3 ways to test if you have a protein deficiency

A full time job of mine, for over a decade now, has been working with people to make changes – to improve their health and their fitness. That sounds way better than me just saying I’m a personal trainer… I feel there’s a certain stigma around being a PT, like all we do is yell and count reps, I’m actually terrible at counting reps and I think yelling is a little rude. But basically I’m a personal trainer.

Over the last decade I would say most of the clients I’ve worked with and currently working with are protein deficient or they used to be protein deficient, meaning that you are lacking in essential protein from the diet to provide your body its need to regenerate.

The problem with this is that you cannot rebuild lean tissue and certain cells if you’re not getting protein in the diet. We break down and regenerate muscle, blood, bone, organ cells, skins every single day. In fact your entire muscular skeletal system will be brand new every roughyl 6 months! What, did you think you just have the same set of muscles for the rest of your life? Nope, it’s called protein turnover and it’s happening right now!

So it’s SUPER important to get enough, high quality protein in your diet each and every day. But would you know if you don’t get enough? Here are three indicators that your body is literally breaking itself down.

  1. If you used to arched feet and now they’ve flattened out
  2. If on the back of your hands between your finger tendons you have big sunken down grooves
  3. Get your thumb in the thumbs up position and push pressure on where your thumb print is with another finger, when you take your pressure off and the skin on your thumb doesn’t bounce back out very quickly this can be a sign of protein defficiency (that’s if you’re not dehydrated)

These are just some fun little games you can play with which may indicate you need more protein. But to be sure, you could just figure it all out by thinking about your diet for a minute. Do you eat at least 3-4 small serves of protein per day?

Like most individuals, if you eat only 3 meals per day you can calculate the amount of protein per meal needed by multiplying your total body weight by 0.4 which will give your your protein target for each meal. So if you weigh 72 kilos, it would be 28 grams of protein required for 1 meal. You really should aim to do that 3 times per day at the very least to meet minimal protein needs.

If you’re an active person and workout a lot then aim to have the same amount 4-5 times per day.

If you’re trying to fall pregnant / currently pregnant or you’re breast-feeding you actually need around 10-15% more protein to keep up with the demands of cell growth or turnover.

One more tip: If you’re trying to lose excess body fat and you you decide to increase the amount of protein you eat, you can probably reduce the amount of carbohydrates you eat by the same amount.

And finally, if you happen to live in the St George area of Sydney or the lower North Shore of Sydney, Chris Sturgess specialises in Pre and Post-natal Health & Fitness (although he’s no good at counting reps!). Feel free to enquire here http://nakedhealthpt.com/pregnant-mumma/. For Mums with bubs you can enquire about the Movement for Mummas program http://nakedhealthpt.com/movement-for-mummas/, group personal training with qualified onsite nannies! Although these group classes are also suitable if you’re pregnant too.

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