Can you really eat 1g of protein per pound of body weight?
Eating enough is key to ensuring that a weight training or workout program actually helps you build muscle. While it is possible to build muscle eating a wide variety of diets, there is evidence that increasing protein at optimal times before and after workouts can enhance the muscle building effects. Still, for many people a diet with the “recommended” amount of protein can be difficult to achieve.
Although the are ranges many suggest to consume around 1g of protein per pound of body weight. For someone who weighs 150 pounds, it can be difficult to eat 150 grams of protein daily without over shooting on calorie goals.
A single gram of protein has 4 calories. Sure, for that same 150 pound person that only translate to 600 calories, but unless you consume absolutely pure protein there will be more.
Use the scale for your food!
With any protein dense foods, and foods in general, if you want to get the most out of it you need to weigh your food. Labels can be wrong for meats, and when trying to eat 4 oz of chicken breast you miss out on 25% of the protein if you select one that is only 3 oz.
Scoops for powders, like protein or peanut butter, can result in 10-15% more OR less than you are shooting for.
Foods rich in both protein and carbs can throw your calorie count off quickly if not in the right quantities, and easily swing a well balanced diet with maintenance level calories into a caloric deficit that will have you losing muscle and fat instead of maintaining or gaining muscle mass.
High Protein Density Foods
Lean Ground Turkey
Greek and Icelandic Yogurts
One of the keys of having great nutrition is to ensure that you are getting the right balance of macros and nutrients. For many people that means tracking macros including Fats, Carbohydrates, and Protein. Typically with processed foods being popular and fats being so dense in calories, when folks are looking to track calories on a daily basis the area that is missed are proteins.
This leads to modifications in diets to try to increase the total amount of protein. While an approach like this can be over simplified to mean ‘eat more protein’ what it really is focusing on is balancing proteins alongside other items. What makes it especially tough is that often popular food and diet trackers will over estimate calories, like what happens with MyFitnessPal due to it’s crowd-sourced database of foods.