Step-By-Step Guide to Increase Protein Intake by 15% In Your Diet

To increase protein intake by 15%, one needs to calculate their current protein intake and then aim to increase it by 15%. The recommended approach for increasing protein intake for weight loss maintenance, as mentioned in the video, is simply increasing protein intake by 15-20%.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to increase protein intake by 15%:

Calculate current protein intake

The first step to increasing protein intake is to determine how much protein one is currently consuming. This can be done by tracking meals and snacks for a few days using a food diary, food tracking app, or online calculator.

To calculate current protein intake, one needs to track the amount and type of protein-rich foods they are consuming. This can be done in several ways:

1. Use a food diary: Write down all the foods and their amounts consumed in a day. Include all protein-rich foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, beans, peas, lentils, and nuts.

2. Use a food tracking app: There are several food tracking apps available, such as MyFitnessPal, Lose It! or Cronometer. These apps allow users to log food intake and calculate the macronutrient intake, including the amount of protein consumed in a day.

3. Review food labels: Check the nutrition label of packaged foods to determine the amount of protein in each serving.

Calculate the daily protein requirement based on your body weight

Once the amount of protein consumed in a day is determined, the next step is to calculate the daily protein requirement based on body weight. As mentioned earlier, the general recommendation for protein intake is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, but this can vary based on activity level and other factors.

For example, if someone weighs 70 kilograms and currently consumes 50 grams of protein per day, then their protein intake is approximately 0.7 grams per kilogram of body weight. 

To increase the protein intake from 0.7 to 0.8 grams per kilogram, they need to add another 8 grams of protein per day (70 * 0.1 = 7, 7 * 1.2 = 8.4 g).

It’s important to note that these calculations are estimates and may not apply to everyone

Set a target for protein intake

Once the current protein intake is known, the target protein intake can be set. The general recommendation for protein intake is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, but this can vary based on activity level and other factors. For example, if one weighs 70 kilograms, they should aim to consume around 56 grams of protein per day.

To set a target for protein intake, one should consider their individual needs, activity level, and health goals. As a general guideline, the recommended daily protein intake is around 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, but this can vary based on individual factors.

Here are some steps to follow to set a target for protein intake:

1. Determine your daily protein requirement: Based on your body weight, activity level, and health goals, determine how much protein you need each day. As mentioned in the previous answer, the general recommendation is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, but this may vary based on individual needs.

2. Plan your meals: Once you have determined, plan your meals to ensure that you consume enough protein throughout the day. Include protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, beans, peas, lentils, and nuts.

3. Track your intake: Use a food diary or a food tracking app to track your protein intake. Record the amount of protein grams consumed for each meal and snack.

4. Adjust as needed: If you are not meeting your protein requirements, adjust your meals to include more protein-rich foods. If you are consuming too much protein, reduce your intake and focus on consuming more whole foods.

Remember that protein intake is just one part of a healthy diet. It’s important to also focus on consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods, staying hydrated, and getting enough physical activity.

Increase protein intake gradually

It’s important to increase protein intake gradually to avoid digestive issues and discomfort. One can start by adding protein-rich foods to snacks and meals. This can be done by including protein-rich snacks, such as Greek yoghourt or a handful of almonds.

Similarly, incorporating more protein-rich foods to the main meals can help. For instance, swapping pasta with cauliflower rice or choosing chicken or fish instead of red meat, increasing the serving size of beans, peas, and lentils.

Increasing protein intake gradually can be a healthy and practical approach, especially if you have been consuming a lower amount of protein previously. 

Here are some steps to consider when increasing protein intake gradually:

1. Evaluate your current protein intake: Before making any changes, it’s helpful to evaluate your current protein intake. Keep a food diary or use a tracking app to record how much protein you are consuming each day.

2. Set a goal: Based on your current intake and dietary needs, set a goal for how much protein you would like to consume each day.

3. Make gradual changes: Increase your protein intake slowly over time, instead of drastically changing your eating habits. Start by adding a protein-rich food to one meal each day, such as adding an egg to breakfast or a serving of chicken to lunch.

4. Choose protein-rich snacks: Instead of reaching for a high-carbohydrate snack, choose a protein-rich snack such as Greek yogurt, a hardboiled egg, or a handful of nuts.

5. Experiment with new protein sources: Variety is important for a healthy diet, so experiment with new protein sources such as tofu, tempeh, legumes, or quinoa.

6. Monitor your progress: Keep track of your protein intake and how you feel. If you notice positive changes in your energy levels or muscle strength, keep gradually increasing your intake. If you experience negative side effects such as digestive discomfort, consult with a healthcare professional.

Remember to pair your increased protein intake with a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. 

Additionally, stay hydrated and incorporate regular exercise to support muscle growth and maintenance.

When to use protein supplements?

If it is challenging to get the necessary amount of protein from food alone, then incorporating a protein supplement can be useful. Protein supplements come in various forms, including powders, bars, and drinks. Before choosing a protein supplement, one should ensure that it is made from high-quality protein, such as whey, casein, or plant-based sources like pea, soy, or rice proteins.

Monitor progress: Monitor the increase in protein intake to ensure that the target is being met. A food diary or tracking app can be used to track protein intake. It might take some effort to adjust to an increased protein intake. One may initially feel bloated or experience constipation. In such cases, it is essential to drink enough water and increase fiber-rich foods.

In summary, to increase protein intake by 15%, one should start by calculating the current protein intake and gradually add protein-rich foods to meals and snacks. Additionally, protein supplements can be used if necessary. Monitoring progress is also important to ensure that the target is being met.

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