Protein is an essential nutrient that makes up all cells in your body. To figure out exact protein needs, convert your weight to kilograms by dividing it by 2.2. Multiply that number by 0.8 if you have a sedentary lifestyle. Endurance athletes should multiply their weight in kilograms by 1.2 or 1.4, and strength trainers should use the multiplier 1.7 or 1.8 to figure out daily protein needs in grams. Some athletes and active people may require 100 grams of protein per day. Although it sounds like a lot, it is not difficult to reach that goal by eating a healthy and varied diet.
Choose lean animal proteins so you are not eating too much saturated fat, which can contribute to health problems.
Consult your physician or dietitian to determine how much protein you should consume daily. If you have kidney problems, you may need to eat less protein.
Eat a low-calorie yogurt with granola or fresh fruit. Eight ounces of plain, low-fat yogurt contains 13 grams of protein. Greek yogurt has even more protein, containing over 17 grams in a container. You can also have a hard-boiled egg for over 6 grams of protein. A cup of reduced fat milk will add another 8 grams of protein.
Make a fruit smoothie for a mid-morning snack. Mix whey protein with fresh fruits and milk. Whey protein powder can vary in the amount of protein it contains, but often has approximately 20 grams of protein per scoop. Mixed with milk, the protein powder will provide you with 28 grams of protein.
Add skinless chicken to your fresh vegetable salad to increase protein. One-half cup of diced chicken has 20 grams of protein. You can also enjoy a turkey or tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread. Two ounces of turkey has 12 grams of protein. Drink a glass of milk, add cheese to your sandwich or include a small serving of cottage cheese to get 20 grams of protein for your lunch.
Snack on nuts and seeds for an afternoon snack. A 1-ounce serving of walnuts has 4 grams of protein. For an alternative, eat celery with peanut butter or hummus. A 2-tablespoon serving of peanut butter has 8 grams of protein, and the same serving of hummus has nearly 3 grams.
Aim to eat the rest of your protein for dinner. You can have legumes, such as black beans, soybeans or lentils with rice. You can also have lean protein, like poultry or seafood. For instance, a 3-ounce serving of salmon has over 15 grams of protein. Also include whole grains, fruits, vegetables and dairy for a complete dinner.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Protein
- University of Texas Health: Nutrition in Preventative Medicine: Proteins
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Yogurt, Plain, Skim Milk, 13 Grams Protein per 8 Ounce
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Egg, Whole, Cooked, Hard-Boiled
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Chicken, Broilers or Fryers, Meat Only, Roasted
- USDA Nutrient Database: Nutrient Data for 05167, Turkey, Whole, Meat Only, Raw
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Nuts, Walnuts, English
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Fish, Salmon, Chinook, Smoked
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Yogurt, Greek, Plain, Nonfat
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Peanut Butter, Smooth Style, With Salt
Ireland Wolfe has been writing professionally since 2009, contributing to Toonari Post, Africana Online and Winzer Insurance. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Master of Arts in mental health counseling. She is also a licensed mental health counselor, registered nutritionist and yoga teacher.