how to hit protein targets?

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When you’re first starting out with tracking macros, protein is usually the toughest macro to hit. Not to brag but Macros Made Easy students who started the course just about 3 weeks ago are already mastering nailing this one on a regular basis, tho. ⁣

Embracing these tips can sure be helpful in getting your protein intake up there. And it’s a good thing too, cuz protein is used in so many ways by the body!⁣

>> We use protein to make enzymes and cofactors, to transport important nutrients in the blood throughout the body, serve as the building blocks for hair, nails, skin, bones, joints and ligaments, and so much more!⁣⁣
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>> Protein is a satiating macronutrient – meaning you feel more full when you eat meals with protein in them. So, if you find yourself craving, reaching for a snack after you’ve JUST finished eating a meal, lack of protein might be the reason!⁣⁣
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>> As long as you’re eating enough protein while in a calorie maintenance phase, you’ll maximize lean muscle growth on your frame. What results is a stronger, more athletic looking physique. ⁣⁣
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>> As long as you’re eating enough protein while in a calorie deficit phase, you’ll maintain lean muscle on your frame while giving your body gentle direction to use body fat to supply energy. What results is a leaner looking physique. ⁣⁣
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And even though protein has SO many crucial jobs in the body, most people, especially active women, are undereating their needs. In fact, most times I calculate macros, I am recommending someone “eat up!” – especially on protein – to achieve their goals. And here’s how you can do it!

find your checkpoint macros

Instead of thinking about hitting your protein macro total, consider breaking the number into “checkpoints” that you’ll aim to hit by each meal. To get the greatest benefit from protein, it’s important to “dose it” throughout the day.

Here’s how you find your protein checkpoint: imagine your typical day and total the number of meals you usually like to have. Take your total protein macro goal and divide it by however many meals you like to have. This is your “check point” macro.

Use this number as a rough goal to hit by each meal. It’s much easier to hit a 25-35 g protein goal, 3-4 times per day than it is to hit the same macro goal in 2 meals with giant portions of food and “catch up” snacks snuck in throughout.

braindump some favorite protein rich foods

Sometimes we simply “go blank” when it comes to planning meals – we can’t seem to remember which foods have protein in them, let alone which foods we like and want to actually eat.

It is helpful brain dump your favorite protein rich foods if you’re having trouble hitting your protein goals on a regular basis. Use these resources at your disposal to craft a list of about 7-10 protein rich foods you could create meals from.

Be sure that some of your protein-rich foods are pantry safe, some are meant to be refrigerated, and some that could be frozen for later. Access this list when you’re planning your grocery trip!

Animal Protein Sources

  • beef – whole cuts, ground, jerky
  • chicken + turkey – whole cuts, wings, ground
  • pork – whole cuts, ground
  • ham, Canadian bacon
  • beef, pork or poultry sticks + jerky
  • wild game meats – whole cuts, ground, jerky
  • fish + seafood – canned, fresh, frozen
  • eggs + egg whites
  • dairy or egg based protein powder
  • Greek yogurt
  • Greek style kefir
  • cottage cheese
Vegetarian Protein Sources
 
  • fish + seafood – canned, fresh, frozen
  • eggs + egg whites
  • egg, rice, pea, soy, hemp protein powder
  • Greek yogurt, Greek style kefir, cottage cheese
  • cheese
  • nuts + seeds, nut + seed butters
  • beans, lentils, peas + products made from these
  • edamame, tofu, tempeh
  • nutritional yeast
  • whole grains: quinoa, wild rice, oats, barley, couscous, millet, kamut
  • meat alternative products: Quorn, Gardein, Impossible Foods, Field Roast + Beyond Meat

Vegan Protein Sources

  • fish + seafood – canned, fresh, frozen
  • eggs + egg whites
  • egg, rice, pea, soy, hemp protein powder
  • Greek yogurt, Greek style kefir, cottage cheese
  • cheese
  • nuts + seeds, nut + seed butters
  • beans, lentils, peas + products made from these
  • edamame, tofu, tempeh
  • nutritional yeast
  • whole grains: quinoa, wild rice, oats, barley, couscous, millet, kamut
  • meat alternative products: Quorn, Gardein, Impossible Foods, Field Roast + Beyond Meat
 

plan to prep ahead

Protein containing foods can be some of the more time-consuming foods to prepare to eat. Make it easier on yourself and prep ahead of time. BONUS: if you prep protein in bulk, it can be used in multiple dishes and easily tracked. Here are some ideas:

  • ground turkey cooked – add to salads, tacos, marinara
  • shredded pork cooked – add to a burrito bowl, lettuce wraps, egg skillet
  • diced chicken – add garlic, oregano, lemon, dill for a Mediterranean style dish, or basil, oregano, rosemary, parsley for an Italian style dish at the time of cooking
  • black beans – add to a bowl with grains and vegetables, add to salads, smash to make a dip for vegetables or spread on wraps or rice cakes
  • edamame pasta – add to tuna salad, serve with a vegetable rich marinara, add to soup

make high protein swaps for common foods you already eat

Higher protein versions of your favorite food exist everywhere if you know where to look for them. By making some swaps to the brands you regularly shop, you might be able to sneak an extra 20-30 grams into your day.

We have the ability to make products from all kinds of food components. We can create dough from legumes and seeds! We can boost the protein component of milk or even add the protein-containing parts of plants to other products.

add protein supplements where necessary

Sometimes it’s necessary to fill gaps in our nutrition with supplements. Protein powders and protein bars can absolutely be a part of an eating pattern that is based mostly in whole real foods.

Rather than mix protein powder in water or scarf down a protein bar between meals, we recommend creating macro balanced meals by eating other foods in conjunction with the supplement. For example, combining frozen banana + nut butter + vanilla protein in a smoothie packs a lot more nutrition than protein powder by itself.

I know protein can be tough to hit, especially if you’re just starting to become aware of your current intake. Don’t get frustrated – stick it out! and peep these tips to make it easier. ⁣

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