Moms, Here are Some Easy Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake | Nutrition Coaching

April 11, 2021

Protein Intake

Easy Ways to Increase Protein Intake For Moms 

Moms should generally try to have a wholesome nutritional diet. Protein is one of the essential nutrients that you should include in your diet. All the vital bodily functions require protein, such as the oxygen being carried around your body, protection against viruses, growth of hair and nails, breaking down food for absorption, and life's building block.

Besides improving your general health, a high protein intake can also increase your muscle mass and help you with weight loss. Healthy moms get at least 71 grams of protein per day. There are various ways you can increase your protein-intake, like eating plant protein, cooking with Greek yogurt, eating lean meat and eggs, drinking smoothies, and increasing your fish intake. 

What’s the US RDA or DRI for Women's Protein Intake?

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) or Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) usually consists of different recommendations for a particular nutrient's recommended levels. As mentioned earlier, it is essential to have protein as part of your diet. Lack of sufficient protein-intake can lead to a weak immune system, change in hair texture, decreased muscle mass, and irritability. The recommended RDA in the US for women is estimated to meet their needs. Except for women who have undergone surgery and those who participate in sports.

The protein RDA for women who are not nursing and those who are not pregnant is 46grams each day, while that of expectant and nursing mothers is 76grams per day. To calculate an adult’s protein RDA, the institute of medicine states that for every kilogram of body weight, there should be 0.8 grams of protein and 1.1 grams of protein for pregnant and nursing mothers. Mothers who are pregnant with more than one baby and those nursing more than one baby will need more protein.

Women who are active like athletes

Women who are active like athletes will need to take more protein than the standard RDA recommended intake. Female endurance athletes will need about 0.55 grams of protein to 0.9grams of protein per kilogram of their body weight every day. However, this is solely dependent on the duration and intensity of their workout. For instance, a female marathon runner who weighs 130pounds may need to consume 117grams of protein per day.

You are probably getting sufficient protein if you meet the recommended protein RDA standard. You need to note that everyone has an individual protein requirement. Protein requirements may vary based on factors like your weight and size goals and your level of activity. You can quickly meet your protein goals if you plan healthy meals. Alternatively, you could get nutrition coaching. If you are participating in a weight loss program, it is essential to consult with a coach or a physician to know what diet is appropriate.

Should Your Protein Intake Vary Based on Age?

As mentioned, the RDA has set different protein-intakes for different people. Therefore, you may need to adjust how much protein you are consuming as you grow older, even more so if you would like to prevent muscle loss. Your age determines how much protein you need to be taking from your diet, so ensure that you are taking the right amount needed and adjust the amount if you need to.

Children under the age of 18years consume protein depending on their ages. Any child who is 4years to 9 years should consume 19grams of protein per day. Those aged between 9 and 13 years require 34grams of protein. For adolescents aged 14 years to 18 years, girls will need 46 grams, and boys will need 52 grams. It is essential to enforce a healthy eating habit for your children when they are younger. Contact your doctor to help you determine how much protein your child needs if you have any concerns.

As recommended by the RDA, any adult aged between 18 years and 65years should take about 0.8 grams of protein per their body's kilogram. The stated age gap is quite huge, but during this period, age does not have much to do with how much protein you need. As mentioned earlier, your fitness goals, weight, and activeness determine how much protein you need to take. Therefore, if you fall within this age range, it would be best to calculate how much protein you need depending on your weight. 

Remember that your weight and lifestyle goals are also contributing factors. For instance, if proteins are an essential part of your diet and you stay active, you could take up to 1.5grams of protein per your body's kilograms. This is also dependent on the intensity of your fitness, as aforementioned. Nutrition coaching is essential if you do not know how to go about it.

Once you get to 65years and above, your age becomes a determining factor for how much protein you need to take. You will have to increase how much protein you consume once you get to your 60’s if you want to maintain functions like your bone health and muscle mass. It would be best if you started taking about 1.2grams of protein.

As you grow older, your body does not process protein as efficiently as it used to. That is why you need to increase your protein consumption in an attempt to preserve your muscle mass. You should also note that you need to move your body and exercise as you grow older other than consuming proteins. A sedentary lifestyle will increase the chances of your muscles deteriorating.

Increase Your Protein Intake

How Can Protein Help with Your Weight Loss?

Proteins boost your satiety hormones and reduce your hunger hormone. When you are eating, it is essential to start with proteins since they will make you full faster so that you do not have to consume a lot of carbs or fats. When you consume a lot of proteins, it boosts your metabolism, which increases the number of calories you burn. 

You will also consume fewer calories when you take a lot of protein since, as aforementioned, it fills you up faster. Therefore, if you are on a high protein diet, you will lose weight even if you are not monitoring your portions, calorie intake, fats, and carbs. Having protein in your diet can also prevent you from regaining weight.

Why Should Moms Increase Their Protein to Help with Muscle Gain and Recovery?

Moms need to take more proteins because, as mentioned earlier, proteins significantly help with muscle gain. It is also essential in the production of milk for mothers who are breastfeeding. Proper intake of proteins also helps them recover fast. Generally, when women are pregnant and give birth, they need adequate nutrition for their health and that of the baby. Ask your doctor how much protein you should consume to ensure that you have sufficient intake and are healthy.

What are Some of the Best Protein Sources?

You can consume protein from the food you eat every day. Your body needs amino acids that it cannot naturally produce. Often, they are found in animal-based protein sources like dairy, fish, eggs, poultry, meat, and fish. Plant-based proteins are great, but they do not always have all the amino acids your body needs.

If you do not consume animal products, ensure that your diet consists of multiple plant-based protein sources, so your body gets all the required amino acids. This includes leafy greens, tofu, chia seeds, quinoa, peanuts, potatoes, almonds, and chickpeas. You can also add protein supplements such as protein powder to maximize fat loss, muscle gain and also meet your body's needs.

How to Make Eating Protein a Health Sustainable Habit?

Most people who get on a high protein diet do it intending to lose weight. There are various diet plans that you can choose from, and the best part is that it is food you will enjoy. To have a healthy and sustainable eating protein habit, you need to select the right kind of food. This includes vegetables, dairy products, eggs, oats, plant protein shakes, shrimp, fish, turkey and chicken breast, and seeds and nuts. Exclude any food you may be intolerable to. Avoid highly processed foods, products containing refined sugar, and any diet products.

Figure out your needs, make a meal plan, use high-quality proteins, include proteins in all your meals, ensure your meals are well balanced and eat both plant and animal-based proteins. However, if you have any kidney disease, avoid a high-protein diet.

How Can a Nutrition Coach Help You?

A certified nutrition coach can help you employ and maintain a healthy lifestyle. They can help you calculate the calories you need, inform you about healthy portions, let you know what diet is appropriate for you, and teach you the benefits of the different food groups. They can also guide and help you navigate how to take sufficient proteins if you are not sure what to do.

As aforementioned, protein has various benefits for everyone in general but more so for moms. It is essential for both the mother's and the child's health and development. Ensure that your diet and your daily protein-intake meet your body's needs. It would be best to find a protein diet that best works for you, depending on your needs. If you are uncertain, get in touch with a professional to figure out what kind of proteins you need.

About the author 

Vilmos Bond

Hi, my name is Vilmos, a Nutrition Coach for busy moms, and a wellness implementation consultant for private practice. I help moms overcome feelings of self-doubt and frustration with weight loss.

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