High protein diets are all the rage for weight loss and muscle-building. Grocery stores have an ever-growing assortment of products loaded up with it lining the selves. But how much protein do we really need?
Probably not nearly as much as you think!
Protein is an essential macronutrient that is necessary for a number of functions in the body. It is not, however, a magic bullet that will make you stronger and drop major poundage. I promise you don’t have to rush to slug down some overpriced smoothie after a lifting session. It’s not going to get you jacked, instead it could be the reason you’re not losing weight. Many gym smoothies pack a massive calorie punch and lead to an excess of calories in your day causing weight gain.
So how much protein do you really need?
There is no one size fits all answer. Much like daily calorie requirements, your protein needs are dependent on different factors such as age and activity level. In general its recommended that Adults get 10-35% of your daily calories from it, or .36 grams per pound of bodyweight. That is roughly 46 grams for an average sedentary women and 56 grams for the average sedentary man.
What? I don’t need to eat my bodyweight in protein?
Nope, calm down, put down all the meat
Are you pregnant, nursing, or extremely active? If so then you will need a little more than the average recommended amount. Most people, even if they need a little more, get plenty of protein in a normal day of eating without even trying. Here is an example:
Breakfast: 1 cup of oatmeal with 1/2 cup of skim milk and blueberries = 11g
Lunch: Boca Burger and chips = 20g
Snack: Apple with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter = 5g Total protein = 63g
Dinner: 1/2 cup of tofu, 1 cup of cooked quinoa, and broccoli = 20g
Dessert: 1/2 cup of frozen yogurt with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter = 7g
Gasp! No meat in site. Eating more protein does not equal EAT ALL THE MEAT. Non meat eaters can get there daily recommended allowance just as easily as carnivores.
Good sources of protein
lean meats and fish Dairy Beans ,Legumes Nuts and Seeds
Chicken breast Eggs Lentils Nut Butters
salmon Milk Black beans Almonds
Tuna Cottage cheese Kidney beans Cashews
Pork tenderloin Greek Yogurt Garbanzo beans Sunflower seeds
Beef mozzarella Split peas Pumpkin seeds
Canadian style bacon Cheddar, Swiss Lima beans Quinoa
Lamb Parmesan Pinto beans Brown rice
- Protein, like most things in life, should be consumed in moderation. To much of any one thing is never a good thing.
- Get your protein from quality sources
- You don’t need to be a carnivore to get adequate amounts
- You don’t need to buy expensive protein powders to build muscle
For a great high protein treat try my Oreo energy bites! Vegan, high protein, high fiber, protein powder free