Protein, Protein, Protein…

why is everyone always talking about Protein?

Protein can supply your body with energy—however, as Dr. Chris Masterjohn explains, the last thing your body wants to do with Protein is actually use it for energy—those jobs are better left to Good Fats and Safe Carbs.

Protein instead is involved in almost every cellular process in your body—from:

  • building and repairing cells, muscle, tissue...
  • directing biochemical reactions in your body (with enzyme forms of protein)...
  • acting as hormones—otherwise known as the cells' express messenger system...
  • and providing structural framework—both stiffness and elasticity in all the right places. 🙂

Plus proteins regulate the ph of your body…regulate body processes to balance fluids…form antibodies to fight infections…and carry valuable substances through your bloodstream & tuck them into the best storage places.

We want to use Protein for all of these body processes…and make sure that we’re eating enough of it to feel full and satisfied WHILE optimizing all of these awesome body processes…

And NOT losing muscle when we’re going for losing weight.

For all of these reasons—that’s why it’s so important to get into a FLOW with a solid amount of Protein in each and every meal.

Proteins are made up of amino acids that join together to form long chains. You can think of a protein as a string of beads—cellular-process jewelry :)—in which each bead is an amino acid. There are 20 amino acids that help form the thousands of different proteins in your body.

Protein Planning key #1: Get a solid amount of Protein in each meal

The word “protein” comes from the Greek word “protease,” meaning primary or “taking first place”…so we want to plan Protein FIRST>

Not only because the wise, ancient Greeks instruct us to consider Protein first—not only because it’s used in almost ALL of the body’s processes—it’s also the most satisfying Macronutrient, and determining it first creates a foundational bedrock that you can build on from there.

And we’ll look to nutrition researcher Alex Leaf’s fabulous summary here on “How Much Protein” you need in order to build muscle while burning fat…

So keep your work from Module 3 with the AMOUNT OF DAILY PROTEIN in mind (in grams that you want to go for on daily basis—the amount that you determined that works best for YOU, with your current goals and activity level).

As a reminder from Module 3: You can use Alex Leaf’s Protein Planning chart found in the Worksheet for this module or use his online tool (here) to determine the amount of protein that would work for you…and be sure to take into account other important health factors if you need to as well. 

And I’ll just briefly re-summarize Dr. Chris Masterjohn’s general recommendation for building muscle while burning fat--if you're going to be doing my Get Lifted strength training program:

Go for 1 gram of animal-based Protein per pound of bodyweight...and try to get at least 30 grams of animal-based protein in each meal.


Additionally, I do recommending plugging in your target Daily Amount of Protein (in grams) into an online food/calorie tracker like…and tracking your daily protein…this can be really helpful. the TOP of the Meal Planning to-do list for a reason!

Here's what we'll cover...

In this module get ready for a quick DL on:

—How much Protein?? (4)

—Protein is actually Protein + Fat (our ancestral roots with Protein) (4)

—Why you can get lots of valuable Micronutrients from your Weekly Protein choices (you need all of these Micronutrients to feel GOOD and be able to burn fat and build muscle) (4A)

Why you need a weekly amount of Omega-3's (4A, Part 1)

—Why your body needs the retinol Vitamin A, Choline & Arachidonic acid (don't limp along without them) (4A, Part 2)

—Climate change food for thought & tips to do Dairy and Beans (4B)

—Tips for Vegetarians—how’s your daily Saturated Fat intake—don’t forget to get Micro (4B)

—Why a high Protein breakfast is a rockstar strategy for burning fat w/out losing muscle & optimizing your daily Cortisol Rhythm (4C)


Lots of good info & actionable Protein planning strategies here. Let’s get started…

Our Paleo/ancestral hunger for PROTEIN:

Protein is considered the most satisfying Macronutrient.

And since we're people with Paleo biology…we crave a certain amount of protein…although we don’t have a reward system built in for it, so it doesn’t give us tons of pleasure to meet this cellular need…although Dr. Jaminet asserts that we will *keep eating* until we get the amount of protein that we need!

That’s why it’s important to plan to eat a solid amount of Protein with each meal…and stay away from meals & foods that lack sufficient protein…because as Dr. Jaminet explains, we will keep eating until we meet our protein needs. That’s why diets that are high in protein, like the Atkin’s Diet, are very successful with initial Weightloss (although not long-term Weightloss)…and why it’s important that if you want to lose weight/burn fat/have awesome energy…that you eat a solid amount of protein to satisfy this cellular need.

In The Perfect Heal Diet, Dr. Jaminet writes:

“Except for some protein-deficient vegans and misguided bodybuilders, almost everyone eats a healthful amount of protein.”

Protein is very satiating…and we have a natural appetite to eat the “perfect” amount of protein. And again, if you eat too little protein, this can make you eat too many calories overall, as your body will make you hungry for those missing nutrients.

In this module too--I'll share more about why it can be very helpful to eat a higher amount of Protein daily—especially at Breakfast & Lunch, too.

Animal-based Protein Foods = Protein + Good Fats + Micronutrients

Also—we have to address the almost equal amount of Good Fats (and some essential micronutrients) here in the Protein category, too!

You may be wondering about that almost equal amount in the above pie chart of Good Fats?

Well—a lot of those Good Fats will come from eating meat/eggs.

If you're a Vegetarian

And if you’re a vegetarian, you would want to make sure you are getting in enough Good Fats (SaFA & MUFA fats, to help ensure good cholesterol, blood sugar & hormone balance) + the Fat-soluble Vitamins that these animal protein/good fats contain, too.

(see my tips for vegetarians in 4B of this Protein module, too)

So when we talk about Protein—we also have to talk about Good Fats at the same time—for a very important reason:

Because they're entwined together (in animal protein)...

And because again, this research is based on our Paleo/ancestral biology...and Paleo people weren't vegetarians really--

So for vegetarians, I think you still have to think in terms of our Paleo biology, and that protein from animal sources does contain all of this fat AND fat-soluble vitamins…and make sure that you’re getting in enough Good Fats daily too, for good hormone production and insulin management.

And that you are taking special care to replace these fat-soluble Micronutrients—that you would usually get from animal protein like ruminant meat—as well.

So, it’s a two-prong replacement process.

First, are you getting all of your Micros??

And for good hormonal health, I highly recommend getting enough Good Fats. To determine this, take your bodyweight and multiple it by .4 grams as a minimal amount of Daily Good Fats.


For Meat-eaters:

And based on our Paleo biology, the authors of The Perfect Health Diet assert that:

Fat calories would mainly come from fatty cuts of meat (like ribeye steak, oily fish or shellfish, lamb, ribs), egg yolks…and additional Good Fats would come as “delicious decorations” to your meals.

Let’s get specific with HOW to Plan it on a weekly basis…next...

And the reason why you want to plan your Protein meals on a WEEKLY basis…is for a very, very important reason:

And because one of the biggest parts of Protein is FAT.

And we want to make it so that we eat the amount & type of Fat (that comes from Protein) that keeps Inflammation at bay in our bodies, each and every week.

Plus, it's important to plan your Protein on a weekly & daily basis so that you can get important MICROnutrients, too! We're going to focus on Vitamin A & Choline first.

These are two crucial components (keeping inflammation at bay with your Protein/Fat choices...and getting in key MICROnutrients) of addressing the conundrum of how to lose weight/not gain weight on a Whole Foods diet.

Let's get specific with how to plan on a Weekly Basis next...