The constant question of how to get enough protein if you are eating a vegetarian diet has popped up again. Here is the answer.
How many calories you should eat per day to maintain the weight you are depends on your age, your current weight or size, how tall you are, your gender and how much you move around in a day.
In the UK the recommended calorie intake for a woman is 2 000 calories, and in the US the recommendation is 2200 calories per day. There are several tools on the internet for this, here is a calculator for working out your daily calorie intake.
To keep this simple we’ll assume you need 2000 calories a day. The daily recommendations are that 10-20% should be protein. So, let’s work on 15%. 2000 calories x 0,15 = 300 calories that should be protein.
1 g of protein contains 4 calories. 300 calories / 4 = 75 g of protein.
So, if you need 2000 calories per day, then you should make sure you eat 75 g of protein each day. Next question is, how do you do this? You just eat food that contain protein! Here are some examples:
- 1 medium egg contains 6 g of protein
- 50 g of cashew nuts contain 9 g of protein (but they also contain 22 g of fat!)
- 1 cup (2.400 ml) of kidney beans contain 13 g of protein
- 100 ml / 3 1/2 oz milk contain 3 g of protein
- 1 slice of cheddar cheese contains 7 g of protein
- 1 cup (2.400 ml) of boiled lentils contain 18 g of protein
- 1 slice of whole wheat bread contains 3 g of protein
- 0.5 cup (1.200 ml) of cottage cheese contains 11 g of protein
So, as you can see, add some protein rich food to every meal and you will eat the right amount. And, the question is, do you need to eat even more if you are exercising? Most sources claim you only need to boost your protein levels if you are doing really hard weight training or training on a professional level. To sum it up; eat good food and add something protein rich with every meal, and you should be all set.