25/06/2015 09:38 BST | Updated 25/06/2016 06:59 BST

Why Does More Protein = Long Lean Toned Body?

CONFUSED ABOUT PROTEIN? Let's discuss. Since it's essential for a lean body.

I know that women balk at the thought of more protein. I can see their eyes glaze over with images of bulky body builders and Arnie in Terminator flashing through their minds!!

Protein has had the rep of bulking you up, but that is because if you were to listen to body builders they eat huge amounts of protein - this is due to protein turnover - they need OODLES of protein to keep up with the amount they burn.

Ladies. We aren't male bodybuilders! And overlooking this dietary gem is a big mistake. Since it is essential to helping you to slim down rather than do the opposite. Here's why...

The key with protein is to use it in the right way. It can be a vital component in enhancing your workouts, burning fat in a more efficient way, and it also helps to gain that toned muscle look, just by building the muscle in the correct way.

Let's start with the science. After you hit your 30's you start to feel the changes right? You know the look - your skin starts to get a little looser, you start to get a bit saggy, and you just say...Ah, I'm getting older...

Well, let's look at the science. Why does this happen? After we hit 30, we begin to lose a half a pound of muscle a year. Not just that, but collagen production declines ( the most abundant protein in the human body. It is basically the glue that holds us together - or perky shall we say!) Collagen is the key to plump, elastic and perky youthful skin and can be found in the bones, muscles, skin and tendons. Unfortunately collagen declines rapidly after the age of 40, which not only affect your skin and your muscle, but internally your muscles (like heart) are affected too. So as you can see, rather than giving up at 40, this is a time we need to work extra hard to stay looking perky and lean!

Let's bring it back to muscle. Women often tell me they want to look lean, but they are afraid of the big muscle look. It's practically impossible for a woman to look butch and bulky even if she tried hard (we don't have as much muscle mass as men do)

Muscle is SO important to looking lean. Look at it like this - One pound of muscle burns between 50-100 calories a day!! So you can see how having muscle is effective in fat loss and keeping toned. Also, if you are LOSING that muscle as you get older you will find it harder to keep off the weight. Make sense?

So, Protein is an essential component that can help to recover some of this loss. It increases collagen (remember - less sag and tone) It helps to firm up the tissue which holds you in shape, and also strengthens your muscles and increases your ability at the gym!

Of all the food groups, Protein is the only one that can help to build that structure, let's say the scaffolding, in our bodies. It's the POWERHOUSE!

So how can we get more protein in your diet? Several ways. Good quality proteins like organic meats, fish and eggs. Lots of pulses (lentils peas etc). For those of you not intolerant to dairy, organic milk/cheese (stay away from LOW FAT and stick with smaller portions of full fat instead) Nuts and seeds (not roasted or salted - raw are best).

And if you are a gal on the run, protein powders can be really helpful. One in the morning and one post gym workout (timing is key, as you will have just broken down the muscle, so you need to repair with protein). Check out my protein powder brand http://ellementlife.com/ a protein and supplement range designed for different types of women based on their lifestyles and goals.

Also see my video on the importance of protein https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhyTZiPp50Y

So gals, you see protein is ESSENTIAL for keeping you looking younger, longer and leaner!

A x