organs!
How can we make gorgeous muscles if we don’t eat right?
Our body NEEDS protein every day and since we don’t store amino acids (like we store sugars as fats), when we don’t eat enough our body BREAKS down our muscle first to get the protein it needs.
We obviously don’t want our bodies to break down our muscle to find amino acids because we want strong, lean muscles BUT we also don’t want slow metabolisms.
You see, our metabolism (how much energy our body uses) is fuelled by our muscles.
The more muscle we have on our body, the better the metabolism we have, and the more calories we burn!
That is a great thing!
A high metabolism can allow us to BURN FAT EVEN WHILE WE SLEEP, as long as we eat the right foods (like protein) and do our Power Girl workouts.
So we HAVE to make sure that we eat enough protein!!!!!
So how do we do that?
Well the first thing is to know is which foods are protein foods.
We can get protein foods from both animal and plant sources.
The proteins from animal foods are obvious: meat, fish, chicken, pork, eggs and dairy.
Excellent sources of proteins from plant foods are legume beans (chick peas, kidney beans, navy beans, black beans, lentils, soy beans etc.), quinoa, nuts and seeds.
So how much protein do we need?
Growing girls, and girls who want to build muscle, should consume about 1g/kg of body weight (.45g/pound), to 1.2g/kg of body weight (.54g/pound).
So then…if you weigh, let’s say, 55 kg (120 pounds), you should be eating around 55 – 66 g of protein everyday.
Ok so we are one step closer to knowing how much protein we should eat.
I’m lucky because my mom was a dietitian and she just knows how to feed us.
My mom helped me with this next part, so that YOU could know about how much protein food you should eat to make sure you are getting enough.
1 ounce of meat/fish/chicken etc. is about 7 g of protein.
So if you eat 1 cooked chicken breast that is about 4 ounces which is 28g of protein.
1 egg or 1 slice of cheese (1 ounce) is also about 7g of protein.
If you have 2 eggs with 1 ounce of cheese, that would be 21g of protein.
Here is the math… 2 eggs + 1 ounce of cheese; 2 eggs will give you 2 x 7g = 14g of protein. 1 ounce of cheese will give you another 7g of protein. The total amount of protein would be 14 + 7 = 21g.
Legume beans…Well approximately 1/2 cup of beans will give you 7g of protein.
Nuts or seeds…Again this is an approximation…about 2 tbsp will give you 7g.
Cheese, nuts and seeds are high in fat so don’t rely on these for your protein.
You’ll learn next week that HEALTHY fat is actually GOOD for you, but too much will get stored as fat.
Remember to always have protein with your meals and snacks.
First of all we learned today that we NEED enough protein to make lean muscles, and secondly in last week’s blog on carbohydrates we learned that protein slows down sugar, entering our blood.
That is good because it gives our bodies a chance to use the sugar before it gets stored as fat.
I want to make this even more simple for you.
If you weigh 55 Kg, or 120 pounds, you need about 55 – 66 g of protein EVERYDAY.
You’ll notice that I broke the serving sizes above into 7g of protein each. So look at the chart bellow:
|Lean meat, fish or chicken||1 ounce (30g)|
|cheese||1 ounce (30g)|
|Greek yogurt||3 ounce (75 g)|
|Nut or seed butters||2 TBSP|
|Legumes (beans)||½ cup|
To get 55-66g of protein you should choose a combination of 8 – 10 servings. (8×7=56g, 10×7=70g).
Remember that you may need more or less than this example because your weight may be more or less than 55Kg (120 pounds).
Getting back to my example of eating 55-66g of protein…
Breakfast 2 choices (2 eggs)
Snack 1 choice (1 ounce cheese)
Lunch 3 choices (3 ounces cooked chicken)
Snack 1 choice (2 tbsp almond butter)
Supper 3 choices (3 ounces cooked fish)
Total 10 choices (10x7g=70g of protein)
This is just an example and this is also just the protein part for your meal. Remember that you should have some carbs with the above (review last week’s blog), and some fat (coming next week).
Carbs do have a bit of protein, so you’ll even be getting a bit more protein from those foods too.
That means you’ll eat a bit more than 70g of protein.
Tune in next week to learn about which fats to avoid, which ones are HEALTHY, how much HEALTHY fat you should eat every day, and why your body NEEDS fat.
This is all important information and will help you know exactly what to eat so that YOU WILL MEET YOUR FITNESS GOALS!!!
To your success!!
Your friend and coach,