DISCLOSURE: I have partnered with STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen. I have received compensation and product for my participation, but my opinions are my own.
It doesn’t matter where I am in the world … if I’m talking nutrition, people always ask how much protein they should be eating.
It’s particularly true with guys. It’s not usually that they think they’re not eating enough, but that they think they need to eat more. Here’s the problem, guys (and ladies) are eating too much.
Well, too much … at dinner.
But today we’re focusing on just the guys because, after all, it is Men’s Health Month. So back to the question – how much protein should I eat? Well, I’ve been guilty as the next guy to get boxed into an answer to that question. But, to be honest, it’s almost an impossible question to answer and you’ll never box me in again because there are so many variables.
Here are my questions back to you.
What is your total calorie intake?
How about your carb intake?
Are you training? How often? What type of training? Are you new to training or have you been at it for awhile.
What type of protein are you eating?
And the list can go on.
But you know what single factor, in my opinion, is more important than any of these questions above?
How frequently are you eating protein? Protein timing completely trumps total protein intake.
Most people eat about 2/3 of their protein in the evening, very little in the morning and lunch.
While there’s no ‘set’ number of grams that can be digested each meal, most research suggests we should instead eat a fairly equal amount of protein at each meal. You see, we can’t store protein. What that means is what’s not used is excreted. And research suggests protein intake around .25 grams/kg of body weight is ideal. For most people, this is around 20-25 grams per meal (or so).
If you want to figure out your own needs you divide your weight in pounds by 2.2, then multiply that by 0.25. For me, I weigh 210 lbs. Divided by 2.2 gives me about 95 kg. Multiplied by 0.25 is around 24 grams or protein per meal. Again, the key here is per meal. So for me I’d eat 4-5 meals per day each with around 24 grams of protein per serving. Make sense?
Here’s the challenge. Making that happen.
I get that sometimes we don’t have time to prep meals, so if you need a convenient option for delicious, wholesome meals, the new STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen meals are great. Being from Kentucky, I admittedly turned my attention to the Bourbon Steak. With a balance of grains and veggies, it’s awesome. It’s convenient. And it tastes great. In the past I would admittedly turn my nose up at frozen meals, until they made them taste great and now particularly with these higher protein options for guys (and ladies). Kara is partial to the Cilantro Lime Chicken option.
Moral of the story. Your muscles will appreciate the amino acids from the protein.
Your energy levels would appreciate it since protein helps manage the digestion of food…
And so would your afternoon hunger pangs because you’d be fuller than if you simply loaded up with carbs.
The question then turns from how much protein should I eat to “what should I eat if trying to get protein throughout the day? It’s easy at night, but harder for earlier meals.” Maybe bring a STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen Meal to work for lunch. It’s an easy alternative to fast food.
The key to consistency and eating protein throughout the day vs. a protein bomb all at once is planning ahead. Plan to try to this for lunch at work. Maybe enjoy some cottage cheese and fruit in the morning or for snacks.
And you can then eat a high quality, consistent amount of protein throughout the day vs. waiting to eat it all at once in the evening.
Free Recipe Book:10 Crazy Fast 'N Healthy Weeknight Meals