The role of protein in weight loss & hormonal balancing. How much protein do I need to eat for weight loss & hormonal balancing.
I describe protein as the building blocks of our body. It plays a part in so many different essential functions in the body. Including building lean muscle tissue, making hormones, enzymes, healing and repairing your body and cell development. And of course the purpose of the blog is weight loss & hormone balancing. Pretty important stuff right? By not giving our body the correct amounts it’s easy to see how we can suffer as a result! And our body, your bestest friend is pretty good at giving you little clues or breadcrumbs if she is not happy. So the question is how much protein do I need to eat for weight loss & hormonal balance.
Meat V veggie protein
So let’s break down the nutrition jargon. When we eat protein we break it down to usable pieces called amino acids(Think carbohydrates are broken down into a useable form, glucose-sugar) There are 20 amino acids, 9 essential and the 11 the body can make the other 11. Animal sources contain all of the 20 amino acids and are commonly known as complete proteins. Plant proteins are known as incomplete, which means that they are missing at least one of the essential amino acids. They still absolutely have value and don’t forget all the other amazing health benefits. Fibre, antioxidants, abundant amounts of vitamins and minerals. I personally aim to eat 50% vegetarian a week and love the challenge of getting a wide array of veggie sources. Thinking outside the box with cooking and recipes is also fun and I love to pass this knowledge onto my clients and friends.
Sources of veggie protein
Some examples of plant-based foods rich in protein.
- Nuts & seeds.
- Bean & Pulses.
- Some fruits like avocado
- Peas & seeded veggies.
- Soy and tempeh.
- Quinoa, whole wheat, oats, amaranth & buckwheat.
Sources of animal protein
- Red Meat
- Fish & shellfish
Protein -its Thermic value & why its pretty cool!
When you eat , some of the calories from that particular food are used for the purpose of digestion and metabolism of that food.
This is often referred to as called the thermic effect of food (TEF).
We are not entirely sure of exact amounts as expert opinions vary. But what they can seem to agree on is that protein has a higher thermic effect around 30 % compared to carbohydrates 10 %(estimate) and fat 3%(estimate)
What does that mean for me Michelle? Breaking it down it simply means, if we look at protein rich meals such as my Turkey , bean and kale chilli? And look back to the numbers above -Thermic effect of 30% for protein, would that 100 calories of protein only end up as 70 usable calories, and the other 30 will be used for digestion & metabolism of the protein..
How much protein a day should I be eating for hormone balancing & weight loss?
How much protein should I be eating for weight loss & hormonal balancing. There is no simple answer I am afraid. It comes down to you as as an individual. When I am assessing a client’s food diary there is a number of questions I take into account. All of these questions will make a huge difference to the amount of protein they may need to achieve their goals of weight loss and balancing hormones.
- Their age.
- Their exercise activity level.
- How are their stress levels.
- How well is their sleep.
- Recovering from any illness or surgery.
- Pregnant, postpartum & breastfeeding or trying for a baby.
- Breadcrumbs such as skin, hair and nails health. How are their periods? Tiredness, indigestion or any gut issues. Cravings and intolerances.
I have included a link from the British nutrition society which gives their recommendations on protein intake. But take into consideration all of the questions above. I myself aim for about 1.2-1.5 grams per kg of bodyweight for my weight loss goals, exercise goals and role in balancing my hormones. .
What’s the bottom line when it comes to adding protein for weight loss & balancing hormones.
I believe protein, carbohydrates and fats all have an essential role in the body. So please do not start cutting out carbohydrates and fats just because we have heard all the wonderful jobs that protein does. . rather look at your plating up and allow it to represent your goals. Each food group deserves its spot on your plate. So let’s start being more mindful and aware of our plate. Let it be a representation of our future self and all our wonderful health goals. Here is one of my super easy and tasty protein and fibre rich meals. I can t wait to share more in my new Ebook which will be available in spring. x Michelle
Turkey, bean & kale chilli
- 400 grams of lean turkey breast mince
- Tin of kidney beans
- 1 packet of kale
- 1 big onion
- 8 cloves of garlic
- teaspoon of paprika, turmeric, cumin.
- 1 carton of passata
- Cup of veggie stock
- Chop roughly the onion & garlic
- Saute the onions and garlic in a teaspoon of coconut oil.
- Add the spices for 30 secs.
- Add the turkey mince and brown.
- Once browned add the stock and passata.
- Gently simmer for about 20 mins.
- Add the kale and simmer for another 5 mins.
- Add the kidney beans in at the end and serve.