Your Go-To List to Get 20-30 Grams of Protein Per Meal

Your body weight is directly affected by the adequacy and quality of the protein in your daily diet. Every cell in your body contains protein, but we can’t make it on our own. Protein has to come from the food we eat, and we have to eat enough every day or else we start to see a big breakdown. 

Without adequate protein, not only will our weight loss efforts come to a halt, but over time, you’ll lose muscle mass, lose body strength, lose balance, slow down your metabolism, and feel lethargic and tired. 

No, thank you! If that list of side effects sounds like hell to you too, keep reading. I’ll show you just how easy it is to reach your protein goals and boost your weight loss. 

Why is Protein So Important for Weight Loss

Protein is an amazing teammate when you’re working to lose or maintain a healthy weight for four main reasons:

Protein is satiating: Because it takes much longer to digest protein than to digest carbs and fats, protein reduces our appetite and keeps us fuller for longer. 

Protein adjusts your hormones: When you eat enough protein, it combats and decreases ghrelin, also known as “the hunger hormone.”

Protein increases muscle mass: Proteins are the building blocks for our muscles. They allow us to gain that lean muscle mass we are working so hard to achieve while strength training. 

Protein helps you keep the weight off in the long term: When you are consistently eating adequate protein, your body begins to metabolize fat.


How Much Protein You Really Need a Day

According to the National Institutes of Health, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein is lower than the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR). What does this mean? 


It means that the 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight (RDA) is what you need to survive. If you want to thrive—and I know I do—go by the AMDR. The AMDR says protein can make up to 35% of your calories. That’s 175 grams of protein if you’re eating 2000 calories a day! 


See the difference? The National Institute of Health goes on to say that increased protein intake gives you greater strength, improves muscle mass gains and preservation, and limits age-related muscle loss. 


What are the Best Sources of Protein? 

Meatheads, vegetarians, and vegans can all hit their protein goals. There are plenty of healthy protein sources available to us. My go-tos include: 

  • Free range eggs
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Wild-caught fish
  • Edamame
  • Quinoa
  • Beans
  • Chicken
  • Tofu
  • Turkey
  • Pork
  • Chickpeas
  • Plain greek yogurt
  • Hemp hearts
  • Cottage cheese


How to Reach Your Protein Goals Easily

The simplest way to reach your protein goals is to spread it out between your meals. As a bonus, eating protein steadily throughout the day is healthier for you. Scientists recommend spreading protein intake evenly across the day to help prevent muscle loss with age. This means eating at least 25–30 grams of protein per meal. 

Take a Picture of this Protein Chart!

Here’s a quick list of high-protein foods you can have to reach your protein goals. Snap a pic of this chart so you can easily whip it out next time you’re planning your menu. 

20 Grams of Protein

30 Grams of Protein

3 eggs

3 eggs + 3 Applegate pork breakfast sausages

1 cup of greek yogurt

1 cup greek yogurt + 1 serving of hemp hearts

3 oz of chicken breast or ground beef

4.5 oz chicken breast

4 oz of salmon

5.2 oz of salmon

1 serving of Banza chickpea pasta

3 oz of lean ground turkey + 2 oz of Banza chickpea pasta

1 tuna pouch

2 tuna packs

2 Chomp sticks

1 cup of Good Culture low-fat cottage cheese


A One-Day Sample Menu with 125 Grams of Protein

Curious what a day of adequate protein looks like? Here’s a sample menu you can follow that will give you over 125 grams of protein. Use the fuel for a killer workout and see how much more energetic and strong you feel after just one day.

Breakfast (44)

  • Coffee with a serving of collagen peptides: 18 grams of protein
  • 3 eggs, sauteed spinach, 1 oz Kerrygold cheese: 26 grams of protein


Lunch (30)

  • 3 oz of cooked chicken breast: 26 grams of protein
  • Southwest Chopped Salad Kit: 12 grams of protein
  • 1 cup snow peas: 3 grams of protein
  • ½ cup of cooked quinoa: 4 grams of protein

Dinner (30)

  • 3 oz of cooked lean ground turkey: 23 grams of protein
  • 2 oz (dry) of Banza chickpea pasta: 11 grams of protein

Here are the macronutrients for the food listed above: 

  • Calories: 1385
  • Protein: 125
  • Total carbs: 92
  • Fat: 58

It looks like with this meal plan, you’ll have plenty of room for dessert! Want to bump up the protein even more? Sip on a Peppermint Patty Protein Shake or try one of my other recipes when your sweet tooth strikes.

 Power-Up with Protein

If you’re lacking protein but you’re not sure how to calculate your protein needs, or if you just need help hitting that protein goal daily, then check out my free 5-day meal plan! I pack 80-100 grams of protein into each day!  

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