Muscle needs protein to survive. High protein foods are the mainstay in a bodybuilder’s diet. The average person is usually not sure of how much protein to eat. I have read many articles in the world of strength training, and fitness that address this subject. Most athletic people eat a lot, however maybe not enough of the right things. I think that most people in that world of fitness nutrition, including myself, would say that a person that works out regularly needs 1 to 1 1/2 grams of protein per pound of lean body weight. When the body is deficient in protein, we cannot recover correctly. We can not build our muscles, or repair them without the right amount of protein. If we do too much cardio, and workout too hard, without proper protein consumption, our bodies can go into a catabolic state. That basically means destroying our muscles. Using the muscles for fuel when not enough carbs are stored, or not eating enough protein can result in this. That is the last thing you want to happen.
We want at all costs, to preserve our muscle. This is how we will keep our metabolism raised. This is how we will be strong as we age. This is what our body wants. Most people feel limited with choices when it comes to clean eating. Protein comes from many sources. Below is a list taken from my Specialist in Sports Nutrition manual. This is only the animal based protein list. Remember, protein is also found in Low Fat Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, and Vegetables. A nutrition plan of clean eating can have many different options. Vary your diet, and you will never get bored!
Beef Flank Steak 1 oz. 51 cals 5.6 grams Protein 0 carbs 3 gms Fat
Beef Sirloin 1 oz. 44 cals 6 grams Protein 0 carbs 2 gms Fat
Beet Tenderloin 1 oz. 82 cals 5 grams Protein 0 carbs 6.7 gms Fat
Buffalo 1 oz 31 cals 6.1 grams Protein 0 carbs 0.5 gms Fat
no skin 1 oz 31 cals 6.5 grams Protein 0 carbs 0.4 gms Fat
Cod 1 oz 23 cals 5 grams Protein 0 carbs 0.2 gms Fat
Flounder 3 oz 77 cals 16 gms Protein 0 carbs 1 gm Fat
Halibut 1 oz 31 cals 5.9 gms Protein 0 carbs 0.6 gms Fat
Tuna 2 oz can 70 cals 15 gms Protien 0 carbs 1 gm Fat
Turkey, white meat
no skin 1 oz 33 cals 6.7 gms Protien 0 carbs 0.4 gms Fat
Eggs 1 egg 75 cals 6.3 gms Protein 0. 6 carbs 5 gms Fat
These foods are the highest rated, most commonly eaten sources of protein. If you are trying to cut body fat, you would try to eat as many of the lower fat proteins on the list. If you are building muscle and trying to put on mass, then go for the higher end of protein and calories. Red meat has many properties that lend to building muscle. However, red meat is higher in saturated fat, so if you are a red meat lover try to only eat grass fed, or pasture raised beef. It has 1/3 less saturated fat and 3 times the amount of Omega 3’s.
Eat for strength, eat for longevity and vitality. Eat a diet rich in nutrients so that all of your efforts in the gym pay off!