Do you spend much energy trying to get enough protein? My sense of the research and evidence-based recommendations is that getting sufficient protein is a “big rock,” one of those essential pieces to maintaining a healthier bodyweight and building and maintaining muscle mass. AND daily protein, for me, is a “fix it and forget it” kind of habit. I easily get sufficient protein day to day, using a “balanced plate” approach for most of my meals.
This wasn’t always true, of course. Twenty years ago when I was a vegetarian, I’m guessing I didn’t get sufficient protein to build muscle mass. I know I wasn’t getting enough to help me have lasting satiety between meals. Adding in additional protein, especially at breakfast, was one of the most powerful tools to helping me finally feel full.
And that’s the sort of detail I think is missing from this video by Jeff Nippard. It goes into some of the current science behind getting sufficient protein for building muscle under different caloric scenarios, and it does a fine job of it. But there’s no discussion of the real-world challenges to getting sufficient protein other than a brief mention of vegan lifters.
We eat food not macros, and getting sufficient protein requires learning which foods are good sources of protein and then getting enough of those foods several times a day. Traditional macro counters “learn” this in the context of counting macros, but they may not feel comfortable without the security blanket of an app telling them if they have met their targets. What about when we’re eating out or at a friend’s house? What if we don’t find protein supplements like protein powders satiating? What if money is tight and we need to stick to cheaper, less “quality” protein sources? What if we need to learn the skills of cooking and preparing protein-filled foods?
There’s a big leap between knowing a target and making it a part of your daily life and habits. This video will show you where you’re trying to go but not the path to getting there. This weekend’s food prep discussion will tackle protein at breakfast and how I make it work for me. In the meantime, leave me a comment below: do you struggle with getting enough protein? What strategies have you tried and what works for you? I’d love to hear from you!