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Ever wonder if you could Eat your way to Good health, Great energy & Manage your weight?

Updated: Jan 23, 2022

The power of protein

The Power of Protein is the praise given by many new diet companies and muscle building products. The importance of protein goes way beyond weight management and building lean muscle.

Ever wonder why you are so tired? Or not sleeping? Or waking up exhausted? Why are you in constant pain? Or hungry and eating all the time? Why does your skin and hair look dull?

Could it be lack of good protein in your diet?

Protein, as part of a healthy diet, can help to control hunger and build lean muscle. This is a result of the difficulty we have digesting protein and so we feel satisfied for longer. Protein produces “feel full” chemicals. It also helps build and maintain muscle as a result of 22 amino acids, the Building Blocks of Life, which are a major component of muscle tissue and organs.

Protein has many more benefits. It produces fat metabolising chemicals (i.e. Burns Fat) and thus creates more energy and can combat tiredness. Protein is vital in many other bodily processes such as digestion and transportation of nutrients & oxygen in the blood. This is necessary for antibody production to fight infection. Collagen is a protein which is vital for the strength, elasticity and composition of our hair and skin.

So, does this make protein an important part of our diet?

Protein is not made by our bodies and therefore we must replenish our protein levels through our daily diet. The protein we eat is stored in muscles and organs during our waking hours. During our recommended 7-8 hours sleep at night we repair and rebuild our bodies by creating new cells and tissue and improving hormone and enzyme production. To regenerate our bodies in this way we use up all the protein we consumed that day and awaken each morning protein depleted. Therefore, the first meal of the day (within 30 minutes of getting out of bed) is the most important meal of our day.

How protein affects your weight

If you starve yourself or crash diet you will eat too few good calories. This causes you to burn protein for energy. Starvation or nutrient deprivation will allow you lose weight, but you will also become exhausted and unwell. When you return to eating your normal diet, you will regain the weight or, worse still, you gain even more weight than pre-diet. At a minimum, the lack of protein will also lead to skin problems and/or a tired and unhealthy appearance. Or a worse case of protein deprivation could cause degradation of body organs and ill health.

High-protein diets have become very popular, due to their ability to help manage hunger. When protein is absorbed, it sends a signal to the brain to decrease your hunger. Another benefit of protein is that it maintains muscle mass, which is known to increase metabolism. If we neglect exercise as we age, muscle mass decreases, so staying fit is a key to burning fat by keeping your metabolism high.

How much protein should you eat each day?

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) suggests guideline recommended daily allowances (RDA) from infants to over 65 year old males and females. For example; the RDA of protein for a newborn baby (0-3 months) is 12.5g/d and the average female of 18-64 years old needs 0.75g/kg of body weight per day.

So, what protein should you eat?

Protein also leads to a much less rapid rise and fall of blood sugar and insulin, so you avoid the “sugar highs and lows” that you might experience after eating sweets without adequate protein. Certain foods, however, provide a healthier resource for protein than others, so consider the source of protein.

A healthy daily diet will consist of complete protein (animal sources) and incomplete proteins (plant sources). We must combine plant and animal proteins during the same day to provide our bodies with a complete makeup of proteins; i.e. 22 amino acids. Too much animal protein has health risks associated, because excess is stored in the body as toxins and fats (such as cholesterol). Eating too much animal protein results in the body taking in excess saturated fat and possibly losing excessive amounts of the mineral calcium, which is critical in building strong bones and teeth. Therefore, limit animal proteins to a main meal in the day. Good sources of complete (animal) proteins include eggs, turkey, chicken, fish, other seafood or whey (such as yoghurt, cottage cheese etc).

Soy protein is a great protein rich plant material with no fats or cholesterol. Soy can help you maintain cholesterol levels as part of a diet low in saturated fat. Soy protein can also sustain energy levels and help keep you feeling fuller for longer. Good examples are tofu, quorn, soy Beans, soy Milk etc. soybeans, nuts and whole grains not only provide protein (without much saturated fat), they also offer plenty of healthy fibre and micronutrients as well.

Now you can begin your journey to eating your way to wellness, increased energy, a peaceful sleep, healthy skin and nails and/or the perfect shape.

For more Free information on your individual healthy eating plan and/or the 21 day New You challenge or the 6 week Better body challenge call Dr. Siobhan Maher (PhD) on 0876524623 or email

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