Eat protein

Today’s tip:

This tip will require more planning and commitment than the other tips up to this point, and a little math. Eat protein.

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Protein is an essential building block for the human body. Muscle, hair, skin, and connective tissue are primarily made up of protein. It it believed that most adult Americans are getting the recommended 10-35% of their calories from protein.

Are you? One way to be sure is to keep a food diary.

Your protein should come from from both animals and plants. Animal protein is higher in fat, therefore plant protein is a smart choice.

If you are struggling with your weight it is essential that you incorporate protein into every meal. Protein will help you stay fuller longer minimizing snacking.

A quick disclaimer… based on research I’ve done I am providing my opinion on how much protein is appropriate for the average adult. When in doubt consult your physician.

The average woman on a calorie deficit for weight loss will eat 1200-1500 calories per day. Therefore she should be getting 30-130 grams of protein per day. Simply take your calorie budget and do the math to determine the protein range of 10-35%. Then divide the calories by 4 (each gram of protein accounts for 4 calories). Men on a calorie deficit will typically eat 1800-2200 calories per day, with a protein range of 45-190 grams.

Here’s an example:

  • Calorie per day budget:                                 1500
  • Minimum Protein Calories per day:     1500 x .10 = 150
  • Calculate Min Protein Grams per day:   150 / 4 = 38 grams
  • Maximum Protein Calories per day:     1500 x .35 = 525
  • Calculate Max Protein Grams per day:   525 / 4 = 131 grams

Therefore on a 1500 calorie per day budget you should incorporate 38-131 grams of protein per day.

If you are pregnant or breast feeding, athletic, or attempting to loose weight I suggest you strive to get to the high side of the range.

A Personal Trainer would likely recommend that you get a minimum of 35% of your body weight in grams of protein per day. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds that’s a minimum of 63 grams of protein per day.

I prefer an aggressive goal of 35% of my calories in protein. Approximately 50% of my protein intake comes from plant and dairy products (meal-replacement shakes, non-fat milk, greek yogurt, veggies & beans, and peanut butter). The remainder comes from animals, mostly chicken, eggs, and fish. I do eat red meat on occasion. My goal is 1500 calories per day, incorporating 131 grams of protein.

Eating healthy and incorporating more protein was a big factor in my weight loss of approximately 40 lbs over a two year period. I drink a lot of meal-replacement shakes and I eat a lot of chicken. It’s about choice.

Need some ideas on what to eat? Click Here for Protein Food list

I’ve had clients tell me that food is for enjoyment. Sure, on occasion food can be enjoyed. However, it must be viewed as essential to sustaining life. Similar to water and oxygen. It’s a choice. Continue to “enjoy” food and keep the body you have or choose to implement a healthier lifestyle and “enjoy” the benefits of a healthier body. More energy, feel younger, fit into your skinny jeans, and extend your life. It’s your choice.

“Every choice you make has an end result.” ~ Zig Ziglar

Will you implement this tip? Let me know by commenting below or on Facebook. Until tomorrow… Kathi


Note… if you are interested in learning more about the meal-replacement shakes I use contact me for more info via the blog, Facebook, or email at 


10 thoughts on “Eat protein

    1. kathi Post author

      So true and I have a bunch of accountability buddies, from my roommate to my clients. Their voices are always in my head. 😉

    1. kathi Post author

      Hi Sonja,

      It depends on how strict of a vegan you are. I use a soy based protein meal replacement shake and whey for post workouts (both are Herbalife products). Whey is milk so it’s probably out for you. And a lot of soy protein powders also have some traces of milk. Herbalife has an allergen free meal replacement that is Pea, Rice, and Sesame protein. It’s perfect for vegans. It’s also gluten and dairy free. Personally I feel your commitment comes first. Then experiment with different products that fit into your lifestyle and you like the flavor of. So yes I feel Pea protein is a good option. And you already know that there are plenty of veggies that are high in protein. 😉 If you have questions about the allergen free shake let me know. Otherwise is you already have a pea based protein shake that you like, I say don’t fix something that’s not broken. Kathi

  1. Stacy

    I’ll be checking back in. I need to lose 30 lbs in the next couple of months in order to get life insurance.

    1. kathi Post author

      Thanks for stopping by Stacy! I know 30 lbs seems like a big number, but if you stay the course and stay strong you can do it. And you already have an important reason “why” you need to lose the weight. A big factor in staying committed is your “why”(s). If you don’t mind… I’d like to suggest that you create a list of some other “why”s so you will own your goal. Come up with other benefits to losing the 30 lbs… like have more energy, improve your health, and a few more personal reasons that only you can imagine for yourself. Stop by again soon! Kathi

  2. KLee Banks

    It’s funny, I initially stopped in from the UBC and Facebook to read and comment on THIS post – but after reading the topic, I had to go back to the first 5 posts and comment on each of those, as well! 😉

    Thanks for the fitness challenge. I am really enjoying this. 🙂 Also, thanks for the helpful PDF list of protein foods/drinks.

    I’m not sure about my percentage of protein on a daily basis, since I’ve never measured it, but I think I must be doing OK, since I regularly eat many of the listed fruits, veggies, grains, eggs, chicken, fish, and yogurt, and drink almond milk and 100% juices.

    1. kathi Post author

      Hi there… well thanks for stopping by and sticking around. I’m glad that you found my blog helpful and of interest. I’m off to read your next comment now. 😉