We all should know by now that protein is the building block to building muscles mass. It’s said that for every pound you weigh, you should consume 0.7-1.2 grams of protein each day, depending on your activity level and fitness goals. Example: If you weigh 120 pounds, you should aim to consume around 120 grams of protein each day. This is easy to achieve since you’re going to be eating 4-6 small meals a day (right?). Take 120 and divide it into the number of meals your going to eat each day. Four times a day equals 30 grams at every meal. Six meals equals 20 grams per meal. In my “portion distortion” section you’ll see what a serving size is and it’s nutrition facts. Any extra protein, let alone calories you consume can be stored as fat. When on a high protein diet always make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, because all the extra protein you intake puts a strain on the kidneys. A gallon a day is always best in my opinion. On training days eat just enough protein to preserve your muscles, that way you can eat more carbohydrates for energy, while keeping your daily caloric intake solid. On non training days, your muscles will still be recovering from the (good) damage you did before. All the extra protein from the day before will be filling in the tears to get those muscles stronger, while repairing them too.
I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite quick, on the go protein items and how you can spruce them up.
•Almonds and walnuts- a handful of these are packed with omega fats also, which are good for your heart, hair and skin. Add dried fruit and dark chocolate to make them fun.
• 1/2 cup of Cottage cheese and Greek yogurt- add splenda and cinnamon or fresh fruit if you don’t like it plain (I dont).
• 1 cup of Fat free milk- good as is, prefered ice cold.
• 1/2 cup of Pinto beans- they have the most antioxidants of all beans.
• 2 tbsp peanut butter- Smart Balance creamy is my favorite.
• 6oz of Tofu- grilled on a skillet with a salt-less seasoning, like Mrs. Dash.
• 1/2 cup of Quinoa- add feta cheese, diced cucumbers, baby corn and Greek olives.
•high quality protein powder- 25-30 grams per serving, 100-150 calories per scoop. Low carb. Low sugar. Packed with amino acids.
•1 cup of brussels spouts- steamed with spray butter, minced garlic & pepper. 1 serving has 4 grams of protein.
•1 cup of red seedless grapes- frozen.