There are plenty of misconceptions out there about what a healthy diet looks like, especially a healthy diet when you’re trying to build muscle. How do you effectively switch to a high protein, muscle-building diet?
Misconceptions About High-Protein Diets
There are many misconceptions about high-protein diets. Firstly, many people think that eating a lot of protein instead of a lot of carbs and fats, that you will necessarily lose weight. Something that may not be common knowledge is that excess protein is turned into fat for storage. Eating an adequate amount of protein is good because you need protein, especially if you want to build your muscles for muscle gain.
Secondly, protein isn’t the only thing that’s needed for your health, although it’s commonly glorified as a nutrient. The truth is, you need all nutrients at the right amounts.
"You don't suddenly eat protein bars and poof, it works out for you, all the sudden you have six-pack abs," said celebrity trainer Drew Logan. “In fact, if getting leaner is your goal, "you could probably benefit from cutting back on some of the other crap you're eating and keeping the protein the same."
How to Switch
The way to switch to a good amount of protein in your diet is to consider a number of factors. Like all diet-related things, your protein intake should depend on your height, weight, fitness and how often and hard you exercise.
Based on an average American’s height and weight, Logan recommends that women have 20g of protein and men 30g of protein per meal. However, the more intensely you workout, the higher that dose should be.
If you want to lose weight, Logan says, you should exercise early in the morning before breakfast. That way, your body would go straight into burning your fat, because you have no calories to burn yet.
Throughout the day is when you should start consuming your protein, because your body will be in its healing mode. Logan recommends eating in 4-hour gaps following your workout, and to shorten that period depending on how intense your workout was.
Logan also emphasizes that there are several types of proteins: egg protein, casein protein, whey protein, soy protein etc. For men, soy protein should be limited, as it makes your estrogen levels jump up, therefore increasing inflammation.
He recommends protein shakes and bars, since they often have a blend of all types of proteins.