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Fuel Your Body: Get to Know Protein and Its Sources

Fuel Your Body: Get to Know Protein and Its Sources

Meat!

    Most people know that the vast majority of the protein we eat comes from lean (and fatty) meats. They are absolutely the best, and most complete protein sources available…but it leaves you to wonder what the protein in a loaf of bread leaves you with when you’re counting your calories at the end of the day.

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    Well think of it like this, protein is like a 2-Stroke engine. It runs off gas, it uses oil, but doesn’t have tanks for both – so you mix them. Mix 1/4 bottle of oil and 3/4 tank of gas, viola! Your weed-whacker runs like a champ again — same thing with a meal! You’ll have proteins in every form of food you eat (herbivores [the dinosaurs that ate leaves] had muscle right? They need to get their protein somewhere!) but the trick is to make them effective.

    Proteins are complex, otherwise I would get into it more, but it confuses even me. That’s the laymen’s terms, the best way I can think to describe proteins. It gets FAR more advanced, when dealing with BCAA’s and Esterfied proteins … anyone got a nutrient sciences degree around here?

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    Back to business, you must see it coming…yes! The 5 Best Sources of Protein!

    5) Non-Lean Foods! This is breads, fruits, veggies, beans, muffins – anything that’s not meat and protein. Not complete sources of protein, and not the best for you (compared to the next 4), but are needed in any and every diet since – well, vitamins, carbs, and fill-me-up food fits into this category!

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    4) Supplements. I’m sure there’s a pound of whey somewhere in most of our gym bags…but what’s better than that even? Well, whey is broken down into a few different types dependent upon how it’s made, according to whether it’s cold filtration, isolation, or just a powdered concentrate. Supplements provide a protein your body can readily absorb when it needs it most (mornings, and after a workout). How this plays into my diet is usually a ~25g protein shake first thing in the morning before cardio and depending on your size and intensity of workout, between 30 and 60 grams post-workout.

    3) Got Milk? No, Casein! A great source for protein, as Brett Favre and dozens of others have told you over the years, is milk. I’ve recommended it to kids as long as I’ve been in the gym. “I’m a skinny guy, and can’t put on weight … any supplements you recommend?” Well, yes…a good fork and a big appetite! Eat up, drink up! Milk is filled with vitamins, and loaded with protein. It’s especially great before bedtime, since casein is the slowest protein to break down and will last throughout the night. (That does NOT give you a reason to eat a bowl of ice cream!) Milk is also a great way to mix protein or weight-gainer shakes: more protein, vitamins, and a great tasting shake!

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    2) Huevos (Eggs). Ever wonder why Rocky downed them in a cup during his training? They might make the gas you pass smell like sulfur, but it’s a great source of protein and a great way to start the day. I usually buy egg beaters, pure egg whites, since the yolk is extra-high in fat and cost-wise…it’s about the same after separating a dozen eggs for breakfast one day. Dozen eggs, 6 pieces of toast, fruit, glass of milk, real PB on said toast… nothing better!

    1) Lean meats! Argh, Argh, Argh. Remember Tim Taylor of Home Improvement? Guys, this is where it’s at! If you want protein, you gotta eat! We’re omnivores (the dinosaurs that eat everything), we can handle it! Beef, chicken, fish, octopus, whatever! If it lived and had blood, it’s a good source of protein. Now, as sadistic as that sounds – it’s true. But, not just anything cuts it.

    Focus specifically on the leanest cuts you can; eye of the round, top round steak, top round roast, sirloin steak, top loin steak, tenderloin steak and check arm pot roast. These will be the highest amount of protein per ounce, with lowest amount of fat. Flank, is what I usually buy… since it’s cheap, and great with A1!

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

      More Tips on Getting in Shape

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

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