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Nutritional Goal: Eat Protein with Every Meal

Eat Protein with Every Meal

Last month we made a very simple nutritional goal of getting hydrated each and every day.

And for good reason – we all know the benefits or drinking enough water! 

(Especially those of us who might have been slacking previously…☺)

This month we’re going to focus on what I consider to be another critical aspect of proper nutrition:

Getting enough protein.

Too often, I see people that are putting in great work in the gym, but aren’t seeing the physique changes they’d like, or aren’t recovering well, because they aren’t meeting their protein needs.

So your goal this month is simple:

Eat protein with every meal.

Now the next logical question becomes, “How much protein do I need?” 

Guidelines recommend 1.6-2.2 grams of protein per kilogram bodyweight per day and 20-40 grams per meal. 

Another way to look at this is 1-2 palm sized portions per meal. 

However, breakfast, snacks, and even sometimes lunches can be difficult. 30-40 grams of protein doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s harder than it looks if you don’t plan ahead!

For breakfast, here are some options:

  • Add a scoop of protein powder to your oatmeal,
  • If you like smoothies, add 1-2 scoops of protein or unflavored collagen powder,
  • If you’re cooking eggs, add 2-3 extra egg whites into the mix, or add in some leftover meat from dinner the previous night to make a scramble, or
  • If you have leftover meat from the previous evening, treat it like you would a side item. There’s nothing wrong with having a “normal” breakfast with an extra 2-3 ounces of meat on the side!

For snacks, an easy option is to find a trusty protein powder that you enjoy. 

The final option here (if you’re struggling to keep your protein up) is to simply batch cook a ton of meat on the weekend that you can use intermittently as you need it.

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or snacks, having some fresh chicken, steak or pork that you can consume quickly and easily will go a long way in helping you meet not only your daily protein needs, but balancing that intake across all your meals as well.

Here are some other good sources of lean protein to get you thinking:  

MEAT   

  • Lean/extra-lean cuts of beef
  •  Lamb
  • Lean pork (e.g. pork tenderloin)
  •  Wild game (e.g. venison, elk)

POULTRY

  • Chicken
  • Turkey 
  • Duck
  •  Eggs & egg whites

FISH

  •   Tuna
  •   Salmon Tilapia Cod
  • Haddock Trout
  • Sardines or mackerel

SEAFOOD & SHELLFISH

  • Shrimp (fresh or plain frozen)
  • Mussels, clams, scallops
  • Crab, lobster
  • Squid (calamari) or octopus

DAIRY

  •  Milk
  •  Cottage cheese
  •  Plain yogurt / Greek yogurt
  •  Protein powders (e.g. whey protein)

PLANT BASED

  • Lentils Beans
  • Peas (chickpeas, pigeon peas, etc.)
  • Hummus
  • Tofu, tempeh
  • Vegetarian protein powders (e.g. hemp protein)

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I have developed an approach to exercise motivation that has enabled many average individuals to achieve amazing weight loss, health and fitness results.