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Trying to stay fit? Don't just count calories, count proteins

Here’s the third in our series of good nutrition habits: eat a complete protein at every meal.

Jonny Bruton is an Irish hockey international and owner of Smart Training Dublin.

PROTEIN IS THE staple in our nutrition plan.

Researchers have found that instead of counting calories, those seeking to stay slim are better off enjoying a protein rich diet with eggs, poultry, red meats and fish featuring heavily.

protein ... all good stuff. Source: Shutterstock.

Those with a diet low in protein are more likely to gorge themselves on other food groups in order to reach their target level of protein.

At Smart Training we advise our clients to consume between 15-30g of protein at each meal. To make it simpler, use the palm of your hand as a guide (a portion size of your palms will provide approximately 15-30g of protein).

When you exercise, your muscle fibres break down and in the days that follow they start to re-build (hence the muscle ache after a workout). Consuming protein can enhance the rate at which the body maintains repairs and builds new muscle after exercise and most importantly muscles burn body fat.

Protein is also an important building block of bones, cartilage, skin, and blood. Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is a “macronutrient,” meaning that the body needs relatively large amounts of it. Protein also helps support your lean mass and will also ensure that you stay fuller for longer.

Clients often say to us that eating protein is not conducive with a busy lifestyle because it is difficult to get good sources of portable protein.

However that simply isn’t true!

Protein snacks are a perfect way to fill up just enough, and give us longer lasting energy than the usual, carb-heavy options.

The below are fantastic sources of protein packed snacks:

  • Mixed Nuts or natural Trail Mix
  • Beef Jerky
  • Hard Boiled eggs
  • Slices of lean meat with a slice of cheese.
  • Peanut butter and banana on rice cakes 
  • Tofu & Soya Products

In conjunction with your exercise routine, and in order to increase the rate at which your body burns fat, add a source of protein to each meal or snack.

For more information about the good habits around a healthy lifestyle go to SmartTrainingDublin.com, find them on Facebook here or on Twitter@SmartTraining14.

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About the author:

Jonny Bruton  / Personal trainer and owner of Smart Training.

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