All too often these days I see conflicting advice on diets, exercise, nutrition and food intake in general. With the recent wave of popular “diets,” such as Vegan, Vegetarian, Ketogenic and Paleo being in the news, everyone seems to have a differing opinion on the right level of protein and types of protein to eat. Today, I’ll share my personal thoughts, but that doesn’t mean that you have to subscribe completely to my opinions. Take this along with your own research to draw conclusions of what’s right for you. If there is one thing I preach, it is that everyone is different - this concept of bio-individuality means that the nutrition plan that works for one person, may or may not work for someone else.
How Much Protein Is Right For Me?
As with everything, it depends. It depends on a number of factors including: height, weight, age, activity level, gender, personal history, family history, and much, much more. Protein is an essential part of the diet and is needed to maintain and repair muscle mass. During exercise, muscle fibers are broken down and need to be rebuilt. The protein that you eat is digested and turned into amino acids which then help build back up the torn muscle.
But wait, there's more! Just because you don’t “work out” doesn’t mean you don’t need a decent amount of protein in your eating plan. So many folks don’t get enough protein as they age and that combined with lower exercise intensity, causes muscles to slowly deteriorate after age 40.
So, what's this mean for you? Well, where I usually start with my clients is by looking at all of these factors and then making a determination based on their activity level. We then recommend somewhere between 0.7 grams and 1.4 grams per pound of body weight per day. As with all of our recommendations, we monitor it week to week over a few months to find the ideal amount.
Tips For Getting Close To Your Target Protein Amount
Tip #1 - Protein With Each Meal - If it fits in your eating plan, aim to get between 4 and 8 ounces of sustainably raised meat with every meal, or the equivalent in eggs, grass fed dairy, or alternatives.
Tip #2 - Prepare Ahead of Time - I always recommend to plan out your meals the day before, especially if you have health, nutrition or fitness goals. In the cases that you are caught off guard by hunger, stock up on protein friendly snacks such as jerky, hard boiled eggs, Epic bars and meat sticks.
Tip #3 - Supplement If Needed - I always recommend getting protein from whole food sources, but sometimes the number seems a bit too daunting. This is where supplements can come in, but realize that this is where marketing tends to lead you to poor choices. All too often, protein supplements are full of artificial and poor quality ingredients. See below for my recommended protein brands.
Tip #4 - Don’t Stress - I regularly receive frantic texts from clients who say that they are way off of their protein for the day and are about to eat a whole carton of egg whites. In these instances, I simply say to have a protein shake and hit the hay. If you’re attaining your goals most of the time (>80%), you will see results, don’t worry.
For those of you looking for additional protein in your diet, I wholeheartedly recommend the following brands of supplements. I tend to be very picky with my protein supplements because many of the mainstream supplements are filled with artificial ingredients as well as artificial sweeteners. If you decide to try any of the products – I am an affiliate with both and as a result, you are entitled to 15% off of your purchase! Hurry, because these links will expire in 15 days:
Perfect Keto – LINK HERE Code: KETOTIME15
Equip Foods – LINK HERE Code: PERFORMING15
Until next time, catch me in the comments!
ABOUT PERFORMING NUTRITION: JON IS A CERTIFIED NUTRITION COACH THROUGH THE INSTITUTE FOR INTEGRATIVE NUTRITION, AND PURSUING A M.S. IN NUTRITION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BRIDGEPORT. PERFORMING NUTRITION OFFERS TAILORED PROGRAMS FOR MEN AND WOMEN OF ALL SIZES AND BACKGROUNDS LOOKING TO LOSE FAT, GET STRONGER AND BECOME ALL AROUND HEALTHIER.
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