Tip #1 Increase Protein At Breakfast And Lunch
Most people tend to have the majority of their protein at dinner time, this is how it has been since our grandparents ate.
Protein At Breakfast & Lunch
Breakfast and lunch tend to be very low protein, if you start to concentrate on increasing protein at breakfast youll find your daily protein increase dramatically .
Good Sources Of Protein
If your goals are overall better health and weight loss, some protein sources are better than others. Also, if you have dietary restrictions, some forms of protein may be better than others. Here are some of the best protein sources:
Top Your Food With Chopped Almonds
Almonds are incredibly healthy.
Theyre high in magnesium, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, yet low in digestible carbs.
Almonds also contain 6 grams of protein in a 1-ounce serving, which makes them a better source of protein than most nuts .
And although a serving of almonds contains around 170 calories, studies have shown that your body absorbs only about 133 of those calories because some of the fat isnt digested .
So sprinkle a few tablespoons of chopped almonds over yogurt, cottage cheese, salads, or oatmeal to increase your protein intake and add a bit of flavor and crunch.
Almonds are high in several nutrients and can boost the protein content of a meal or snack.
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Figure Out Your Ideal Macronutrient Ratio
Once youve calculated your target daily calorie requirement, its time to estimate what percentage should come from each of the three macronutrient categories. As with most things in the nutrition world, theres no one-size-fits-all recommendation here. Its based on your personal needs while accounting for lifestyle, food preferences, medications you may be taking, past medical history, and even life stage, London says.
For most healthy adults, a useful starting point to consider is the trio of Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges . Developed by the National Academy of Sciences, these are the ranges of macronutrients shown to be associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases. For an adult, the AMDR are:
- Carbs: 4565% of calories
- Fat: 2035% of calories
- Protein: 1035% of calories
These are just general guidelines, London notes. If youre living with a health condition or have other health-related concerns, she advises working with a registered dietitian or your healthcare provider to create a personalized plan. For example, people recovering from surgery may have higher-than-average protein needs; meanwhile, people living with diabetes may have particular considerations for carbohydrate intake.
How Much Protein Do You Need For Weight Loss
Protein;intake is one of the most important variables to pay attention to and manipulate when in weight loss phases. This macronutrient plays a large role in the body and is especially important when available energy is limited due to its ability to help preserve muscle and lean body mass.
In this article, were going to discuss how to manipulate protein intake when in weight loss phases. How much should you increase it? Whats a good protein intake goal to aim for? These are all questions well cover in this article.
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Fitness Apps For Protein Intake Tracking
Some of the examples of good apps for protein intake tracking are apps that help users track their proteins taken throughout the day.4;This can help them in determining whether they are receiving the amount of protein required by their body. These apps provide details like protein quantity taken per hour by the user, calories consumed per meal, and estimated amounts of carbohydrates taken during the day as well.
These apps come with detailed instructions as well, so that the users do not get lost while trying to use them. The instructions on how to use the app clearly indicate which device they should be used on, and other information like language options and other options too. You can get such apps for free, but if you want an expert trainer to guide you through the process, then you will have to pay a reasonable amount. The details about these apps are provided in the resource box at the end of this article. The best part is that these apps are very easy to use and understand, and they can give you a clear idea as to how much protein your body requires.
When you track protein with fitness apps, you can get a better idea of how you can improve your workouts. This allows you to figure out which exercises work best for your body type. For example, if youre tall and light-weighted, youll probably benefit more from high-intensity interval training .6
Situation 2 You’re A Macronutrient Veteran
You’re so well-versed with the art of macro-counting that you can glance at a slab of chicken and pinpoint its weight down to the gram. “That looks like about 134 grams,” you say. And the food scale spits out close to the same number. “I’m going to have 200 g of carbohydrates today,” you think to yourself, and you effortlessly eyeball your way to within three grams of your target intake by the end of the night.
Perhaps you got so good at this because you eat more or less the same foods every day. You’re an extreme creature of habit, and you like to stick with what you know and what you like. This means the same food at the same time, day after day. While I strongly encourage rotating food choices for the sake of covering your nutrients and avoiding food intolerances, if you made the decision to eat this way, then your macros may not teach you much anymore.
This is a skill that takes years to master, and not many of us will fall into this category. Huge kudos if this is you.
Choose A Quality Protein Source
Whey protein from milk has shown the best results for muscle growth. Whey protein is easily digested and contains all essential amino acids needed for muscle growth. Also, milk is a good source of the amino acid leucine, a preferred ingredient for muscle synthesis. Other good sources of leucine include tuna, soybeans, lentils, beef, and salmon. Soy protein is also considered a quality protein source.
Avoid Artificially Sweetened Drinks Including Fruit Juice
Sugar is the leading source of carbohydrates. Therefore, drinks, including fruit juices, that are sweetened with sugar can increase your carbohydrate intake.Excessive sugar also leads to diabetes and other health issues.So be mindful to avoid these drinks to cut down on the amount of sugar intake. Replace sugar with natural and healthy sweeteners like honey to add an element of nutrition.
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Count Calories And Macronutrients On Your Smartphone
Food journaling has never been easier with food-tracking apps for smartphones and tablets. Some of the best food-tracking apps use your phone’s camera to scan food label barcodes to track calories, macronutrients, and protein amounts in the foods you eat.
Get motivation from the My Fitness Pal community.
Smartphone interface can be clunky to use.
Difficult to enter meals quickly.
With more than 6 million foods in its database and more than 4 million food barcodes, MyFitnessPal makes it easy to log breakfast, lunch, dinner, and afternoon snacks. With powerful metrics, My FitnessPal gives insights on calories, fat, protein, carbs, sugar, fiber, cholesterol, and vitamins. It’s easy to plan your meals in advance and stay on track with your nutritional goals.;
Simple, quick, and easy way to make a food journal.
Lack of photo editing capabilities.
No calorie counter.
Rather than typing a daily log of your meals, snap a photo instead. See How You Eat, by Health Revolution;Ltd, is an app built on the belief that seeing what you eat can help you make positive dietary changes.
This food-tracking app does exactly what it says. It lets you document your;meals visually, without any complicated calorie or macronutrient support. You can also easily share photos on social media.
Daily summaries to help you stay within calorie limits.
Useful for athletes who want to gain weight.
Ads are intrusive.
Only tracks protein.
Raises Awareness Of Portion Sizes
In order to accurately count macros, you also have to log how much of a food you eat. This can provide useful intel for how much youre actually consuming. Something to keep in mind when reading nutrition labels: Serving sizes and portion sizes are two very different things. A serving is how much food is listed on an items label, whereas a portion is how much of the food you actually choose to eat. The more you measure and track portion sizes , the more awareness of your eating habits youll develop.
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The Right Macro Ratio Can Enhance Weight Loss
If youve found counting calories hasnt helped you achieve your weight-loss goals, finding and sticking to the right macro ratio could help. Before you get started, however, its important to understand that not everyone needs the same macro ratio. A variety of different nutrient balances can help you burn fat or build muscle, especially if you opt for healthy foods over empty calories.
Most macro ratios follow the acceptable macronutrient distribution range , a scale determined by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institutes of Medicine . For optimal health, the average person needs an AMDR with 45 to 65 percent carbs, 10 to 35 percent protein, and 20 to 35 percent fat. While the total should never exceed 100 percent, different macro ratios within this general range can yield different results.
To burn fat and lose weight, youll typically want to increase your protein and fat intake while decreasing your carb intake. Studies have shown that increasing your protein intake can help you feel full while lowering your daily calorie intake, so consuming more protein at the expense of other macros can be a smart choice. In this case, your macro breakdown might include 40 percent protein, 30 percent fat, and 30 percent carbs, although the exact ratio will depend on your unique needs. Try eating a protein-heavy snack an hour or two before your workout for best results.
Cook Chicken The Right Way
Ever needed to force down dry, tasteless chicken just to eat enough protein? I cook chicken breasts by either pounding them or cutting them in half to make them thinner. I pat them dry with a paper towel and season with garlic salt, pepper, oregano and whatever other spices Im in the mood for. I sear the chicken breasts over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes on each side. Then, I reduce the heat to low and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness. The key to juicy chicken is letting it rest for at least ten minutes after removing it from the heat; this lets the juices reabsorb instead of running out.;
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The Upshot: Should You Try Counting Macros
Ultimately, youre the best judge of whether counting macros makes sense for you. The best type of diet for weight losswhich becomes weight management over timeis one that you can stick with, Griffiths says. For people who dont mind crunching numbers every day, tallying up grams of fat, protein, and carbohydrates can be a helpful method for establishing a pattern of eating that may help with weight management and reduce the risk of chronic disease. Counting macros isnt suitableor necessaryfor everyone, however. Many people can easily become fixated on numbers instead of overall health, Al Bochi says. Instead, she says she generally advises clients to focus on cultivating health-promoting behaviors, such as adding more fruits, vegetables, plant-based proteins, and healthy fats to daily meals and snacks, prioritizing good-quality sleep, and managing stress.
Nicole Saporita is a senior content manager for consumer wellness at WW. A writer, editor, and content strategist based in New York, she specializes in health & wellness, lifestyle, consumer products, and more. Her work has appeared in Good Housekeeping, Prevention, and REDBOOK magazines.
Plug Those Values Into A Macronutrient Calculator
Once you know your daily calorie goal and target percentages of carbs, fat, and protein, youre ready to figure out how many grams of each macronutrient to aim for each day. Heres how someone would calculate their macros based on a 2,000-calorie diet consisting of 50% carbs, 25% protein, and 25% fat:
- 25% of 2,000 calories = 500 calories of fat per day
- 500 / 9 = 56 g fat/day
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The 5 Best Ways To Track Your Diet
Now as you’ve just learned, there is;some self-education;value to logging your diet, even if it’s just for a little while. So if you were going to log your diet, what’s the best way to do it, and what values should you pay attention to? Even though the world of diet logging software and apps is constantly evolving, at the time of this writing, I’d choose 5 top tools for tracking your diet:
1. Meal Snap
Meal Snap is an iPhone app that allows you take pictures of the meals you eat, and then magically tells you what food was in your meal and estimate how many calories you ate. The range it gives you is fairly broad but the convenience of simply photographing what you ate is unparalleled. Even though you shouldn’t be eating many packaged foods, if you combine this with the;FoodScanner app for scanning foods and spitting out nutrition data based on bar labels, you’ve got a pretty decent one-two combo.
The nice part about TrainingPeaks is that it not only allows to log workouts, create workout routines or work in close conjunction with a coach, but it also allows you to log your food, create meals, select from a food database that combines crowdsourced foods with the USDA food database, and get a variety of metrics that track how your food intake correlates to your activity intake. This is the method most of my coached athletes and clients use to track their diet.
5. Azumio Argus
How To Analyse Your Nutrition Data
- You can monitor your intake daily if you like, but I find it more useful to review one weeks worth of data at a time. This can help a lot of people avoid obsessing over food.
- Assess how many calories you eat per day, as well as overall each week. Are you over-eating or under-eating? If so, how often?
- Check out how well your macronutrient intake aligns with your goals.
- Start to notice trends: days of the week where youre more/less successful at hitting your targets, and try to understand why.
- Have a play around in the app and learn about the contents of the different foods you eat.
- Identify the meals that provide you with the best possible calorie and macro balance so you can make them more often.
- Identify the foods or meals that are hindering your progress, and aim to reduce how often you eat them.
- If youve made notes in the app you can also assess how different foods make you feel and affect your performance.
- Always consider your training in line with your nutrition – how does your eating affect your progress towards your goals?
- Start to think of small changes you could make to better fit your needs whilst still enjoying the foods you like.
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You Probably Aren’t Eating Enough Of The Mighty Macronutrient But Here’s How To Fix It
Get more Spoon in your feed.
Having to balancing classes, jobs, clubs and a social life, college students often forget about maintaining healthy eating habits. I try to eat foods that make me feel good and sustain me throughout the day, and eating enough protein is key. Its an important macronutrient for everyone, not only athletes trying to bulk up. According to Kris Gunnars, a nutrition researcher for Healthline, a higher protein intake reduces hunger levels and promotes stronger bones and muscles, faster metabolism, lower blood pressure, and higher energy levels.;
Here are eight tips and tricks that Ive found helpful to increase your protein intake.
How To Calculate Your Macros
Now you know what macros are and how many calories they have. Next, you’ll need to do some math. That’s because your intake ratio is written in percentages but nutrition information is provided in grams. I’ll use my macro intake as an example.
1. First, you need to know how many calories you eat each day. I eat roughly 2,300 calories per day.
2. Next, determine your ideal ratio. I like to eat about 50% carbs, 25% fat and 25% protein.
3. Then, multiply your total daily calories by your percentages.
4. Finally, divide your calorie amounts by its calorie-per-gram number.
Here’s how I would calculate my calories for each macronutrient:
- Carbs: 2,300 x 0.50 equals 1,150. I eat 1,150 calories worth of carbs each day .
- Protein: 2,300 x 0.25 equals 575, so I get 575 calories worth of protein.
- Fats: 2,300 x 0.25 equals 575. I also get 575 calories comprised of dietary fat.;
To calculate the actual gram amounts:;
- Carbs : 1,150 divided by 4 equals 287.5 grams of carbs.
- Protein : 575 divided by 4 equals 143.75 grams of protein
- Fat : 575 divided by 9 equals 63.8 grams of fat.
;If you don’t like math, don’t fret. The internet is home to a range of macronutrient calculators that will do the math for you.
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