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All about Proteins

Hello everyone,

Are you up and ready to move about today...remember to schedule some time for yourself to get active, even if it’s just taking the stairs instead of the lift or walking further from the station.

What’s the latest news with your healthy it getting any easier to stick to your nutritional plan? Are you struggling with any part of your daily diet and if so what are you doing about it? Have you buried it under the huge “to do list” we all have and you will worry about it when it’s too late and the wheels come off completely? Let me know what I can do to support and help you...that’s why I’m here.

Is your mindful eating leaving you feeling better and more energised. Happier in yourself and growing in confidence with what you should put in your shopping basket? Are you drinking more water and feeling better for it enough?

What have you got to tell me...what can we do to move it forward and get you feeling even better?

Today’s Topic: PROTEINS

So we all hear time and time again about protein in our diets! Who’s confused? We see the protein shakes being used and wonder if we too should be using them! Remember protein shakes are a supplement and they supplement the diet if you struggle to get in enough protein from food sources. The protein shakes are not a replacement for food.

What do we need protein for?

Protein is essential for the growth, maintenance and repair of body tissue and cells (not just muscle repair guys). It’s part of every living cell.

Protein is also makes up some tissues like skin, muscle, tendons, ligaments, hair.

It’s also the core of teeth and bones.

Protein also performs a variety of physiological functions inside our bodies.

Ø All our enzymes are proteins. Enzymes control the rate & pattern on chemical reactions such as digestion of food & the extraction of energy from it.

Ø Some hormones are made up of protein.

Ø Antibodies (produced by white blood cells & move into the bloodstream to fight infection) are proteins.

What’s the structure of protein?

Proteins are made of long chained amino acids and there are 20 of these. 8 of these we must get from food as our body can’t make them so these are called Essential Amino Acids and 12 of them our cells can make inside our bodies so they are Non-essential.

After you eat protein the long chains are broken down during digestion into the amino acids. These are then transported to the liver & muscle cells to produce energy, used to build & repair body tissue and cells, build enzymes, hormones and antibodies.

What should I eat?

It’s important to keep your cells topped up with all the amino acids & you can do this by eating protein on a daily basis. But you should pay particular attention to sources of the 8 essential amino acids (remember our body doesn’t make these – we need to eat them).

Complete Proteins – all essential amino acids present


Animal produce – eggs, milk, cheese

Soya bean products

What does incomplete protein mean?

They have one or more of the essential amino acids missing.

Most plant protein are incomplete and therefore lack different amino acids.

However if you combine plant protein sources you can solve the problem and will supply adequate amounts of the required amino acids from different sources.

So for example if you’re a veggie – it’s essential to have a mixed diet of pulses, grains, cereals and nuts for full complement of essential amino acids.

Examples of combining: Toast & peanut butter, Vegetable chilli & rice, Toast & beans, Lentil Soup.

So How much should I eat?

We’ve all heard millions of different reports about how much you should eat on a daily basis, the risk of under eating or over eating protein and now we are confused right?

So you should understand that you’re body will not use protein as an energy source unless it’s a last resort and you’ve used all your carbohydrate stores up. This is extremely unlikely to happen unless you are an athlete (not going to open this can of worms – my endurance clients get different protein support).

The government recommended guideline is 0.8g of protein per kg of bodyweight – 10-15 % of your daily calories. So if you weigh 70kg that’s 56g of protein per day. Not much hey when you consider you might eat a 130g chicken breast that contains 39g of protein plus an egg with 8g protein plus a ½ tin of baked beans with 10g or protein – oh looks what’s happened...I’ve already shot over my daily protein allowance and that was only lunch!

So what’s that all about? That calculation is an estimate based on a healthy adult who is maintaining their desirable bodyweight & composition and who is not active! Is that us....No!

So what should you active Unicorns eat?

You should aim to eat at least 1.5 – 2g of protein per kg of your bodyweight. So let’s take the 70kg bodyweight again – that’s a daily protein requirement of 105g – 140g. If you’re fairy inactive take the lower end of the spectrum and if you’re doing weight training and HIIT a few times per week go for the higher end.

Sources of Protein


Meat products



Dairy Produce








Quorn (Textured vegetable protein)

Whey Protein Powder

Fitness Fact of the week

Increasing your protein intake in the hope of producing bigger muscles won’t work. For effective lean muscle growth (hypertrophy) you need an increase in protein intake with the appropriate workload on the muscles.

Quote of the week

“Goals are never as powerful as someone’s internal motivations. ”

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