Are you eating enough protein? Prolly not!
If you've done a nutrition challenge or 1:1 nutrition coaching with us, you might remember that we typically suggest you eat at least 0.7g of protein per pound of bodyweight each day (maybe more, depending on your fitness goals; or less, if you're more than 25 lb above your "target" bodyweight). That means that if you weigh 180 lbs, for example, you're aiming for at least 180*0.7 = 126 grams of protein each day.
This isn't just because we want to make your life difficult. There are so many reasons why adequate protein intake is important - including retaining and building muscle. Trying to grow your ? You need protein for that. Want to PR your back squat? Protein. Simply trying to lose a little weight? Protein plays a role in that too.
It’s one thing to know you need to eat more protein. Or even to know what foods have protein in them. But if you’re aiming for a certain amount each day and still not hitting that goal… how can you - practically speaking - increase your protein intake?!
Here are 5 of our favorite tips for getting more protein:
Slightly increase serving sizes throughout the day. (For example, if you normally eat 4 oz of chicken breast, try bumping that up to 5 or 6.) It doesn’t make a huge difference at any given meal, and may not “feel” that different, but it adds up over the course of the day.
Have a protein source with every meal and snack. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself making up for lost ground! This doesn’t mean you have to get rid of the snacks you love - you can simply add to them. For example, if you love pretzels, pair them with some deli meat or jerky. (Adding protein to snacks also makes them a lot more satiating.)
Add protein powder to smoothies or overnight oats. This is especially helpful if you’re always on the go. (Smoothies are also a great way to increase our fruits and vegetables - a win win!)
Try to choose higher-protein grain products. These are typically the ones with seeds or whole grain. (For example, Dave’s Killer Bread English muffins have 6g of protein each!)
Try nutritional yeast! It has a cheesy taste to it, and a lot of our vegetarian and vegan clients incorporate it by sprinkling it onto snacks (such as popcorn). A 2-tbsp serving typically has about 8g of protein.