Your body craves protein: It needs it to help build muscle. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re getting enough, allowing your body to replenish and get stronger. Plus, it satisfies hunger and helps you stay full longer, which helps immensely as you get fit and lose weight.
Video of the Day
LIVESTRONG has partnered with Katie Dunlop of Love Sweat Fitness to bring you her favorite protein smoothie that's super simple to throw together for a satisfying post-workout pick-me-up. According to Katie, "If you are doing any serious weightlifting or athletic training, you should be getting about 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per kilogram of lean body weight." Check out more of her protein shake recipes.
What You Need to Know About Macros
As your physical activity increases, you need to focus on your macronutrients (or, if you want to sound really cool, refer to them as "macros") — carbohydrates, fat and protein. They're the building blocks that provide the calories your body needs for energy.
Our MyPlate calorie tracker app — available on desktop and for iOS and Android devices — gives you an at-a-glance overview of your macros on the main tracking dashboard. We take the guesswork out of it. If you’re using the MyPlate app, you’ll see a simple pie chart with your daily breakdown. Boom!
How to Know If You're Getting Enough Protein
The default caloric breakdown for the MyPlate app is 40/30/30, which translates to 40 percent from carbohydrates, 30 percent from fat and 30 percent from protein. That's the baseline formula.
Depending on your fitness activity and your body’s needs, you might need to make dietary adjustments to ensure you’re getting enough protein. Since the body doesn’t store protein like it does fat, you need to replenish it throughout the day. Make sure you’re opting for good sources of protein like lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds.
A good rule of thumb is to have 10 grams of protein after a workout. So fuel up your body properly and track your macros so you can maximize your results.
How to Join the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge
1. Download the MyPlate App
Documenting your food and activity might seem like overkill, but it’s not. People who track their calories and physical activities enjoy greater success losing weight and keeping it off for good!
Tracking everything honestly is essential to making the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge work for you. Sometimes you’re not even aware of everything you consume, but once you start tracking it, you’ll think twice before you make poor choices. And that’s a good thing.
- Daily meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and snacks
- Exercise and activity
- BMI (Body Mass Index)
2. Print Out Your Daily Calendar
Isn't it so satisfying to check things off of your to-do list? Each day during the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge, you're accountable for five key steps: tracking breakfast, lunch and dinner; tracking your water intake; and either walking or running.
We created a helpful calendar to keep you on task for all 30 days. Print it out and check off each activity as soon as you complete it.
3. Stay Connected on Facebook
For daily support, motivation and camaraderie with LIVESTRONG.COM team members, join our Facebook Group for the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge. We'll share recipes, tips, motivations, pictures and more! Plus, we'll answer all your questions.
4. Get Up to Speed on All Your Macros
- 7 Kitchen Tricks to Make Carbs Better for You
- 9 Delicious Recipes Made With Healthy Fats
- 15 of the Best Lean Animal Proteins
Readers — Are you joining us in the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge? If so, what's your weight-loss goal? Have you ever done a weight-loss challenge group before? How did it go for you? Have you joined our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Group on Facebook? Leave a comment below and let us know.