Managing your diet and nutrition generally involves considering two things: how many calories you eat on a daily basis and what contributes to those calories. On average, most healthy adults consume an average of 2,000 calories per day, with a diet composed of protein, carbohydrates, natural foods such as fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and minimal amounts of fat and sugar. If you are an athlete, you may choose to reduce your caloric intake to 1,600 calories to lose weight and increase your protein intake to 200 g to build muscle. For this reason, exercise should remain an important part of your daily routine.
Evaluate your current diet to gain an understanding of what changes you will need to make. For example, MayoClinic.com states that an average diet contains 2,000 calories with 50 to 175 g of protein. This means that you would need to eliminate 400 calories from your diet and increase your protein intake by 25 to 150 g.
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Reduce your intake of carbohydrates and fatty foods to help reduce your caloric intake. Because your caloric intake is being reduced, you will need to increase your intake of low-calorie foods to keep you full and compensate for the calories that are no longer available to you. Reducing your intake of carbohydrates and fat and increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables is one way to accomplish this.
Choose foods that contain the highest concentrations of protein in order to reach your protein goal and stay within your caloric limits. For example, 4 oz. of a chicken breast contains approximately 250 calories and 38 g of protein. Eating 4 oz. of chicken breast at lunch and dinner would provide you with 500 calories and 76 g of protein per day.
Supplement the foods you eat with protein shakes made from whey protein. One scoop of whey protein contains 120 calories and approximately 25 g of protein. You can make a smoothie as a meal by adding this to 1 cup of yogurt and 1 cup of blueberries, which equates to 404 total calories and 37 g of protein.