So not too long ago I was talking with a friend on the phone. Something that was brought to my attention was… perspective. After winning Skip La Cour’s 6 Month Bulking And Cutting Program Challenge, my focuses had shifted BIG TIME. Did I still eat, sleep, and dream about building muscle? No doubt! But it just wasn’t as extreme. I noticed myself doing things I never would have normally done like using my phone while at the gym, spontaneously switching up exercises, and many times not putting the max amount of intensity into my training like I should. My priorities had switched, and I now saw this lifestyle of building muscle through a different set of ‘glasses’.
What the hell does this have to do with eating a certain amount of protein per day to build muscle?
There is always a reason for my madness! I mentioned perspective, because when it comes to eating a certain amount of protein per day, I have come across a better way of going about that situation.
When it comes to the ‘perfect’ amount of protein per day to build muscle, everyone has their own magic number that they will tell you…
“You MUST eat 200 grams of protein… You HAVE TO eat 300 grams of protein… No that is too little… No that is too much!”
Instead of figuring out the amount of protein to eat per day, go by the amount of protein per meal instead. I’ll simplify that for ya. If each meal was going to be 500 calories, determine the amount of protein per meal first. So, plan your meals by first choosing your protein source, which is equal to a scoop of whey protein or 3-3.5 ounces of chicken breast. That is going to be around 25-30 grams of protein. So, if you are eating 5 meals, each with 30 grams of protein, you multiply 5 x 30 to get 150 total grams of protein throughout the day.
Remember, each meal is going to have a balance of protein, carbs, and fat. Start with protein first, and then the carbs and fat can take care of each other. Here is a walk-through of picking a 500 calorie meal.
1) You have 1 scoop of whey… let’s say it is 30 grams of protein and 150 calories. So now you are all set with your protein source, and you have 350 more calories for your meal.
2) Next is your carb source. 3/4 cup of oatmeal… let’s say that is 250 calories.
3) Now you are left with your fat source. 1 tablespoon of peanut butter will do for the remaining 100 calories.
So keep in mind these things when determining your total amount of protein per day.
1) Figure out how much protein you will have for each meal. Start off with 25-30 grams. From there it is easy to figure out the amount of protein per day you will be eating.
2) Once you have figured out the amount of protein to eat, then move onto carbs, and then onto your fat source.
And just like that, you have determined not only the total amount of protein per day to build muscle, but also how to build your meals.
Remember this is just a starting point. As time goes on you can definitely add more protein per meal. How much exactly? I can’t tell you that, because everyone utilizes protein differently. What I can tell you is that just because you are lifting weights, you are definitely going to need more protein than the average Joe who doesn’t lift (heavy) weights.