Over the last couple of months or so, I’ve had a few clients record a daily food log that I could take a look at. These are clients that are struggling to lose weight or drop their body fat percentage. And something stood out right away when taking a look at their nutritional intake: their protein intake was terribly low. I do not think one of these clients had consumed more than 75 grams of protein on any given day. As a general recommendation, I suggest 0.8-1.0 grams per pound of body weight. If you do the math, these numbers aren’t even close. Now for a female, I might scale it back a bit to 100-125 grams of protein per day. Sounds like a lot, but it’s really not considering a 5 ounce chicken breast has roughly 30 grams of protein.
Why am I so adamant about about consuming more protein for weight or fat loss? A few reasons:
- Consuming protein will give you a greater feeling of satiety, making you feel full for a longer period of time.
- Consuming protein has a stabilizing effect on your insulin levels and hopefully prevents those sudden food binges.
- Protein has a higher thermic effect of feeding than other nutrients, meaning that it takes more energy to break it down, creating a slight boost in your metabolism.
- If you’re training hard, increased protein intake will aid in recovery.
The next question is: what foods are good protein sources? Here are some ideas:
- Salmon, tuna or other types of fish
- Lean poultry or beef (at least 90% lean)
- Eggs or egg whites
- Plain yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Nuts or natural peanut butter
25-40 grams of protein with some of the For some people it’s hard to get in the suggested amount of protein through whole foods alone. For those people, I suggest a protein powder supplement. You can easily get an additionalhigher quality protein powders out on the market.
A protein source with every feeding. That’s what you should be aiming for.