Everyday we work with clients one on one to set their macros. The most common trend we see is that women typically average 100g of protein or less daily. Optimal protein intake in grams should be set to 0.8 to 1 gram per pound of body weight. There are outliers and exceptions, and yes, macros should be person to person specific, but this is a great general formula to start with.
Remember that protein is the building block of skeletal muscle mass. The more muscle mass you have, the harder your metabolism has to work and the more fat you can burn. The goal with most of our clients is to maintain muscle mass while shedding body fat. This will help preserve their metabolism, keep a healthy hormone profile, and attain the body composition goals most of our clients are striving for.
A woman weighing 150lbs would strive to eat between 120g (0.8g per pound) to 150g (1g per pound).
Have over 30+ pounds to lose? Run this formula off of goal weight.
A 225lbs woman with a goal weight of 175 would strive to eat 140g (.8g per pound) to 175g (1g per pound).
So how do you go from eating an average of 100g or less to eating 150g? The answer is simple. You have to be intentional about your protein intake. Think protein first and build your meals around that macronutrient. Get protein in with every meal and snack. Below are some great high protein foods that can take your protein intake up significantly!
- Deli meat (4 slices is 20g)
- beef jerky (Pacific gold brand is 14g per serving)
- shrimp (100g cooked 24g)
- chicken breast (4 oz is 26g)
- Chicken Thighs (4 oz is 19g)
- Ground Turkey (4 oz is 22g)
- Ground beef (4 oz is 22g)
- Egg whites (½ cup is 13g)
- Oikos Triple Zero Greek yogurt (1 cup is 15g)
- protein shake (most brands are 25-30g per serving)
- protein bars (can vary drastically per brand)
- cottage cheese (½ cup is 12g)
- collagen (2 scoops is 18g protein)
- string cheese (5-7g protein depending on brand)
- Salmon (3 oz is 19g)
- Tuna (4 oz is 26g)
Don’t forget, tracking macros is all about eating the foods YOU LOVE. Don’t feel like you have to add in a bunch of different protein sources that you don’t enjoy. Simply increasing the portion sizes of the protein sources that you do enjoy will bump you up closer to that ideal daily protein intake. For example, instead of eating 3 oz of chicken, bump it up to 5 oz. We recommend limiting supplements as much as possible so that you can stay fuller longer and reap the benefits of nutrient dense whole foods.
It’s important to be mindful of the other macronutrients in your protein sources. Nuts, dairy, red meats, and protein bars can be high in fats and may put you over your fat intake budget, so it’s important to look at the big picture when planning your meals to fit your macros.
Check out 25 Easy High Protein Meal Ideas for some great macro friendly meal ideas that you can put on your menu this week to help you reach your protein target!
If you liked this post check out Macro Hacks to help you find foods of to meet your carbs and fat goals.