There are two things I know about myself –
Tracking my food in the past has not worked well for me.
I don’t build muscle easily.
I’ve been in the fitness and nutrition space for 12ish years at this point. I went to college for health and exercise science, competed in CrossFit for years, and I’ve tried all kinds of different diets, workouts, and regimens. And something I’ve found to work best for me, my body, and my mental health is simply intuitive eating. I eat breakfast when I’m hungry, I stop when I’m full, and I’ve done this for years. But when I was watching my friend Michaela on instagram the other day, I noticed that she tracks her protein levels to ensure she’s getting enough in to build muscle. For me, building muscle takes WORK. Since I was never an athlete that built muscle from an early age and I don’t have great genetics to help me build extra muscle, the muscle I have built throughout the years has been a struggle. So after watching Michaela’s stories, I asked if I could hop on a call with her to talk about how much protein I should be getting in on a daily basis.
When I chatted with Michaela, she recommend I try getting in around 115 grams of protein per day and work my way up to 135 grams over time. To get this amount, it’s a pretty simple equation –
- your weight x anywhere between 0.8-1.0 gram = how many grams of protein you should consume per day
Since I don’t weigh myself and haven’t for 8 years, I guessed my weight since I know I’m somewhere between 135-145lbs then multiplied that by .8, getting me around 115g of protein/per day to starts. So before I began, I started tracking my protein levels for a few days using My Fitness Pal app and noticed that I was naturally eating around 65-75 grams per day. Below is a meal that I ate without paying attention to my protein amount. The meal included about 15 grams of protein and after my other meals that day, I had only consumed 62 grams of protein, about 53 grams off my goal amount for the day. So the next day, I purchased a food scale and I started paying attention to my protein levels!