Thursday, February 23, 2012

Protein: not just for dudes.

Ladies, repeat after me:

Protein is your friend. 

Yes, that's right, your friend.  It can't break your heart or punch you in the face.  It's there to make you full and help your muscles stay strong.  So why are so many women afraid of it?

The other day, I was standing in my favorite smoothie place in LA, Bodyfactory , which is known for it's lower sugar, higher protein, overall healthier smoothies.  After placing my order I listened to the woman behind me give hers,

"I'd like a bitty berries smoothie but please only half a scoop of protein.  I don't want to get too big."

I openly stared at her like she'd grown a second head.  Or incredible hulk muscles.  This had to be one of the most asinine fitness statements I have ever heard.  I'm here to tell you, 30 grams of protein in a meal WILL NOT MAKE YOU GET BIG.  If that was the case we'd all have rippling muscles instead of just a tryptophan hangover after Thanksgiving dinner.

This is not the result of an extra chicken breast. that a man?
Newsflash: those women in bodybuilding competitions did not just wake up one morning, eat a few extra eggs and poof! Muscles!  They have spent months training very hard and eating very specifically and you'll see that even after all that hard, calculated work, they still are no where near the size of their male counterparts.  But trust me, lifting a few weights and eating some cottage cheese will not make you suddenly rip through your brand new Chloe blouse.

So how much protein SHOULD you be eating?  Ah, the $10,000 question.  There's a whole convoluted equation that you can read about here, at Fitsugar.

Or if you hate math (like I do) you can try this: eat protein at every meal.  In a perfect world you'll be eating 6 times a day (another post for another day) and this constant intake of protein will keep your metabolism firing and your body consistently fueled.  This makes resisting the office birthday cake WAY easier.  But I promise, it will not cause you to be confused with that meathead in the cubicle next to you.

Bon protein!

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