That Protein Thing You Do

A bowl of cottage cheese.

Cottage Cheese Beautiful Cottage Cheese

So you’ve read the recommendation that you start eating a diet consisting of a gram of protein per pound of lean body mass and that is 30% protein, 30% fat and 40% carbohydrates or even like a successful powerlifting friend of mine 40% protein, 30% fat and 30% carbohydrates. How do you do that?

Since few of us eat this way without making an effort to do so, a good place to start is to get an idea of how what you are currently eating looks like. You can do this by tracking your food. There are a couple of web-based ways of doing that. My favorite is www.livestrong.com which has within the site “my plate.” I like this site because the food listing is pretty robust and you don’t have to do a lot of data entry. I have also heard good things about www.fitday.com.  Both sites are free. Livestrong.com has an option of a pay program which allows you to set custom nutrition goals so if you wanted to continue to track from a 30/30/40 perspective, you could. Since I am not prepping for a contest I prefer to just get an idea of how the whole thing should look and aim to stick to it in general.

My major sources of lean protein are chicken, tuna, non-fat cottage cheese, powdered egg whites, low fat cheese and whey protein powder. Packing food for the day helps a lot. Most of the fitness diet gurus will recommend eating up to 5 small meals per day. Depending on the number of calories you need each might have, say, 350 calories in it. I find it easier to think of them as large snacks. These are to be eaten at about 3 hour intervals throughout the day. With the whole calorie goal and the target percentages in mind, you need to come up with meals that can be combined on a daily basis and become the building blocks of your daily diet. With a bit of practice you will identify things you like that you can put together easily to take with you for the part of your day lived away from home.

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