How Much Protein Should I Eat?

POSTED BY Erika Schultz, Denver Acupuncturist, Nutritionist | Feb, 08, 2017 |
egg protein

Protein is key to weight management, brain health, and energy

Right amounts of protein in your diet is crucial for tissue growth, maintenance and repair. Protein is the key source of amino acids which help your body to process fats and carbohydrates which in turns ensures you are metabolizing nutrients properly and maintaining healthy weight. If you want lean up and get rid of unwanted fat, you HAVE to shrink your fat cells.  Protein also contains B complexes that are crucial for energy and vitality.

With protein you want to select the healthiest sources as much as possible- this means selecting organic, grass-fed and antibiotic/nitrate free. The list below shows sources and the amount in a single serving.

Natural sources of protein:

EGGS ( 1 medium size ) 6 grams 

MILK (raw is best; 1 pint or 568ml) 19 grams; MILK ( 1 glass ) 6.3 grams   

FISH (cod fillets 100g or 3.5 ounces ) 21 grams 

CHEESE ( raw is best; cheddar 100g or 3.5 ounces ) 25 grams   

ROAST BEEF ( 100g or 3.5 ounces ) 28 grams   

ROAST CHICKEN ( 100g or 3.5 ounces ) 25 grams   

OTHER MEATS (100g or 3.5 ounces) 25 grams   

GRASS-FED COLLAGEN (2 scoops) 18 grams

Processed sources/meat products (choose nitrate & antibiotic free):

Sausages (100g or 3.5 ounces) 12 grams   

Bacon (100g or 3.5 ounces) 25 grams   

Ham (100g or 3.5 ounces) 18 grams   

Beef burgers – freezer type average(100g ) 20 grams   

Corned Beef (100g or 3.5 ounces) 26 grams   

Luncheon Meat (100g or 3.5 ounces) 13 grams 

Notice that the list contains only foods from animal origin as these are the best sources for high quality protein. Again, choose organic/grass-fed meats for best quality and nutrient levels.

*Foods of plant origin tend to have a lower biological value and therefore different sources must be combined to gain a complete protein source. Therefore all nuts, seeds, legumes and sprouts are to be considered but diets completely void of animal protein are not recommended unless you are making up for it with whole food supplementation.

How much protein should I be eating?

You should be consuming about .7 – .9g per pound of bodyweight. So, if you are 140 pounds you should be getting about 98 – 126 grams of good quality protein or if you want to break it up with your meals. Here is an example of how this could look throughout the day:

Breakfast: 20-30g of protein

Snack: About 10-15g of protein

Lunch: 20-30g of protein

Snack: About 10-15g of protein

Dinner: 20-30g of protein

The amount of protein you consume depends on your activity levels, stress levels, current state of health, and  goals (if you want to gain more muscle stay close to the .9g per pound), if you want to lean up, stay closer to .7g per pound but don’t even eat under this amount as increased muscle helps to burn fat.

Now, you might be thinking that this is a lot of protein, but consider that there needs to be a strategy for the lingering and stubborn fat that has been difficult to lose and calorie reduction will backfire as adrenal glands get stressed with blood sugar fluctuations. When adrenals are stressed it becomes more and more difficult to burn fat.

Truth is, it’s hard to eat too much protein, especially when you consume high-quality protein sources in the form of real food (grass-fed beef, organic chicken, wild-caught seafood, pastured eggs, etc… ideally or protein shake with grass-fed whey, egg-white protein, brown rice protein, gelatin, etc…)

Here is a great source for healthy meats that can be delivered right to your doorstep. They also area great resource for organ meats which are some of the most nutrient dense of all animal proteins.

Protein is metabolically easy to digest and assimilate- unlike processed carbs and excess fat (mostly polyunsaturated)- it’s nearly impossible to gain weight eating too much of it.

Protein has positive effects on satiation, calorie consumption, weight management, and metabolism, BUT you only receive those benefits if you eat enough of it every day.

Sometimes it’s only a matter of adding in 20 or 30 grams of extra per day. So examine your protein counts/sources in your food log; count them up so you can see how much you are eating currently and then try increasing it by 10g per day until you reach the ideal amount and are eating it comfortably. 

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