Knowing what to eat to help you reach your health and fitness goals can be an absolute minefield.
Opinions vary massively depending on who’s giving it and more often than not what they are trying to sell you.
So let me look to simplify things so you can at least know where to begin.
When I sit down for the first time with most (not all) new clients, it’s clear from what they tell me about when they describe what there typical day of food looks like there is a distinct lack of one macronutrient, protein.
Now depending on who you are and what your goals are, there is no set amount to consume on average per day.
Remember, I always say you are the result of your average day and protein consumption is no different.
Consistency is the key.
As I just said there is no blanket amount, but let’s say you are a busy corporate executive looking to improve energy levels and body composition, I’d probably be looking at around 100g – 120g per day for a female, and in the region of 140g – 180g per day if you were male.
These are pretty rough numbers that will be dependant on a few factors but as a general guide the would be appropriate for most people.
Meal frequency is a personal choice, as long as total calories and protein levels are the same it doesn’t really matter if you have 3, 4, 5, meals per day.
I would however mention probability.
Start with the end in mind and work backwards.
So for example if you are a male wanting to consume 140g – 180g per day you are much more likely to achieve it with smaller, more frequent meals.
3 meals per day equates to 50g – 60g of protein per meal, which although it is possible having that amount every single meal can become a problem after a while.
So 4 or even 5 meals might be more appropriate in terms of consistency.
Would you be more likely to eat 4 meals of 35g – 45g per meal rather than 50g – 60g per meal, only you can answer that.
Protein comes in many forms but the most common are meat, fish, eggs, etc.
You have what I call lean protein options which are chicken, turkey, etc with no skin or tune in brine/water.
Which is basically just protein, little fat and carbs.
A really good option is your calories are limited.
You also have protein that come with fat which includes beef, lamb, pork, etc.
Good amounts of protein but higher in calories because of the fat that comes with it.
I’d recommend a balance of both options for most people.
Where to begin?
Start by getting yourself familiar with how much protein you are taking in per day.
Tracking your food intake for a week or so will give you a good idea.
See how your intake compares to the general recommendations I stated above and adjust accordingly.
As a general rule of thumb, ask yourself the following question for each and every meal…
“Where is my protein?”
Not only does protein help your body repair and recover from training, it helps you feel fuller for longer and can help control calorie consumption.
Finally, you may have heard that too much protein is bad for you or specifically for your kidneys.
This has only been proven to be the case if you have a pre-existing condition in which case I’d recommend you seek advice from your own healthcare professional.
Thanks for reading, have a great day.
Do you need confidential help with your health, fitness or nutrition? I have a range of services available, with Personal Training in my Private Gym in Manchester, also at your home or workplace in the surrounding areas. For clients further afield, I provide Online Personal Training, Nutritional Consultancy & Private Fitness Holidays.