Protein is one of the most important nutrients you need, whether you are a man or woman, pregnant or not pregnant. Protein an essential building block, so not having enough is not negotiable. Protein requirements vary person to person (age, weight, health goals) and your activity level. You must eat enough protein per day to maintain muscle mass.
Many people think they are eating well enough but the truth is if you are not combining balanced ratios of fats and carbohydrates to the protein. If the ratios are off, then your body either feels like it is starving or ‘completely’ saturated. In either case, over years of poor choices and with any increased “stress” (the number one killer), you end up overweight which puts you at risk for disease you do not want. Diseases like Heart disease, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Cancers and Obesity. Unfortunately, there are a lot more. The ‘one’ thing in common these diseases have is: INFLAMMATION.
So how do you determine ‘your’ Protein requirement?
First, you need to calculate Lean Body Mass (LBM). There are many charts out there and Apps on the internet to assist you to find ‘your’ number. It is easy to find an online calculator to give you yours. In many cases for women for instance, you need to know is your HIP, Abdomen measurements are and your height. And, for men what is necessary is waist and wrist.
To get YOUR base Protein requirement you need to get that LBM number and multiple it by your Activity Level (see chart below). To get the protein units for ‘you’ per day, you need to divide that end number by 7.
If you are doing this by longhand the formula is:
LEAN BODY MASS X ACTIVITY FACTOR = PROTEIN REQUIREMENT in GRAMS
132 LBM x .6= 94.5 gram of protein/day – light activity (divided by 7= 13.5 protein units/day)
132 LBM x .88= 106 grams of protein/day- very activity (divided by 7= 15 protein units/day)
||GRAMS of PROTEIN/LB of LBM
|| 0 .5
|Light Activity (walking)
|Moderate Activity (1.5 hrs/wk)
|Active (1.5-2.5 hrs/wk)
|Very Active (greater than 2.5 hrs/wk)
|Elite Athlete (or training 5x’s+/wk)
It is a mindset to adopt. The goal here is to design your meals so they are balanced between Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates throughout the day. So, in the example above for the very active person who needed 160 gram of protein or 15 units of protein, you also need to balance it with, 15 units of Fats and 15 units of Carbohydrates.
That sounds like a lot of food…. or so it seems. You graze, small meals throughout the day. You must feed the body the basics and these are the basics minimums. IF you combine foods correctly that are chemically correct for your body, then it utilizes these foods to rid you of inflammation, the root of many diseases and in many case, you get down to your ideal weight and body shape. You would not put 87 octane in a Maserati, right? I would hope not.
And what is the right ratio to begin with?
In the book Mastering The Zone, the ratios that make up 1 balanced unit are:
7grams Protein, to 9 grams of Carbohydrates, to 1.5 grams of Fat.
For proteins it is: 1oz for meat or 1.0z if it is fish; Carbohydrates:1 cup raw vegetable (.5c if cooked) and Fats: 3 almonds, 3 olives, ¼ t of olive oil for example.
A person at this level of 15 Units/day would more than likely schedule eating in the following fashion:
Breakfast -> 3 Units
Snack-> 2 Units
Lunch-> 3 Units
Snack-> 2 Units
Dinner-> 3 Units
Snack-> 2 Units
A typical simple breakfast menu of 3 units could be: 3 egg omelet (protein), 1.5 cups of sautéed vegetables, and 6 0lives (2 fat units) with a splash of Olive oil to cook the eggs. The possibilities are endless.
Please read labels on your food products- it is an eye opener. The ingredients start with the largest amount to the least amount. Also- pay attention to the ‘other’ ingredients if there are any. Many of those can be cancer causing, do your research and make better good lifestyle choices.
The bottom line on how to choose foods that are based on your protein requirement and your health goals. What kind of lifestyle you really are aiming for. In this day and time- buy organic as much as possible and drink water that is as pure as possible.
Barry Sears, PhD, who authored and promoted the Zone diet is a biochemist and researcher. The goal of this diet plan is to stabilize hormonal balance within the body in order to reduce inflammation which is directly related to improved health. The Mediterranean Diet, very similar… same outcome.
For me this is a way of life, a life that afforded me Freedom and living very well. Once you get the aspects of this system down, it is a no-brainer. This is not a big learning curve. My goal here was to offer you possibilities and plant the seed.
This is a synopsis of how you can be in more control of your diet… your first line defense. Food is medicine.
If you would like to go deeper or if you need help deciding what diet is best for you to reach your the health you know you deserve- reach out to me…
You are only as healthy as your weakest link.
Live Longer, Live Better Today. It starts with your next meal.
Take me up on a 30 minute, Free Consult for your next steps. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your time.