This is one thing that every client wants to know: “How much protein do I need?”
The thing is, there’s no one set answer. But I can tell you what the answer is NOT. It is NOT 1g of protein for every pound of body weight. This is way too much, and I promise- you don’t need that much. Yes, protein is a nutrient, and it can do amazing things for your body. But stop driving yourself crazy trying to get an absurd amount of protein! It’s not necessary, and it’s not physically or mentally healthy.
Determining Your Needs
‘Well that’s great, Amanda, but then please tell me how much to get!’ I get it! You want numbers. Hard and fast facts. But it just doesn’t work that way.
Are you male or female?
How old are you?
How active are you?
How hungry are you?
All of these questions will determine your protein needs, and even more. So I can’t give you a great answer here. But I can give you a place to start and some tips for getting the right amount for YOU!
Where to Start?
A great place to start is by taking half your body weight and getting that number in grams of protein per day. If we’re counting. I’m not a fan of counting. But for those of you who need numbers- start there!
If your meals are satisfying enough, or you’re really active, or you’re pregnant- add more until you’re satisfied.
If you’re struggling to reach this number without feeling stuffed, then cut back.
Yep… it’s that simple.
Getting Enough Protein
Don’t get me wrong here… protein is very important. It literally should be in every meal. In small or large portions, doesn’t matter (whichever is best for you). But it needs to be in every meal.
Follow these tips to make sure you’re getting enough!
- Include at least one food from at least one of the following food groups in every meal and snack: dairy, meat, fish, eggs, nuts/legumes.
- Choose ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, or greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt.
- Eat a carb and protein before AND after every workout
- Increase protein at breakfast with eggs, protein powder, nut butter, hummus, avocado, or quinoa.
- Choose beans/legumes and whole grains for starches instead of vegetables or refined grains.
- Add nonfat plain greek yogurt to sauces to make them creamy and higher protein. You can also add ricotta to make it cheesy and increase protein.
If you’d like more snack ideas, you’re in luck! In my free download: The Tired Mom’s Ultimate Snack Guide, I go into detail on creating the perfect snack, which yes includes protein, AND I give you a full list! Even if you’re not a mom, I encourage you to read this. You’ll get some great ideas!