How do you get 200 grams of protein in just one day? That was a question one of you asked after reading one of my articles. So how easy is it to eat 200g of protein in one day? Read on to find out…
If you’re looking to build muscle, lose body fat or generally be a bit healthier, you’re going to need to eat protein.
Lots of protein.
When you’re doing some kind of weight training and particularly programmes such as Jim Wendler’s 531, your protein requirements will go up.
That’s because you’re body needs protein for growth and repair.
Because you’re stressing your body through exercise, this stimulates it into needing to repair and grow more – specifically muscle.
This is because your body likes balance or homeostasis. This is when your body is able to cope easily with stresses put upon it. That’s why your body grows muscle in response to exercise stimulus.
It literally doesn’t want to be weak!
Steak is one of the tastiest ways to get 200g of protein. Just fry in a little oil or butter, salt and pepper. And enjoy!
Get 200g of Protein: How Much Do You Really Need?
This is a hotly debated question. If you pick up a food label, it might tell you that your protein needs are 40g a day.
Which is correct, if:
You sit around all day basically doing nothing.
Changing what’s playing on Netflix is the most exercise you get.
The closest you get to lifting weights is picking up your smartphone.
If you flick through a bodybuilding magazine or read a bodybuilding forum, you might come out believing that you need two or even three grams of protein per pound of body weight.
Which is a lot.
This could be true if you’re on anabolic drugs, weigh 260lbs and have a competition coming up.
Or it could be that the supplement companies that fund these sites and magazines want you to buy their super high protein ‘60g in ONE SERVING‘ shakes and meal replacement powders.
The approach that I’ve taken is one of experimentation. As my training and body has developed, I’ve reached a point now where I know that, to recover and grow optimally, my body needs around 200 grams of protein a day.
This works out at around 1 gram per pound of body weight (Pro Tip: If you need to convert kilos to pounds, multiply by 2.2).
If I eat much more than this, I get fat. If I eat less I’m sore and lethargic. 200 is my magic number.
You might be completely different. You might need more or less protein than me. There isn’t a quick fix other than experimenting and being mindful of how your body feels in response to diet changes.
Wholefoods vs Protein Shakes and Meal Replacement Powders
If you read magazines and forums, you’ll begin to believe that drinking four protein shakes throughout the day is normal.
You’ll also believe that drinking protein shakes instead of eating whole foods is fine.
But is it?
The problem is that shakes, while convenient, are not particularly satisfying. The same can also be said for bars, cookies and other protein supplement foods.
Over consumption can also lead to the build up of salts in your urine which will burn when you pee. When you go to the doctor to see about this, he will erroneously refer you to a sexual health clinic.
Have fun explaining that one to your other half.
Although it takes a bit more effort, I prefer to get most of my protein from whole foods and use shakes to supplement my diet – not prop it up.
So how do you get up to 200g of protein in one day?
Eggs are a cheap and convenient way to get plenty of protein with 7-9g in each one.
Eating 200g of Protein a Day is Easy
If you’ve read some of my other nutrition articles, you’ll know that I don’t really buy into the ‘6 or 7 small meals’ ideology that is so popular with fitness professionals.
Instead I go for four medium sized meals throughout the day along with a pre-bed snack and a post workout shake on the days that I lift weights or do circuits.
Sometimes I might lift and do conditioning on the same day – for those days I’ll take two shakes and generally rest the following day.
On cardio and non training days, it pretty much looks the same but without the protein shakes.
This is a sample meal plan that works for me. I’d encourage you to experiment and see what works for you. You will have to ‘eat like you mean it’ if you’re going to reach that magic 200g number though!
Meal 1: 4 eggs and 2 slices of P28 High Protein Bread (54 g protein)
I also sip an amino drink during the day. I prefer BSN Amino X for flavours and taste. Watermelon and blue raspberry are probably the most refreshing. You can get it here (Amazon).
If I’m on the go or in meetings, I’ll take a protein bar with me. Quest bars are the best tasting and have some of the best macros of any bar.
Mint chocolate chip is my favourite but they all taste pretty good. You can buy them from most good supplement stores but the best deals are often online. Again I get these regularly from Amazon (click here)
I use a whey concentrate (75 – 80% protein) because it’s affordable and good quality. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard has 24g of protein per serving so is a great way to add to your protein intake especially on those tough training days when you need a little boost (get it here)
A protein supplement is a worthy investment. Don’t use it in place of real food though!
For meal prep, you can either prepare from scratch or buy what you need ready cooked (this can be expensive).
Something I’m doing more is leftovers. My wife makes a lot of healthy meals in the slow cooker (crock pot).
I’ll save the leftovers into individual portions and add microwaveable rice for a convenient meal.
A protein powder supplement can help up your intake. Try not to rely on shakes for more than 25% of your 200 grams.
Final Thoughts on A High Protein Intake
If you’re new to training you might be tempted to go all out too soon. If you’re serious about having a fit body, consistency, balance and trial with a bit of error are going to serve you well.
Don’t rush out and buy every protein powder and fortified food there is.
Do focus on eating quality, whole foods that will nourish your body. Adjust your intake to your needs. If this means measuring/weighing foods or tracking on an app like MyFitnessPal, do that. Most likely you’ll reach a point where meal planning and timing comes naturally and you don’t need to over think what you eat.
Use supplements intelligently. They should always supplement a healthy balanced diet of animal proteins, fruit and vegetables as well as whole grains. They should never replace or substitute it.
Eating 200g of protein in one day doesn’t have to be a trial or expensive. By making smart choices and supplementing intelligently, you can reach 200 grams helping you grow, recover and put on more muscle.
P.S. High protein meals can be hard to stomach. Thankfully my regular emails go down a lot easier. Sign up here and I’ll send you a free Ebook.