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As a dietitian, I understand that consuming 300 grams of protein per day might feel overwhelming, but I have some tips to share with you below that will help you reach this protein intake more easily. I also provide a sample meal plan for you to follow.
- Make sure that a 300g daily protein intake is right for you. You’ll require 300 grams of protein per day if you weigh 213-429 lbs and have a daily calorie target of 4000-4800 calories per day.
- Aim for 50-60 grams of protein in larger meals and 35-40 grams in snacks. I also recommend supplementing with 1-2 scoops of protein powder to avoid feeling uncomfortably full from eating whole foods alone.
- Tracking your protein intake in an app like MacroFactor is the best way to determine whether you’re consistently meeting your protein goal or not.
- Stocking up on protein-rich snacks/foods (e.g. protein bars, greek yogurt, chicken) and batch-cooking individual meals ensure you have convenient protein options readily available.
Who Should Be Eating 300 Grams of Protein Per Day
For most people, consuming 300 grams of protein in a day is unnecessary as this is an extremely high protein intake.
A general rule of thumb for active individuals is to aim for around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Since this value is close to 0.91g per pound of body weight (recommended by the International Society of Sports Nutrition), rounding it up to 1 makes it easy to calculate protein needs for most active people.
Based on this guideline, if you weigh 300 lbs, then you will need 300 grams of protein per day (1 gram x 300 lbs = 300 grams). This recommendation, however, can get more granular based on your goal, whether you’re bulking or cutting.
Recommendations For Fat Loss & Muscle Gain
A slightly higher protein range of between 0.95-1.41 grams per pound of body weight is suggested for competitive athletes aiming for fat loss, as a higher protein intake (than the one above) is thought to preserve more muscle in this particular group of individuals.
If your goal were to build muscle, then you would be eating more calories than your body needs to maintain weight which decreases the risk of muscle loss and therefore decreases your protein target to around 0.7 grams per pound of body weight.
Recommendations According to Percentage of Total Calories
If you don’t want to base your protein intake on body weight, the Institute of Medicine recommends a protein intake range of 10-35% of total calories, which aligns with the recommendations from the ISSN highlighted above.
However, within this range, it is important to distinguish the differences between sedentary (spend most of the day stationary and engage in little to no exercise) and active individuals.
Those who are sedentary should be on the lower end of the range (10-20%), while those who are active should aim for the higher end of the range (25-30%) to promote muscle preservation and muscle building.
So if you are consuming 300 grams of protein a day (1200 calories toward protein) as an active person and aiming for 25-30% of calories from protein, you presumably consume between 4000 – 4800 calories per day.
- Related Article: Low Budget High Protein Meal Plan (Less Than $2.00/Meal)
8 Tips For Reaching 300 Grams of Protein A Day
Now that you’ve determined that you should be consuming 300 grams of protein per day, here are my top tips to make it easier:
1. Use An App To Track Your Protein Intake
Tracking your protein intake using a food tracking app for the first week or so can help you monitor your daily protein intake to ensure you’re meeting your goal.
I tested 18 popular nutrition tracking apps, and our #1 recommendation is Macrofactor (click to read the review).
If you’re not meeting your protein target, you can see which meals are falling short and make adjustments going forward to get you closer to your goal.
Tracking your intake using an app is a great way to learn which foods you’re eating are high in protein and which foods are low in protein because oftentimes we think certain foods are a decent source of protein when they actually aren’t (i.e. peanut butter).
- Related Article: Best Single Macro Foods
2. Look For Higher Protein Substitutes
Another easy way to increase your protein intake to meet your 300-gram goal is by replacing lower protein options with higher protein alternatives.
Just a few simple swaps can provide a substantial protein boost to your meals. Here are a few swaps you might want to try:
- Chickpea or lentil pasta instead of regular pasta (11 grams more per 100g, raw)
- Greek yogurt instead of natural or fruity yogurt (7 grams more per 100g)
- Soy milk instead of oat milk (2.7 grams more per 100ml)
- Quinoa instead of traditional rice (2.5 grams more per 100g, cooked)
- Ezekiel or wholegrain bread instead of regular white bread (3-4 grams more per slice)
You can get more high protein swap ideas in our article How To Increase Protein Intake Without Protein Powder.
3. Consider Supplementing
Supplements, either in powder, solid, or liquid form, can be a convenient way to help meet your protein target because they contain a significant amount of protein in smaller serving sizes, which is extremely helpful when you have a higher protein target.
If you try and hit your 300-gram target just by eating food, then you’ll likely find that it’s nearly impossible to do so without feeling uncomfortably full.
Using high-quality supplements like protein powder can help you meet your protein target without inducing digestive discomfort from a higher volume of food.
Supplements to consider that offer around 25 grams of protein per serving are:
- 1 scoop of whey or casein
- 1 scoop of soy or another plant-based powder
- 1 protein cookie
- 1 protein bar
I’ve tested 21 (and counting) protein powders, and my favorite brand is Transparent Labs Grass Fed Whey Protein (click to read the review). It has 93% protein per scoop, which is the highest protein percentage I’ve come across.
4. Distribute Protein Across a Minimum Of 5-6 Meals
One of my favorite strategies for staying consistent with a higher protein intake is to plan ahead and distribute protein intake evenly throughout the day.
Think of it as spacing your protein portions out every 3-4 hours, resulting in 5-6 meals (or large snacks).
You can do this by taking your daily protein goal and dividing it by the number of meals you plan to have.
For 300 grams per day, this could be 4 meals at 75g/meal, 5 meals at 60g/meal, or 6 meals at 50g/meal.
For example, if you consume around 50-60 grams of protein per meal across 6 meals, your meal schedule could look like this:
|Meal 1||7AM||55g||Whole food|
|Meal 2||10AM||35g||Protein bar/shake|
|Meal 3||1PM||50g||Whole food|
|Meal 4||4PM||60g||Whole food|
|Meal 5||8PM||60g||Whole food|
|Meal 6||11PM||40g||Protein shake|
Get meal ideas that fit within these criteria in the following articles:
5. Increase Whole Food Protein Portions
To get enough protein at each meal to meet your daily target, I recommend increasing your portion sizes of protein-rich sources because it’s an easy way you can boost your protein intake with minimal extra effort and planning.
If you typically consume 100 grams of chicken breast (around 25-30 grams of protein), try increasing it to 150 grams for an additional 10-15 grams of protein. This gives you a total of 35-45 grams of protein for the meal.
Similarly, if you usually have 100 grams of Greek yogurt (around 11 grams of protein), try doubling the portion size to 200 grams for an extra 11 grams of protein. This gives you a total of 22 grams of protein for the meal.
If you’re looking for high-protein foods, I calculated the 50 highest-protein foods per 100 grams.
6. Have The Largest Protein Portions Pre & Post Workout
Consuming larger portions of protein around your workout can help you reach your protein goal and potentially boost your ability to repair and build muscle.
Some research suggests that consuming larger protein portions before and after exercise can support resistance-trained athletes by minimizing muscle damage.
This research suggests a protein range of 0.4-0.5 grams per kilogram of body weight before and after training.
By consuming larger portions of protein around your workout, you won’t need to have as big of a portion in other meals to reach your 300-gram target.
7. Stock Up On High Protein Snacks
To make sure you get protein in more easily, ensure you have some high-protein snacks readily available that you can grab and go as needed.
Some of my favorites include:
8. Include A Protein Portion 30-min Before Bed
Having a 40-gram pre-bed protein portion in the form of a shake (1 large scoop) paired with 300-400 ml cow’s milk is a quick and easy window of opportunity to get extra protein.
Even better if the shake is casein-based because casein is a slow-release protein, which means it breaks down slowly and promotes muscle recovery and growth overnight.
“Results from several investigations indicate that 30–40 g of casein protein ingested 30-min prior to sleep increased overnight muscle protein synthesis”– International Society of Sport Nutrition
How Much Protein Should Come From Supplements vs Whole Foods If Eating 300g A Day
According to Nicholas Burd, a sports medicine researcher from the University of Illinois, it is always best to aim for a food-first approach that includes a variety of protein-rich whole foods because they contain essential amino acids and other nutrients that your body needs to function optimally.
However, if you find it overwhelming to meet 300 grams of protein a day through whole foods alone, then supplementing your nutrition can be a convenient and helpful approach.
I recommend you limit your protein from supplements to no more than 30% of your daily protein intake, which is equivalent to 90 grams.
For instance, this might look like 2 protein bars (40-50 g of protein) and 2 scoops of protein powder (50 g of protein).
The remaining 70%, or 210 grams should come from whole foods, as this will provide you with all of the essential nutrients (including fiber) that supplements don’t offer.
Same Meal Plan: 300 Grams of Protein
To help you hit your target, I have come up with three meal plans that add up to around 300 grams of protein.
Meal Plan #1: White Meat and Dairy ( 298g protein)
- Meal 1: 2 slices brown bread + cucumber + tomatoes + 150g sliced turkey breast + 2 slices leerdammer cheese = 58 grams of protein
- Meal 2: protein bar + 350ml soy milk with coffee = 36 grams of protein
- Meal 3: 150g grilled chicken breast + 200g mixed vegetables + 185g cooked quinoa = 51 grams of protein
- Meal 4: 250g greek yogurt + 30g seeds + berries + banana blended with 1 scoop protein powder = 58 grams of protein
- Meal 5: 250g Tofu (uncooked) + 170g peas + 250g bean & chickpea salad + 2 slices brown bread = 54 grams of protein
- Meal 6: casein powder shake 1.5 scoops + 200ml cow’s milk = 41 grams protein
Meal Plan #2: Red Meat, Eggs, and Dairy (302 g protein)
- Meal 1: 4 scrambled eggs + mushrooms/tomato + 2 slices of ezekiel bread + 350ml cows milk with coffee = 50 grams of protein
- Meal 2: 1 protein bar + 230g greek yogurt + 30g nuts + mixed fruit = 58 grams of protein
- Meal 3: 200g (uncooked) lentil pasta with 150g venison ragout + grated cheese = 53 grams of protein
- Meal 4: 200g cottage cheese + 50 g hummus + veggie sticks + 2 slices brown bread = 37 grams of protein
- Meal 5: 150g grilled lean beef steak + 185g cooked quinoa + cauliflower + 200g bean & chickpea salad = 63 grams of protein
- Meal 6: casein powder shake 1.5 scoops + 200ml cow’s milk = 41 grams protein
Meal Plan #3: Fish, Eggs, and Dairy (296g protein)
- Meal 1: 50g oats + 200g greek yogurt + berries + 350ml soy milk with coffee + 1 protein bar = 65 grams of protein
- Meal 2: 3 slices of brown bread + 50g hummus + veggies sticks + 3 scrambled eggs + 110g flaked salmon = 65 grams of protein
- Meal 3: Lentil soup (300g cooked lentils) + 185g cooked quinoa & 30g nut salad + grilled vegetables + 5 mozzarella balls = 58 grams of protein
- Meal 4: 200g grilled salmon + broccoli + medium-sized sweet potato + 150g chickpea = 63 grams of protein
- Meal 5: casein powder shake 1.5 scoops + 400ml cow’s milk = 46 grams protein
Staying on Track: My Practical Recommendations
Some days you might not meet your target, and that’s okay; the most important thing is to be consistent long-term and understand that not every day will be perfect.
If you’re trying to increase your protein intake up to 300 grams, then it may take time before you’re able to hit this target consistently; especially if you’ve been consuming less than 250 grams of protein per day before setting this goal.
Here are my practical tips for progressing towards 300 grams of protein a day and maintaining it:
Small Incremental Adjustments
Rather than attempting to reach 300 grams of protein overnight, aim to increase your intake gradually.
This will be more realistic and help prepare your digestive system for larger amounts of protein, rather than suddenly overloading it.
Try incorporating an extra 10-20 grams of protein into a few of your daily meals and snacks each week, and continue to do so until you meet your 300-gram target.
Prep Protein Rich Foods
Stocking up on protein-rich foods and having them in the most convenient form possible, ensures you have protein options readily available to help you meet your target.
So here are some tips to try:
- Batch-cook individual protein sources (e.g. chicken breast) and mix and match with other foods to create a meal.
- Batch-cook protein-rich meals (e.g. chicken stew or bolognese sauce) or protein-rich food sources (e.g. a few chicken breasts or beef meatballs) and freeze them in individual portions.
- Buy “zero-prep” protein sources like rotisserie chicken, deli meat, greek yogurt, and cottage cheese which don’t need to be cooked.
- Stock up on convenient protein snacks, like protein chips and bars, that you can reach for when you are struggling to reach your 300-gram target.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Eat 300g of Protein With Just 1 Source of Protein?
While it is possible to eat this amount from one source like eggs or chicken, I would not recommend it for two reasons. Firstly, it would be a challenge to eat 300g of protein with 1 source because 300g is a high intake. Secondly, it would not provide a balance of amino acids and other essential nutrients.
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Jäger, R., Kerksick, C.M., Campbell, B.I. et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 14, 20 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-017-0177-8
Burd, N. A., Beals, J. W., Martinez, I. G., Salvador, A. F., & Skinner, S. K. (2019). Food-First Approach to Enhance the Regulation of Post-exercise Skeletal Muscle Protein Synthesis and Remodeling. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 49(Suppl 1), 59–68. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-018-1009-y
About The Author
Giulia Rossetto is a qualified Dietitian and Nutritionist.
She holds a Masters in Human Nutrition (University of Sheffield, UK) and more recently graduated as a Dietitian (University of Malta).
Giulia aims to translate evidence-based science to the public through teaching and writing content. She has worked 4+ years in clinical settings and has also published articles in academic journals.
She is into running, swimming and weight lifting, and enjoys spending time in the mountains (she has a soft spot for hiking and skiing in the Italian Dolomites).