My girlfriend recently asked me why I value or prioritize protein. We had a nice discussion about it then. We talked about the role of protein in the body, a bit about the way we evolved as meat-eaters, as well as the behavior benefits of prioritizing it. I had to write about it as I really believe that it can be a useful tip for a lot of people. So, let's see the real reasons why we should prioritize protein.
1. It is vital for our body.
The truth is that we can’t live without protein. It is the building block of our muscles, skin, nails, hair, etc. But not only. Proteins play role in various other functions in our body. It is responsible for cell and DNA replication, responding to stimuli, transporting molecules as well. Without going into details, a fun fact that you might not know is that protein is responsible for transporting oxygen molecules throughout the body. So, it is an essential macronutrient that we should have in our diet, regardless of whether it comes from a plant or animal sources.
2. We minimize the consumption of carbohydrates.
OK, not all carbs are bad, however, they are not essential. Our body can survive without carbohydrates, but not without protein. Carbs give us only energy. Fibers as well, depending on the source of course, but predominantly energy. Now, there is nothing wrong with having carbs in our diet. But, do you remember when I mention the word “source”? Think about it. Do you eat, outs, rice, potatoes, fresh vegetables, quinoa, legumes, sprouts? Or it is more bread, pasta, cookies, chocolate, sugar, cakes, pizza, etc. Realistically speaking we cant not eat any of those. We are humans. We go to parties, we gather with people, we enjoy the taste of carbs because they taste good. It is the reality. Carbohydrates taste better than protein. Especially the bad ones. But, if they taste good, it is easier to overeat them.
That’s why, if we prioritize protein, we will have less space for carbs. If we first eat the steak and the salad, we will probably eat less of the bread or the potatoes.
Speaking of taste, there is another reason for you to try to eat more protein.
3. It is hard to overeat protein.
Protein is not as tasty as carbs and it is very satiating as well. Try to eat 3 pieces of steak. Almost impossible, right. But if I give you whole pizza. Not as hard. Protein is very satiating. It makes us feel full faster. Simple. It is a very nutrient dance food. It gives us way more nutrients per bite, than carbs. Therefore, if we prioritize it in the meal, we can minimize the consumption of unnecessary carbs. And for some reason, even if we get full of carbs, after one hour we feel hungry again. That is not the case with protein.
Eating protein won’t make you lose fats, but prioritizing it, will.
Wait, what? Well, it all comes down to the energy balance. At the end of the day, if you eat more than you burn, you will gain weight. So, yes, protein is not a magic substance that is going to make you lean. If you eat too much of it, you are still going to gain weight. It is just way harder to do so.
Let`s say that your goal is to get 200 grams of protein per day. You are still not going to achieve it if you are used to eating 100. However, in the pursuit of it, you will find yourself eating way less of the other foods. And this on the other hand is going to result in fewer calories per day.
It is like prioritizing water consumption. If your goal is to drink 4 liters per day, you will be way less attracted to any other liquids, right. So, you might end up drinking less coffee, or less juice for instance. It is worth trying.
There are no magic pills or substances that can permanently help you look and perform better. Changing your behavior towards food or exercise is the only realistic and sustainable change you can try to accomplish and work for. And here you have some tips about how to do so.
When it comes to food, trying to prioritize protein could be a good start. You will provide more valuable nutrients to your body, decrease the consumption of carbohydrates, and minimize overeating.
If you wish to learn more about nutrition and have a guide that will help you do better food choices, feel free to download the free Healthy Eating Guide here
That was it from me for today’s blog, I am heading over to the kitchen, where beautifully marinated steak is waiting to be cooked. Adios!