(Okay, technically it's not Tuesday, but I meant to post this yesterday - so here it is.) :)
Today let's talk about PROTEIN! Next to water, protein is the most abundant substance in your body.
Protein plays a very important role in weight management. Lean protein helps you maintain your lean body mass when your calories are restricted. We want to keep as much muscle as we can to keep our metabolism revving. Protein also helps you suppress your appetite by helping you feel more satisfied with less food.
When it comes to building and preserving muscle, it's not necessarily about how much protein you get, but more importantly consuming a steady stream of protein throughout the day.
You should get about 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight each day. Breaking it down, that's at least 25g with each meal. Protein can't be stored in your body, so you need to get some at every meal. This will help prevent your muscles from breaking down.
Eating lean protein increases your metabolism due to the thermic effect of food, which is how much energy you burn just to digest it. Protein has the highest thermic effect of all the macronutrients. (Protein, Carb, Fat)
Some good sources are eggs, chicken breast, turkey breast, fish, shellfish, dairy products, lean beef and pork. Whey protein powder is also a great way to get added protein in your diet, but whole foods are preferred.
You don't need to eat a lot of animal proteins to get lean and muscular. Many vegetables also contain protein, but are not considered 'complete' because they are low in some of the essential amino acids. However, if you combine a plant source with a grain that has the missing amino acid, you get a complete protein. Rice and beans are a good example.
EAT YOUR PROTEIN!!! It's good stuff!