It can be a challenge to consume enough protein in your day to day diet. Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue, and it also helps to keep us feeling full and satisfied.
I personally struggled so much with body aches and muscle repair when I wasn’t consuming enough protein. It improved substantially as I incrementally increased amounts of protein into my daily diet. Additionally, despite the fact that I ate in volume, it was mainly carbs and I felt hungry soon after eating. Protein is very satiating so I felt fuller longer!
These are the reasons why I am so passionate about sharing this with women who are just like me. I’m going to share some tips and tricks for how to eat more than 100g of protein including meat and dairy sources. Please ensure to consult your doctor or physician before starting any type of dietary changes.
HOW MUCH PROTEIN SHOULD ONE EAT?
First, let’s talk about the main question most people ask me: “How much protein should I eat?”.
It’s an important question, yet there is no one number for everyone across the board. Not even a bracket.
However, I can say that as we have worked with various people over the years in our Soul Fit Nutrition Program, individuals who are averaging 40-60 grams per day are not eating enough. That lack of protein is wreaking havoc on their health in numerous ways.
In order to know more about how much you need to be consuming, consult with a Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist. Unfortunately, online calculators and apps are “AI” (Artificial Intelligence) so be wary before you use one and attempt to hit those numbers. I would highly recommend an educated, experienced human to find the right set of numbers for macronutrients for you to aim for. Definitely do not follow someone else’s macros goals, even if they have similar age, height, weight etc. (We have Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists on staff and you can work with them in our nutrition programs!)
HOW TO CONSUME MORE PROTEIN
On top of finding out how much protein to eat, you need to figure out how you will do that.
First, it’s critical to know how much you are consuming on average. I would suggest for you to track your food intake via a free food diary app. By tracking everything you consume for 7 days, you will see days with higher amounts and days with lower amounts; average that out.
Let’s say that average is 55 grams of protein per day and let’s say you find out your ideal amount is 100g. It’s important to not intake 50 grams of protein right off the bat. It needs to be done incrementally. I’d suggest consuming 5-10 grams more each day or every few days. This is another reason working with a human coach on a consistent basis is a smart choice. They can help you strategize not only on what the right amount is, but getting you there day to day, week to week because that is the hardest part!
An easy way to consume more protein is by incorporating more meat into your diet. Meat is a great source of protein! Between chicken, turkey, and lean cuts of beef or pork, you’ve got lots of options. Don’t forget about bison and venison! Get creative with how you make your meats. There are some great variations like Instapots and Airfryers on top of baking or grilling. Buy a variety of seasonings so that you can change the flavor profile of your dishes to prevent boredom!
Here are some example of certain meats with rough estimates of how many grams of protein they have:
- 4 ounces of cooked chicken breast= 36g
- 4 ounces of cooked ground turkey= 19g
- 4 ounces of a ham steak= 18g
- 4 ounces of ground bison= 23g
Another great source of protein is dairy. Milk, yogurt, and cheese are all excellent sources of protein. More and more people are learning how dairy affects their gastrointestinal system so ensure you are aware of side effects like bloat, gas and diarrhea. If you are like me, you can tolerate it in moderation. I couldn’t drink milk daily or have ice cream on the regular, but I would honestly be lost without my greek yogurt, cottage cheese and Babybell cheese wheels! Each of them play a helpful role in getting me to my goal of protein intake whether it’s a snack or part of a main meal.
Here are some example of certain dairy products with rough estimates of how many grams of protein they have:
- 1 cup of Plain Greek yogurt 2%= 23 g
- 1 cup of Cottage cheese 2%= 26g
- 1 cup of Low Fat Ricotta Cheese= 20g
- 1 wheel of Babybell Cheese: 5g
In addition to meat and dairy, don’t forget about seafood! I love mixing in some fresh fish into my dinners every week to change it up! My go-tos are Cod and Salmon. Whether we grill it, air fry it or bake it, it’s a great way to get a lot of protein but not too heavy compared to red meat. Keep in mind how much butter or oil you add to your seafood!
Here are some example of certain seafood choices with rough estimates of how many grams of protein they have:
- 4 ounces of cooked Wild Salmon= 25g
- 4 ounces of cooked Cod= 20g
- 4 ounces of cooked Scallops= 14g
- 4 ounces of cooked Lobster meat= 17g
I also wanted to mention nuts and some other fun sources for additional bumps of protein in your day to day life. Be cautious with nuts as they are tasty and a few ‘handfuls’ can add up quickly! While nuts can be a good source of protein, they also pack quite a bit of fat. Yes, it’s the good fats, but you can still eat too much of a good thing. I’m a pasta lover, so I love to incorporate pasta into my dinners a few nights a week. I traded my white pasta for the chickpea pasta so not only am I increasing the protein content but also increasing my fiber!
Here are some example of certain nuts, pastas and other choices with rough estimates of how many grams of protein they have:
- ¼ cup of Cashews= 5g
- ¼ cup of Walnuts= 5g
- 3 ounces Chickpea Pasta dry= 18g
- 1 cup Shelled Edamame= 13g
- 1 cup Soy Milk= 6g
- 1 scoop Plant Based Protein Powder= 17-21g
My last bit of advice in the attempt to consume more protein is to do what I call “front load” your day. Meaning don’t just have coffee for breakfast or just a muffin. Start with eggs or greek yogurt. Also, don’t get too tied up in food labels; I’ve been known to eat a bison burger for breakfast or scrambled eggs for dinner! Getting your snacks to include protein will also help instead of just going for crackers or cookies, add in protein! Boiled eggs, cottage cheese and peanut butter are my favorites! By peppering in protein throughout the day, you will find it much easier to hit your goals versus cramming it all in for dinner.
Before you go and eat allllll the meat, it’s important to note that consuming too much protein can have negative effects on your health. So, it’s always best to consult with a dietician or physician before making any significant changes to your diet.
Overall, incorporating more meat, dairy, seafood and nuts into your diet is a great way to increase your protein intake. By following these tips and incorporating these foods into your meals, you can easily consume more than 100g of protein per day.
If you want to learn more about the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) be sure to check out my Nutrition Webinar “How to Change the Shape and Size of Your Body with Food”. I hold it occasionally and would love to have you join it via zoom for approximately 30 minutes. You will learn so much and be able to apply it immediately to your life. Get in touch with me here to learn the next day and time!
And if you’d like to learn more, check out this Coffee with Coach Brandy video: All About Protein!