Day 105: protein

First up: tomorrow is my Week 2 TDEE project check-in. I am so curious to find out what’s happened this week weight-wise. (No judgements, it’s for science…) Tomorrow morning can’t come fast enough! Now back to regularly scheduled programming…

Protein is essential for muscle maintenance, recovery, and growth. High-protein diets help preserve lean body mass in people losing weight. If you’re strength training, getting enough protein is going to help you lift more, develop strength, and build muscle. Long story short: eat protein.

The standard recommendation for daily protein intake is .8-1g per pound of lean body mass. For most women, that means they should be consuming between 100-150g protein/day. I aim for 130-150g per day, and I hit that most days. I’ve tried a few different protein powders and I’m not thrilled with them in their plain form, so I try to maximize my protein intake through food (put protein powder in a smoothie so it tastes good, and suddenly it’s a meal with a lot of calories, in which case why am I not just eating food?). It’s taken a lot of work to figure out how to get enough protein while still eating within my daily calorie allowance and also ensuring I get to eat the foods I actually want to eat, but one thing I can say for certain is it’s been a whole lot easier since I started intentionally eating more calories. (By the way: you’re probably not eating enough.)

An unintended benefit of eating more calories: even on a carb-heavy day (like today), I can still manage over 100g protein without having to try too hard.

I started a Protein page as a way to keep track of foods that make it easier to hit my protein target. If there are any foods you eat more of to maximize protein please let me know, I’m always willing to try something new.

Here are things I do most days:

1. Breakfast: eggs plus meat plus Dave’s Killer Bread, or a big bowl of greek yogurt with (frozen, this time of year) berries and nut/seed granola.

2. Snacks: low fat string cheese, Greek yogurt, trail mix with soy nuts, hummus (I sub 1/2 the chickpeas with edamame to increase the protein profile… plus it’s a lovely spring green color), apple or banana with PB2.

3. Plan dinner around a protein source. (Lunch is usually leftovers from dinner, so if dinner has enough protein, lunch is easy.)

Fitness today
Miles to Mordor: 0.56
Rest

In search of my TDEE
kCal: 2341

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4 thoughts on “Day 105: protein

  1. I have a hard time getting enough protein according to my body weight, but I’m trying. I love your protein page and will be sure to continue checking it out as you update it! This is great info. My nutrition is my biggest weakness in my training, I think, and I just don’t have the money to hire an RD so I’m always Googling stuff and it just confuses me more! LOL

    • I saw an RD who I loved but I only saw her twice before I moved away. She was awesome– a strong advocate of getting enough protein, exercise, and moderate weight loss. But in two sessions there just wasn’t enough time to tailor my meal plan to the appropriate intake for me, and it ended up being too low-calorie. I’ve increased protein and total calories and feel better. When tracking, I only focus on protein and calories; I don’t care so much about the fat/carbs ratio.

      You can definitely do it without an RD. I like info from Amber Rogers (Go Kaleo), Joshua Kern (Go Maleo), Sean Flanagan, and Matt Stone. They all advocate the same things: get enough calories, get enough protein, eat carbs and fat; and no food is “bad”.

      The thing that’s hardest for me is fitting adequate nutrition around a work schedule. I plan a week’s worth of meals at a time and do the relevant shopping on a day off so I don’t have to think about it at dinner time, and I pack my lunches the night before, including plenty of good snacks. At my last job where I had to be out of the house by 5.30, I even packed my breakfast because my tummy protested when I tried to eat that early.

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