The Power of Protein

Our Powell Pack is super pro-protein because we know how powerful this macronutrient is for our health and well-being! In fact, it’s so important that a palm-sized portion is the foundation of every single meal—both low and high-carb—in our carb cycling program. No other nutrient earns those bragging rights! 🙂

So why is protein so important? Besides the weight loss benefits I’ve shared before, here are some other reasons it’s so crucial for all-around good health:

Wondering about some good sources for protein? Here you go:

  • Dairy: cottage cheese, eggs, egg substitutes, yogurt (both Greek and non-Greek)
  • Meat: chicken, duck, ostrich, turkey, beef, buffalo, elk, venison, pork
  • Seafood: catfish, halibut, lobster, salmon, shrimp, tilapia, tuna
  • Vegan: tempeh, texturized vegetable protein (TVP), tofu

And to get the most power from your protein, check out these helpful hints:

  • Eat your protein first at every meal. You won’t miss out on any of this vital nutrient and you’ll feel fuller longer.
  • For meats, choose the leanest cuts: Look for “loin” (top loin, top sirloin, pork loin, tenderloin, center loin) and “round” (eye of round, top round, bottom round, round tip). Remove any fat and skin, and broil, grill, roast, poach, or boil instead of frying.
  • Go for low fat cottage cheeses, and non-fat plain or low-carb/high protein yogurts.

So there you have it—the power of protein. Make it the nutritional foundation of your day…every day!


31 Comments

  1. Aimee K. - May 21, 2017

    Hi Team Powell!

    I am vegetarian and do not like seitan, tofu, soy, etc. (Taste too much like meat for me) I do, however, like cottage cheese. How do you convert, for example, 2.5 oz of seitan in a recipe for cottage cheese? Would it be 2.5 oz of cottage cheese?

    • Team Powell - May 22, 2017

      Hi Aimee: Here are the comparisons between 2.5 ounces each of cottage cheese (1% milk fat) and 2.5 ounces of seitan: Cottage cheese: 51 cals, .7g fat, 1.9g carbs, 8.8g protein. Seitan: 75 cals, .8g fat, 2.5g carbs, 15g protein. So you’ll need to adjust amounts of cottage cheese to hit similar macros of seitan. I hope this helps! 🙂

  2. Nicole - February 7, 2017

    I’m following the Extreme Cycle for carb cycling- how do I figure out my daily intake of protein based off of the four high carb days and two low-carb days?

    • Team Powell - February 7, 2017

      Hi Nicole: In all of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling programs, they’ve figured out your macros for you, so you simply need to follow their plan. If you’d like to track your own macros, there’s a “Create Your Own Meals” chart in this post that can help: http://heidipowell.net/10617. Each gram of protein or carb = 4 calories, and each gram of fat = 9 calories. Hope this helps! 🙂

  3. Cathy - January 12, 2017

    Hi – Do you recommend low fat cottage cheese or non fat cottage cheese for the Powell Turbo carb cycling? I can find organic low fat cottage cheese but only non-organic non fat cottage cheese.

  4. Susan - January 4, 2017

    Hi! I’m very interested in starting this. Which book is best for a beginner – Choose More, Lose More or Extreme Transformation? Thank you!

  5. Billie Jo - January 2, 2017

    Please help me with Protein Shakes! What powder do you use? So many choices!!

    • Team Powell - January 2, 2017

      Hi Billie Jo: Chris and Heidi recommend low-fat, low-carb powders with around 20 grams of protein per serving. Other than that, choose what you like best!

  6. Bobby - October 26, 2016

    Hi!!! So I have recently started a meal plan, I do 100 grams of berries, steal oats, as opposed of protein and a cup of egg whites for breakfast, then lunch chicken (8 oz) with green veggie! 2 hours later I do cream of rice with a tblsp of peanut butter (low fat), before gym peanut butter and jelly with 1/2 scoop of protein powder! After gym I do two 90 cal wheat wraps with top sirloin and white rice, last meal 9 oz ground turkey with green veggies. I work out 5x per week. I need to gain weight! I don’t fish but eat 5/6x per day, is this going to work?? I’m getting discouraged!

  7. Aimee - September 13, 2016

    I’m a vegetarian (no eggs or soy products either) and I’m having a hard time reaching my daily protein goal of 132g. Do you have any ideas to help me get more protein in and keep the carbs down?

  8. Aretha King - April 21, 2016

    Hello, I’m relatively new to carb cycling. I am really confused about protein consumption per meal. 75 grams a day @ 15 grams per meal per day gives you only (converted) to ounces 2.645 ounces of protein a day. I stand to be corrected, please help. Thank you.

    • Team Powell - April 21, 2016

      Hi Aretha: So sorry for your confusion. On the Extreme Cycle, women eat between 150-187 grams of protein a day, depending on if it’s a high- or low-carb day. There’s a chart at the end of this post that breaks down the macros for each meal, and I hope it will help explain things a bit better: http://heidipowell.net/10617. Another thing that might help is to know that each gram of protein = 4 calories. You can do this!

  9. Lisa - April 12, 2016

    What about lowfat cheese for protein?

    • Team Powell - April 12, 2016

      Hi Lisa: All cheeses are considered fats in carb cycling.

  10. linda LaCourse - March 7, 2016

    Hi Heidi. I just had one question about the protein. Do you weigh your meat like chicken and ground turkey before or after you cook it? I know that things like water retained in the meat change the weight, Some people say to weigh it before you cook it, some say after. Its very confusing. Which it the correct way to do it? Thank you

    • Team Powell - March 8, 2016

      Hi Linda: For recipes, if the recipe calls for cooked chicken, for example, then measure your protein cooked. If it calls for uncooked chicken, then measure your protein uncooked. If you’re putting meals together on your own, measure your protein cooked. Hope that helps!

  11. Jenn - January 31, 2016

    Hi heidi,
    I am so impressed with the muscle you have put on and I am trying to reach that goal as well. Do you take any other supplement other than protein powder to help with gaining muscle mass?

    • Team Powell - January 31, 2016

      Hi Jenn: Heidi does take some other supplements. It’s always best to talk with your healthcare team about any supplements first, and then follow their recommendations. You can get some more info on supplements here: http://heidipowell.net/10115. Good luck on your goal – you got this! ?

  12. Sarah - January 27, 2016

    I am reading the Extreme Transformation book and was wondering what to look for when purchasing the protein powder for the protein shakes? What should I stay away from and look for?

    Thank you,
    Sarah

    • Team Powell - January 27, 2016

      Hi Sarah: Chris and Heidi recommend low-fat, whey-based powders with between 15-20 grams of protein and less than 5 grams of carbs per serving. ?

  13. Beverly - December 28, 2015

    I am a very busy 51 year old wife and homeschool mother of 7, 5 still at home. I have been on carb cycling for 11 weeks and met my goal of 15 pounds by Christmas! I am 1/2 way to my goal. My question is about protein amount. My doctor keeps telling me I’m not getting enough. Like today is high carb. I had my shake for breakfast and lunch, morning snack I had stevia sweetened kefir with 11 grams of protein with it I had toast and veggies, dinner I had a 4oz (raw weight) ground chicken burger with a serving of potatoes and veggies. Am I getting the program right for what you recommend. I haven’t been back to the doctor since I started the program so am checking that I understand the measures right.

    • Team Powell - December 28, 2015

      Hi Beverly: Congratulations on losing 15 pounds – that’s awesome! It sounds like you’re on the right track. You’ll want to make sure your protein serving for each of the 5 meals a day is around 15 grams (for around 75 grams a day). Of course, you’ll always want to follow your doctor’s recommendations. Hope that helps!

  14. Addie - November 11, 2015

    Where would low fat milk fit in???

    • Team Powell - November 11, 2015

      Hi Addie: Low fat milk isn’t really on the approved foods list because it doesn’t have enough protein per serving to be counted as a protein, not enough carbs to be counted as a carb, and any type but skim does have added fat. I hope that helps!

  15. Katarina - September 19, 2015

    Hi!
    This list is very helpfull for grocery shopping.
    Where would you classify milk? Is the carb content to high for low carb days?
    Thanks.

    • Team Powell - September 19, 2015

      Hi Katarina: Milk is not on the list because of the carbs, and fat in some forms. And one serving doesn’t have enough protein to equal one protein serving either. Hope that helps!

  16. BRENDA HOLLOWAY - July 28, 2015

    I am 58 years old, i am over weight my weight 245 lbs. I am 5 6 I have had back, knee surgery Am i fit for the show .i can not do this by my self.I have been trying please help me I watch your show. all the time BRENDA 931–797-0472

    • Team Powell - July 29, 2015

      Hi Brenda: All applications for the show need to go through ABC. Casting’s closed right now, but you can learn more about future castings at http://www.extremeweightlosscasting.com. In the meantime, you can begin your transformation journey today with the same program Chris and Heidi use on EWL. Learn more in this post: http://heidipowell.net/9060. And please discuss their program with your healthcare team first, and then follow any modifications they recommend. Take things one step at a time, and you can do this!

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