How is it already week three of the Elevate challenge?
I hope you are feeling good…and realizing that real change doesn’t have to be restrictive to be meaningful. Last week’s smoothie was a step in the right direction, but now it’s time to power up.
I am going to ask you to eat 15-30 grams of protein at each meal, through to the end of the five week challenge.
Why? Because not only is protein is a critical nutrient for the maintenance and growth of all body tissues, including skin and muscle. It is also an important component of immune function.
But perhaps most strategically, for people looking to restore a healthful, relaxed relationship with food, protein within a meal helps slow down the rate of absorption of sugars in the meal, keeping blood sugar rise more stable and it tends to be more satisfying to the human appetite, although to what extent is still up for scientific debate.
How do you know how much you need?
The official government recommendation for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for an adult. So for a 150lb person (divide lb by 2.2 to get kg), he/she would need 68.2kg x 0.8g = 54.5g of protein per day. A 200lb person would need 73g of protein per day. That is not a lot of protein. Super easy.
However, some research suggests that a higher value for protein intake is beneficial, even for the average joe or jane. Dividing your weight in pounds by 2 will give you the grams of protein recommended under this schema. So a 150lb person needs 75g of protein per day and a 200lb person needs 100g or so of protein a day. We are still not talking crazy amounts. And at this level, I feel like you more adequately harness the appetite and energy-balancing effects of protein.
So…you’ll have to do a bit of mental math here. If all you need is 60 grams a day, you can easily get by on 15 grams per meal (snacks and lower protein foods will top you up!). If you need in the 70-90 gram range, aim for closer to 20 grams per meal. And if you need about 100 grams or more, strive for meals to have 30 grams.
How can I get all this protein??
If you are on a plant-based diet, this is a great list of plant protein sources. For a quick look at options for the omnivore, check out a previous post. And if you are curious about using a protein powder, I’ve got you covered.
Hungry for more? Join me and Jess Pirnak for a FBLive this Tuesday, January 16th at 12:15PM PST for a look at protein sources…and a few protein myths!