When most women think about the use of protein based supplements it is usually associated with thoughts of big burly men with disgustingly big arms and massive legs throwing weights around the gym floor. This vision, not depicting the ideal lean shape most women want when taking on any form of regular training pattern and controlled eating plan. However, as a trainer I come along these misconceptions and mistruths regarding protein supplements and its role and use every day, the truth is protein rich foods and supplements provide more benefits then you think to active women.
The first thing I try to do is take the scare factor (Like what most people have with carbohydrate consumption, but that’s another story for another day) out of what role protein plays in the body. The fact of the matter is protein contains the same number of kilojoules per gram as carbohydrates however protein has a much different role to play in the body, especially for active individuals. Protein is the key structure in repairing cells of our hair, skin and muscles thus being a crucial source of nutrients, ensuring optimal muscle recovery post training. The truth is most women or men, do not know if they are getting enough of this vital nutrient, keeping in mind protein helps to slow digestive processes and ultimately controls blood sugar levels, so in turn keeps you fuller for longer after consuming it. So, if you routinely find yourself hungry in between main meals or craving sweet foods maybe you aren’t getting enough protein in your diet.
When it comes to making wise food decisions, some women rely on fuelling their body with high carbohydrate based, processed foods such as sugary snack bars, juices and bread or pastry based products which contain very little protein. So what does this mean? Well ever wished you hadn’t had that pre – packaged lunch and now its 4pm and you find yourself craving that chocolate bar, muffin or piece of cake? The result of consuming low protein based foods is fluctuating blood glucose levels and gorging hunger, which can and will lead to overeating and failure by your body to metabolise fat.
So how do you control this problem?
Start by focusing on smarter snack food options, that is choosing protein and nutrient rich foods such as lean meats, low fat dairy (Not fat free), nuts, seeds and something I always try to recommend a protein rich shake full of mixed berries, low fat yogurt and low fat milk. This is a great way to ensure you are getting enough protein intake to compliment your active lifestyle and will keep you satisfied and feeling fuller for longer.
Adding more protein to your diet will not only help control those unwanted cravings but may contribute to you consuming fewer calories which may help with fat loss and steady weight control.