Achieve your optimum health and fitness for a lifetime!


By John Litteral 1-12-23

One of the things that people first learn about when they get into lifting weights is the importance of consuming enough protein. But, if you are new to lifting or are looking to get into this wonderful world of health and fitness and you haven’t been made aware of the importance of consuming enough protein for building muscle, then let me share with you some information about sources of protein and how much to consume daily.

Protein is a macronutrient that is vital for survival, and essential for building muscle. As a general rule, for those who train in weightlifting, you should consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of DESIRED bodyweight. For example, if you weigh 200lbs but your ideal bodyweight is 180lbs, then you should consume at least 180 grams of protein per day. If you weigh 130lbs but your ideal bodyweight is 170lbs, then you should consume at least 170lbs of protein per day. That is easy to understand. Consuming one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight can be challenging to say the least. I love to eat, and I can eat a lot of food each day, but there have been times when I struggled reaching my protein goals, especially when I am trying to lose weight. Choosing the right foods is extremely important, and prioritizing those foods will allow you to reach those goals.


MEAT: The most effective way to get plenty of protein is through meat. Beef, chicken, turkey, and fish are some prime examples of animal protein. All those sources are fairly close in the levels of protein that they contain. Below is a list of how many grams of protein per half a pound of each meat.

Beef: 59 grams

Chicken: 70 grams

Turkey: 64 grams

Salmon: 46 grams

Pork: 61 grams

You can eat a 16oz steak (I can easily) and get 115 grams of protein. Red meat is a wonderful source of protein and other valuable nutrients. The four different meats that I listed above are excellent sources of protein, and they all have various levels of micro and macro nutrients that your body needs.


I have gotten into the habit and made a lifestyle out of meal prepping. I usually buy the foods that I am going to eat for a couple of weeks. I use a crockpot to cook lots of meat at one time, whether beef, chicken, pork, and even salmon. I will cook a meat or a blend of meats overnight in the crockpot, and then add rice in the morning. A crockpot full of meat and rice will last me at least 4 days, usually longer. This ensures me that I will always have my protein packed meals ready to heat up for when I get hungry. I also love to cook a pot roast with beef, carrots, potatoes, and green beans, and have it sitting in the fridge for multiple delicious healthy meals.

I also keep a couple of containers of cooked eggs and bacon in the refrigerator. It makes a high protein meal that I can easily heat up in the microwave. Sadly, eggs and bacon are no longer a cheap source of protein.


This article is specifically concerning protein, but I do want to make mention of what goes well with a high protein diet. I always remember hearing Sylvester Stallone give a very simple but smart answer about what he eats that has helped him to stay in phenomenal shape for so many years. He said that all he does is make sure that he ‘eats some sort of meat (usually chicken) with something green.’ Vegetables are a really good source of carbs. Other really good sources of carbs are rice, sweet potatoes, oats, etc. Keep in mind that some vegetables can be hard to digest and may need to be steamed or cooked in order to make it easier to be digested.

Fats are very important as well for good health. Sadly, red meat and eggs have been demonized for decades. Government agencies and their crony corporate buddies have run propaganda campaigns against foods with saturated fats and therefore they have pushed various processed foods as being “healthy” alternatives that has led to shocking levels of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.   

I highly recommend whole foods as the main source of your diet. Highly processed foods flood the market with crap food that contains chemicals and oils that lead to all sorts of diseases.


Those sources above can be time-consuming to prepare, especially when you are really busy and do not have the time to thaw and cook. I like to have quick sources of protein on hand as my “plan-B” for when I just do not have the time to prepare food to take with me when I am away from home for a while, or if I just need a snack.

Cottage cheese


Boiled eggs


Protein shakes (Met-RX)

Protein bars



I do not seek out plant protein in order to reach my protein goals because animal protein is far more nutrient dense, and you get more bang for your buck when it comes to consuming enough protein. Beans and nuts have more protein than most other plant-based foods, but you have to consume a lot more of it in order to reach your protein goals as compared to meat and dairy products. In order to consume enough protein through plant-based foods, you will be taking in more calories, and run the risk of digestive issues. Plant-based foods are better suited for getting your carbs than for getting your protein.


The only protein supplementation that I do is Met-RX meal replacements. I wrote an ARTICLE recently about it. You can read the article HERE. Supplementation can be very useful, but it is not by any means a substitute for food. Make sure you get all the protein you can get from food first, and only use supplementation to assist. Food is superior to supplements when it comes to quality nutrition.


    • That isn’t true in general because there are so many variables involved such as what kind of protein is being consumed (whole foods, protein powder, etc). Also each individual, such as a 120lbs woman taking in 120 grams vs 275lbs bodybuilder consuming a lot more. The woman could eat all of her protein in 2 or 3 meals and be ok, but the big dude would be much better off eating 4-6 meals. And perhaps the most important aspect is how well you digest the food. If you eat a super high protein meal and you feel really boated and have to run to the bathroom then more than likely you’ve eat too much and will not absorb the protein you consumed. I can eat a 20oz ribeye and digest it perfectly, which is at least 130 grams of protein, but there is no way that I can drink 130 grams of protein in a protein shake and not feel bloated and uncomfortable, which means my gut did not absorb all the protein. The best indicator is to listen to your gut and determine whether you digested your food properly. That being said, I do think it’s wise to eat more smaller meals vs fewer but huge meals. But no, your body won’t quit absorbing after 30 grams of protein per meal in most cases.


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