How to spread your protein requirements out across the day
What is a balanced diet?
In general, a balanced diet should include plenty of vegetables and fruit along with wholegrains and protein-rich foods, such as meat, seafood, dairy and beans. Each individual may have specific requirements depending on their dietary requirements and physical activity for example.
How to make the most of protein?
In NZ typically our protein consumption is skewed heavily towards the evening. Emerging research suggests that spreading the consumption of protein more evenly across your meals during the day may actually help stimulate muscle synthesis. Therefore helping your body to use protein more effectively than when intake is skewed towards the evening.
What might this look like in a day’s meals?
Including protein-rich foods in your meals or snacks will help to spread intake throughout the day.
To give you some ideas, we have developed example meal plans. These show how protein can be spread across the day, in the context of a healthy balanced diet and exercise. Each example meal plan is developed for a specific age, gender, weight, height and activity level.
Energy needs are affected by these factors, e.g. the more exercise you do the more energy (kJ) you will need.
The protein, carbohydrate and fat ranges are calculated using the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) (Ministry of Health). For more information check out our Protein FAQs.
These plans are intended as a guide only. For more information on your individual needs, please consult with a dietitian or health professional.