Whether it's for weight gain, maintaining muscle mass or losing weight, the first thing is to define your goal. Once you've got that in mind, you can adopt the diet that best suits your needs and that, in particular, provides the protein you need.
Nutrition Rules to Adopt Before Choosing Your Protein
Nutrition, like training, has several rules to follow if you want to succeed. Here are a few of them:
• Eat regular meals: Eating at regular meal times gives your body a schedule to work to. This keeps you feeling full and energised, and avoids you falling into the unhealthy habit of snacking. I therefore recommend eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, and maybe a snack if you really need it.
• Take your time over your meals: It is thought that it takes around 20 minutes for our brains to receive the information that we're eating. We therefore only start to feel full after 20 minutes. Try to eat more slowly so that your meals last at least 20 minutes.
• Eat a balanced diet:
Starchy food with every meal for energy.
Meat, fish or eggs for protein.
At least 5 portions of fruit and veg per day for vitamins and fibre.
Three dairy products per day for calcium and protein.
You should limit fat consumption, but don't cut out fats entirely as they also provide plenty of vitamins, among other things.
Sugary products should be limited.
As should salt.
Drink water whenever you want throughout the day.
Why Take Protein?
Protein is a part of every cell in the body and can be found in lots of different types of food. It is responsible for building and repairing certain organs. Each day, it helps replace our skin, hair and muscle tissue. It also helps us strengthen our defenses against damage caused by external factors.
Protein is essential for intense physical activity as it helps build muscle mass. The building blocks of protein are called amino acids, and it is these that our bodies use to repair damaged muscle tissue. This is why it's particularly important to consume plenty of protein if you do weight training. Physical activity in general requires a higher protein intake.
Our protein needs vary according to our weight, age and muscle use. The average man will need between 65 g and 70 g of protein per day, while adult women need between 54 g and 66 g per day. In reality, protein should account for 12-15% of your total calorie consumption. If you do intensive weight training, you'll need between 1.7 and 2 g per kilo of bodyweight per day!
Protein can be found in animal products (eggs, meat, fish, milk, etc.) and plant-based products (soy, tofu, legumes, etc.). If you're not getting enough protein from your normal diet, you can supplement this with a protein powder.
#1. To Gain Lean Muscle or Maintain Muscle Mass
If your goal is to gain lean mass or maintain your muscle mass, we recommend opting for whey protein powder. This type of protein is made from milk protein. This powdered protein has a very high protein content. It is therefore perfect for muscle growth and for recovery after intense physical exercise.
Whey Protein: for Beginners or People Who Need It Occasionally
Whey Protein is ideal for people who do weight training and occasionally need additional protein to develop and/or maintain muscle mass.
Whey Protein Isolate: for Regular Weight Trainers
Whey Protein Isolate is ideal for weight trainers who work out regularly and want to increase and/or maintain muscle mass.
Whey Protein Isolate is 80% whey protein derived from milk from certified grass-fed cows. This certification guarantees that these cows have spent 120 to 300 days grazing in fields each year, ensuring that the majority of their feed is grass or hay.
Native Whey Protein: for the Toughest Goals
Our Native Whey Protein is composed solely of protein isolates from a non-denaturing process, which ensures a very high protein content! This very high protein content means there's a very low carb and fat content! It's ideal for intensive weight trainers for building and/or maintaining muscle mass and is suitable for the most demanding diets and goals, including weight loss!
The Benefits of Plant-based Protein
Plant-based protein is all the rage thanks to its numerous benefits: its high-quality protein content, its bioavailability, its good digestive assimilation, and its high mineral, trace element, fibre and vitamin content.
It also contains no cholesterol while providing fats that are good for your health. Being rich in complex carbohydrates and fibre is a major benefit for your health and weight control.
Whether you're already vegetarian or you want to introduce more plant-based protein into your diet, our article reveals exactly where to find plant-based sources of protein.
#2. To Gain Weight / Muscle Mass
Weight gain is all about increasing muscle mass. If your aim is to quickly gain weight, there are two essentials: you need to adapt your physical activity via a specific training program, and increase your energy intake.
Increasing your energy intake should preferably be done via your "normal" diet, but if you need a helping hand to add more calories, you can always use a "gainer"-type protein powder.
Gainer is a combination of protein and carbohydrate in the ideal proportions for encouraging weight gain. It enriches your nutrition without changing your eating habits.
The aim of your diet should be to increase lean mass gain by providing the right nutrients. But diet alone can't do anything; it needs to be paired with specific training designed to meet your goal. Want to know more about weight gain? Check out our article "How to gain weight" on our dedicated weight training website to help you achieve your weight gain goals:
Mass Gainer: the Protein Powder for Gaining Weight
We recommend splitting your intake by having half one hour before your workout and the rest afterwards (within an hour). When taken before training, it provides the energy your need for an intense workout. When taken after training, it restores the glycogen reserves that your body drew on during your workout.
#3. To Lose Weight / Cut
Is your goal to lose weight while retaining your muscle mass? Here are the 3 essentials for sustainable weight loss:
1. Create a slight calorie deficit:
Lots of people who want to lose weight quickly go overboard by drastically cutting down on calories through strict dieting and meal substitutes. Big mistake! To avoid yo-yo dieting, which is particularly harmful to long-term health, stick to a gentle, gradually decreasing calorie deficit that won't shock your metabolism.
2. Have a "flexible" diet:
Having a healthy diet to shed excess pounds means controlling your intake of macronutrients while still allowing yourself a few "treat" meals (one less-healthy meal per week, for example). This is the best way of losing those extra pounds and keeping them off.
3. Be patient and develop habits:
You're not going to have a six-pack within 7 days, or the body of your dreams in 3 weeks. The keys to success are perseverance and discipline.