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If you’re struggling to hit your 150 gram protein target, then you’re not alone.
I had the same experience when I first started tracking over 8 years ago.
I had to learn how to plan ahead and figure out what foods to include, and in what amounts, to hit my 150 gram protein target.
The good news is that now that I’ve learned for myself, and I can teach you how to do it, just as I’ve taught my clients.
- Make sure that 150 grams of protein per day is an appropriate target for you. You may need more or need less depending on your body weight, activity level, and goal.
- Hitting your protein target is made easier by planning and preparing your protein sources ahead of time, having protein targets for each meal, and tracking your intake in an app.
- It may take time to work up to a 150 gram protein target, so aim for small increases to your current protein intake (adding 10-20 grams per week) until you hit your desired daily target.
Who Should Be Eating 150 Grams Of Protein Per Day
I recommend 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight for active individuals who engage in regular resistance training. This would mean that 150 grams of protein per day would be appropriate for active people who weigh 150 lbs.
But, 1 gram of protein per pound doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone, depending on your activity level and on your fitness goal.
So before eating 150 grams of protein per day, follow the recommended guidelines below:
The guideline is 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight for sedentary individuals.
For example, a sedentary person weighing 150 lbs would only need about 60 grams of protein per day. Based on this guideline, a sedentary person would need to weigh 375 lbs to eat 150 grams of protein per day.
So we can conclude that for most sedentary individuals, a protein intake of 150 grams is much too high of an intake.
The guideline is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight (based on studies recommending 0.82 grams to 0.91 grams, which rounds to 1 gram).
For example, a person who weighs 150 lbs and wants to stay at this weight while maintaining an active lifestyle should eat 150 grams of protein per day. This guideline applies to all active individuals since it is based on weight and not sex or gender.
During a cutting (fat loss) phase for active individuals, the guideline is 1.2 grams of protein per pound of goal body weight.
For example, this means an active person who wants to lose weight to get to a goal body weight of 125 lbs should eat 150 grams of protein per day (125 x 1.2 = 150).
A higher protein intake is recommended during weight loss because protein is the most satiating macronutrient: it helps with managing the hunger that can come from being in a calorie deficit.
Additionally, it ensures ample protein for preserving as much lean muscle mass as possible, just in case the body tries to use some dietary protein for energy instead of for muscle repair.
During a bulking (muscle gain) phase, the guideline is 0.7 grams of protein per pound of goal body weight.
For example, this means an active person who wants to gain weight to get to a goal body weight of 214 lbs should eat 150 grams of protein per day (214 x 0.7 = 150).
This bulking strategy is based on a meta-analysis that concluded that protein intake above 0.7 grams per pound of body weight does not result in further increases in muscle gain.
Percent Of Total Calories
Finally, protein should provide 25-35% of the total daily calories for active individuals. If you are eating 150 grams of protein, this is 600 calories (150 grams x 4 calories per gram), which is 25% of 2,400 calories and 35% of 1,715 calories.
- Active individuals with a daily calorie target of 2,400 calories or more should be eating at least 150 grams of protein.
- Active individuals with a daily calorie target of 1,700 calories or less should be eating less than 150 grams of protein.
9 Tips For Reaching 150 Grams Of Protein A Day
Here are my top nine tips for hitting a target intake of 150 grams of protein in a day:
1. Know Your Protein Sources
To eat a sufficient amount of protein, you need to know what foods actually contain the most protein.
There are some common misconceptions about high-protein foods, such as the idea that nuts and seeds are a good source of protein (they provide a few grams per serving, but most of their calories actually come from fat).
To learn which foods actually provide a significant amount of protein, check out my article Best Single Macro Foods, which also includes a handy PDF download that you can reference.
The top five highest-protein types of food are:
- Seafood & shellfish
- Egg whites
- Turkey breast (skinless)
- Wild game
- Chicken breast (skinless)
2. Plan Each Meal & Snack Around Protein
Once you know your protein sources, you can plan each one of your meals and snacks around one or more protein sources.
For example, instead of thinking of a meal as spaghetti with some meatballs on top, think about having a serving of meatballs along with some spaghetti.
Reframing meals to always plan out your protein source first is a great way to ensure that you are getting enough protein in each meal and snack, which will help add up to your daily total of 150 grams.
3. Have A Target For Each Meal & Snack
Having just one egg at breakfast isn’t going to contribute much to your overall target of 150 grams.
To get a sense of how much protein you actually need to eat at each meal and snack, take your total number of meals and snacks and divide it by your 150 gram target.
For example, if you eat three meals and two snacks, you could eat 30 grams of protein at each meal and snack to get to 150 grams of protein per day.
Or, If you prefer to have bigger meals and smaller snacks, you could have 40 grams of protein at each meal and 15 grams of protein at each snack.
Having a target helps to keep you on track and distribute your protein intake more evenly throughout the day, which has been suggested to encourage better muscle retention and growth than having most of your daily protein in one serving.
4. Prepare Ahead Of Time
Planning your high-protein meals & snacks ahead of time won’t necessarily help you if you don’t have the actual food ready to go when it’s time to eat, especially if you have a busy schedule.
Taking time to prepare ahead of time by making a grocery list, heading to the store, and prepping your protein in advance is the key to success in hitting your daily protein target.
I recommend getting in the habit of buying a variety of lean protein sources, a couple of high-protein dairy products (i.e. greek yogurt), and some convenience items (i.e. protein bars).
That way you have a variety of high-protein options to choose from; some require more preparation and others require little to no prep.
Many of my clients find it helpful to devote a few hours each week to batch-cooking their protein sources, whether that is grilling a package of chicken breasts on the weekend, or just cooking a few extra servings at dinner each night to use for lunch the next day.
5. Have Higher Protein Snacks
Snacks don’t just have to be an apple or a granola bar.
Think of them as mini-meals with an opportunity to include a protein source, a fruit or vegetable to provide some carbohydrates, and a source of healthful fats like some nuts or seeds or a little cheese (which will also provide a few additional grams of protein).
This is what I refer to as PFF snacking (protein + fiber + fat), which is a better snacking strategy to increase your protein intake, provide you with nutrients, and keep you satisfied until your next meal.
If you’re out and about and don’t have a snack with you, then get a protein bar or a ready-made protein shake while you’re out.
- Related article: 15 Ideas For High-Protein Snacks
6. Make High Protein Substitutions
If you are struggling to get enough protein from whole food sources of protein alone (are you gagging at the thought of another chicken breast?), there are lots of higher-protein alternatives for foods that you already eat.
- Substitute high-protein Greek yogurt for regular yogurt
- Substitute high-protein pasta (made with legumes) for regular pasta (check out brands like Chickapea, Banza, or Explore Cuisine)
- Substitute high-protein bread and wraps for regular bread
- Substitute high-protein ice cream for regular ice cream
- Substitute high-protein milk for regular milk
This is an easy way to increase your protein intake because it requires very little effort other than shopping around to find higher protein alternatives.
7. Upgrade To High Protein Desserts
If you’re someone who craves sweets, then you can make this work in your favor to hit your 150 gram protein goal.
Making desserts with protein powder is an easy way to have your cake and eat it too.
Check out our 50 protein powder dessert recipes for inspiration!
8. Supplement With Protein Powder
Protein powder is a convenient and affordable way to easily bump up your protein intake because each 30-gram scoop of protein powder provides an average of 25 grams of protein.
If you’re struggling to reach your protein target because you can’t seem to eat enough whole foods to get there, then it’s worth supplementing with protein powder.
That said, I do recommend limiting your protein intake from supplements to a maximum of one-third of your total protein intake, which would be 50 grams (2 scoops of protein) for a 150 gram goal.
9. Track Your Protein Intake
While all of these tips can help you increase your protein intake, if you don’t actually track the food you’re eating then you won’t know if you’re making it to your 150-gram goal or not
For this reason, it’s incredibly important that you start tracking your food intake using a macro-tracking app like MacroFactor or Cronometer (my personal favorites).
How Much Protein Should Come From Supplements vs. Whole Foods If Eating 150 Grams of Protein A Day?
Whole foods should ideally provide 80% (and at least 66%) of your daily protein requirements, meaning that no more than 20-33% of your daily protein should come from supplements. This will ensure you don’t miss out on micronutrients from whole food sources.
For 150 grams of protein, this means that a maximum of 30-50 grams should come from supplements like protein powder or protein bars.
- Related Article: Whey Protein vs Meat: Which Is Better?
Same Meal Plan: 150 Grams of Protein
Here are three examples of meal plans that add up to 150 grams of protein:
<<CLICK TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT THIS 150 GRAMS OF PROTEIN MEAL PLAN>>
1. 150g of Protein Meal Plan (includes meat, eggs, & dairy)
- Breakfast: 2 eggs, ½ cup (40 g) of rolled oats for oatmeal, ¾ cup (175 g) of nonfat plain Greek yogurt topped with 1 cup (152 g) of sliced strawberries (34 g protein)
- Snack: ½ cup (125 g) low-fat cottage cheese, 1 medium apple (154 g), ½ oz (14 g) cashews (18 g protein)
- Lunch: 4 oz (112 g) grilled chicken breast, ½ cup (100 g) cooked brown rice, mixed greens salad, 2 tsp (10 g) olive oil (38 g protein)
- Snack: 1 scoop (30 g) whey isolate protein powder, 1 medium banana (126 g), 1 cup (250mL) orange juice (30 g protein)
- Dinner: 4 oz (112 g) grilled sirloin steak, 4 oz (112 g) baked sweet potato, ½ cup (85 g) steamed broccoli, 2 tsp (10 g) butter (32 g protein)
Total: 152 g of protein
2. Vegetarian 150g of Protein Meal Plan (includes eggs & dairy)
- Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with ½ cup (125 g) liquid egg whites and 1 cup (30 g) sauteed spinach, 2 slices (72 g) whole wheat toast with 1 tbsp (15 g) peanut butter, ½ cup (74 g) fresh blueberries (39 g protein)
- Snack: ¾ cup (175 g) nonfat plain Greek yogurt, ¼ cup (22g) granola, ½ cup (77 g) fresh cherries (21 g protein)
- Lunch: 5 oz (140 g) extra firm tofu, cubed, stir-fried with ¾ cup (100 g) of mushrooms and 1 cup (100g) of bok choy, served on ½ cup (100 g) cooked brown rice (31 g protein)
- Snack: 1 scoop (30 g) whey isolate protein powder, 1 medium banana (126 g), 1 cup (250mL) orange juice (30 g protein)
- Dinner: 1 ½ cups (375mL) black turtle beans, ¼ cup (63 g) sugar-free salsa, ¼ cup (30 g) part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 large corn tortilla (40 g) and 1 extra large (200 g) grilled bell pepper (31 g protein)
Total: 152 g of protein
3. Vegan 150g of Protein Meal Plan (no animal products)
- Breakfast: 9 oz (255 g) soft silken tofu scrambled with ¼ cup (15 g) nutritional yeast and ¾ cup (100 g) sauteed mushrooms, 1 small (53 g) sliced tomato, 2 slices (68 g) sprouted Ezekiel bread with 1 tbsp (15 g) almond butter (40 g protein)
- Snack: 1 serving (50 g) roasted lentils, 1 cup (262 g) soy-based yogurt (22 g protein)
- Lunch: 1 cup (100g) grilled eggplant, 2 grilled portabella mushrooms (168 g), 1 cup (100g) sauteed kale, 3 roasted red peppers (190 g), 1 cup cooked quinoa (185 g), 2 tbsp (30 g) hummus (19 g protein)
- Snack: 1 scoop (41 g) Vega sport plant-based protein powder, 1 medium banana (126 g), 1 cup (250mL) soy milk (39 g protein)
- Dinner: 4 oz (112 g) Banza chickpea-based rotini, ½ cup (125mL) primavera pasta sauce, 2 cups (150 g) chopped romaine lettuce, 2 tsp (10 g) olive oil (30 g protein)
Total: 150 g of protein
Staying On Track: My Practical Recommendations
If you’re new to trying to eat 150 grams of protein per day, it can seem like a lot, especially if you had been eating much less protein initially.
The best thing you can do is to work your way to a higher protein intake over time so that it feels less overwhelming.
For example, if your current intake is only 50 grams of protein per day, it is not realistic to try to triple your protein intake overnight.
Here are my tips to ease into getting 150 grams of protein a day:
Make Small Increases
If you need to increase your intake to get up to 150 grams of protein per day, start by adding 10-20 grams to your existing daily intake for one week.
For example, if your current intake is 50 grams per day, try eating 60-70 grams per day for a week. Once you are used to that, then try eating 70-90 grams of protein per day for a week. Continue to make these incremental increases until you hit the target of 150 grams.
Aim For Progress, Not Perfection
Maybe some days you are hitting 150 grams of protein with ease, and other days you find that you are coming up short.
My advice here: don’t beat yourself up. Applaud yourself for the days that you do hit your target, and try to get more consistent each week.
Look to see if there is a pattern on the days that you are coming up short.
Maybe those days you have a busier schedule and/or more of your meals are on-the-go. Perhaps on those days, you need more convenient options like protein powder or protein bars to help you get closer to your target.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Eating 150 Grams Of Protein Safe?
Unless you have been advised by your doctor or other healthcare providers to limit your protein intake, eating 150 grams of protein per day is safe for individuals. That said, protein should provide at most 35% of your daily calories to allow for adequate amounts of carbs and fats.
Can I Eat 150 Grams Of Protein With Just 1 Source of Protein?
It is possible, but not optimal, to eat all 150 grams of protein from just one source such as all from chicken breast, or all from egg whites. You should have more variety in your protein sources to ensure that you get a sufficient amount of micronutrients, as each source will have a different micronutrient profile.
Can I Eat 150 Grams Of Protein In One Sitting?
You can eat 150 grams of protein in one sitting, but this would not necessarily be optimal. You’d likely be uncomfortably full from such a large amount of food, and you might limit your ability to get other essential nutrients. This study suggests an intake of 0.4 grams of protein per kg of body weight, per meal.
How Many Calories Is 150 Grams Of Protein?
If you were consuming 150 grams of pure protein with no additional grams of carbohydrate or fat, it would be 400 calories. Each gram of protein provides about 4 calories. But, in practice, most high-protein foods also contain small amounts (a few grams) of carbs and/or fats, which provide additional calories.
More High Protein Meal Plans
- How To Eat 120 Grams of Protein A Day
- How To Eat 160 Grams of Protein A Day
- How To Eat 200 Grams of Protein A Day
About The Author
Lauren Graham is a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified nutrition coach. She focuses on helping busy professionals balance healthy eating and purposeful movement. Lauren has a background in competitive swimming and is currently competing as a CrossFit athlete. She has a passion for training, teaching, and writing.