Think protein is just for bodybuilders?

Think again.

Focus on increasing protein may be even more important if you’re…

  • Female
  • Over the age of 30
  • Training hard
  • Looking to lose weight
  • Looking to lose fat
  • Looking to gain muscle
  • Looking to stay functionally stronger
  • Looking to stay energized and recover faster
  • Looking to age well and stay mentally with it…

Basically protein is honestly even more key for those of us looking to feel, look and move our best at any and every age.

Yet many of us struggle with not only increasing protein, but wanting to increase it.

Too often we even search out anything we can to tell us we DON’T have to make a change.

But honestly, this desire to not make a change is what keeps us stuck.

And so often our unwillingness to embrace increasing protein, especially as we get older, is what keeps us from ever seeing the results we want.

We keep searching for a way around the hard change of increasing protein ultimately to never see any of our hard work pay off.

That’s why I wanted to share some things I wish I’d personally known earlier on about protein and dispel some common protein myths and highlight HOW it helps.

Because when we truly understand the WHY behind the habit changes, we are more willing to embrace hard habit shifts.

What we value, we prioritize.

And we value things more when we truly understand the benefit and purpose behind the changes.

So that’s why I want to highlight why increasing your protein is something you should value.

Starting with the fact that it isn’t just essential for our aesthetic goals.

This ties into a myth we often also hear that gives us an excuse NOT to eat more protein…

And this myth is “You can only utilize 20-30 grams of protein in a meal.” 

I’ve heard this myth repeated in a variety of ways, arguing that eating more protein during your day will only “go to waste.”

But this amount is just the amount that our body can use in a single sitting for muscle protein synthesis.

However, when you eat protein, all those amino acids aren’t just going to your muscles.

Only a very small portion of that 20-30 grams you’re consuming is actually being used in that way.

Because proteins make up EVERY tissue in our body. 

Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage and skin. 

And it’s involved in so many bodily functions including cellular repair.

So if you’re only eating 20-30 grams your muscles aren’t fully getting the maximal amount they can use. 

Not to mention the studies done on this “ideal” protein intake don’t take into account that mixed macro meals, aka adding carbs or fats with the protein, can impact the rate of digestion. 

They also don’t take into account that as we get older, we don’t utilize protein as efficiently.

This makes increasing our intake per meal even more key. 

Consuming less in a meal when we are younger is something we can “get away with” because of the more optimal hormonal environment we have.

As we get older, we need more protein to elicit that same muscle building response. 

Again…more protein is better.

And a recent study has even shown that consuming 100 grams of protein at a meal not only lead to BETTER muscle protein synthesis but didn’t go to waste. 

So if you’ve been trying to tell yourself you didn’t need to eat more protein because it would only be wasted, think again.

And not to harp on this, but it’s probably one of the biggest reasons I push my clients to be so protein centric, but I want them to define how they age. 

There is no denying our body changes with age. But we truly are in control of defining how we age. 

And so much of what we just write off as getting older, is within our power to change and control.

Feel like you’re losing muscle?

Feel like you’re losing strength?

Feel like you’re not recovering as quickly?

Worried about falls and fractures and your bone health? 

Seeing negative changes in your health, including an increase in your blood pressure during menopause?

Or are you frustrated because you’re metabolism is slowing down and you’re seeing the weight creep on no matter what you do as you even slash your calories lower and lower?

What if I told you focusing on protein may be the simplest solution to addressing these things you’ve written off as just getting older?!

Protein honestly is the fountain of youth we don’t often truly recognize.

Now if you want to focus on building muscle and strength, your workouts and challenging yourself with your training is key. 

But so often we see the results we deserve from our hard work in the gym paying off because our fueling doesn’t match.

You can only train as hard as you recover from. And to recover, your body needs protein. 

So if you want to stay functionally fit and strong as you get older, you can’t avoid increasing your protein.

And by building and retaining more lean muscle as you get older, when so often we see a decline in muscle with age, you’ll also help keep your metabolic rate higher. 

Not to mention the thermic effect, or the energy required for the metabolism of food, of digesting protein itself is higher. 

This means more calories burned without us doing anything differently!

And if we want to lose fat, increasing our protein not only helps with this process but helps us avoid losing more muscle, which we are at increased risk for losing already as we get older.

AKA by focusing on protein we improve our metabolic health and body recomp to be any age and freaking lean and strong!

But again, protein isn’t just about rocking those aesthetic results…

It is also key for our health as we get older.

It can help keep our bones strong and avoid fractures, and lower our risk of osteoporosis.

And it can even help lower our blood pressure, which is key especially during menopause when we can see our risk for cardiovascular disease rise.

Now I do want to touch on protein and “risk.” Because this is something I wish I’d realized sooner… 

Protein is honestly the least risky food to include if you want to see fabulous body recomp and your hard work in the gym pay off. 

And I wish I’d known this sooner because it would have helped me get leaner and stronger faster.

Of course there is too much of even a good thing…

And specific health concerns like kidney disease may mean that a lower amount of protein is key for you, although there are some interesting new studies even debating this exact amount…

But for anyone with healthy kidneys who focuses on quality fueling and hydration, higher protein intakes will NOT have a negative impact. 

But I mention “risk” also because increasing our protein intake helps us see results in a much easier way.

A high protein diet is the only diet shown to help you gain lean muscle in a deficit and even avoid gaining unwanted fat while in a calorie surplus. 

It gives you wiggle room in your calorie intake to still see results.

Not to mention, it can help you eat more and feel fueled while still seeing body recomp. 

And being able to eat more will help you keep your metabolic rate higher and create a more sustainable calorie intake that doesn’t leave you feeling starving and deprived. 

Not to mention, protein does improve our health, reducing our risk of so many health concerns…yet too often we only focus on the negatives it may have for specific populations.

But honestly, almost every healthy food can have a negative impact if not consumed based on what we need!

And there are also so many MICROnutrients in protein sources we don’t often realize and value.

We talk about getting more fruits and vegetables, which are 100% key…

But we don’t recognize that protein sources offer a diversity of vitamins and minerals that are essential as well.

And many found in protein sources aren’t available in other sources in the same form such as Vitamin A (Retinol), B12, Carnitine, Carnosine, Creatine, D3, DHA, EPA, Heme Iron, and Taurine. 

These things are essential to optimal health.

So not only is protein essential as a macro, but it packs a micronutrient punch!

Now if you’re like “Ok Cori, I’m sold on increasing protein…But it’s just so hard! I’d like to, but how!?”

I’ll tell you…I get it.

We’re used to consuming foods in the portions we are currently eating. 

And to change our macro split, we have to adjust those portion sizes which often means planning ahead.

Because otherwise we are just going to do what we’ve always done…and we’ve always not eaten more protein! 

I also think we often simply get overwhelmed with the idea which makes our brain freak out and not think in terms of small adjustments.

Or we make changes to hit a number without focusing still on making it ENJOYABLE. 

We go straight to the chicken and broccoli or force ourselves to choke down a protein shake we hate. 

Instead our goal should be to consider ways we may ENJOY adding more protein.

When we are excited to do something, when it is enjoyable over a chore, we are more likely to truly embrace the habit change.

We need to feel like, and remember it is our choice, not something we HAVE to do. 

Yes a protein supplement or bar can be used, but that is too often what we jump to. 

And we want the benefits that whole, natural proteins provide.

So instead, try looking up dishes you may enjoy that have more protein. 

Or take a day of meals you already love and search for small tweaks. 

Massive changes aren’t made overnight.

But one small adjustment that you can build on will add up. 

So even take your meals today and see where you can make one change to increase your protein.

Can you add an ounce more chicken? 

Sprinkle nutritional yeast on something? 

Swap greek yogurt of sour cream? 

Those grams add up!

And this is something key I wished I’d found when I first sought to add more protein because it would have made the process so much easier to see the results I wanted sooner!

Focus on those small changes and really seek to understand the why behind the habit swaps you’re looking to make, like increasing protein. 

It can help you truly value the changes to make them easier so you can see the results you deserve.

Because if you’re looking to move, feel and look your best till your final day on this planet, increasing your protein is the magical habit change that most of us avoid making but that truly makes all of our hard work add up!

Ready to dial in your diet to match your workouts and help you build your leanest, strongest body ever?

Learn more about my Metabolic Shred!