If you were only going to crush one habit day-in and day-out, please let it be eating enough protein. Protein helps us build muscle, carry good body composition, and keeps us satiated and full. Historically, this is the macronutrient people tend to skimp on most, despite it arguably being the most important of the macronutrients. Our female population and plant-based eaters tend to be the worst offenders of under-eating protein (: The physical act of training and exercise is catabolic: we’re actively breaking down tissue in an attempt to positively adapt. Adequate protein consumption is key in assisting positive adaptation, so we can look good and maximize our time spent in the gym! Our need for dietary protein becomes even more important if we’re in a muscle-gaining phase, a fat loss phase, and as we age. There’s just no getting around the need for ample protein!
To quote Examine.com + current research: “if you’re of healthy weight, active, and wish to build muscle, to aim for 1.6–2.4 g/kg (0.73–1.10 g/lb) in grams of protein”
My typical recommendations are ~0.8-1.0 gram per pound bodyweight for most active individuals. Actively trying to gain muscle or lose fat? Consider setting goals at ~1.0-1.1 grams per lb bodyweight.
- 130 lb, 5’3 lean menstruating individual might aim for ~130-145 grams of protein (1.0–1.1)
- 160 lb, 5’3 menstruating individual might aim for ~120-130g protein (0.8)
- 45 y/o, 130 lb, 5’3 lean perimenopausal individual might aim for ~130-145g protein (1.0-1.1)