If you’re trying to add protein to your diet to help you lose weight, the goal is to enjoy protein-rich foods in place of carby options, not in addition to what you’re currently eating. Eating more lean protein and fewer carbohydrates is one way to feel fuller while you’re following a calorie-reduced eating plan.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
The National Academy of Sciences has set the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for protein at 10 to 35 percent of their daily calories from protein or 45 grams per day for women and 52 grams for men. Most experts these days believe that a diet with that amount of protein and having much more carbohydrates may be less effective for losing and maintaining weight loss.
A lot of experts now recommend about twice as much protein as the DRI. Others suggest that we should try to get 1 gram of protein per pound of lean tissue. In either case, eating more protein doesn’t mean that you can just add more meat, milk, yogurt and chicken to your diet; it means you need to reduce the amount of carbohydrates and fat to achieve an energy balance.
The body best uses protein when it’s divided into 25-30 gram servings. If you eat more than 30 grams protein at one time, your body can’t process that much and it’s likely to be stored as body fat. I suggest obtaining 25 grams at breakfast and lunch and up to 30 grams at dinner. That how we create our breakfast, lunch and dinner options in our monthly meal plans.
For some of my favorite go-to protein-rich recipes, try these:
10 Ways to use Greek yogurt
Best Sources of Quality Protein
The best way to meet your protein needs is to consume a variety of protein-rich foods. As a general rule, you don’t need to seek out protein-fortified foods to meet your requirements. If you do choose protein-fortified options, be sure to make sure it’s a healthy choice and not rich in added sugars.
|Food||Serving Size||Protein Content (grams)|
|Greek yogurt||1 cup||24|
|Veggie Burger||1 patty||15|
|Cottage cheese||½ cup||14|
|Regular Yogurt||1 cup||12|
|Egg, medium||1 whole||6|
|Peanut butter||1 T||4|