One of the biggest changes people can make in their diet is adjusting the amount of protein you have.
Generally speaking, most people in the US have no trouble getting in their carbs and fats.
Spaghetti with meat sauce, poke bowls, most salads, and nearly all the popular dishes we love have really high fat and carb content, but a relatively low amount of protein.
A normal recommendation for athletes who use CrossFit as their main form of exercise would be to eat a ratio of 9:7:3 of Carbs, Protein, and Fats respectively.
What do we normally see? About a 11:4:7 ratio.
Why do we see this?
Well, when we eat out at restaurants or order to-go, the thing that increases the cost of a dish the most is usually gonna be the protein. So, in order to keep a dish reasonably priced, restaurants might use 6oz of chicken on their grilled chicken Caesar rather than 8oz. When every oz of chicken is 3g of protein, if you were to have that cut across 3 meals in a day, you’re 18g of protein down. When you’re goal might be 100g of protein, that is a considerable amount of protein we are losing out on each day!
Why do we need that much protein anyways?
Well, if you like building muscle and feeling better sooner after workouts, protein is pretty dang important! On top of that, it takes longer to digest than carbohydrates and takes up more space in your stomach. Meaning, that if you stop eating when you’re full and you had mostly lean protein, you’re gonna have a lower fat and carb intake and feel fuller longer!
How can I get more protein in my diet?
Well there’s a few things!
The first place your mind might go, would be supplements. Things like Whey Protein and Soy Protein can cover huge gaps about 25g of protein at a time, but we should be trying to use foods we can find in a nature to make up the bulk of our protein intake as there are other valuable nutrients that are found in naturally occurring sources of protein! The thing to make sure of, is that most of these sources are lean!! (Higher protein content than fat).
You can always focus on increasing your protein intake by checking off the “extra protein” box at your favorite lunch spot during the work week. You can also option for dishes that list the protein as the main feature. Dishes like braised chickpeas, brick chicken, and pan-seared salmon will all have a higher protein content than say a chicken carbonara or black bean burger.
You can also mix up your proteins and focus on leaner cuts for more of your meals. Things like Salmon, ground beef (90/10 fat and higher), cuts of steak that aren’t sirloin or flank, and Tuna are sources of protein that are higher in fat content than protein. You can substitute things like 93/7 ground beef, lentils, beans, chicken breast, bison, elk, venison, shrimp, scallops, and tofu.
So, if you’re not having enough protein, what are you gonna do this week to help put that protein ratio more in your favor? Let me know by responding to this email! If you would like some help with your nutrition, you can also set up an in-body check-in and we can talk with ya and see if nutrition coaching is the best route to help you with your goals (:
To talk with a coach today, click the link found HERE to schedule your No Sweat Intro