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Four Foods That Don’t Have As Much Protein As You Think

If you want to build lean muscle and lose body fat, getting enough protein is essential. So what is enough protein?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) recommends .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or .37 grams of protein per pound of body weight to prevent protein deficiency, however this number hasn’t been updated since the 1960s.

Recent studies have shown that if you’re trying to lose body fat and build muscle, you should consume twice as much as the outdated 1960s recommendation.

If you’re trying to lose fat and build muscle, aim to get 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per your goal weight (in pounds). For example, if your goal weight is 150 pounds, aim to get 105 - 150 grams of protein per day. The best way to get this amount of protein in is to try and split it among your meals. In this scenario, your goal would be to get between 30-50 grams of protein per meal (assuming you’re eating three standard meals per day).

Keeping your target protein number in mind, let’s look at some common snacks that don’t have as much protein as you think.

1️⃣ Cheese - usually under 8g of protein per one ounce serving and that’s being generous. Most are about 5g per one ounce serving.

2️⃣ Deli meat - How much sandwich/deli meat are you actually putting into your sandwich? I’d bet it’s about 1-2 ounces and they average 7-12g per TWO ounce servings.

3️⃣ Cured meat- salami, prosciutto, etc. When you order your cheese plate, you may think you’re getting a lot of protein in, but in reality- 6g of protein per one ounce serving on average. Ouch.

4️⃣ Nuts- These are high fat foods that have 1-5 g of protein per one ounce serving.

❗️While the above foods are delicious, most of them provide more fat than protein and would require large volumes of consumption to reach your protein goals, not to mention that the excess calories could negate your weight loss efforts.

If you want to put on lean muscle, you need protein. Significantly more than what you’re probably consuming.

Learn what protein serving sizes look like by reading labels. As you work on steadily increasing your protein, you’ll feel more satiated and provide your muscles the nutrients they need so that you can reach your body composition goals.

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