Protein Sources: This or That
For most women, protein seems to be the most challenging macronutrient to eat each day. Believe it or not, simply increasing your protein consumption daily will most likely result in a loss on the scale and significant changes to body composition. Protein helps build and repair muscle, it helps prevent muscle loss when in a calorie deficit, it is the slowest macronutrient to digest (which helps burn more calories), and it keeps you fuller, longer. Chances are if you’re not keeping an eye on your protein intake you’re probably falling short. Let’s talk about how much protein you should be eating each day, compare some typical protein sources.
Ideally, you should be eating 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Now this may seem extremely high for some of you, so I suggest starting small and maybe working up to 1 gram per pound of your goal body weight.
The next question is, what does 140 grams of protein look like?
Here are some of the easiest protein-packed whole foods to consume and an idea of how many grams per serving you’re likely to be eating.
Average Serving Sizes & Macros
|Boneless, skinless chicken breast||100g (raw weight)||23P/0C/1F|
|Ground Beef-85/15||100g (raw weight)||18P/0C/15F|
|Ground Turkey-93/7||100g (raw weight)||19.4P/0C/7.1F|
|Salmon||100g (raw weight)||20P/0C/13F|
|Shrimp||100g (raw weight)||13.2P/0C/0.9F|
|Egg Whites||3 Tbs.||5P/0C/0F|
|Canadian Bacon||4 slices||10P/1C/1.5F|
|Turkey Lunchmeat||2 oz.||9P/4C/1F|
|Black Beans||½ cup cooked||7P/20C/0.5F|
|Lentils||½ cup cooked||9P/20C/0.4F|
|Broccoli||1 cup raw||2.6P/6C/0.3F|
|Fat-Free Cottage Cheese||½ cup||15P/5C/0F|
|Plain, Nonfat Greek Yogurt||½ cup||12P/5C/0F|
Keep in mind you can also increase your protein intake with protein powder and protein bars. These products were created for convenience and shouldn’t be consumed in large quantities. Whole food sources are always best but don’t hesitate to use a scoop of protein powder daily, especially if you’re struggling to consume enough protein.