Have you ever had the experience where you work out day after day, doing all the right moves, at the right level of effort, and find you still aren’t getting the results you think you should be getting?
In fact, I was doing “buns of steel” moves, running and lifting, squatting and stretching, like nobody’s business only to be frustrated by the results.
So, I wondered…what gives?!
Well, I turned to my diet because your diet, what you allow to pass through your lips, is responsible for 80-90% of your results. Yeah…it’s that important.
Looking at my food journal, the answer screamed out at me! Not. Enough. Protein.
Consuming foods high in protein is critical for building and maintaining muscle. And make no bones about it…protein is crucial to the health of many parts of your body, including your bones.
Now, depending on your goals, you’ll consume protein before and/or after your workout. However, it’s also interesting to note that Timothy Ferriss, in his huge book, The 4-Hour Chef, which will take you way more than 4 hours to read, made a discovery and reveals is on page 75: 30 in 30.
Did you know:
You need protein for great skin? Protein aids collagen production. Plus, your skin needs to wrap around a solid foundation to stay as wrinkle free as possible. That solid foundation is your skeletal muscles. Feed them well! Stay strong, stay beautiful.
And, for me, when I added the right amount of protein right after my workout (which I wasn’t doing consistently before) I started to see the results I was after.
Protein is important.
You can drink it with a whey protein shake or high quality milk. Try Fairlife brand – they process it in a way where there is higher protein and fewer grams of sugar than main-stream brands. And, their chocolate milk is yummy…sometimes I’ll take a sip of that for dessert.
You can also eat it…and you should…often. Protein keeps you fuller longer. So, rather than reach for a bag of chips as a snack, which will leave you wanting more try a serving of grilled chicken breast dipped in hummus, or a small handful of almonds and dried figs.
Always be thinking: Quality.
Consuming protein with meat, dairy, and vegetables give you all the right kinds of quality calories which make staying fit and healthy easy..
Salmon is a lean source of protein
While most imagine eating a savory steak to get protein, there are several other food sources abundant in protein. Beef and chicken are high in protein; fish is a leaner choice.
Fish, like salmon, tuna, and sardines, are high in protein and also rich important vitamins and nutrients. Fish is known for being a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids prevent bodily inflammation and promote heart health, which are two functions essential in optimal health and fitness.
Whether you buy fresh fish or canned, you’ll definitely acquire a good amount of protein that’ll help you build muscle.
Quinoa is a versatile, high protein seed.
For those that crave a carbohydrate-rich meal, like pasta or rice, after an intense workout, quinoa is ideal. While this seed is often confused for rice, it’s actually a seed loaded with nutrients and is another one of the best foods high in protein.
Quinoa can be prepared by simply boiling water, adding the quinoa and letting it simmer for about 15 minutes.
Quinoa can be customized with veggies, herbs, and cheese for a tasty and filling meal that can provide over 30 grams of protein per cup and definitely increase your lean muscle mass.
Often, I’ll cook a few cups of quinoa at the beginning of the week so it’s ready to go. Then, I can add it to salads, eggs, or mix with beans and steams veggies topped with Parmesan cheese for an easy, quick, healthy meal.
Use a high-quality protein powder to “health-up” your favorite smoothie
For years, protein powder has been an object of interest for bodybuilders and other athletes seeking to build muscle quickly. Today, even non-bodybuilders understand and benefit from protein shakes as a quick, easy way to get the right amount of protein each day.
However, not all protein powder is created equal.
Whey protein powder, in particular, is renowned for its ability to assist in fat loss and maximum muscle gain.
Whey protein powder is rich in protein, and depending on the brand, can boast approximately 30 grams per scoop. Whey protein powder is easily digested and more readily available for the body, as opposed to other kinds of protein powder which take a lot longer to digest and bring results.
Whey protein powder comes in various flavors and adds a nice flavor to your yogurt, smoothie, oatmeal, pancakes, or just a cold glass of milk. Whether you add it to a blender full of fruit, veggies, and milk or simply stir it into a bowl of Greek yogurt, you can be sure you’ll obtain a solid amount of protein that’ll perfectly assist in gaining muscle after a challenging workout.
If you don’t love the first brand you choose, try, try again. For my taste, some are chalky, don’t mix well, and have a weird flavor to them. Others are not…so test them out. I prefer plain vanilla over the other kinds (like cookie dough) because it doesn’t clash with whatever I’m adding it to. Currently, I’m using Isopure Protein Powder. It mixes easily, has a good flavor, and my husband loves in in our protein pancakes!
Vanilla is pretty flavor-friendly with just about anything…even your green juice!
Wrapping it up
Clearly, there are several ways to get a tremendous amount of protein after a hard workout. Whether you’re preparing a nice fish dinner, whipping up some quinoa, or just adding a scoop of high quality whey protein powder to your favorite smoothie, you’ll soon notice an undeniable increase in your muscle mass and a well-deserved decrease in bodily fat.
Remember, everything in your body needs protein. The more and better you give it, the more and better your results will be.
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