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How to choose the best protein shake...

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How to choose the best protein shake...

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How to choose the right protein powder or shake

Well, first.. you need to like it. It shouldn't be one of those things that you are forcing yourself to drink while plugging your nose. Everyone has different tastes so you need to find one that you enjoy.

Protein shakes come in 2 forms

Shakes come in powder form and an already prepared shake. Buying protein powder takes more work to prepare, but it gives you more options. You can use protein powder in making baked goods, self made protein bars, smoothies, or just mixing with water to drink. Having an already prepared shake is easier and more convenient. I like to have both on hand for ease and variety.

Protein supplements come from a variety of different sources.

Whey Protein-most common, contains lactose, contains all 9 amino acids

Soy Protein- very common, can be beneficial to women in menopause and can help with osteoporosis

Egg Protein

Milk Protein

Rice Protein- 100 percent plant based (good for vegetarians)

Pea Protein

Hemp Protein-100 percent plant based, good source of omega 3 fatty acids

Some protein powders will have only one source of protein while others may combine 2-3 different sources. If you have allergies and if you are avoiding diary, or are a vegetarian, you should be mindful and read the label.

Tips when considering a protein powder or shake

1. Are you trying to avoid diary or gluten? If so, look at the ingredients! It may contain dairy based protein like whey and milk protein. If you are avoiding gluten look for these ingredients on the label.

2. The different protein sources have their own taste. Whey based protein will have a distinct taste, as will plant based etc. If you have tried a couple of different shakes of one type of protein and you don't like it, try a different source altogether.

3. Look at the macro nutrients! (Fats, carbs, and protein) If you are a diabetic or following a low-carb diet, be mindful of the carbohydrate and sugar content. If you have kidney disease, choose one that is lower in protein.

4. When you are looking for a new shake or powder, visit your local health food store. These stores typically have individual bottles or packets to purchase. Once you find ones you like, you can then order in bulk so it is less expensive.

Let’s be honest, no one wants to drink a shake instead of having a meal for the rest of their life. That would get boring and expensive. I don’t recommend that my clients depend on protein shakes as a replacement for an actual meal, but as a supplement (addition). They can come in handy when you are needing a snack, have craving for something sweet, or would like a boost of protein in your smoothie, baked goods, or in overnight oats. There are plenty of ways to use protein powder or shakes to supplement your nutrition but I recommend sticking to food for all your nutritional needs as much as you can.

If you need help with a nutrition plan customized to your needs and goals, check out The Refine YOU Program to get the best bang for your effort!

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Why Macros Matter...

Why Macros Matter...

What are Macros?

Macros stand for macro nutrients.  They make up the calories that we eat.  There are 3 that are important in our body composition; fat, protein and carbohydrates. 

Why they matter? 

To have a good body composition we want less fat and more lean muscle.   Just cutting calories isn’t the only answer. Don’t get me wrong… calorie deficits will help you lose WEIGHT initially but will eventually lead to muscle loss especially if you are not fueling your workouts.  To Improve our body composition, we need to improve the composition of what we eat.

Protein

The first one I’m going to talk about is PROTEIN.  Most of us associate protein with building muscle, when in fact, proteins are the building blocks for ALL living tissue in the body.  Protein IS important for muscle gain, muscle maintenance and repair. 

It is important to get enough protein in your diet but not too much.  A diet TOO low in protein will inhibit muscle gain and encourage muscle breakdown. A diet TOO high in protein will put too much stress on your liver and other organs because your body can only store a certain amount of protein at a time.  The leftover protein your body doesn’t need (when you eat too much) will be stored as FAT.  More is not always better when it comes to protein. 

Fat

NOT ALL FATS are not bad for you!

Fats help our bodies absorb vitamins, regulate hormones, and it is a good energy source.

Saturated fats are great sources for energy.  Only when you are eating a diet high in saturated fat AND high in carbohydrates is when saturated fats become a problem.  So a diet high in saturated fat diet AND high carbs is bad.  A diet high in saturated fats and lower in carbohydrates is totally fine!!!

Monounsaturated fats in macadamia nuts, avocado, and extra virgin olive oil, are healthy fats and help our immune system and cardiovascular system. 

On the other hand, trans fats and Omega-6 polyunsaturated fat, along with too little Omega-3 fats, can cause serious health problems like heart disease and cancer.  These are found in vegetable seed oils, salad dressings, and processed foods.  

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are a source of fuel.  All the carbs you eat are eventually converted to glucose which your body goes to first for fuel. If your body doesn’t need it right away for fuel insulin decides where this glucose goes. First, it is stored in your muscle and liver.  When their storage tanks are full, the leftover that is not needed for energy is stored as fat.

A diet consistently too high in carbohydrates, without enough physical activity to use them for energy, will cause fat and weight gain. However, a diet consistently too low in carbohydrates can deprive your body for the fuel it needs for workouts and to gain muscle. This can adversely affect your workouts, your energy, your hormones, and metabolism.

Carbs themselves are not bad for you.  Your bodies need carbs, good carbs, in moderation!  Some carbs are better than others.  The carbs we get from vegetables, that contain more fiber, are healthier for us than eating processed food like chips and bread.

Why macros matter

Again, a healthy body composition is lower in fat and has a good amount of lean muscle. This is what gives us a strong lean body. Only paying attention to calories will not target fat loss or help you gain lean muscle. If you are eating low in calories and these foods consist of all processed foods high in carbs and fat with little to no protein, this will not allow your body to burn fat effectively or help you gain muscle.

Think of your body like a vehicle, you need enough fuel and the right kind of fuel to function efficiently and to run well. What makes up the calories you eat is very important to how your body runs, how your body burns fat, and how your body gains muscle. Your body needs the right amount of calories to function well and lose fat. Your body needs the right amount of fats, carbohydrates, and protein to lose fat, gain muscle and keep your hormones happy.

This amount if different for each person depending on their goals, their body type, and their activity. This is why finding a strategy that is right for YOU is important, not a one size fits all plan. Additionally, if you feel like you are constantly depriving yourself you will not stick to a program.  It is just a quick fix but in the long run you may gain it back plus more.

There are some things you should consider when you are trying to find a program or nutrition plan.  Find plan that is right for you and your goals. One that slowly changes your lifestyle with flexibility worked into the program.  Also, it is important to find a plan that helps you grow stronger, improves your energy, and decreases the cravings so you FEEL better and in control!

Talk to you soon!

Kim

P.S The Refine YOU Program is a 7 week online customized nutrition and fitness program designed to help you reach your health and fitness goals and is flexible enough to fit your lifestyle. It utilizes macro counting to help you learn how to eat to get the results you want and maintain these results long term. This means we pay attention to the carbs, fats, and protein we are eating.  This is different for every person taking into account a detailed client assessment. Counting macros allows the flexibility to eat the foods you enjoy, to treat yourself occasionally, and STILL get results.  You will receive a customized nutrition plan and workouts to implement for 6 weeks (plus one week preparation) get you the results you want and learn how to implement this as a healthy lifestyle change. Be the healthiest YOU possible!

 To learn more visit www.refineyou.co