One thing I learned through my changes to health was I wasn’t consuming enough protein. There are lots of suggested amounts for protein consumption, which for the most part I don’t believe many of us need to really worry about. If you are a hard-core athlete or training for say a big race or a competition you probably have more stringent nutritional guidelines you will want to follow, otherwise I don’t think you need to sweat it too much.
Here’s some quick, helpful, and practical tips for protein:
1. Try to consume a protein whenever you eat. This is a good rule of thumb whether you are a 3-squares-a-day type person or a 5-6-small-meals-a-day type person.
2. Give yourself a healthy portion of protein for breakfast. It will help you start the day with lots of energy, will keep you satisfied for a longer time, and I’m willing to bet you don’t experience a fatigue crash later in the morning or early afternoon.
3. Be aware of proper portions: 4-5 ounces of meat/fish/poultry (think of the size of your palm), 6-8 ounces of plain yogurt (I prefer full fat Greek, you may differ on your ideas about dairy, but I encourage you to stay away from the fat free stuff), 1 ounce cheese.
4. Pay attention to your energy levels (remember journaling about how you FEEL). If you are eating well most of the time, but still feel tired perhaps you need to include MORE protein. Don’t get caught up in how many grams to eat based on bodyweight or anything like that. Listen to your body and make changes accordingly.
Finally, just begin to take notice of how much protein you actually eat. When I started this process I was fruit and grain heavy, with little protein and veggies. Making this simple shift to more protein made a big difference in my health and energy level.
Sound like something you can do? Changing your health does not have to be overly complicated. Truly do not worry about getting caught up in grams per day of any food–for most of us, life and how we need to nourish ourselves is much, much more simple than that!