The Silent Killer

Ever heard the saying stress is the silent killer?

This saying actually holds some weight. You might not realize what a cocktail of hormones stress actually produces. And they don’t have a positive effect on our bodies.

This hormone release was great back in the stone age. A helpful defense mechanism for a person to stay safe from any potential adversities. That shadow in the long grass. The sound of a twig snapping in the trees.

Unfortunately, our brain chemistry hasn’t changed since. And we still have the same stress response/hormone release to everything our mind sees as a threat. Which are not actual threats.

*Tough deadlines from demanding clients or self-imposed. 
*Being disturbed during periods of deep work, constant distractions and time pressure.
*That meeting which could have been an email.

It is all a waste of our time, which is something so valuable to us. And makes us feel stressed when we know we are wasting it.

Over a prolonged period some common behavioral signs that stress is high are:

*Missing work, late, excessive defensiveness, social withdrawal  
*Physical signs like frequent headaches, neck ache, backache, excess fatigue.
*Then there are the emotional symptoms; heighten worry and anger.

The important thing is recognizing these signs. Because the way we tend to deal with them is not conducive to good health

To combat this it is prudent to address the issue by identifying triggers.

Who – is it a friend spouse or work colleague? 
What – is it a task, or topic? 
Where – is it a physical location? your office? your house? 
When – does it come at a particular time, i.e. in a particular meeting?

One of the biggest ways to curb this is by managing your availability.

Look at your accessibility – how much time you allow yourself to be interrupted by others! If this is high you might want to make yourself not universally available.

Managing your digital products/surroundings. 
Pick a small time window ( 30 minutes ) and turn off the phone for deep work. Be away from your desk / find a conference room/coffee shop /or go off-site (if viable).

When it comes to managing your interactions you have the choice to avoid! Decline unnecessary meetings. When it comes to engaging with people you wish not to. Interact, be civil and polite, then disengage. Make your excuses and move on.

Making these positive personal choices will help you control stress levels.

Then there are the things outside of work that you have more control over. 

Exercise will alleviate stress levels. You don’t have to go crazy. – start small with the minimum effective dose; be it one or 2 sessions a week. You can always increase the weekly frequency if you want to.  

Your diet can also help you to feel energized by having the right foods at the right time. Energy-dense and slow-release carbohydrates will help you sustain focus and productivity. Caffeine will also help but remember to keep within 400mg and try to have a mid-afternoon cut-off. You don’t want it messing up your sleep!

So this week I have some homework for you (please have this completed before my next blog. No excuses! This is not the type of homework that your dog can eat!)

*Address one clear person or task trigger – how you will change the nature of the interaction? 

*Make one change to diet or exercise. 

*Choose one positivity stimulant that you will embrace once a week 

Let me know how you get on.

Health and wellbeing talk


Through the sea of raised hands, I could see the food. 

It looked amazing, pigs in blankets, goujons, samosas. All beautifully presented by the waiting staff on silver platters.


I was salivating and I could hear my stomach grumbling. I kept having to swallow before answering a question. And make sure the mic wasn’t picking up my grumbling tummy.


The food had been sat there for some time, it felt like hours. It had to be cold. But that wasn’t going to stop me. As soon as the Q& A session was over I had visions of swan diving into the middle of the banquet.


I couldn’t be the only one who was ready to eat and yet still the questions kept coming;


‘You know the slide where you had the person’s metabolic rate…’


‘What is the most effective way I could calculate…’


‘Which means of tracking do you use…’


‘You know the machines in Boots the pharmacy…’


‘My Fitbit says that I…’


And then it was over. The last question was answered. Yes, food time.


But I had celebrated early I could see a queue forming. People who wanted to ask me a question that they didn’t feel comfortable asking in front of the group.


I get it, they might feel that they are asking a silly question. And don’t want to look silly in from of their work colleagues.


Or it was something personal that they didn’t want to share with the rest of the company.


All manner of weird and wonderful questions I fielded. The hunger sensation was suppressed. I was full of the feeling of satisfaction you get when you help someone to understand something.


The last person in the queue was the company director. “Andrew that was fantastic.” He said with a big smile.


“You kept 50 hungry people so engaged that they didn’t even notice the food come out”.


“You must be hungry yourself, go and grab yourself some food and meet me at the bar”


‘Finally, some food’, said the voice in my head in a Gordon Ramsey accent.


Or so I thought. I stood there overlooking the spread in disbelief. The staff members had ripped through the buffet like locus through a crop field. 


Good job the hunger (Ghrelin wave) had passed. So I headed over to the bar to meet up with the Company Director. 


“Andrew” The Director greeted me. “Let me introduce you to Phil. Phil runs a finance company”.


“That was great, how do I get you to come and deliver that seminar to my staff they would love that”. Phil said.


And that is how it started! That is how I ended up on the circuit (so to speak). A favour for a friend that turned into an opportunity to talk to businesses all over.


And Jesus have I missed it. Webinars have been nice and all but it’s not the same as going into offices and meeting people. Having that connection in a live face-to-face setting.


And I’m excited about this semblance of normality returning. Now that people are going back to the workplace.


Email me for more info on a Health and Well-being talks from yours truly
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Devotional practices

Sunday night rolls around and a cold bead of sweat travels down the forehead of the poor WW member. Uneasy about the prospect of tomorrow’s weigh-in.

So they formulate a plan; consume only dust and dehydrate themselves to prep for the evening meeting.

Flustered and late they arrive at the community centre. As soon as they enter they are summoned by the leader. As they walk up to the stage they feel the eyeballs of the crowd on them.

Anxiety takes hold as they recall the M&M they found in their pocket and devoured at lunchtime. It was the only morsel that has passed their lips but that blue button-shaped chocolate could make all the difference.

As they step on the scale, complete with grimace on face they look down to see the numbers. The ones that will reveal their mass in relation to the earth. The scales move back and forth the needle jumping from oz to oz.

Silence falls as the leader checks the scales and consults their clipboard.  The whole event is similar in hype to pugilists weighing in for a Vegas box office event.

A hush falls over the crowd as the Leader speaks. ‘Well, David that’s the same weight as last week.’

‘Well, s**t. The whole week was mathematically pointless’ David thinks to himself.

If David had an understanding of how his weight can fluctuate from day to day. He would know that one weigh-in per week is a risky game.

If he were to weigh in daily he would ensure that he doesn’t miss the new lows he had been working on. And doing so first thing in the morning after visiting the ablutions would aid consistency.

He would also be content knowing that he only needs to see a new low each week. Not each day! This would show a trend and prove what he is doing is working.

100kg done!

Well, that’s it. 100 kg done!

‘What are you talking about Andrew?’ You ask.

Over the last 7 years, I have been carrying out some due diligence. Self-experimentation in the form of weight loss and weight gain. Evidence-based practices that I have refined over the years. And this weekend saw me hit 100kg weight loss total.

To give you some specificity, I’ve lost between 10kg and 22kg each year for the last 7. Which has reached a combined total of 100kg.

Why?

Well, I do it to show people how to transform their bodies sensibly. How to lose fat properly. How to actually gain muscle.

Because as you know it’s a minefield out there. A minefield filled with charlatans and zealots preaching their diet and exercise religions.

‘Thou shall not eat carbs’

‘I command you to do fasted cardio’

‘Burn in hell for all eternity when you eat meat’

Diatribe. These people love to create some sensationalism, a new fad to hoodwink people.

I would rather show people and prove that there is a sensible way of going about it. Demonstrating what I do with my diet to lose fat and what exercise I do to gain muscle to be fitter.

I suppose I wanted to back up what I was preaching. Which I don’t see anyone else doing. I see many people talk a great game but no action. They’ll get on their soapbox, but they new back it up with any action. Probably because they know what they are pushing is ridiculous and they would last 5 mins.

I wanted to prove what I was preaching works. And that my blueprint will work for anyone. So here’s a brief synopsis of what I did during my weight loss phases.

Diet
A moderate energy deficit. Going too aggressive in the first years left me very hungry and prone to muscle loss which is bad. So for the last years, I aimed for a 15% deficit.

A weekly target for my calories. This was far more flexible than a daily target. It meant that I could bank some calories for the weekend when my intake would be higher.

I assigned a certain amount of my calorie budget to protein. And kept my daily protein intake high. Most of my meals were focused on protein. This did wonder for my hunger (protein reduces your ghrelin/hunger hormone). And helped with preserving muscle mass.

Exercise
The only cardio I did was walking. This mitigated high hunger periods (common post cardio training).

I found a frequency of workout sessions that worked for me (5). And the focus of those sessions remained the same during weight loss and weight gain periods. Do a little more each week. (This was easier during weight gain phases)

Sleep
This was a tough one because toddlers don’t care about your sleep regime. Yet I would always set myself up for 7 hours of sleep (actual sleep not being in bed). On the days where sleep was poor, hunger was elevated. Food reward heightened and satiety lowered. So I was always aiming for those 7 hours and riding out the storm on days where I didn’t get it.

Tracking
I tracked my energy intake during all 7 years of experimentation/weight change. This was a means to an end. When at a point where I want to maintain my weight. I would track my intake for a week or so then put down the tracker. But during times of change, I had to track. Even as an experienced dieter I would be way out without tracking. And the thought of calculating and storing up a running total every day. Seems exhausting and very inaccurate.

And there you have it. My best tips for dieting. By implementing those things you’ll look and feel better at the end of it.

If you want my blueprint which shows you the specifics you can grab a copy here

It’s just data!

After delivering my last health and wellbeing seminar for a company I received a question from one of their members of staff.

Actually, it was more of a concern about the concept of tracking calories (something I touched on in the seminar).

First of all the reason, I advocate that you track calories is to educate yourself.

The person who was concerned said that counting calories can cause eating disorders, create bad habits and be bad for mental health.

People that state this are counting calories for the wrong reasons. You should count calories to educate yourself on what you are eating and how much you are eating.

It is not a permanent thing rather a means to an end.

It is even more important that you track your calories when you start your health and fitness journey. Because a lot of people don’t actually realize how much and what they eat.

How are you supposed to realize where you are going wrong if you don’t collect data?

We collect data to improve, learn, understand and execute a plan of action.

This is why you count calories!

After a period of time, you’ll have an awareness of calories. And you’ll be able to eyeball a meal and know how many calories are in it. You’ll be able to pick up a snack and know how many grams of protein are in it.

And that’s why you count calories.

Counting calories doesn’t create an eating disorder, rather it reveals the disorder.

It’s just data, don’t allow feelings to distract you from what you can achieve.

Make it mean something!

I find myself at the tail end of this year’s weight loss challenge. And within touching distance of a milestone. That being 100kg lost in total over several years of self-experimentation.

Now I can say with hand on heart this year has been the hardest. Even harder than the first year (7 years ago) where I hadn’t dieted before. And I know the reason why. 

It’s because my goal this year was weight loss. The goal, although a milestone, is a weight loss one. Which has rendered it pretty meaningless. This cements my standpoint that a weight loss goal is redundant.


This year I have persevered through gritted teeth. And the method I use (the reveal a body blueprint) has made it as simple as possible.


But it pales in comparison to using the method plus an emotive goal, like in previous years. I’d never struggled then because they have been motivated by the carrot dangling at the end. 

Carrots like feeling confident on stage, in front of hundreds of people for a bodybuilding competition. Feeling great stood next to my wife for our wedding pictures. Or feeling confident in my swim shorts in the pool with my kids on holiday.

These feeling-based, emotive goals have made the process far easier. Attaching the outcome to a feeling rather than a meaningless number.


So if you are looking to transform your body focus on the reason behind the transformation. Find that emotive reason that has given you a reason to want to change your physique. Have a carrot that means something to you and attach the outcome to that.

Habits trump Motivation!

Another kilo down and one closer to my goal of 100kg lost. This is over the 7 years of self experimentation with weight loss and gain. I’ve has some people ask.


‘How are you staying motivated over this period?’


I’m going to let you in on something, I’m not! I’m not reliant on motivation! It’s not a concept I use or need.


I know that if you are reliant on motivation then you will struggle with consistency! That’s why I don’t rely on motivation, I rely on self discipline created by my routine!


Lots of people have more time afforded to them at the moment. Yet they aren’t exercising/doing workouts or keeping on top of their diet. Because their motivation is low, due to the current climate.


I’m not relishing all the workouts I’m doing, but I know they are beneficial to me. They are a positive action for the future me. Plus a good example to the younglings.


So I know I should be doing them. And I’m getting them done out of habit, not motivation. I’m getting fitter and stronger with time. Rather than the reverse, which is the general consensus.


It’s like investing/saving money. No immediate gratification now, but in the future, the money will compound. It’ll add up to a nice amount in your account. I put in place things that will keep those habits going. Setting a reminder at certain frequencies to invest and save money. Just like I set a reminder/time in my diary to workout.


These things make sure what I need to do gets done. They ensure it happens and these actions add up to a big return over time.


Think of your exercise sessions and food choices as investments in your health. Accruing over time to see you get fitter, stronger, healthier, happier.

Why cheat days aren’t a good idea!

I love seeing pictures of foods when people post their meals on social media. The deflating thing is the comments that come with the pictures;


‘I have these when I need something a bit naughty’


‘This is my cheat meal’


‘I know these are bad but they taste so good!’


It’s amazing the connotations that people assign to a meal or food – which is a huge problem! The assigning of negative language to foods or meals.

The whole ‘cheat day’ thing – it’s quite preposterous too! The premise that because you have been ‘good’ for the week entitles you to a debauchery fuelled day. Which typically extends to a weekend. This will usually be a super high calorific affair and take you well over your calorie target. Undoing the effort you have put in leading up to that point!


It’s done because the days you have been ‘good’ are so over-restrictive that you need to break free. Over indulging on the food that you have been declaring ‘bad’ and off limits! Rendering the whole week pointless.


Labelling these cheat day is merely a justification. Escapism from an over restrictive diet that features irrelevant food rules.

There are no bad meals or foods- remove morality from your food. A pizza, some chocolate, and beer can be part of a healthy diet! 


Trying to obey these food rules puts you in a predicament. Having eaten something that is erroneously off limits then puts you in the mindset that you have slipped or fell off the wagon. You find yourself in a cycle of being on or off your diet.


What you have to remember is that this dieting thing is a numbers game. Hitting X amount of calories for the amount you move. And doing so over the week will achieve results.


As for this cheat day/meal – there is no cheating physics! You can in no way cheat your body!


It is always counting – even if you are not!


Cheat days are the reason you are spinning wheels and getting nowhere. Stop cutting out things from your diet you enjoy. I say again; Pizza, Chocolate, Beer, Ice cream can all be part of a healthy diet! Notice I said ‘part of’ not ‘all’!


And if it is the case where these foods are the full range of your diet – It’s time to have a word with one’s self and address that!

The Fitness Gentleman

Weight fluctuations when dieting

Talking to one of my online clients this morning, he was telling me how he had quit so many other diets. because of his misunderstanding of weight fluctuations. Before when he had tried to lose weight. He would see fluctuations on the scales that led him to believe what he was doing was not working. He told me of the frustration of putting in all that hard work at the gym and with his diet. Only to step on the scales and feel disheartened when he saw that his weight has actually increased.


From working with him for a few weeks he now understands what is happening. That these fluctuations are par for the course. And he is now making progress. It’s not only him though, weight fluctuations on the scales have thwarted many a weight loss attempt. Today I want to put an end to that frustration and help you understand why these fluctuations occur. To get you to understand that when dieting weight fluctuations are normal.


The first thing to get your head around is because you see an increase in weight on the scales. It doesn’t mean you are not losing body fat. I will say that again.
Your weight going up on the scales doesn’t mean you are not losing body fat!


The reason that we see these fluctuations in weight is due to water. When we have a meal high in carbohydrates and sodium [think Chinese takeaway]. Your body will hold onto water. For every gram of carbohydrate stored in the body (as glycogen) we store approximately 2.5 grams of water. This is why low carb diets are a very easy sell to people. They drop carbohydrates, thus, they drop water weight. They think that carbs are the enemy and they are converted to carb-free life of misery. 

Then they experience a plateau after the initial drop. [If they are still consuming the same amount of calories from fats and protein]. Because they are not in a calorie deficit, so fat loss stops. Confused because they saw a correlation between dropping carbs and weight loss. But didn’t realize it was only water they had lost not body fat! How frustrating to be in this limbo of confusion.


When dieting our body will take fats [triglycerides] from the fat cells as energy. To make up the deficit. Between the energy we are expending and the energy we are consuming [a calorie deficit] Great! That’s what we want for fat loss! There will also be some loss of stored carbohydrates [glycogen]. Little or no loss of muscle. Provided you have enough protein in your diet and you’re resistance training. And of course loss of water from cells. Which are the cause of the fluctuations.


When our body decides that it’s good and ready to evacuate the water from the cells. Then we see a drop in weight, usually a large one, to a new low! So don’t be deterred by these fluctuations they are part of the process. Stay resolute to the plan and you will see these downward trends. What you are looking for is a downward trend with weight over weeks. Each week you should see a new low [remember to weigh yourself daily so you don’t miss it]. This will tell you that you are in a calorie deficit. and you are where you need to be with your calorie intake and activity.

 
For more help with your training and nutrition book in for a FREE 15 minute consultation.

How optimising ‘protein density’ can help you maintain muscle and stay full when dieting

The maths bit:
Let’s use an example of a 180cm tall, 30-year-old guy with a sedentary job weighing in at 100kg. Who wants to drop down to 85kg for a show. Using the Harris-Benedict equation, his TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) would be 2971 calories. This means that to lose 15kg in 6 months, he needs a daily calorie deficit of 642 calories per day. This means a daily calorie intake of 2329 calories per day or 16303 calories per week.


Protein recommendations for maintaining and building muscle sit at around 1.8g per Kg of bodyweight. This means a protein intake of 180g, or 720 calories of protein, which makes up 31% of calories. Say he’s halfway through the diet having lost 7kg. This means a bodyweight of 93 and a TDEE of 2839. At a new deficit of 599, this is daily calorie target of 2240. With a protein need of 167g or 668 calories from protein, making up 30% of calories.


So, we can see that after the 7kg loss, the calorie target has dropped by 4%. but the % of protein required in the diet has only dropped by 3%. This means that we need to try to carry on getting the same amount of protein in the diet percentage-wise. But from lower calorie sources, or increase the protein density of the choices we’re making.

Protein Density Examples

  • It ensures that we’ll get enough protein, for as few calories as possible. This means that we have more calories left for carbohydrates. Which will help to fuel training sessions as calories come down. Also more calories for ‘hyper-palatable’ foods e.g. cake/doughnuts/biscuits. Which will help with dietary adherence.
  • It also ensures that we’re promoting satiety (the feeling of fullness) for as few calories as possible. Which becomes more and more crucial throughout a diet as calories come down.

So, let’s take a look at the ‘protein density’ of a few of the most popular protein sources;
Source Chicken Breast
Protein per 100g 3
Calories per 100g165
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.18

Source Egg
Protein per 100g 13
Calories per 100g155
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.08

Source Ribeye Steak
Protein per 100g 24
Calories per 100g 291
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.08

Source Whey Protein Concentrate
Protein per 100g 82
Calories per 100g 412
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.19


Chicken is generally considered to be the ‘go-to’ protein sources for most people looking to build muscle. We can see that compared to eggs and Ribeye Steak, this choice is justifiable. The protein density is almost double that of both the eggs and the steak. This is because there’s more protein (per 100g) but also more protein for the total amount of calories. Due to the fact that chicken breast contains a lot less fat than either Ribeye Steak or Eggs. This makes it a much better choice when on a calorie-restricted diet.


The My Protein Impact Whey comes out on top. But only just beats the Chicken Breast. The percentage of protein is much higher (82% vs 31% for the Chicken Breast). But the calories per 100g are also much higher. Which explains why the protein density is slightly better. So, while whey is often touted as ‘the best’ protein source for people looking to build or maintain muscle. From a protein-per-calorie point of view, that’s only just true. Chicken breast is actually much more cost-effective. (around £5 per Kg vs Whey at around £17 per kg) if we look at protein density.


Of course, Whey still wins-out when it comes to convenience! So how do other so-called ‘muscle-building’ foods stack up against Whey and Chicken?

Source Peanut Butter
Protein per 100g 25
Calories per 100g 588
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.04

Source Whole Milk
Protein per 100g 3
Calories per 100g 42
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.07

Source Quinoa
Protein per 100g 4
Calories per 100g 120
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.03
Source Kidney Beans

Protein per 100g 24
Calories per 100g 333
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.07
So, what can we learn from this? A few different things;

  • Whole Milk is a surprisingly good protein source, almost as good in fact as eggs and steak.
  • Quinoa is a grain that’s often touted as being ‘high in protein’. But from both a protein percentage and protein density point of view, it’s actually pretty poor. When you compare it Kidney Beans.
  • Kidney Beans are also a surprise, having almost the same protein density as eggs and steak. But don’t get carried away, Kidney Beans aren’t a ‘complete’ protein source. Which means they don’t have all the amino acids required to start muscle protein synthesis. (The conversion of dietary protein into new muscle). The same goes for Quinoa.
  • Peanut butter is a pretty poor source of protein, despite all the ‘hype’ it gets in the fitness world. It has half the protein density of eggs and steak because of the high-calorie content. It shouldn’t be a staple in the diet of anyone looking to lose fat.

Further Optimising Protein Density
So, we’ve learned what protein density is, why it’s important and looked a few ‘typical’ muscle-building foods from a protein density point of view. Chicken and Whey lead the way in protein density, closely followed by eggs, steak and whole milk.
If these foods are staples in your diet, you can rest assured that you’re doing something right. And for anyone on a diet with a reasonable calorie allowance, these foods will be more than enough to provide ample protein. Without eating into your calorie allowance too much. Of course, as we go deeper into a diet, it pays to optimise protein density as much as possible. And attempt to get more protein for fewer calories (or at least the same amount of protein for fewer calories).
So, let’s look at ‘upgrading’ the five best sources we’ve seen so far. With a few easy swaps we can get a bit more bang for our buck with protein density, here’s how;

  • We’re going to swap out the Chicken breast for Turkey breast. Turkey has a very similar taste and texture to chicken and can be used as a direct substitute. It will work as well in all your recipes (stir fry, curry etc).
  • We’ll swap the My Protein Impact Whey for Whey Isolate. This has a higher protein content with fewer carbs and fat (but is a bit more expensive).
  • Let’s remove the yolks from our eggs and have the egg whites instead. Which are pretty much all protein (the yolk is mostly fat).
  • Ribeye Steak can be subbed for Rump steak – a leaner cut with less fat.
  • Whole Milk can be swapped for skimmed – more protein and less fat

Let’s see what they all look like protein-Density wise
Source Turkey Breast
Protein per 100g 34
Calories per 100g 155
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.21

Source Whey Protein Isolate
Protein per 100g 90
Calories per 100g 373
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.24

Source Egg Whites
Protein per 100g 11
Calories per 100g 52
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.21

Source Rump Steak
Protein per 100g 22
Calories per 100g 125
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.17

Source Skimmed Milk
Protein per 100g 4
Calories per 100g 37
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.10


Already we can see we’ve made some significant upgrades. With all these swaps coming in at a much higher protein density than their original counterparts. Let’s put them side by side so we can how much of an impact;


Original Protein Source Chicken Breast 0.18
New Protein Sources Turkey Breast 0.21
Protein Density Uplift +17%
Original Protein Source Whey Protein Concentrate 0.19
New Protein Sources Whey Protein Isolate 0.24
Protein Density Uplift +26%

Original Protein Source Eggs 0.08
New Protein Sources Egg Whites 0.21
Protein Density Uplift +163%
Original Protein Source Ribeye Steak 0.08
New Protein Sources Rump Steak 0.17
Protein Density Uplift +113%

Original Protein Source Whole Milk 0.07
New Protein Sources Skimmed Milk 0.10
Protein Density Uplift +43%


Some amazing increases there!
What have we learned?

  • Choosing a leaner cut of steak (e.g. Rump over Ribeye) can improve the protein density. Because the fat has been reduced. Rump steak is almost as good as chicken breast protein density!
  • Whey Protein was previously the best source for protein density and still is. But we can improve it by picking (albeit more expensive) Whey Isolate instead of Whey Concentrate.
  • We can yield a huge increase (163%) in protein density; again, this mainly due to almost all the fat being removed from the equation.
  • Don’t dismiss milk! The Skimmed variety is cheap and has a better protein density than Whole Eggs and Ribeye Steak

Increasing Variety Further…
Of course, we don’t want to rely solely on the traditional, bland muscle-building foods, and the good news is, you don’t need to!
I have a few other go-to foods that are great for protein density; they are;

  • 0% Greek Yogurt – This is hugely versatile and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (or all three!). It goes great with some berries and honey at breakfast. In your chicken wrap at lunch, or as a substitute for soured cream with your Mexican.
  • Prawns – These are underrated in terms of protein content. A lot of supermarkets sell snack-sized contains with tasty garnishes like garlic and chilli.
  • Beef Jerky – One of my favourite on-the-go snacks. This is generally made from lean cuts of beef so has a great protein density score.
  • Low Fat Cheeses – My go-to is BabyBel Light. Each one of these little cheese discs has 5g of protein for only 43 calories
  • Chicken Sausages – Sausages have a bad rep and are usually associated with Pork. But the chicken versions are much lower in fat and can be as tasty, so long as you don’t overcook them!
  • White Fish – It’s so bland on its own, but there’s no arguing with its protein density.

So where do these stack up against the rest of our favourite protein-dense food?
Source Whey Protein Isolate
Protein per 100g 90
Calories per 100g 373
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.24

Source Prawns
Protein per 100g 24
Calories per 100g 99
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.24

Source Cod
Protein per 100g 19
Calories per 100g 85
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.22

Source Egg Whites
Protein per 100g 11
Calories per 100g 52
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.21

Source Turkey Breast
Protein per 100g 34
Calories per 100g 155
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.21

Source Total Greek 0%
Protein per 100g 10
Calories per 100g 54
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.18

Source Rump Steak
Protein per 100g 22
Calories per 100g 125
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.17

Source Beef Jerky
Protein per 100g 36
Calories per 100g 291
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.12

Source BabyBel Light
Protein per 100g 25
Calories per 100g 208
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.12

Source Chicken Sausages
Protein per 100g 15
Calories per 100g 148
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.10

Source Skimmed Milk
Protein per 100g 4
Calories per 100g 37
Protein Density Score (g Protein per calorie) 0.10


So, there you have it – my 11 favourite protein sources ranked on protein density. A shock entry right at the top for prawns (or Shrimps for you North American folk). Which are on a par with Whey Isolate for protein density.


If you have any other suggestions let me know!

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