Plus 10 high-protein foods to have on hand at all times!
At the time of writing this, I’m in my 3rd trimester of pregnancy, and recently saw that getting 70-100 grams of protein a day can help with baby’s brain development. So, I wanted to give it a try… Which meant actually tracking my protein intake.
Increasing protein is also guidance that I give 90% of my clients!
So, why should YOU potentially be eating more protein?
- Protein helps us hold onto lean muscle and repairing tissues. When we have more muscle, we’re burning more fat.
- Protein helps us feel satiated, which helps us maintain a balanced appetite and not feel overly hungry all the time.
- Protein helps make antibodies that help our body fight disease.
*Heads-up* If you’ve ever seen content from me, you know I’m anti-counting, anti-diet and anti-obsession when it comes to food. I want to speak to you if you struggle (or have struggled in the past) with over-obsessing about eating.
- I don’t recommend tracking ANYTHING until you’ve healed your relationship with food and body. Book a complimentary discovery call with me for my best suggestion about where to start and any resources I can send.
- Even though I’m using MFP (my fitness pal) I don’t pay attention to the daily calories. I also don’t try to be perfect. This is why I have a 30-gram range I’m shooting for! Lastly, I’m also not worrying about my other macros (fat and carbs).
- If you decide to try tracking your protein, I want you to be super mindful of how you are doing mentally. I also suggest giving yourself 1-2 days a week that you are not tracking at all. The weekend is fine! It doesn’t mean you’re going to just eat donuts all weekend. It just means you are going to give yourself the mental break from tracking every single thing you eat.
- This blog is not meant to be a prescribed diet or medical advice. Always consult your medical professional before making major changes to your food routine.
Ok, soap box over.
Here’s How to Get in 70-100g of Protein Every Day
STEP 1: Download the My Fitness Pal App and Set Your Goals
- Go to Goals-Nutrition Goals-Calorie & Macro Goals.
- You have to enter a number for daily calories. To get this number, you can use this macro calculator.
- In the macro calculator, don’t choose more than 1lb of weight loss per week!
- Enter the calorie amount from that page into your MFP goals.
- Set your Macronutrient Percentage goal in MFP.
- I recommend about 25-30% protein, 25-30% fat, and 45-55% carbohydrates. It all has to add up to 100% 😉. Once you have the percentages set, you’ll see how many grams per day of each is required. Make sure your protein goal comes out to at least 70g.
STEP 2: Start Tracking Your Daily Intake
- Track everything you eat and drink.
You might want to dismiss a food thinking it doesn’t have protein, but you’d be surprised at the protein content of unassuming foods like blueberries, brussels sprouts or avocado!
- Don’t try to hit your protein goal right away.
Chances are, your current routine is hitting under 70g. You don’t want to go from 0 to 100 with protein. You can build it up slowly to give your body and digestive system a chance to adjust (hint: too much too fast can cause constipation or other digestive issues).
- Try to eat 3-5 meals or snacks a day.
This is the only way I’m hitting my goal. Again, I’m pregnant, so it’s not comfortable for me to eat 3 big meals a day. I have to do small meals and 2 snacks. Do what works for you and your lifestyle.
But 3 meals and 1-2 snacks is a great way to get protein throughout the day in general.
STEP 3: Maximize Protein at Every Meal and Snack
Think about the protein source first when you’re choosing your meals and snacks. If you are eating 5x a day, each meal or snack can average 15-20g of protein.
Aim for real food as much as possible, as opposed to drinking 3 protein shakes a day 😆
Good options to have on hand are Rx bars, power crunch bars, PB2 protein powder, greek yogurt, string cheese, deli turkey, cooked chicken, nuts, etc. See below for a full list of great high protein foods.
Example of What I Eat in a Day to get 70-100g of Protein:
- 1 eggs
- 1 protein waffle with syrup and butter
- ½ cup blueberries
- 1 link of chicken andouille sausage from Whole Foods
- Total Protein – 27.6g
- Homemade protein shake
- Oat Milk
- PB2 Performance Protein Powder
- 2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
- Total Protein – 20g
- 5.3 oz Plain Greek Yogurt
- ½ cup raspberries
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ Cup Baby Carrots
- Total Protein – 16g
- 1 Chicken Thigh
- 1 cup roasted baby potatoes
- 1 cup steamed broccoli
- Total protein – 24g
TOTAL PROTEIN FOR THE DAY: 100.6g
*notice how… I still ate cookies. I ate chicken thigh not breast, I had regular unmeasured butter and syrup with my waffle!
Moral of the story, it’s totally possible to eat more protein when you’re intentional about it at each meal and snack.
Also moral of the story, I should have eaten even more vegetables in that example day lol. I hope this was helpful. You’ve totally got this!
I’ll leave you with this bonus list…
Bonus List: 10 high protein foods and snacks to have on hand:
- Nut butter
- Pre-prepped proteins like chicken, tuna salad, tofu, roasted chickpeas, etc.
- Legumes (beans and peas), quinoa, nuts, seeds, and soy products like tofu, tempeh, and edamame are great sources of protein.
- Consider using protein powder as a supplement. It’s great for on the go like making a shake as a snack, or adding to baking recipes, yogurt or oatmeal!
- Lean jerky
- Nutritional yeast
- Hard boiled eggs
- Protein bars as a snack on the go
- Plain greek yogurt
- String cheese