This morning, my wife told me that she only ate two meals yesterday. This is not her normal behavior, and she was underfed for the day. Being underfed for one day isn’t terrible, but if it becomes routine, it’s easy to get into a cycle of not enough, followed by way too much.
It also means going without enough protein – and the combination of these two issues spells problems for maintaining a lean body.
Megan is up against a lot of challenges right now. While balancing a full caseload with her private psychology practice, she is also supporting both of our daughters through a challenging week. One just had surgery, and the other is having big feelings about her sister getting so much attention!
That on top of a thousand things that keep anyone super busy – it’s no wonder that she missed a meal or two.
So let’s cover how to make nutrition more simple.
The 50g Protein Challenge
Like I’ve been encouraging all of you to do, Megan is going to shoot for 50g of protein before 10am daily for the remainder of the year.
This SIMPLE nutrition tool can make a big difference for her. Because of how she schedules her mornings and workouts, breakfast can get pushed back or skipped sometimes, and this means not enough protein early on in the day. Let’s break down exactly how she’ll do it.
I ran her numbers through the FBB Macro Calculator and chose the following settings for her.
Activity Level – Sedentary (her job demands a lot of sitting)
Goal – Recomposition (this puts her in a 10% deficit)
Protein Approach – Heavy (she is going to get 1.1grams of protein per pound of body weight – this is above the general recommended 1gram/lb to see if we can leverage using protein as a tool for muscle building at 45 years old)
Daily Target: 1400kcal/day
With 150 grams of protein to target each day, we are going to break that up as follows.
Breakfast – 50 grams of protein before 10am
- We will create a meal plan that has 3-4 breakfast options that she can rotate through
Mid-Day Meal (lunch or large snack) – 35 Grams of protein
- She is going to meal prep something very simple for the middle of her day
- She will make 3-5 servings of this at a time so she doesn’t have to think about it for serval days and can use the middle of the day
Dinner – 35 grams of protein
- She will place a large serving of protein at the center of her plate for dinner and fill it with veggies around that
- She is going to rely heavily on Just Meats to get her the protein she needs at dinner without having to do much preparation at all.
Dessert – 30 grams of protein
- We are going to create a Ninja Creami recipe for her that gives her something indulgent every night to have.
We aren’t going to worry about her other macros. In the end, we don’t care how many carbs or fats she is eating so long as she is hitting her daily protein and calories.
I’m going to encourage her to get 25-30 grams of fiber each day as well. She’ll need to make a few conscious choices for higher fiber foods to do this. But adequate fiber has been linked to so many health benefits that it becomes one of my main focus points for clients.
Sample Day for My Wife
Breakfast (Simple Breakfast Option with High Fiber) – 52 Grams of Protein
- 1 Hard Boiled Egg
- 400 Grams Non Fat Greek Yogurt
- 40 Grams Fiber One Bran Cereal
Lunch – 35 Grams of Protein
- 90 Grams Just Meats Buffalo Chicken Breast
- 90 Grams Avocado
- 10 Grams Non-Fat Mozzarella Cheese
- 150 Grams Non-Fat Refried Beans
Dinner – 39 Grams of Protein
- 100 Grams Just Meats Cran-apple Raspberry Chicken
- 215 Grams Red Cabbage
- 250 Grams Broccoli
- 15 Grams Avocado Oil
Ninja Creami – 32 Grams of Protein
- 225 Grams Almond Milk
- 225 Grams Fairlife Skim Milk
- 10 Grams Simply Delish Pudding Mix
- 20 Grams Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate
157 Grams Protein
42 Grams Fiber
By nailing that 50 grams in the morning, and relying on simple meals centered around protein for lunch and dinner, we got her to the protein amounts relatively easily. Furthermore, she was able to have some delicious ice cream each night.
If she skipped the egg in the morning and cut out a little of the fiber cereal at breakfast, she could have room to add in some sugary cereal like Cap’n Crunch to her ice cream at night. All about that FLEXIBLE LIFESTYLE.
Flexible Dieting Swap
- Remove 1 egg and replace with 10grams of whey protein
- Remove 20 grams of bran cereal
- Add 20 grams of Cap’n Crunch Cereal as a mix-in with your Creami!
- Protein is a big win for keeping you full and energized throughout the day, and helping build lean muscle.
- The earlier in the day you get your protein, the easier it is to stay on track.
- Go-to foods like Just Meats or other simple pre-prepared protein sources smooth out the busiest times of the day.
- Being flexible enough to have a few treats makes your plan easier to stick with. Just get that protein in first (or do both with protein ice cream!).