HOW MUCH PROTEIN SHOULD IDEALLY BE EATING EVERY DAY?
If you search around long enough to find out how much protein you should be eating every day, you'll find the following two figures.
Adult Sedentary Woman Daily Protein Goal: .36 grams per pound of body weight
Strength Training Daily Protein Goal: 1 gram - 1.5 grams per pound of body weight
As you can see, there's a huge difference between the two protein goals. Proper protein amounts depend on your fitness goal, the level of activity, age, muscle mass and physique which explains the large disparity between the two goals. Both goals are valid but address entirely different lifestyles. You'll often find that health journals publish protein intake goals based on a sedentary lifestyle. For example, the Institute of Medicine recommends about 46g of protein per day for a sedentary adult woman. Naturally, this is dictated by how many calories you're eating, but the institute suggests making certain that no more than 35% of your calories come from protein.
For the average woman who doesn't work out, 46g of protein per day is adequate. However, your increased activity level and muscle strain of a strength training regimen will increase your daily protein needs. You're asking your body to perform at a higher standard; therefore you must respond with the nutrients it needs. If you're like most Americans, you likely consume a very moderate amount of protein compared to carbs and fat. Our society is all about speed and taste and quick meals like pasta, and fast food is generally high carb and fat. Let's not even discuss all the carbs in your Starbucks coffee. When you analyze your body's new needs and your current diet, it's easy to understand why you need a complete overhaul of how you perceive a healthy diet regarding fitness.
For strength training, a healthy diet is one rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains but especially protein. The target amount of protein is between 1g and 1.5g of your body weight. So if you weigh 150lbs, you'll want to strive to consume 150g of protein every day. This estimate is aggressive, but it's to compensate for the amount of nutrients that get lost during digestion. Remember, you're actively causing stress and strain to your muscle fibers regularly, and they need adequate protein for recovery.
At this point, you're thinking "great Ri, but I still don't know how I'm going to eat over 100 grams of protein every day." I get it. Usually, when people hear these estimates, their eyes get big, and rightfully so. Here's my advice that I mentioned on my YouTube channel, which many ladies found helpful.
Always prioritize your protein first. Condition yourself to make sure each of your meals is high protein and if possible to hit your protein goal before the end of the night. To quickly find your protein goal, use a macro calculator and enter your stats. It will tell you exactly how much protein carb and fat you should be eating every day to achieve your fitness goals.
Taking a proactive stance on your protein consumption will provide so many long and short term benefits to your body. In the short term, protein is satiating which means it makes you feel full, and because it's slow digesting it keeps you fuller longer than both carbs and fat. In the long term, protein helps you shed body fat, and maintain a healthy weight. It also helps you regulate your blood sugar, build strong muscles and enhance your hair, skin, and nails.
Make protein your best friend; your body will thank you.