Practical Meal Planning – Getting the protein you need!
There are a lot of different types of diets; high protein, low carb, keto, paleo, vegan, high carb….
It’s so exciting starting a new type of diet and it’s really easy to get all revved up and affirm, "I'm going to go follow this diet!”, but then when it actually comes down to it, I think you walk away and you wonder, "What does that actually mean? What does that actually look like on my plate?"
What sort of food will I be eating, how often, how much and how do I make it?!
Meal Prep and Meal planning is one of the most confusing parts of fitness, but it can be very simple.
There are 3 key macros that make up all the food we eat: Protein, Carbohydrates (Carbs) and Fat. All diets are based around different proportions of these macros and some also require you to eat specific types of foods, for example, vegan diets can’t consume meats, fish, egg or dairy products (any animal products), while keto diet doesn’t specify the type of food as much as it eliminates carbohydrates.
Whichever type of diet you decide to follow, get to know the types of macros you should be eating and the types of foods within those macro groups. Once you know this, it’s easy to start to plan your meals so you have plenty of energy for training and other important activities in your life!
No matter the diet, if you’re highly active or training hard, 5-6 meals per day is a must! Ideally you would split your meals into roughly even sized meals or 3 larger and 2-3 smaller ones.
One of the best diets for muscle growth has 35% protein, 45% carbohydrate and 25% fat. This provides plenty of protein for growth and recovery. A good amount of carbohydrate for energy and recovery and not too much fat to help keep you lean but make your food still taste good!
If we pick a daily calorie intake of 2500 calories, and 35% of that is protein, then 875 calories need to come from protein, which is 219g or round up to 220g. If you divide this across 5 meals, that’s 44g protein per meal or around 36g per meal if you divide it over 6 meals.
Do that same calculation for carbs and fats and you get 1000 calories of carbs or 250g and 625 calories from fat, or 69g. On 5 meals per day, that’s 50g carbs and 13.8g fat per meal.
Here you can see how easily your diet is starting to take shape. You might choose to have slightly more of something at one meal and slightly less at another, but you get the idea!
Once you have this framework, you need to choose where those macros come from. Getting 44g or even 36g of protein at one meal can be tough, let alone repeating that 5-6 times per day. That’s about 200g of chicken or fish each time.
This is where protein supplements have an advantage over other protein foods. Not only are they a concentrated source of protein, but you don’t have to cook them, they come in lots of delicious flavours and you can take them 2-3 times a day.
International Protein’s Amino Charged WPI provides a massive 35.2g protein per serve so it’s the right amount you need for most people to recover and grow new muscle. It’s also super low in carbs and fats, so you can add those as you need for your perfect macro intake! Made from Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate, Amino Charged WPI comes in 6 delicious flavours that taste amazing even on water. Take your pick from Chocolate, Vanilla, Banana, Strawberry, Cookies & Cream or Choc Raspberry today at STN Nutrition.