Throughout my postpartum weight loss journey, focusing on hitting my daily protein needs has been top of mind. This is because getting enough protein is needed to help boost satiety, prevent hunger/cravings, keep muscle and help the body burn fat as fuel.
In fact, a recent 2023 study compared regular calorie restriction to a higher protein diet (with the same amount of calories) and found that the higher protein diet resulted in more fat loss and better results.(1)
In short, it makes achieving a weight loss goal way easier.
But a lot of people find it really tricky to get enough protein to see these benefits. So today I'm sharing exactly how I get over 100 grams of protein every single day (and at least 30 grams of protein per meal) as a Nutritionist.
Why 30 Grams of Protein?
There is actually a specific reason why 30 grams of protein per meal is considered a good rule of thumb for most people.
It covers most people's protein needs when following a 3 meal structure.
It's a solid amount to stimulate the satiety hormones and feel satisfied.
It's much more than most people are getting.
But most importantly, 30 grams per meal is the minimum amount needed to prevent muscle loss.
Losing muscle can lead to decreased metabolism, increased insulin resistance and therefore make it easier to gain weight (or harder to maintain the weight loss you've already achieved).
From an overall health perspective, maintaining muscle mass is crucial for improving heart, brain and bone health.
So even though some people might "need" less than 90 grams of protein per day (which equates to less than 30 grams per meal), it would still be important to aim for a minimum of 30 grams of protein at each meal to prevent muscle loss.
This Is What 30 Grams of Protein Looks Like
Protein is in a variety of different foods, but not all proteins are good quality. This matters if you're looking to reap the body recompoition and health benefits of eating enough protein. So when determining 30 grams of protein per meal, we need to source it from high quality options.
Here is an example of how much you need to eat from different high protein foods to hit 30 grams of protein:
3.5 oz. chicken
3 scoops Autumn's Zero Sugar Protein Powder
4 oz. beef
4.2 oz. fish
4.4-6 oz. shellfish
3.75 oz. pork loin
4.75 oz. goat
1.5 cups greek yogurt
1.25 cups cottage cheese
33 oz. dairy milk
4.5 oz. hard cheese
4.5 oz. halloumi
1.25 oz. skyr
9 oz. edamame
9 oz. firm tofu
5 oz. seitan
5.25 oz. tempeh
2.25 cups chickpeas
2 cups split yellow peas
You can checkout a visual example of these various sources of protein with my video below:
How I Eat 30 Grams of Protein Daily (+Meal Examples)
I personally stick to a three meal structure with a 14-15 hour daily Intermittent Fast.
In order to hit 100 (or more) grams of protein per day, I aim for a mimimum of 30 grams of protein per meal. Below are examples of meals I will have for break-fast, lunch and dinner.
3 Chocolate Chip Vanilla Protein Waffles with 1/2 cup Skyr Yogurt (52 grams protein)
3 scrambled eggs + 2 slices bacon + 2 Outer Aisle Cauliflower Thins (32 grams protein)
Cinnamon Roll Protein Smoothie (30 grams protein)
1 1/4 cup cottage cheese + 1/2 cup sauteed blueberries + 1 Tbsp. peanut butter (35 grams protein)
Leafy green salad with 4 oz. grilled chicken, 1/2 avocado and zero sugar salad dressing (35 grams protein)
Tuna salad made from 5 oz. can tuna + cabbage coleslaw (40 grams protein)
Lettuce wraps with 4 oz. curried chicken salad (35 grams protein)
5 Bacon and Sundried Tomato Egg Bites + leafy green salad (33 grams protein)
If you have trouble sneaking enough protein into your diet, one of the easiest hacks is to use my zero sugar protein powder. You can stir it into greek yogurt or chia pudding, make delish high protein smoothies, or even just mix it into some almond milk to have on the side of your lower protein meal.
Plus, each bag of protein comes with a free download with 10 super yummy high protein recipes that you can add into your routine!😋