How to Eat Enough Protein
When most people start trying to eat healthier or lose weight they focus on what foods to eliminate and what foods to avoid first.
Instead of focusing on what to avoid, we highly suggest you focus on first adding healthy, nutritious food to your diet first.
That way you are giving your body the fuel it needs to help you look and feel your best.
Why You Should Make Sure to Eat Enough Protein
When most people think protein they usually think about protein as helping to build muscle.
More muscle = higher metabolism and a leaner looking body.
However, protein has other really important roles in the body as well.
What Does Protein Do in the Body?
- Growth and repair, not just with muscle recovery but also skin, hair and your organs (want healthy looking skin and hair? Protein is important)
- It’s can be used as an energy source, but it's not usually used nearly as much as carbs and fats
- Vital for hormone production and regulation (having challenges with hormones getting adequate protein is important)
- A vital role in your immune system function
- It helps to keep you feeling satisfied (this is very important if you're trying to lose weight)
As you can see protein is vital for a lot of really important functions in the body.
Helping you stay satisfied is one of the most important practical functions when it comes to changing body composition.
How Often Do You Need to Eat Protein?
Another very important note, the body also has a very fast turn-over rate for protein compared to fats and carbs.
This means that you ideally want a steady supply of proteins throughout the day.
We recommend that someone tries to eat lean protein in proper serving sizes at least 3 times per day fairly evenly spread out.
What Are the Best Sources of Lean Protein?
- Lean cuts of beef such as: extra lean ground beef, lean steaks, roasts
- Lean cuts of pork
- Poultry such as; chicken breast, chicken drumstick (skinless), chicken thighs (skinless), ground turkey
- Game meat
- Fish and Seafood
- Eggs and egg whites
- Cottage cheese
- Greek Yogurt
- Protein powder
- Legumes, beans, and other vegetable-based sources (more on this in a future lesson)
There are all sorts of different options for you to choose from.
It’s important you try to get a variety of sources, not just chicken breast every day.
What is a Proper Serving Size of Protein?
We use a palm size serving as a rough guideline for serving size.
Or a palm size being approximately 1 palm of protein will be around 3-5 ounces of cooked meat or 3/4-1 cup of cottage cheese, Greek Yogurt or vegetable source, 2-3 eggs.
Important to note that 1 palm is a rough starting point. You may need to adjust up or down in serving size based on what you’re experiencing.
Females will typically need 3-6 palm size servings of lean protein per day.
Males will need approximately 6-12 palm size servings of protein throughout a day.
You might need a little more or less depending on your body.
Almost none of our clients starting with us are getting nearly enough protein which is creating challenges with properly regulating food intake.
How to Make it Easier to Eat Enough Protein
- Pre-cook bulk supply of lean protein once or twice per week so you're prepared for the when you get busy
- Look at your current meals and figure out how to tweak them so that you can make sure you get enough lean protein..
- Pick out a couple of meals at restaurants and fast food options that have a proper serving size of lean protein
- If you're struggling to get enough protein in during the day buy a higher quality protein powder (typically the fewer ingredients the better, we will teach you more on this in a daily lesson soon). Whole food sources of protein are always better, but protein powder can help in a pinch
- Pick out lean protein options for each meal and snack so you know ahead of time what you’ll be eating
- Buy pre-cooked sources of protein from the grocery store such as rotisserie chicken (try to avoid processed meat such as lunch meats as much as possible though)