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  1. Fitness Pro Ammo: Why Your Body Hungers for Protein


    Oh, the wonder of the human body! From the time you're born, your body is doing its best to achieve or maintain homeostasis, the process by which the internal systems of the body maintain a balance, despite external conditions.

    Your body is doing all it can to maintain posture, stay at ideal weight, and gain strength.

    Unfortunately, some of us are to blame for sabotaging its efforts.

    Other than inherited sickness, or an unfortunate accident beyond our control, we thwart our body's efforts to be in optimal health.

    While there are a myriad of ways to be healthy, I believe the gateway to maintain good posture, induce fat loss, or gain strength is through muscle.

    If you want to increase bone density, exercising with weights is your best bet.

    If you want to lose body fat, challenging your muscles is the most efficient way to go.

    If you want to gain strength, you have to load the muscle through resistance training. Basically, you have to exercise.

    That being said, you can't make a wish and gain muscle. You definitely can't buy it in a bottle-although that would be nice!!

    And to maintain, build or tone the muscle on your body, you need protein. Although carbohydrates and fats are important, I'm just going over the importance of protein.

    Being the main building block in the body and primary component of most cells, protein is needed to repair skin, organs, muscles, hair and fingernails.

    A diet grossly disproportionate in breads, cakes, pasta, and such the like, causes the pancreas to produce an overabundance of insulin, which stays in the system and puts the blood sugar in a negative balance. Too much insulin leads to sugar cravings and weight gain.

    Carbohydrates may raise blood sugar; protein helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

    Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Because the body cannot make amino acids, it obtains them through food. What are the most complete sources of protein? Animal products! That is ORGANIC animal products.

    By the way, the sharp flesh-tearing canines in my mouth did not influence me to say that. I promise.

    I'm not trying to start a beef with vegetarians. Animal foods provide complete proteins containing all of the essential amino acids for the body's proper maintenance, growth and energy needs. Plants also have their wonderful qualities. You can also achieve proper protein levels by mixing and matching vegetable sources which, when consumed alone, are not quite complete.

    Now because I believe you are what you eat eats, it's important that you eat grass-fed, free-range, organic meats. Without getting into a million reasons why, lets just say you'll live longer by doing so.

    How much protein you should eat is based on the individual. From the sedentary person to the active individual -- or a person metabolically wired to eat a certain amount -- protein intake will vary from person to person.

    After an intense strength-training program, there are tiny tears in the structures of your muscle and leaks in your muscle cells. Within an hour after exercise, it's best to consume protein and carbohydrates to optimize energy levels and muscle repair.

    Too much protein can lead to excess body fat, dull moods, sluggishness, a heavy gut and more.

    Although there are many ways to find out how much protein one should eat, my approach is by metabolic typing. Based on your individuality, when you eat the proper ratio of protein, carbohydrates and fats in every meal, you can enjoy ideal blood pressure, satiety between meals, and optimal health.

    For more tips and tricks, visit http://www.ammoathletics.com

    Ammo's "one body, one mind" approach has made him one of the top fitness professionals in New York City. His experience in nutrition, rehab, sports-specific training, functional exercises, and self-defense has helped hundreds of men and women attain their fitness goals. He is a frequent contributor to the DiettoGo.com blogs.

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