Last week we talked about why protein is important and how much you should be getting daily if you have no other medical conditions. If you missed that email, you can check it out here. This week I want to go over how you can track your protein and some of my favorite options for amping up protein during your day.
The most accurate way to track your protein is to weigh your food and then log the amount in an app like MyFitnessPal that does the math for you. Personally, this is my preferred method, but there are people who find this overwhelming and too time-consuming.
A quick side note – My argument on the time-consuming aspect is that you’re just putting your food on a plate that’s on a scale instead of putting it on a plate that’s on a counter – it really doesn’t add that much time to your day. That being said, if tracking this way isn’t for you, there’s another method you can employ, and that’s the hand method.
Compare your protein source size to your palm. This is generally more effective for meat, poultry, and fish than a protein source like Greek yogurt.
If the meat is about the size of a woman’s palm, it translates to about 3 oz of meat. For a man’s sized palm it translates to about 4 oz of meat.
I particularly like this method for estimating portion sizes when going out to eat.
Then I would log my guesstimates into an app like MyFitnessPal accordingly.
With sources like Greek yogurt, I would just use a measuring cup in accordance with the nutrition label on the back. Again, the more accurate way of doing this is to weigh your food, but if that’s not for you the second best option is a measuring cup or spoon.
So, what are some great protein options? Here’s a list:
- Fairlife milk
- Egg whites
- Chicken breast
- Chicken thighs
- Pork chops
- Filet Mignon
- Flank steak
- Lean ground beef
- Ground chicken
- Ground turkey
- Greek yogurt
- Whey Protein Powder (Click here for my favorite brand)
- Collagen peptides
- Wild game
- Cottage cheese
- Lean deli meats like turkey, chicken, or ham
- Kitehill greek style plant-based yogurt
- Banza pasta
- Barilla protein pasta (you will not miss the real thing – this is identical!)
- Vegan Protein Powder (click here for my favorite brand)
I just want to point one thing out that didn’t make the list, and that’s nuts and nut-butters. A lot of people have the misconception that nuts and nut-butters are a good source of protein, but in the nutrition and fitness world, they’re really considered more of a healthy fat source than a good protein source.
If weight loss is a goal of yours, I wouldn’t look to nuts or nut-butters for a protein source because the fat content makes them a higher-calorie food. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat them while you’re trying to lose weight – it’s just something you have to factor into your day.
That being said, if you are not on a weight loss journey, nuts and nut-butters are a terrific source of healthy fats that also happen to have a little bit of protein, which does help you reach those higher numbers.
I hope this was helpful and as always if you have any questions for me please let me know!
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