Why you should eat protein

It doesn’t matter if you are an omnivore, a vegan or a selective vegetarian, you have probably heard lately that proteins are important. Even more if you are practicing sport at a regular level.

Before telling you the benefits of eating proteins, maybe we should back up a little bit.

Proteins are essential for your body for various reasons:

  • The synthesis of the muscles
  • The defense of the organism (with the production of antibodies)
  • The transport of various elements in the blood

How does it work? When you eat a protein, your body transform them in amino acids, little chemical elements, who will turn themselves … in protein again.   

The first benefit that you have when you eat one is, they provide you the sensation of being full. Eat enough protein and you won’t be snacking shit. Or less, at least.

I am not a nutritionist so I am not going to provide you a complete meal plan. But according to my experience it’s kind of easy to have a bit of protein at every meal:

  • I have eggs at breakfast
  • I eat chicken or turkey at lunch
  • My protein shake is in my gym back as a post workout
  • I have fish at dinner

We all have different needs and tastes but what’s important to know is that there is protein in not only meats but also cereals like quinoa, rice, milk, yogurt and cheese. So, you really have a lot of different options at your disposition.

What also works or me when I am hungry between meals is to have a snack with protein on it, like a Greek yogurt.  

We tend to have the majority of our protein intake by the end of the day but it’s not ideal. As we said before, protein is a source of energy so it’s better to have them along the day.

Bon appétit

Breakfast or not breakfast …

I think that our generation has heard so many different myths about food that we don’t really know how to eat anymore.

We have been told to never skip breakfast, have it big, eat less at lunch and then super light at dinner, not eat between meals and then yes you can have snacks, have various milk product every day and now no milk is evil, have bread have pasta have rice and now no have gluten free products only !

The food lobbies are doing an incredible job with their marketing. We go to demonize food and then have them too much. We eat all the time and then we fast. We go from industrial prepared meals to full organic products or vegan diet without seeing a doctor and having a check up to see what’s actually going on in our bodies.

People I am telling you, we are nuts.

I am not a dietician, nor a doctor so today I will speak only from my experience.

When I was a kid I could have easily a breakfast with no issue. Then when I was 10 years old, I started to get sick every morning, I would puke before leaving home or just arriving at school. I didn’t know what the problem could be and was so ashamed I didn’t tell my parents. There, I stopped having breakfast for more 12 years.

Turns out I found out recently it’s the milk in my hot chocolate that I wasn’t digesting well. I today have a glass of chocolate almond milk because I love it !

I started to have breakfast again when I was 23… recovering from anorexia so it was not possible to skip a meal, I had to gain weight again.

There, I have tried different options: cereals, granola, Greek yogurt, bread with jam, tea, orange juice, turkey, fruits, eggs, protein pancakes, smoothies…

It took me a while to adjust the quantity, the food my body liked in the morning and what was enough to help me hold on until lunch (but I still need a snack during the day).

Today I am at a point of balance that works well for me: I have two whole eggs (I know not only whites), home-made bowl of chocolate granola and a green tea.

I have another green tea and an apple during the morning before my lunch, so I am not tempted by crap.

For years I repeated I was okay with the fact of not having breakfast. Truth I wasn’t: I was feeling exhausted all morning, it was extremely hard to concentrate at school and then at work, I was eating sugary snacks all morning and eating way too much at lunch to compensate.

So, in my opinion, in terms of energy yes, you need to have breakfast. If you don’t have appetite when you wake up well then have your food with you in your bag to have it in the bus or when you get to work.

Finally, in terms of fat loss I don’t fucking know. Some people say you have to eat it in the morning to lose weight, some others not. This is a debate that only trial can settle. I would suggest you give it a try for 3 weeks and see what happens: 3 weeks without it and 3 weeks with it. Check out your weight in the balance, the way you feel in your clothes, your look in the mirror, your digestion, your appetite and your mood!

Most of us are not nice persons when we are hungry. Before getting upset with your man/kid/coworker you might want to ask yourself if you should have a piece of food.

Quick reminder: skipping the breakfast doesn’t give you a pass to eat crap later during the day. If you do so, we need to start from the beginning and talk about caloric deficit, energy level and basic metabolism.

If you do need us to talk about these subjects let me know.

I am a beginner… where do I start?

I train a lot because I love it, it relaxes me, and I want my body to be functioning properly until I die. Yes, we don’t think about it enough but this body you have is going to be yours to the grave so you might want to keep it healthy.

For a lot of reasons, many people don’t work out, they don’t even move enough during the day (thank you, sedentary lifestyle). I can only imagine how hard it is to look at the magazines and social media with crazy physiques people and athletes and think only “pfff why bother”.

Well first of all, you need to think about your health. I am sure you want to be able to move properly and not have pain everywhere in a couple of years. Working out is not about having abs but more importantly a strong muscle and bones structure, strength and mobility.

Take this as an investment in yourself. You do it for you and your well-being. You deserve it and you are worth it. At the beginning you will need a few minutes to start working out and two weeks to get used to it.

So, what’s in it for you:

  • Decrease of the risks of getting chronic diseases
  • Improvement of your mood and mental health
  • Increase of your daily energy, sleep quality and LIBIDO
  • Slowing of the aging process, boost of your cerebral activity and improvement of your microbiome

The frequency:

  • Strength training: at least twice a week, weightlifting for the biggest muscular groups
  • Cardio: 75 minutes of intense cardio activity (you do them the way you want) combined with 150 minutes of moderate cardio activity

My personal recommendation with the cardio: doesn’t start too hard too long on your first trials or you will just get sick.

Start for example with 20 minutes of HIIT running or on a bike or 15 minutes of a jumping rope.

  • Flexibility and mobility: we don’t mention these enough, but this is extremely important for your daily comfort. These are exercises just with your body that you can do in the morning and at night in front of TV.

I use a lot of yoga, stretching moves and animal flows (thanks Youtube).

I am sure your first question will be “what’s the better way to lose weight?”. When you are a beginner any kind of exercise is good so pick what’s the easiest for you and stick to it. There is always room to make things longer and more complicated after.

What you really need to do to lose weight is to be in a caloric deficit (eat less than you consume). Health is in the kitchen first so you might want to start with a journal of all what you eat in a day to realize what is your real food intake and then make the adjustments.

Another personal advice (yes, I have a lot): give yourself a goal that you can actually reach! Most of the time we fail to maintain our routine and stick to it because we want to do too much too fast. If you never exercised and want to train for a hall marathon you are going to be so disgusted that you will probably never run again.

So, find something that you really want and can do (walk 15 minutes per day or just have more energy to play with your kids at the end of the day).

Once you start, just focus on what your trainings are for the week and keep track of what you do! Use an app or just wright down what you did this week so you can actually see your progress.

The next week you try to push a little harder and make it better.

The success is to be able to find a routine that you will actually keep doing and not give up after a couple of weeks because it’s too demanding.

Very important point you have to keep in my mind (I say that and it’s ironic because I am bad at it): be patient. You are going to fail, feel bad, want to quiet, some exercises are going to feel harder than you expected, you are going to skip trainings or have bad ones. It’s inevitable and you have to accept it.

The key is to have a plan B for each situation so you are prepared and can move on:

  1. If you are already tired when you wake up then don’t work out, have good healthy food during your day and just go for a walk in the nature at the end of the day.
  2. You feel too stressed or unmotivated? Just rest and have a good night sleep.
  3. You didn’t train for a couple of days/weeks? Find out the why and what strategies you can put in place.

Before starting your new training routine, you better want to see your doctor if it’s been a while, just to check if everything is alright.

Again, don’t beat up yourself or you won’t last and don’t give up either when you are sored (it means you are doing well).

If you can I recommend that you hire a trainer but if you can’t, PLEASE try to educate yourself with free videos on Youtube about the proper execution of the movements you need to do. It’s unpleasant to get hurt just after getting started.

Let’s get started and share your first experience !

Mistakes to avoid after a workout

You just finished your workout ? Great, I am proud that you went through with it ! But did you know that to be healthy there are certain things to do before and especially AFTER ?

Things that you should avoid doing ?

Yeaaaah I know, it’s not enough to exercize to be healthy, that would be too easy. If you want to optimize your trainings and keep a healthy mindset in the long term, you have to adapt your strategy .

So here are various elements you should really be careful about after your session :

  • Drink water ! Most of us we don’t drink enough of it during the day and the lack of hydratation can be really dangerous when you train. Our body composition is in majority composed by water, when you exercize you sweat so you lose more water. You have to keep drinking after your workout even if you don’t feel really thirsty.

 

  • Eat unhealthy food : I don’t know how many times I have heard people leaving the gym saying « let’s go have sushis or burger ; I trained so hard, I deserve this ». Okey I understand you want to reward yourself it’s human. But let’s make it clear here, only professional athletes can eat whatever they want because they spend HOURS EVERY DAY training as hard as they can. That is not our case ; if you systematically eat unhealthy foods, your workouts are going to be completely useless and you will give up, disappointed by the absence of results. You can indulge once in a while but if you really want results, after your workout stick to fibers, good proteins and a bit of carbs to fill up your energy stocks and build your muscles.

 

  • Skipping the streching : this part is as much as important as your warm up. You reduce the risk of injury and allow your muscles to get recover faster. If you are bothered by the longer time of your session I suggest that you reduce the number of series or rest time. Because it’s crucial to include at least 10 minutes of warm up and 5 minutes (or more) of streching when you are done.

 

  • Leaving the place like a mess : I am so annoyed by the people that leave weights everywhere at the gym and don’t pick it up. In particular guys that leave heavy weights everywhere that I can’t move. I have bruises on my legs all the time because I step on it. It’s like people don’t care if it’s not at their home. Anyway, it doesn’t matter if you train at the gym or at home, leave the place nice and clean, respect the trainers and the others members.

 

  • Be a potato couch for the rest of the day : okey, you trained, you can be proud of yourself. But it’s not a reason to be inactive until tomorrow. Keep moving as much as you can. Our body is made to be moving all day, not sitting at your desk or in you car. Move as much as you can during the rest of the day. It will keep your metabolism running.

 

  • Not sharing your journey ! This one can sound stupid but believe me, when you start taking pictures and videos, publishing and sharing with people, you become more accountable. It provokes good reactions around you and keeps you motivated. You don’t have to take the same selfies endlessly but don’t be shy and show your work !

Lack of sleep

Have you heard the necessity to sleep at least 8 hours per night (well for some of us we are all differents). But have you also felt that it was an impossible goal to rich if you have a day full ahead of you ?

We are supposed to sleep enough to be funcionable human beings but we are also supposed to work, take time for our family, friends, pay the bills, clean the house, grocery shopping, do sport, yoga , meditation…

I don’t know about you but if I want to do all of this in one day, it’s going to be more around 6 hours of sleep.

Every one is different, but personnaly I need around 7 hours of sleep to have energy and don’t be acting like a bitch all day.

If you don’t know if you are missing sleep, here are some clues :

  • You are all over the place : you forget where you put your keys, if you sent this email and you aren’ t able to focus on what you are doing.
  • You feel like you need to drink more coffee. Even if you think this will be right, au contraire, consume too much caffeine can make you feel even more sleepy. It goes the same for coffee, tea or energized sodas like Redbull.
  • You have more cravings, especially for sugar and fat foods (we would know if we wanted suddenly to snack broccolis). When you don’t sleep enough, your body produce more ghreline, the hunger hormone so you are more hungry. On the long term run, this can cost you to really gain weight.
  • You can get sick easier because your body doesn’t have enough energy to produce antibodies and fight bacterias.
  • You are grumpy (this is so me). Generally this is the Number 1 we recognize that we are tired, we have so much less patience for everything.
  • Your libido is going low, low, low… and that’s terrible ! We all want sex and good, so change your routine a little bit to have time to go to bed earlier and have fun with your partner. May I also add that you sleep better after an orgasm ? Just saying…

I don’t think any of these points makes you want to experience it, certainly not several or all of them. The only way to protect yourself is to get yourself organized as much as you can.

Good night !