Q & A: Shake It Up With Protein

We’ll acknowledge it right from the beginning: protein shakes have developed quite the reputation for themselves. They’ve been seen out and about with many a bodybuilder and serious gym-goer and have made no attempts to hide their ability to boost muscle mass. But at Greater Pittsburgh Medical Weight Loss, we look beyond that stereotype and see them for what they truly are: a (not chalky) delicious, nutritious way to power through the day for those who lift pens, purses, and Post-its, not just weights. Our Lifestyle Educator & Wellness Coordinator, Bernadette Kabay, is an expert; so, we turned to her for some tips on how to shake up your diet.

What role does protein play in weight loss?

BK: Higher-protein diets help people better control their appetites and calorie intake. Diets higher in protein and moderate in carbs, along with regular exercise can reduce blood fats and help balance insulin levels. It also helps maintain lean tissue (muscle) while burning fat for fuel.

How much protein do you need on a daily basis?

BK: Generally, 30% of your diet should be protein, 30% healthy fat and 40% healthy carbohydrates.  If you are more active or trying to drop a few pounds, add a few more grams of protein.

Best sources of protein are found in fish, lean meats, eggs, and plant sources such as beans, soy, nuts and seeds. Protein shakes are excellent to fill in the holes and add an additional source of protein to help hold onto muscle and lose fat when dieting and exercising.

When do you think are the best times to drink a protein shake?

BK: As a replacement for breakfast when time is short or you’re on the go; 45 minutes to 1 hour before or after a workout; and mid-day when a healthy snack  is not available.

Can too much protein be a bad thing?

BK: Additional protein may not be appropriate for pregnant and nursing women, or for those individuals with chronic kidney issues or liver disease.

What’s your favorite flavor we have?

BK: I like the vanilla. I add our Reds powder to it, add a tsp of fiber and a little ground flax seed and water. Now, I have all three components of a meal in a glass! Healthy protein, healthy carbohydrate, healthy fat and fiber. For a summer morning start or after a workout, I may substitute 2 oz of orange juice for the Reds and it tastes like a vanilla creamsicle!

Have any more questions for Bernadette? Drop us a quick comment! 

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