How To Eat 200 Grams of Protein A Day (+ Sample Meal Plan)

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As a long-time health journalist and nutrition coach, a lot of people ask me how to get ample daily protein in order to meet their fitness goals.

With proper planning, it’s possible to eat 200 grams of protein per day by eating various nutrient-dense foods and adding supplements as part of a balanced diet. Some plentiful protein sources include eggs, dairy, poultry, red meat, seafood, beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, seitan, and protein powder.

With such a high protein goal, it can be difficult to hit your macro targets if you don’t plan your meals ahead of time and portion your meals correctly.

Want to learn more about meal planning? Check out our complete guide on How To Create A Bodybuilding Diet.

Key Takeaways

  • Athletes and bodybuilders weighing over 220 pounds can safely consume 200 grams of protein per day.
  • Protein on its own is not adequate for balanced nutrition. About 25% to 35% of your daily intake should come from protein, 15% to 30% should come from fat, and the rest should come from carbohydrates.
  • The current research points to eating four to five meals a day, with your protein intake spread out as evenly as possible. 

Protein can be sourced from a variety of healthy sources. If you decide to supplement, there are a few rules to follow.

Who Should Be Eating 200 grams of Protein Per Day

Eating 200 grams of protein is not necessary for everyone. The current guidelines suggest that the exact figure can vary depending on your age, gender, and physical activity level. The USDA has a calculator to help determine your baseline protein needs.

Elite athletes and bodybuilders often need more protein than the average population. Active adults who weigh at least 100 kilograms (220 pounds) can safely eat 200 grams of protein per day to maintain existing muscle mass, support recovery, and encourage new growth, depending on your fitness goals.

When adding more protein into your diet, it’s important to remain physically active and do regular resistance training to prevent the accumulation of excess body fat. 

Keep in mind that protein should only account for 25% to 35% of your total daily calorie intake. Try to incorporate 15% to 30% of your daily calories from healthy fat sources, like avocado and olive oil, and the rest from carbohydrates, like fruits and vegetables.


Research suggests that athletes should aim for 1.4 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight per day. A 100-kilogram (220-pound) athlete, then, may find it beneficial to consume 200 grams of protein per day, the upper end of this range.

  • 100 kilograms body weight x 1.4 grams = 126 grams of protein
  • 100 kilograms body weight x 2 grams = 200 grams of protein

Off-season Bodybuilders

Studies show that bodybuilders perform optimally with even more protein than athletes. During the off-season, bodybuilders should strive for 1.6 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight per day. For a 110-kilogram (242-pound) bodybuilder, for example, 200 grams of protein falls in the middle of the range.

  • 110 kilograms body weight x 1.4 grams = 154 grams of protein
  • 110 kilograms body weight x 2 grams = 220 grams of protein

“The collective body of evidence indicates that total daily protein intake for the goal of maximizing resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength is approximately 1.6 g/kg, at least in non-dieting (eucaloric or hypercaloric) conditions.”

Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition

Active Bodybuilders

During competition preparation, research indicates that bodybuilders can increase their protein intake to 1.8 to 2.7 grams of protein per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight per day. For a 110-kilogram (242-pound) bodybuilder, for example, 200 grams of protein is on the lower end of the acceptable range.

  • 110 kilograms body weight x 1.8 grams = 198 grams of protein
  • 110 kilograms body weight x 2 grams = 297 grams of protein

“For nutrient timing, we recommend consuming four or five protein (servings) per day with one consumed near training and one prior to sleep.”

Journal of Human Kinetics

5 Tips For Reaching 200 Grams of Protein A Day

5 tips for reaching 200 grams of protein a day

1. Increase Your Portion Sizes

Slowly increasing your volume of protein can make it more manageable. If you’re used to eating a four-ounce chicken breast at lunch, for example, increase it to five or six ounces in one sitting. 

“Eating three to six meals per day with a meal containing 0.4-0.5 g/kg body weight of protein prior and subsequent to resistance training likely maximizes any theoretical benefits of nutrient timing and frequency.”

Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition

2. Stock Up on High-Protein Snacks

Make sure to have plenty of high-protein snacks on hand, including:

  • String cheese
  • Turkey jerky
  • Beef jerky
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Protein bars
  • Canned tuna
  • Canned chicken breast
  • Nut butter packets
  • Greek yogurt

Check out our complete list of the top 50 highest protein foods.

3. Track Your Protein Requirements

To track your protein intake and analyze your macro split, download Macrofactor (click to read my full review).  Cronometer is also a great tool for tracking your overall calories and some micronutrients.

4. Choose Higher-protein Substitutes

Where possible, try high-protein substitutes for your favorite foods. For example, instead of regular pancakes (2 grams of protein per serving), consider Kodiak Buttermilk Power Cakes, which have 14 grams of protein per serving.

You can also use chickpea pasta in place of regular pasta for an extra protein punch. There’s also Ezekiel bread in place of whole wheat bread for extra protein and fiber.

5. Break Up Your Goal

Instead of trying to consume 67 grams of protein in three main meals, think smaller. Research suggests that there are some advantages to eating smaller meals more frequently, spaced three hours apart. If you’re eating six meals, aim for 30 to 40 grams of protein per meal.

Mealsprotein per meal
3 meals67 grams of protein per meal
4 meals50 grams of protein per meal
5 meals40 grams of protein per meal
6 meals33 grams of protein per meal

How Much Protein Should Come From Supplements vs Whole Foods If Eating 200g A Day

In general, try to prioritize whole foods for your protein needs over supplements. Your regime will depend on your training goals and dietary restrictions. For example, vegan bodybuilders may rely on more pea protein than someone with a paleo-based diet.

Supplements should only make up only 20% to 30% of your daily protein intake, as they lack essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber compared to whole foods.  

Therefore, if you’re eating 200g of protein per day, only 40-60g of protein should come from supplements.  

If you are going to supplement, research shows that it’s best to consume 40 grams before and after a workout.

Sample Meal Plan: 200g Grams of Protein

<<Click To Download 200 Grams of Protein Meal Plan>>

Sample day #1

This sample day of eating contains 203 grams of protein.

Breakfast (44 grams of protein)

  • 2 whole egg veggie omelet: 12 grams
  • 2 egg whites (mixed in): 7 grams
  • 3 slices of turkey bacon: 24 grams
  • 1/4 avocado: 1 gram

Snack (34 grams of protein)

  • 1 cup cottage cheese: 25 grams
  • 1/2 cup raspberries: 1 gram
  • 1/4 cup almonds: 8 grams

Lunch (53 grams of protein)

  • 5 ounces chicken breast: 38 grams
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato: 1 gram
  • 1 cup quinoa: 8 grams
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts: 6 grams

Snack (26 grams of protein)

  • 1 cucumber, cut into slices: 2 grams
  • 3 oz of wild-caught tuna: 24 grams

Dinner (46 grams of protein)

  • 4 ounces of ground beef: 16 grams
  • 2 ounces chickpea rotini pasta, dry: 14 grams
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese: 8 grams
  • 1 cup of marinara sauce: 3 grams
  • 2 cups steamed broccoli: 5 grams

Sample day #2

This sample day of eating contains 200 grams of protein.

Breakfast (55 grams of protein)

  • 3 oz chicken sausage: 12 grams
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder: 29 grams
  • 1/2 cup oats: 5 grams
  • 1/2 banana: 1 gram
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter: 8 grams

Snack (31 grams)

  • 3 ounces of dry salami: 18 grams
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs: 12 grams
  • 1 pear: 1 gram

Lunch (54 grams of protein)

  • 5 ounces of ground turkey: 38 grams
  • 2 baked bell peppers (to stuff turkey into): 2 grams
  • 1/4 cup melted cheddar cheese: 6 grams
  • 1/2 cauliflower rice: 6 grams
  • 1/2 cup mushroom (or zucchini, onion, peppers, etc): 2 grams

Snack (31 grams)

  • 1 container of Greek yogurt: 17 grams
  • 1/4 cup blueberries: 0.5 grams
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds: 10 grams
  • 1 tbsp of almond butter: 3.5 grams

Dinner (29 grams of protein)

  • 4 oz salmon: 23 grams
  • 3 ounces of asparagus: 2 grams
  • 1/2 cup potatoes: 4 grams

Sample day #3

This sample day of eating contains 201 grams of protein.

Breakfast (41 grams of protein)

  • 3 Kodiac pancakes: 15 grams
  • 2 slices bacon: 6 grams
  • 3 eggs: 18 grams
  • 1/2 cup sauteed mushrooms: 2 grams

Snack (28 grams)

  • 1 rice cake: 1 gram
  • 4 ounces sliced turkey: 16 grams
  • 1/2 avocado: 2 grams
  • 1/2 cup edamame: 9 grams

Lunch (49 grams)

  • 2 cups of shredded lettuce: 1 gram
  • 4 ounces shredded chicken: 31 grams
  • 1/2 cup of black beans: 8 grams
  • 1/2 cup of brown rice: 3 grams
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese: 6 grams

Snack (44 grams)

  • 1 scoop protein powder: 29 grams
  • 1 cup coconut milk: 5 grams
  • 2 tbsp of almond butter: 7 grams
  • 1/2 banana: 1 gram
  • 1 cup spinach: 2 grams

Dinner (39 grams)

  • 4 ounces steak: 28 grams
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese: 8 grams
  • 1 cup green beans: 2 grams
  • 1/2 cup butternut squash: 1 gram

Staying on Track: My Practical Recommendations

Amping up your protein takes a lot of dedication and planning. Instead of striving for perfection, recognize that your intake is going to ebb and flow a bit—and that’s okay. If you’re falling short, come back to your “why” and look for small ways to improve your process. 

Batch-cook Your Meals

If possible, cook more than you can eat in one sitting and freeze the leftovers. At a bare minimum, try to store one bag of frozen vegetables and a few cooked chicken breasts in the freezer. You can reheat both in just 10 minutes on the stove, which is great when you’re pressed for time and creativity.

Get Creative With Protein Powder

Supplements may be more versatile than you think. Of course, add protein powder to your post-workout shake. But it’s also great mixed into other recipes, including:

  • energy bites
  • smoothie bowls
  • overnight oats
  • Greek yogurt
  • pancake mix
  • dessert hummus (chocolate or vanilla)
  • pudding
  • guacamole (unflavored is probably best, though)

Invest in an Air Fryer

Ground turkey with broccoli, again? Some find it boring to eat high quantities of the same protein sources, day in and day out. Not only can an air fryer cook protein fast and easily, but the food tastes delicious with a nominal amount of oil compared to a traditional fryer.

An Instant Pot is another great option for the set-it-and-forget-it style of meal prep.

Max Out Your Sauces

Different sauces on your protein can keep things interesting. For example, Primal Kitchen has excellent paleo options, ranging from ranch and buffalo sauce to vinaigrette and chipotle mayo. Frank’s Red Hot sauce is another personal favorite.

Don’t Sleep on Lesser-known Proteins

When you’re struggling to hit 200 grams a day and coming up short, every little bit counts. Many plant-based ingredients are not only nutrient-dense, but good sources of protein as well.

IngredientsProtein (in descending order)
1 cup seitan (wheat gluten)64 grams
1 cup kidney beans43 grams
1 cup tempeh31 grams
1 cup tofu20 grams
1 cup lentils18 grams
1 cup black beans15 grams
1 cup Brussels sprouts3 grams
1 cup asparagus3 grams
1 cup broccoli2.5 grams
1 cup cauliflower2 grams
1 cup mustard greens1.6 grams
1 cup collard greens1.1 grams

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Eating 200g of Protein Safe?

It is safe for some groups to consume 200 grams of protein per day, including those with physically demanding jobs, elite athletes, and bodybuilders. Individuals with pre-existing health conditions should check with their doctor, as some research shows that a high-protein diet can put a strain on your kidneys.

Can I Eat 200g of Protein With Just 1 Source of Protein?

When the body breaks down protein into amino acids, the macronutrient profile looks the same no matter the source. However, each source has different micronutrients. For example, beef has more creatine than chicken, while fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. If possible, try to mix up your protein sources.

Can I Eat 200 Grams of Protein in One Sitting?

Researchers have not reached a consensus on how much protein your body can use after one meal. However, it is not recommended to eat 200 grams of protein at once, as the volume of food may be overwhelming. Current guidelines suggest breaking up your meals and aiming for 30 to 50 grams of protein each time.

How Many Calories is 200 Grams of Protein?

One gram of protein is equal to 4 calories. To hit 200 grams of protein, you should expect to eat at least 800 calories worth of protein each day. Your remaining daily intake should consist of 15-30% of calories from fat and the rest from carbohydrates, including vegetables.

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About The Author

Hilary Lebow

Hilary Lebow is a health journalist, certified nutrition coach, and certified yoga instructor. She has a Masters in Marketing with work appearing in Healthline, Everyday Health, Psych Central, and Greatist. In her free time, she enjoys lifting weights, yoga, and travel.