Focus on Protein
Updated: 3 days ago
Nutrition Challenge: Week 3
Eat whole foods. Less sugar. Less processed foods.
Week 3 Wild-Card Task:
Hit Your Daily Protein! Earn 3 points for every day that you hit your ideal protein intake.
Your ideal protein intake is a range. Find this range by taking your lean body mass in grams of protein (low end of the range) up to your ideal body weight in grams. Determine your lean body mass by this calculator.
For example, Jane is currently 150lb. Say 140lb is her ideal body weight, then her protein intake range would be 108g - 140g of protein daily. (The 108g number was found by the lean body mass calculator)
Tracking: Using an app like MyFitnessPal will be the easiest way to accurately track your protein intake. You need to at least record your protein sources (weighed/measured) but can record other food intake as well (esp consider grains, peas, lentils, dairy, as they have protein as well). If you don't want to use a tracking app you can make notes in your phone or on paper, but then you'll have to do the math to check how many grams of protein you actually ate.
Protein For Breakfast:
Egg/Egg White Veggie Omelette: 2 whole eggs, 1/2 cup egg whites, spinach + veggies of choice (25 g protein)
Baked Egg Whites & Oats: 1/2 cup egg whites, 1/2 cup of oats, cinnamon to taste. Can also add mashed banana (18 g protein)
Protein Oats: 1 scoop protein powder, 1/2 cup of oats (av. 26 g protein)
Greek Yogurt with Berries (av. 18 g protein)
Kodiak Cakes Pancakes, adding milk + 1 egg to batter (21 g protein per 3x4" pancakes)
Greek yogurt with berries (av. 24 g protein)
Protein bar (for the Challenge it must be whole food ingredients) & medium banana (av. 21 g protein)
Light string cheese, beef/turkey jerky (for the Challenge: no additives or artificial sweeteners) & apple (av. 18 g protein)
Tuna pouches & crackers (av. 33 g protein)
2 hard boiled eggs (12 g protein)
Smoked salmon & cucumbers (av. 24 g protein)
Cottage cheese (av. 28 g protein)
Turkey sausage + light cheese (av. 16 g protein)
Plant Based Protein Sources:
Black beans (1 cup = 14 g protein)
Lentils (1 cup = 18 g protein)
Hemp seeds (3 tbsp = 10 g protein)
Pumpkin seeds (1/4 cug = 9 g protein)
Peas (1 cup = 8 g protein)
Chickpeas (1 cup = 12 g protein)
Quinoa (1 cup = 8 g protein)
Meat/Animal Sources to Consider:
Salmon (26 g protein per 100 g)
Bison (21 g protein per 100 g)
Egg (av. 6.3 g protein per egg)
Chicken (23 g protein per 100 g)
Beef (20 g protein per 100 g)
Turkey (22 g protein per 100 g)
Pork (27 g protein per 100 g)
Tuna (30 g protein per 100 g)
Milk (8 g protein per 1 cup) * variety of skim/whole/1% etc only changes fat/calorie content
Cheese (about 7 g protein per ounce, varies by type)
Cottage cheese (1 cup = 30 g protein)
Greek yogurt (2/3 cup = 18 g protein
Cheap Protein Sources:
** All protein amount listed above might vary slightly by brand/kind/cut/serving size etc.
Use the above ideas to increase protein intake of any meal by adding items as toppings or combining different items.
Drink a protein shake: buy pre-made one or buy the powder and mix with liquid (water, almond milk, milk, etc) or even make it into a smoothie with fruit/greens/yogurt/etc (For the Challenge, check your labels for artificial ingredients!)
If you like pasta use lentil or whole grain pasta to add protein to your meal (I buy the POW! brand at Sprouts), great taste, 14 g protein per 2 oz serving)
Buy protein sources in bulk and/or stock up when they are on sale. It can also help to cook a protein source in bulk as a meal prep hack.
Go lean (92%/8%) when you can! Leanest beef cuts include round steaks and roasts (eye of round, top round, bottom round, round tip), top loin, top sirloin, and chuck shoulder and arm roasts. The leanest pork choices include pork loin, tenderloin, center loin, and ham. Boneless skinless chicken breasts and turkey cutlets are the leanest poultry choices.
Choose seafood at least twice a week as the main protein food. Look for seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, and herring
Choose beans, peas, or soy products as a main dish or part of a meal often (black bean enchiladas, veggie burgers, etc)
Check labels! Limit added sodium, avoid nitrates and additives