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Protein… How Much And When

If you’re beginning P90X or simply want to melt fat relatively quickly no matter what program you’re after, you’re most likely bombarded with “Up your protein, Bro!” And while there’s some sense to this when applied correctly, the amount of protein you may take in might increase when you start on a P90X Fat Shredder style nutrition plan.

Why Fat Shredder–And More Protein– Works

As laid out, the “Fat Shredder” methodology is very effective at grabbing your fat stores by the ear and kicking them out of the house…. but it’s not something you want to go for long term despite its efficacy. The reason? Fat Shredder relies on a biological process called Ketosis (what your body does when glycogen stores–IE stored carbs– are not available, it declares an emergency, flips the back-up switch to “on” and taps fat for fuel)… and long-term ketosis can be hard on the system.

So now that the fancy-pants “How it works” stuff is out of the way, the method behind the madness of increasing protein intake isn’t necessarily you need TONS of protein to build up your muscle or that protein has magical powers (though it is critical to your health)– it’s just that protein isn’t an easily converted source of fuel for your body the way fat and carbohydrates tend to be and when you’re lowering your carbs to allow your body to begin tapping into fat, well– protein fills the gap.

Either way, you may find on Fat Shredder…

…That’s a Boatload of Protein!

I get this a lot. At first blush, downing potentially hundreds of grams of protein a day into your body sounds daunting… and if I’m being honest, eating that much meat grosses me the heck out. So here’s the trick– just do what the mouse did when eating the elephant… do it one bite– one meal– at a time. After all, tossing down 80g of protein per meal is overrated when 30-40g per meal (depending on your caloric needs as worked out with your nutrition guide, it may be less) appears to be best for absorption anyway. And again, you do that through eating smaller meals throughout the day.

Switch Up Your Protein– Chicken Gets Old Quick

OK, so eating protein is manageable… but that’s not to say you need to be downing chicken breasts and lean meat all day every day. As far as I’m concerned, that’s just too…. well, meaty. There’s plenty of ways to get protein aside from just straight meat and the name of the game is “well-rounded”. Here’s a few choices:

  • Lean Meats: Tuna, Turkey, Chicken, Ground Turkey, Tilapia, the occasional super-lean ground beef, etc. These can all be prepared a thousand different ways– search “Eating Clean” here on the site for some ideas).
  • Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt (I highly recommend Fage as it’s the least bitter–more like sour cream– then I add berries and walnuts)
  • Non-Fat Cottage Cheese
  • Eggs/Egg whites
  • Turkey/Jack Links Beef Jerky (Other Jerky brands tend to have way too much sugar)
  • Turkey Sausage
  • Tempeh (plant based)
  • Whey Protein Supplements (I recommend 100% Natural Whey, Blue Bonnet Whey). These can be mixed in pancakes and other items to make “carbs” a meal.
  • Plant-Based Protein Supplements (I recommend Sun Warrior or Raw Protein)
  • Protein Bars (Highly recommend Questbar)
  • Deli Meats (If you’re not picky– some nasty chemicals in this stuff and deli meats are highly processed but in a pinch they can do in extreme moderation– choose the trendy “Naturals” lines)

Supplement Protein Sources

Many foods (including some carbs and many plants, beans, etc.) have protein in them so you don’t have to rely on one huge chunk of meat to get all your protein. You can scale the serving down an ounce or so if you’re getting protein from other sources like sprouted grains, oats or quinoa.

For example, a can of tuna has roughly 30 grams of protein. Perfect. But if you have a tuna sandwich on Ezekiel Bread, you’re adding an extra 10g of protein. So if your goal is 30g of protein for lunch, you could technically eat 3/4 can of tuna instead of the full serving. Plus, plant proteins are more readily absorbed by the body, so hey… win-win.

Taking In Your Protein Goals One Meal At A Time

As inspired by my buddy Todd, here’s an example of how I usually take in my protein over the course of a day:

AM Post Workout: P90X Results & Recovery Formula: 5-10g (depending on a one or two scoop serving)

Breakfast: Shakeology: 1 scoop Shakeology, 1 scoop whey, 1 tbsp PB, 1 cup almond milk: 47g

Morning Snack: 10 oz Greek Yogurt/walnuts: 32g

Lunch:  6oz lean meat, green salad-> 36g

Afternoon Snack – 2 Protein Bars + salad/sugar snap peas-> 40g+

Dinner– 5 oz lean meat or vegan dinner + protein shake supplement, quinoa, broccoli -> 40g

Evening Snack –1/4 cup Greek Yogurt or Shakeology:  8g/15g

In all, that’s 215-230g of protein. A lot in one shot, but spread out over the day? No probalo!

Moral of the story? Don’t’ stress about your protein on Fat Shredder–one 30g meal at a time–and you don’t need to get all your protein from cooked meat. Variety is the spice of life and going this route, you’re less likely to want to gag next time you see a grilled chicken breast.

As always, to keep this dialed in… YOU MUST TRACK YOUR NUTRITION. At least in the beginning. You might be surprised at what you find out.

Having trouble? Need some hints or suggestions to get dialed in? Stay on track and receive personal tips and advice by adding me as your free coach and mentor right here.In the mean time, keep rockin’ it! 

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