I’ve written about the importance of protein for everyone, and that I recommend (along with MANY other well-respected professionals) getting 1 gram per pound of lean mass to .8-1 gram per pound per day.
For many people, this seems like a lot, and it can be. So here are some ideas on how you can easily up your protein intake to help with your fat loss and muscle gain goals.
What formula should I use?
Most people can use 1 gram per pound of body weight. If your body fat is over 30-40%, this is when I would consider using the one gram per pound of fat-free mass OR 1 gram per pound of Target Body Weight (the weight you are trying to get to in the next year).
Either get your bodyfat tested by a professional (DEXA is the best) or use a visual chart.
For example: if you are a 250-pound woman who is 45% body fat, this means you carry 112.5 pounds of fat, and thus your fat-free mass is 137.5 – so you should eat at LEAST 137 grams of protein a day.
Don’t get too wrapped up in which option to use, as long as you have healthy kidneys, more protein will always be a better option.
So how can someone really get all their protein in for the day?
I see this problem way more with my female clients when they start out. 60 to 70 grams of protein a day is what I have seen on average – and most of these women need to DOUBLE that.
Let’s use a hypothetical 150-pound woman that is 25% body fat. I would like to see her get AT least 112 grams of protein but up to 150 grams would be SWEET.
To start: use a food tracker like MyFitnessPal and enter JUST your high protein foods, and see where you end up. It might look like this:
61 grams of protein at the end of the day (plus probably another 10% from other sources like grains, fats, etc.)
Now that you would have an idea of what you would get in a day, up your portions of the high-protein foods that you are already planning on eating. Bump up the chicken, and deli meat, and maybe add some egg whites at breakfast (too many whole eggs can contribute a lot to calories) – it may look like this:
By just increasing what you already eat, you can see that the protein is up to 106 grams!
From here you could add in a protein shake, cottage cheese, or another snack of some kind of lean meat, and you would easily be close to 150 grams.
For the guys…
Here is what my day, pre-planned out for protein looks like (I am 210 pounds):
This gets me to 188 grams – from just my protein sources. I know I will end up at 210 from adding in things like oats, bread, etc.
Play around with this, and you will find that it is pretty easy to actually reach your goal numbers for protein intake! If you need any more tips/tricks – this article should help.
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