Is 120 Grams of Protein a Day the Secret to a Healthy Mom Bod?

by Major League Mommy
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Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy body. It’s a nutrient that we’ve actually discussed many times here at Major League Mommy because it is so important.

So in today’s article, we will further discuss the importance of protein and discuss whether consuming 120 grams of protein per day can be the secret to achieving a healthy mom bod at all stages of motherhood.

We will dive into the benefits of monitoring protein intake specifically for moms (or women in general, really), especially for those who are breastfeeding, and examine different opinions on the optimal amount of protein needed.

Additionally, we will take a closer look at the downsides of consuming both too much and too little protein to provide a comprehensive analysis of this topic.

So if this sounds like something you’re interested in learning more about, continue reading.

person cutting meat while cooking photo credit: Lorryn Smit Photography from Studio South Korea via Canva.com
Photo credit: Lorryn Smit Photography from Studio South Korea via Canva.com

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*The content provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitution for professional medical advice. Always consult with a nutritionist or medical professional to determine the best dietary plan for your specific needs.

Why is protein so important?

Protein is a macronutrient that is composed of amino acids- the building blocks for various tissues in the body. It plays a significant role in muscle development, tissue repair, and the production of enzymes and hormones.

For us moms, protein is particularly important in supporting postpartum recovery, maintaining energy levels, and promoting our infants’ healthy growth and development while breastfeeding.

How much protein do you actually need?

There are varying opinions on the adequate amount of protein needed for the average person.

Factors such as age, weight, activity level, and overall health should be taken into consideration when determining individual protein requirements.

Consulting with a nutritionist or medical professional can provide personalized guidance and is highly recommended.

While the recommended daily intake of protein for the average sedentary adult is around 50 grams or 0.36 grams per pound, some experts suggest that consuming at least 120 grams of protein per day can be beneficial for moms.

This higher intake is often recommended for breastfeeding mothers to ensure an adequate supply of nutrients for both themselves and their infants.

The downsides of consuming too much protein

While protein is essential for overall health, consuming excessive amounts can have drawbacks. Consuming way above the recommended protein intake may put unnecessary strain on the kidneys and liver, as they are responsible for processing and metabolizing protein.

Furthermore, relying heavily on protein sources may lead to an imbalance in other essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates and fats.

The downsides of consuming too little protein

On the other hand, not consuming enough protein can have negative impacts on your health.

Inadequate protein intake can result in muscle loss, weakened immune function, and slower postpartum recovery.

It may also affect the quality and quantity of breast milk produced by breastfeeding moms, potentially impacting the infant’s growth and development.

How to eat 120 grams of protein a day

To ensure a healthy body even as a busy mom, it’s essential to prioritize whole foods and create a well-balanced meal plan.

Here are some tips to help you incorporate 120 grams of protein into your daily diet:

1. Prioritize Whole Foods: Choose lean sources of protein such as poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, and tofu. These foods provide not only protein but also essential nutrients for overall health.

2. Meal Planning: Plan your meals in advance to include high-protein options. For example, you can have grilled chicken breast with a side of steamed vegetables for lunch and broiled salmon with quinoa and roasted veggies for dinner. Experiment with different meal plans that revolve around high-protein foods. For instance, you can have an omelet with vegetables for breakfast, a chicken salad for lunch, and grilled steak with roasted sweet potatoes for dinner.

3. Snack on High-Protein Foods: Include protein-rich snacks throughout the day. Some options include Greek yogurt with nuts, cottage cheese with fruit, or a protein shake.

4. Pre-Prepped Meats: Consider incorporating pre-prepped meats into your meal plans. You can buy these at your local grocery store or through an online retailer. You can also pre-prep and freeze the meats yourself.

5. Protein Supplements: If you find it challenging to meet your protein requirements solely through whole foods, consider incorporating protein supplements. These supplements can be mixed with water or added to smoothies to boost your protein intake.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, consuming 120 grams of protein per day can contribute to a healthy body depending on your specific circumstances. You should speak with a medical professional and/or nutritionist to determine the appropriate amount for your specific needs.

If you determine that you need more protein in your diet, you should consider prioritizing whole foods, creating a meal plan, and incorporating high-protein options, to optimize your protein intake.

Remember, consuming enough protein is vital for overall health, and implementing the tips and meal plans discussed in this blog post can help you achieve your nutrition goals.

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