Eating the Right amount of Protein

Eating the Right amount of Protein

Question:

Hello! I was wondering if you could help me determine how much protein I should be eating everyday. I’ve heard so many things. I am 24yo female, I strength train 4 days a week and do yoga 1x a week to break that up. I may be switching that up a bit, but wanted to get a good idea on how to calculate it (if that’s how it works). Thank you.

– Erol B.

Answer:

The headlines (and advice) are confusing! Between “most healthy adults already get enough protein” and “US adults do not consume enough protein” there is a grey area of observation, based on how the research is interpreted. On the one hand, people that meet energy needs probably meet protein needs, while those that are dieting, recovering from illness or are aging may need more.

For a fit, healthy young adult who is consuming adequate calories to maintain weight, use the protein RDA of 0.8 gm/kg body weight as the guide. Using a range for percentage of calories from protein is less precise. From pounds, divide weight by 2.2 to get kilograms then multiply by 0.8 to get your target amount of daily protein. If you are looking to add lean mass then increasing protein to 1.2 gm/kg is suitable.

To determine if you’re meeting your goal, use a reliable source to count up your protein intake. Check that a diet app or website you’re using relies on the USDA Food Composition Database.

Resources:

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Muscle Building and Fat Burning Myths Debunked

Muscle Building and Fat Burning Myths Debunked

Most of us have been told a lie in the gym at some point. The real question is, did you believe it? If someone has helped you or given you tips, did you ever research what they said or did to see if it was true? There’s a chance that it was completely wrong.

We’re going to go over and debunk a handful of myths surrounding the ideas of muscle building and fat burning.

01.

MYTH: We burn more fat during extended moderate exercise compared to shorter high intensity exercise.

When we exercise moderately, it’s true that more fat can burn compared to carbohydrates. However, this type of training burns fewer total calories and takes significantly longer. High intensity exercises like HIIT (high intensity interval training) can burn more calories in a shorter amount of time and can cause an “after-burn” effect fueled by fat that can last a day or longer. I personally found success with HIIT training.  HIIT by LAF is great for those interested in high intensity workouts looking to burn some calories!

02.

MYTH: Don’t eat after a certain *time at night*.

“Don’t eat late at night.” “Eat dinner earlier.” “No carbs before bed.” These seem to be some common statements we hear for losing weight and they couldn’t be more inaccurate. Calories are calories and if you eat too many of them you’ll gain weight, regardless of what time it is. According to a  , overweight people lost more weight eating carbohydrates at night compared to throughout the day. The late-night eaters had better hormone levels that control satiety and hunger. The Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a powerful hormone produced by the human body that regulates the amount of body fat you burn and the amount of muscle you build. HGH levels peak while you’re sleeping so if you eat right before bed, your body could utilize those nutrients to build muscle and burn fat at the same time.

03.

MYTH: We must do cardio for at least 20 minutes to burn fat.

What’s going to burn more fat calories in 20 minutes: watching TV, walking, or interval sprinting? If you think it’s TV or walking, you’re wrong. Just because you burn a higher percentage of fat from moderate exercise doesn’t mean you’ll burn as many total fat calories. Interval sprinting burn a less percentage of fat but a much higher total calorie loss, which actually results in more fat calories burned than walking for 20 minutes.

04.

MYTH: When you eat more protein, you build more muscle.

A family member of mine went on a diet a while ago to try and lose weight. She was told to double her protein intake and eat less carbohydrates. She ended up miserable and weighing more than she did before her diet. We’re not saying protein doesn’t build muscle, but there’s a point where protein can hurt compared to help. For every pound of body weight, consuming about Any protein consumption over the 1.25g per pound of bodyweight can get broken down in to amino acids and nitrogen which can either store in your body or excrete your body.

If someone is trying to give you a fitness tip, listen to what they have to say but do your own research and come up with your own opinion. Everybody has a different body and genetic makeup. What works for one person might not work for another. Know what works best for you and own your workouts!


References


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Reaching Macronutrient Goals

Reaching Macronutrient Goals

Question:

Greetings Nutrition: I am trying to get back in shape. I have a trainer at LA Fitness, and I think that I need to eat better. Could you give me some ideas of how I should be eating? Or a good meal plan that I can follow? I have been given a 1,416 calorie per day limit. Macros are: Carbs 203 grams, Fat 84 grams Protein 65 grams. I am having a hard time finding good breakfast options and making my protein of 65 grams daily. I don’t eat eggs so that cause problems for breakfast. I pretty much eat everything else. Any help that you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

– Eric H.

Answer:

First and foremost, your provided macronutrient targets provide 1,828 total calories (812 calories carbohydrate, 756 calories fat, 260 calories protein), a considerable difference from your caloric limit. If the goal is qualitative, then the approach should be more precise. Not knowing which is more important for you, I’d go with the higher caloric target as you are working out and 1,400 calories may only be appropriate for significant weight loss, older or smaller-framed men.

We don’t provide meal plans, though several sample meals can be found throughout our Living Healthy blog. Since breakfast is the most challenging meal for you, here are some breakfast suggestions that provide roughly 550 calories.* I’ve broken that down as approximately 60 gram carb, 25 gram fat and 20 gram protein.

By working on your own lunch and dinner options, you can get close to the remainder macronutrients for the day. Quality can’t be overlooked, though! Foods with high micronutrient, fiber and unsaturated fat content will make a big difference even if you’re slightly off your gram or calorie goals.

* Calculated by Registered Dietitian Nutritionist using Fitday.com’s food log function. Findings were used along with RDN’s professional judgment.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Caffeine vs. Naps – Which is the Healthier Option?

Caffeine vs. Naps – Which is the Healthier Option?

The society we live in is seeing a reduction in sleep. Why? A possible factor is the endless amount of technological and digital content we’re consuming on a daily basis. There are quite a few ways to solve this problem, but we’re going to look at two of the most popular options, drinking caffeine or taking a nap.

Caffeine vs. Naps

Caffeine and naps are opposites of each other. One is a stimulant that revs the body up and the other allows us to rest in a state of unconsciousness. Caffeine is great for keeping you awake when you’re sleep-deprived, but naps can help your brain function better and reduce fatigue.

Effect of Caffeine and Naps

A study1 showed that while on caffeine, verbal and motor skills decreased but napping enhanced verbal, motor, and visual skills. And naps that involved rapid eye movement (REM) increased creativity by 40%.

It’s important to note, however, that REM sleep occurs 90 minutes after falling asleep, and the first period of REM is about 10 minutes. So, if you’re willing to nap for over an hour and a half, you could potentially wake up more creative.

The Verdict

These types of longer naps are not as healthy or beneficial as a 20-30-minute power nap. Michael Grandner, Ph.D., director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona, stated that, “if you nap for over 60 minutes, it’s a sign that’s something’s wrong with your sleep or your health.”

If you’re willing to settle for less than 60-minute naps, you’ll benefit from it. But taking a 20-minute nap can be a better way to avoid the grogginess you can get after a long nap. Overall, naps are a much healthier alternative to an energy drink or a couple shots of espresso.


References


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The Best Supplement for Lean Muscle Mass

The Best Supplement for Lean Muscle Mass

Question:

Hi, what would be the best supplement to become leaner and cut muscle?

– Lito J.

Answer:

The leanest, most cut people are generally considered bodybuilders. They most commonly use arginine, beta-alanine, branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), caffeine, citrulline malate, creatine monohydrate, glutamine, and beta-hydroxy-methylbutyrate (HMB). Among these, creatine has been shown to be effective for muscle size and strength when added to a weight training program.1,2 The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) states that “creatine monohydrate is the most effective ergogenic nutritional supplement currently available to athletes in terms of increasing high-intensity exercise capacity and lean body mass during training.”2 Beta-alanine further improves lean mass gains and body fat loss in conjunction with creatine supplementation.1  

Arginine and citrulline malate may have ergogenic effects but do not conclusively alter body composition. The BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine and valine) decrease muscle protein breakdown and increase skeletal muscle protein synthesis though these have not translated to increased lean mass. The stimulant caffeine, taken pre-workout, increases strength training performance which allows you to do more muscle-building work.

Read about related topics on our Living Healthy blog – overall supplements and nitric oxide boosters.

Resources:

  • Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation. Helms ER, Aragon AA, Fitschen PJ. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. May 2014; 11:20. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-11-20
  • International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Safety and Efficacy of Creatine Supplementation in Exercise, Sport and Medicine. RB Kreider, et al. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. June 2017; 14:18. doi.org/10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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