It is kinda like Christmas today in the fact that I get to announce the winner of the Springtime Mix Giveaway!
The winner will get this months mix...
AND...because I love circuits so much...
Some gear to help you get into your own circuit groove! Awesome for at home workouts or even some cross training to spruce up your routine. I also love having a timer for core work! No cheating when the seconds are counting in front of you!
And the winner is...
JEN from Why I Run!!!! Merry Christmas!
She is absolutely amazing! Her blog is so incredibly inspiring, and she is a minimalist runner which AMAZES me. Check it out if you haven't already!! :) Congrats Jen! Email me your info at megolina21 at gmail.com and I'll get your package sent over to you!
I've mentioned this week in my goals for the week and in my power up your protein post, that I am trying to get in about 100 grams of protein per day. Some of you asked why I am doing that. This is a GREAT question, so I thought I'd give you a little Protein 101. Here is why protein is so important...
- Protein is satiating. It will fill you up and help you to stay full. If you are looking to lose weight, eating a diet higher in protein can help you to consume less calories because you aren't as hungry. Fiber can do the same thing, so combining the two is MONEY.
- If you are creating a caloric deficit in the body by either working out a ton and burning lots of calories, or eating less so your body isn't receiving as many calories your body will have less carbohydrates to burn for fuel and will look to burn something. By eating less carbohydrates we are wanting the body to burn fat instead of lean muscle mass, however when we don't get enough protein in our diets the body will start using lean muscle mass for fuel. NO BEUNO. This can result in a decreased metabolism and stunted weight loss. Moral of the story here...eating enough protein will help the body to burn fat.
-Protein is the main component of all of the cells of your body. It is needed to rebuild muscle when it is broken down. This is why protein is SO important for those who are working out a lot. We have to have that source to properly rebuild our muscles.
-Your body requires more energy to break down protein. Carbohydrates are quick sources of energy for the body. It is the bodies go to source for energy. It also will cause higher increases and drops in your blood sugar.
When you eat something high in carbohydrates it causes your blood sugar to rise. Your body likes to be at a state of homeostasis, or a "normal state," so your body will then release a surge of insulin to bring your blood sugar level back down. If your caloric intake was really high in carbs (Think candy, sugar, white flour) your body will release a LOT of insulin. Once the blood sugar level is regulated there may be too much insulin left and this causes you to feel lethargic and to crave something carbohydrate-ish to bring that blood sugar level back up. (Which is why eating a lot of sugar only causes you to crave more sugar. Makes sense, right?)
Because insulin is the main storage hormone of the body, excess insulin in the body can cause fat storage, and can trigger the body to stop breaking down fat for energy. Think about it if there is extra insulin in the body it WANTS you to have carbohydrates in the body because that will bring the body back to it's normal state, so instead of breaking down the carbohydrates it is going to store them as fat. I hope that made sense...
-When I eat the adequate amount of protein and cut down on sugar and high carbohydrate foods I notice my body is leaner and my muscles are more toned and defined.
******IMPORTANT TO KNOW******
So many people read that they need to eat more protein and so they add a protein shake into their day and maybe a protein bar, or whatever it may be, and then they are upset that they aren't losing weight. By just adding protein to what you are ALREADY eating you aren't doing yourself any favors. You are simply adding calories. Too many calories = weight gain. It doesn't matter if it's protein or 7,000 calories of green beans. Eating too much will cause you to gain weight. I am talking about a shift in the percentages of what you are eating now, changing your diet so you are eating more protein and less of all the other junk etc? Got it?
I also want to be sure you know that I am not trying to promote some sort of fat diet to you. There are so many good important nutrients out there. I am a firm believer in making sure to eat a variety of foods, so you get all of these nutrients, including whole grains and lots of fruits and veggies. I am still eating a lot of vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and fruit. I just happen to know my own eating tendencies. I don't tend to love foods high in protein, so it has to be a conscious effort for me. If I were to just eat whatever sounded good to me I'd probably only eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches, oatmeal, whole grain cold cereals, my heaping salads, whole wheat pita's and hummus, lots of veggies, and fruit. These are all great foods but you can see that there isn't a lot of protein to be found.
I really watch my percentages and try to eat
around 15-20% Fat
I realize all those percentages don't add up perfectly, but those are my ball park areas. Many of you may already be eating enough protein in your diet because you like meat, so it isn't such a challenge for you. Remember that there is protein in beans, legumes, grains, fish, and dairy as well. Meat isn't the only protein option!
Oh my goodness that was long...but hopefully helped out a little.
Do you have any more questions about protein in your diet? Please ask if you do, or if you feel like you need more clarification! Do you feel like you naturally eat enough protein, or is it something that you have to make an effort to do? I wish it was easier for me. It's a tough one, but I see the benefits when I do!