Tracking protein intake

How do you track your protein intake?

Do you look at daily or even weekly averages or do you look a little more closely.

With most things (weight and calories) I tend to look at weekly averages over specific meals or days.

This gives a much better indication of progress compared to one day or meal out of context. In fact, in terms of fat loss it doesn’t matter if your calories are evenly spread throughout the week so long as the deficit created is the same at the end of the week.

However, a caveat to this is protein (and activity actually but I will cover that in another post.

Although I tend to set a daily protein target for clients I’m not only interested in whether they meet this or not but also how they meet this.

I try to encourage clients to split their protein up throughout the day. So instead of the usual low protein breakfast, low protein lunch and high protein dinner I promote spreading protein more evenly.

There are a number of reasons behind this:

1) Muscle protein synthesis
To maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis (muscle building) from protein intake we must ingest ~25g of quality protein. Above this point the response is saturated and more protein will not increase muscle protein synthesis. This is probably where the myth comes from that you should only have 25g of protein at a time. This is of course not true more protein is fine!

2) Satiety

Protein is very filling so adding in a good source and quantity of protein to each meal will reduce hunger- always good when dieting!

3) Actually hitting your protein target

A lot of people struggle to hit their protein target and this is made even harder if you don’t split up your protein intake.

The easiest way to do this is to plan your meals around your protein source.
That might look something like:

-Eggs for breakfast
– Tuna for lunch
-Chicken for dinner
– Yoghurt as a snack

Take home:

When it comes to protein you may want to look a little closer than just total daily intake and consider each meal.