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How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

The amount of protein that you need depends on who you are and how physically active you are.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, men and women over the age of 19 should get at least 0.37 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.

That means a woman who is 140 pounds should get at least 51.8 grams of protein, which translates to 9 ounces of salmon or a little over 8 eggs. But, that’s the minimum requirement. This still might not be enough for you if you live an active lifestyle.

I personally recommend eating about 15-18 ounces of lean protein per day for women who are active in my programs,because we are moving our bodies every single day. I recommend 24- 27 ounces for active men who are working out daily.

For women, that breaks down to eating 3 oz of lean protein for each of your 3 main meals and 2-3 oz of protein for snacks.

I recommend 2 to 3 snacks per day too. Eating 6 times a day keeps your metabolism in fat burning mode!

Men would simply double this at main meals and stick to the same guidelines of 2-3 oz. of lean protein per snack.

Eating too much protein can end up working against us too.

Studies have shown that people who eat too much animal protein end up losing calcium through their urine, and this can lead to osteoporosis.

It's all about keeping the protein balanced by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. These foods often get skipped by those on super high protein diets like Atkins, and that means they're losing valuable vitamins, fiber and antioxidants that these foods have to offer.

Top 6  Sources of Lean Protein

When choosing to eat protein, make sure that you are choosing high-quality protein sources. Many animal sources of protein are high in “the wrong kind” of fat.

The best foods to get protein in a healthy diet include:

1. Poultry, including grass-fed chicken and turkey. And, you aren't necessarily limited to white meat.

2. Fish, including wild-caught salmon and other fish high in heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.

3. Beans, which contain more protein than any other vegetable food source. Plus, they help stabilize blood sugar.

4. Nuts. Here's why pistachios are one of my top choices.

5. Dairy, specifically Greek yogurt and kefir. These offer a 2-for-1 because they deliver probiotics that boost gut health. You probably know this boosts immunity but you might be surprised to learn this also helps with weight loss!

6. Protein powders. I like a quality whey protein and use this one almost every day but vegans can also opt for a good vegetable-based protein powder. Protein powders are ideal for convenience on-the-go too!

For a great high protein smoothie that is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, try this Mango Carrot Smoothie.

It gets its protein from almond butter, and will keep you feeling full for a long time!

mango carrot smoothie recipe

Yours in health and happiness,

Danette

P.S. Please share this with your friends and I always love to hear from you in the comments below!

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