What Does the Body Tell You About Protein?

Essential Commentary

Have you thought about managing the protein in your diet?  Assuming you’ve made the choice to keep proteins like beef, chicken, fish and lamb in your diet, do you choose when to eat them each day?  Do you include or substitute other forms of protein for animal proteins?  If so, why?  Could it be that ingesting proteins at certain times of day benefits the body’s metabolism?

A fitness trainer I hired some years ago helped me understand how the quantity of the proteins I ate and the time of the day I ate them would positively impact the body’s metabolism and muscle mass and, consequently, weight loss.

So much of what is present in our lives is there by default… in other words, it’s there by virtue of either habit or because it gives us comfort.  We commonly eat what and when our parents ate, or have beliefs (often unacknowledged) about what meals should look like and when they should be eaten.  Or worse, we avoid meals altogether in favor of whatever we can grab in a moment’s notice.

The beauty of the plethora and availability of fresh food we have access to today is that we can set our own standards for what and when we eat.  I like to have 4-6 oz of lean protein once or twice per day, complimented with many deep greens and whole grains.  Now, there are infinitesimal ways of assembling these foods, but if, as a woman, you limit protein intake to 4-6 oz twice a day and combine those proteins with larger quantities of vegetables and whole grains, the body’s metabolism sings.

I learned many valuable lessons from fitness training, one of the most important of which was to pay attention to how the body, my body, processes food.  It has an inherent intelligence that’s unique to me, as yours is unique to you.

Over the course of time, I began substituting a very high quality protein shake when I needed a quick meal in the morning and simply didn’t have the time to cook eggs or steel-cut oatmeal.  I had a grilled chicken breast or baked salmon fillet with greens for lunch, and I inserted a whey protein drink in mid-afternoon when I felt a bit hungry between lunch and dinner.  Dinner, then can take on many iterations.  Protein may or may not be included, depending upon what your body tells you it needs.  I’ll say it again… your body will tell you if you just listen.  I have learned to listen.

So, be courageous.  Commit to listen and experiment with lighter foods eaten more frequently.  When you ask the body what it needs, you’ll be very surprised by the answers you get.

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