As one of the most important parts of clean eating, protein plays a big role in our daily diets.  Each of the 5-6 meals we eat per day should contain both a protein and carb.  Protein is required to build lean muscle mass and is also required to repair and maintain muscle and tissue.  Yet the average body cannot absorb any more than 25 grams of protein at any given meal.  When you consume extra protein the extra calories are stored as fat the same as if you had consumed extra calories from other food macronutrients.  This is why it’s important to be conscious of your portion sizes.  Below is a list of several common proteins and the serving amounts that contain 25 grams of protein.

Food Item:       Serving Amount = to 25 g of Protein:  Calories:
Egg Whites  5 – 7 whites    115
Low-fat Yogurt  2 cups 220
Low-fat Cottage Cheese 1 cup 115
Whey Protein Powder  1 ounce 128
Soy Protein Powder  1 ounce  112
Tofu    1 cup 274
Skinless Turkey Breast  4 ounces 122
Skinless Chicken Breast 4 ounces 125
Salmon  4 ounces 234
Tuna   4 ounces 132
Bison  4 ounces 253
Lean Beef Tenderloin  4 ounces 240
Quinoa     2 cups cooked 509
Almonds or Pine nuts   3/4 cup 621
Ezekiel 4:9 Cereal   1 1/2 cups 540
Soybeans/Edamame   1 cup 254
Natural Peanut Butter 6 Tbsp 600
Almond Butter   6 Tbsp 570
Lentils    1 1/2 cups cooked  345

 

Just remember that 4 0unces is roughly the size of the palm of your hand.  It is not a very big portion size.  The biggest challenge for my family was getting away from the idea that dinner is your biggest meal of the day.  My husband would sit down for some chicken and rice and easily eat more than 4 ounces of meat.  We worked to incorporate more veggies into his dinner and he would often plan his snack for 2 hours before dinner so that he would not be super hungry once dinner was ready. 

Do you have any tricks or tips that you use for controlling your protein portion size?  We’d love to hear them!

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