Do you find it hard to meet your protein needs? I feel you! It takes effort on my part every day to eat an adequate amount of protein. Read on to learn a little bit about protein, why it’s important, how much we need, how I track my consumption, and my favorite high protein foods/supplements.
Protein is one of three macronutrients and is essential in helping our bodies function. It plays an important role in post exercise recovery and living a healthy life. If you’re like many women, you may be struggling to get your daily protein needs. I, personally, do not reach for protein unless I’m being VERY intentional. Let’s be honest, I’d much rather grab a piece of fruit or a handful of chips! But eating an adequate amount of protein is important. So just how much do you need?
NASM.org recommends eating .73-1 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So a 125lb person should eat anywhere from 92 grams to 125 grams of protein per day. NASM also recommends heavy exercisers to consume 1-1.5 grams per pound of body weight. What’s so great about protein?
According to the NASM, protein helps us feel full longer. It also increases the thermic effect of food. “Essentially, it takes some energy to break food down, digest it, and turn it into energy. Protein has the highest “cost” of all the three macronutrients.”
Have you ever tried tracking your protein intake in a day? I use the My Fitness Pal app to track my macronutrient intake. This visual really helps when I’m trying to stick to my protein consumption goals. If your protein goal for the day is 125 grams, you need to aim to get 25 grams of protein per meal for 5 meals.
Here is what 25 grams of protein looks like for the following foods:
- 80 grams raw chicken breast
- 270 grams nonfat greek yogurt
- 1 cup liquid egg whites
- 40 grams Protea Vegan Protein Powder
- 140 grams ground beef
- 180 grams Tofu
Regardless of your dietary preference, it IS possible to meet your protein goals – yes, even if you’re vegan! It just takes some planning. Although I do eat meat and poultry, they are not my top choices for protein consumption. I eat them only occasionally. My favorite protein sources are Protea Nutrition Vegan Protein Powder (which I love drinking alone with water post workout, in smoothies, or mixed into my oatmeal), nonfat greek yogurt, and egg whites.
In short, having some of your favorite high protein foods/supplements readily available will make it easier to reach your goals. With some planning and an app to help you log your intake, eating enough protein will become second nature in no time! Promise!