Protein is essential in a diet due to its ability to repair and maintain the body. According to MedlinePlus, protein is a major part of the skin, muscles, organs and glands. Everyone needs protein to help repair body cells and make new ones. It's also integral to growth and development throughout childhood, adolescence and pregnancy. Many, however, have made the life choice to live by a vegetarian diet. Although this means one of the most protein-packed foods, meat, is out of the picture, it doesn't mean there aren't other delicious and viable options to choose from.
How much protein do vegetarians require?
Many people are under the assumption that we need mass amounts of protein in our diets. While it is essential for our bodies, we do not require large quantities of protein. According to The Vegetarian Resource Group, only one calorie out of every ten needs to come from protein. The amount that you require is largely based on height, weight, age, physical activity level and body type. Look to your general health to determine if your body needs more protein or not. Make sure your hair and nails are growing properly, your wounds are healing well and you recover fairly quickly from routine illness.
Protein-packed foods for a vegetarian diet
Vegetarians can meet their protein needs simply by including the right foods into their diet. The Vegetarian Resource Group created a sample menu to demonstrate how easy incorporating protein really is. For breakfast, they recommended oatmeal, soy milk and a bagel. For lunch, two slices of whole wheat bread and some vegetarian baked beans. A snack could include crackers and peanut butter, and for dinner, try brown rice, broccoli and tofu.
When you're getting a wide variety of foods, you'll be getting all the amino acids you may need to keep your body strong and promote cell repair. Here are a few other foods that provide a good dose of protein:
The nuts with the highest source of protein include peanuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews and pine nuts. They are also packed with heart-healthy fatty acids and antioxidants. While these work well as a snack, they can also be easily incorporated into meals. You can add your favorite nuts to a salad, sandwich, wrap or even baked goods.
Pea protein powder
A protein booster, like Naturade Pea Protein, is a fast, easy and delicious way to get a dose of essential protein. Pea protein is a natural plant-based protein that is derived from yellow peas and is soluble, easy to digest and tastes great! Available in both chocolate and vanilla, this tasty shake is all-natural and contains no animal by-products, artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. It's an excellent source of protein for both vegetarians and vegans.
Whole grain carbohydrates are very high in protein and are essential for the growth of muscle. Quinoa is a protein-packed South American grain that has come into style in recent years as more and more individuals adopt veggie-based lifestyles. Quinoa can be cooked together with honey, berries and nuts for a healthy and balanced breakfast.
Many people are under the impression that taking part in strength workouts and lifting weights will make them gain weight, because they see the number going up on the scale each week. However, this is not the case. Workouts in which you work to build muscle can not only help you tone your body, but lose weight as well.
More muscle translates to more calories burned
In order to reach your goal weight, you must first increase your metabolism. While doing aerobic exercises and eating right can help with this, building up muscle is what really increases your rate of metabolism. This rate will be raised while exercising and will continue to be at a higher level long after the activity has been completed, according to FitDay.
One pound of muscle can burn up to 20 calories per day, while a pound of fat only burns about five calories, noted FitDay. If you're not building up muscle, you begin to lose your ability to burn calories. If you notice the number staying the same or going up on that scale, it may not be because you're gaining fat, you may be gaining muscle. According to FitSugar, muscle tissue is more dense than fat tissue. Therefore, it takes up less space. Women's Health Magazine explained that if you add one pound of muscle, your body burns up to an additional 50 calories per day to keep that muscle alive. If you amp up that number to six pounds of muscle, you'll be burning an average of 300 calories each day, just by sitting there.
The best protein for muscle growth
Protein is essential for the development of muscle. According to Active.com, protein aids in the repair of exercise-induced damage to muscle fibers. When you lift weights or participate in strength training exercises, you're breaking down muscle. Therefore, your body requires a fresh infusion of amino acids, commonly found in protein, to repair and build that muscle.
A meal replacement shake is a great way to go about getting in your daily dose of post-workout protein. Naturade 100% Whey is a protein powder packed with essential amino acids that your body needs. These amino acids have been said to support athletic performance and recovery, and even may work to boost your immune health.
Studies have shown that whey protein may aid in the growth and development of muscle. According to a study from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, a group of men took part in resistance training over a 10-week period and were given whey protein, while another group was only given a placebo. Those who had consumed the whey protein showed greater increases in fat-free mass and muscle strength.
Other protein-packed snacks for after your workout
Alongside protein powders, what you consume after you have finished exercising can also have an effect on muscle growth. A post-workout snack can give you the stamina and energy your body needs to repair muscle tissue. Fitness Magazine recommended yogurt and fresh berries. Low-fat yogurt can contain nearly fifteen grams of protein and the berries have plenty of antioxidants and carbohydrate-driven energy. You could also opt for peanut butter and banana slices on rice cakes or tuna on whole wheat for an extra boost of protein.
You likely spend most of the daylight hours at the office, leaving little time to get in shape. Once you arrive home, you may have other priorities to tend to or may simply be too tired to hit the gym. But what about using work hours to build a little muscle? There are a number of ways you can tone up right at your desk.
When you're sitting at your desk on the phone, where you have your hands free, work the muscles in your forearm by clenching and unclenching your hand. Yahoo even suggested investing in a stress ball to make this exercise even easier.
Transportation? More like exercise!
Give yourself a quick cardio workout by opting to park further away from the office than normal. Not only will it give you a breath of fresh air in the mornings, those extra calories will really start to add up. Even better, look into taking public transportation to and from the office. Walking to and from train or bus stations can add up quickly – if you walk a quarter of a mile to and from each transit station, that's a one-mile walk every day!
Bring the right lunch
What you eat during the day obviously has a large effect on your physique. You'll need to maintain a diet high in protein in order to promote muscle growth. Instead of going out for lunch during the day, try bringing a meal replacement shake like Naturade Total Soy All-Natural Original Powder. Available in both chocolate and vanilla, this is a tasty way to take a quick break at work and be building muscle at the same time. Total Soy protein meal replacement delivers 13 grams of protein as well as vitamins, minerals and fiber without all those added calories.
Tone your legs
Build your quads by sitting right at your desk! Bend your leg at the knee and bring your feet up so your legs are fully extended. Proceed by lowering them to the ground again in a controlled manner. See if you can grab some added weight to place on your legs, like a heavy book or ankle weights.
Work your abs
You don't need any fancy equipment to be on your way to getting a six pack. All you need is your chair. When sitting at your desk, ABC News recommended raising your feet a couple inches off the floor so your feet don't touch the ground. Hold that position for a few seconds, release and repeat.
Another great way to build some leg muscle would be to take a quick break and hit the stairs. Doing so a few times each day may help you to see a difference.
We all know that cardio exercise and strength training can help to tone muscles and help get you in shape. But when there are deadlines that need to be met, work demands and household chores to be done, working out seems to fall further and further down the list of things to do. The easy fix for this is to try transforming those chores into a fitness routine. After all, you have to clean, so you might as well kill two birds with one stone! According to Vitality Fitness, an 150-pound person can burn approximately 190 calories per hour by completing general household chores. Here are a few ideas to get you and your home in tip-top shape.
Toning your legs…
If there are clothes or toys lying on the floor that need to be picked up, look at this as an opportunity to get those legs ready for beach season. Vitality Fitness suggested completing squats to pick up items on the floor. Just be sure to keep your back straight and bend at the knees instead of hinging at the waist.
Toning your arms…
Instead of lifting dumbbells, try washing the windows! Move your arm in a circular motion and continually change directions to tone your arm and shoulder. Just be sure to switch arms ever so often so both of your extremities get a great workout. I bet window washing now sounds a bit more appealing.
Toned arms can also come from washing and putting away dishes. As you suds up your dishes, try standing on one leg or raising up on your tiptoes for a quick calf exercise. When putting away dry dishes, if you have an especially heavy pot, plate or bowl, Vitality Fitness recommended doing a few bicep curls with each item. Just be careful not to drop it!
Grab a refreshment
Take a quick break from chores by fixing yourself a shake packed with the protein you need to tone your body. Naturade Total Soy All-Natural Original Powder comes in various flavors like Bavarian chocolate and French vanilla to satisfy your taste buds and deliver 13 grams of protein as well as vitamins, minerals and fiber without all of the added calories. Total Soy protein meal replacement may also keep your heart healthy and lower cholesterol. According to the Food and Drug Administration, 25 grams of soy protein per day may increase heart health.
Toning your abs…
When you're sweeping, raking or vacuuming, activate your abdominal muscles as you extend the tool out as far as possible. As you bring your rake or vacuum back in, you'll be toning your ab muscles as you clean. Discovery Health suggested putting a spin on your laundry routine, literally. Stand about 10 to 15 feet away from the washing machine and spin your hips as you toss the dirty laundry into the washer. This works especially well for wet laundry that is a bet heavier. This is a great activity for your abdominals, lower back and hip muscles. Who knew laundry could be such a great workout?
Making the decision to get in shape is a step in the right direction for your health. If you're looking to gain muscle and tone your body, regular exercise and weight training may be your answer. While exercise and strength training may work, there are other ways to support healthy muscle growth, such as whey protein powders.
What is protein?
According to Greatist, protein is a macronutrient found in a wide array of foods such as meats, dairy products, nuts and beans. Protein is made up of amino acids, which pose as building blocks of lean body tissue. One of the most popular forms of protein on the market today, according to Greatist, is why protein, which is a by-product of turning milk into cheese.
What are the benefits of protein powders?
One of the best ways to get whey protein is through a powder such as Naturade 100% Whey. This protein powder has several health benefits and is packed with essential amino acids that your body needs and comes in a variety of tasty flavors. These amino acids have been said to support athletic performance and recovery, and even may boost your immune health. Cysteine and methionine may enhance immune function through an increase of antioxidant activity and protection from cell-damaging free radicals.
Whey protein has also been studied to help aid in muscle growth. According to a study from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, over a 10-week period, one group of men took part in resistance training and were given whey protein while the others were only given a placebo. Those individuals who upped their whey protein intake had shown greater increases in fat-free mass and muscle strength.
Studies also show that whey protein could potentially help reduce hunger. In this study, Australian researchers had overweight men consume four different drinks. Those who drank the beverages containing whey had significantly reduced levels of ghrelin, which is a hormone that alerts your brain that you're hungry.
How can I use them?
Shakes and smoothies are a great way to consume whey protein. Simply stir in two scoops of powder with milk, soy milk or juice. You could also opt to enhance the flavor and texture of your shake with crushed ice and fruit. However, protein powders can be used for more than post-workout shakes. They can also be used in cooking to add protein to sauces, soups, stews, casseroles, cereals, pancakes and muffins! It's easy to up your protein intake when you have a protein powder like Naturade 100% Whey.
Cravings. They're all around us. In the morning, we have to choose between a chocolate donut and bran cereal. And during those late nights, that craving for sugar returns to sabotage our healthy diet. However, these sugar cravings don't have to have an appearance in your daily life. In fact, these may be able to be halted altogether. According to a study published in the August issue of Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vegetable protein is inversely associated with being overweight.
What is pea protein?
Pea protein is a natural plant-based protein that comes from yellow peas known as split peas. These peas are packed with protein, are hypoallergenic and highly soluble, and are therefore easy to digest. What this protein does, according to studies, is help to curb your cravings for sugary snacks. Essentially, it triggers a hormone that tells your body it's full. In other words, it may work to turn off those cravings. Dr. Oz challenged three women to try this pea protein powder. Each of them had cravings for calorie packed snacks like ice cream, cupcakes and French fries. By including the pea protein powder in their daily routine, they were able to shed hundreds of calories from their regular diets. In fact, each person on average cut out about 300 calories.
How can I get pea protein?
Pea protein is easy to fit into your diet with Naturade Pea Protein. This powder gives you all the benefits pea protein has to offer in a delicious vanilla or chocolate shake. It's equipped with nine essential amino acids, which serve as the building blocks of proteins and support our bones, muscles and connective tissues. This powder is perfect for those who struggle to fit protein into their diet. Enjoying this beneficial powder is simple. For a tasty morning shake that may curb your cravings, mix two scoops with some milk, ice and your favorite fresh fruits.
Other ways to curb cravings
Along with pea protein powder, there are a few other tricks that may work to stop those sugary fridge raids that end up costing you hundreds of calories. If you're one that constantly craves chocolate, Health magazine suggested collecting all of your candy wrappers in a jar instead of throwing them away. This will give you a reality check as to exactly how many sweets you're consuming per day.
If you do give in every once in a while - which is totally normal - forgive yourself and move on. Don't assume you've already thrown your healthy diet out the window and continue to binge eat. Women's Health said that one meal doesn't define your diet. So don't let it!
It's also a good idea to restock the shelves in your kitchen. When you're on the go in the morning, one of the easiest things to grab is a sugary donut or a calorie-packed pastry. If you don't have these items within reach, you won't have the option to eat them for breakfast. Women's Health recommended tossing the junk food and filling it instead with things like almonds, cheese, fruits and veggies, tuna, chicken and salmon.