Protein is essential for the building of muscle and is made up of amino acids that help your body carry out a variety of functions. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, amino acids are used to produce antibodies, store other amino acids, and promote healthy skin and nails. Your daily required amount of protein will vary depending on your age, weight and activity level. A 50 g protein diet is suitable for you if you eat roughly more than 1,800 calories per day.
According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the recommended daily intake for protein is around 10 to 30 percent of your daily caloric requirement. For an 1,800-calorie diet, this is around 200 to 540 calories from protein -- or 50 to 135 g of protein. Since 50 g is on the lower end of your recommended daily range, it’s the minimum protein you should get per day. Any increase in activity or caloric intake will raise this minimum requirement.
For breakfast, you can try eating three to four eggs, 1/2 cup of cottage cheese and an apple. This amounts to roughly 15 g of protein. Try to eat fiber-rich complex carbohydrates with your protein to facilitate digestion. Good complex carbohydrates include fruits, vegetables and oatmeal. Other excellent choices for protein in the morning can include yogurt, a protein shake or some low-sodium turkey bacon. A serving of yogurt gives you roughly 5 g of protein. A half scoop of protein powder can offer 8 to 12 g of protein, and turkey bacon can give you 4 to 5 g per slice.
For lunch, try a small 4 oz. chicken breast, 1/2 cup of brown rice and a handful of broccoli. Lean meat like chicken, turkey and fish are good sources of protein. A 4 oz. chicken breast can provide 20 g of protein. A 3 oz. piece of salmon provides around 18 g of protein and 7 g of healthy monounsaturated fat. Healthy fats promote cellular health, hormone development and help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins. A 3 or 4 oz. piece of lean meat is roughly the size of a deck of cards. If you are dieting to lose weight, try to cut larger pieces of lean meat in half and save one half for dinner.
For dinner, you can try to mix up your protein intake by cooking legumes. Legumes like navy beans, black beans and kidney beans are rich in protein and fiber. Fiber aids in digestion, helps you maintain a healthy weight and can help lower your bad cholesterol. A cup of black beans can provide 10 g of protein and 5 g of fiber. Sticking to simple meals rich in protein and complex carbohydrates can help you easily reach your 50 g protein goals. Mix and match protein sources to match your taste, and portion your protein so that you get an equal amount for each meal.
- “Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant Manual”; American Council on Exercise; 2008
- “NSCA’s Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition”; National Strength and Conditioning Association; 2011
- "ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer”; American College of Sports Medicine; 2010