I’ve been on a mission lately to eat more protein. I’m trying to build more strength and improve my weightlifting technique, which means I gotta fuel those muscles! A couple really interesting things I’ve learned on my weightlifting/higher protein journey so far:
- Strength training makes me HUNGRY
- It’s actually a lot easier to hit my protein goals than I thought!
Once I figured out which high-quality sources of protein worked for me, it became a lot easier to plan out my meals. I’ll show you what I mean! Here are my favorite ways to boost protein, and the serving sizes you need to get 20 grams of protein!
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What Does 20g Of Protein Look Like?
Here’s what 20 grams of protein looks like from some of my favorite foods:
1. Chicken – 3 oz = 21g protein
2. Salmon – 4 oz = 24g protein
3. Eggs – 4 large = 24g protein
4. Lentils – 1 cup cooked = 18g protein
5. Tofu – 8 oz = 24g protein
6. Black Beans – 1 1/2 cups = 21g protein
7. Chickpeas – 1 1/2 cups = 21g protein
8. Nutritional Yeast – 2/3 cup = 21g protein
9. Peanut Butter – 5 Tbsp = 20g protein
See how EASY it is to get a lot of protein from certain foods?! You probably also noticed that nutritional yeast and peanut butter have pretty large serving sizes to hit 20 grams of protein. You might use portions that large if you’re cooking with those foods, but I thought it was cool to see that even much smaller portions of those “add-ins” can give my meal a decent boost of protein!
Why 20 grams?
Once you know your protein goals, setting a goal to get at least 20 grams per meal is just a good place to start! You may find that you actually need more or less. But knowing what 20 grams LOOKS like will help you plan protein into your meals to meet your goals.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
The amount of protein you need every day depends on YOUR body and YOUR goals.
The recommended daily amount (RDA) for the average healthy person is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight, OR 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.
If you want to lose weight, some studies show that getting 25-30 percent of your calories from protein helps with satiety and fullness, and could increase your metabolism a little.
If you’re extremely active and/or want to gain muscle, a common recommendation is up to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight (or 2.2 grams per kilogram).
There are a lot of ways you can go about figuring out your protein needs and it’s verrrrry personal. If you’re not sure where to start, focus on getting high-quality protein like the sources listed above!
What are your go-to ways to boost protein? Tell me in the comments!