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Our Fitness Director Breaks Down His Protein Plan

by Daisy

TRUE: Sufficient protein intake is important for everyone. Also true: protein is essential if you’re looking to build muscle.

Bulking up requires two main things: strength training and protein intake. So even if you’re busting your butt in the gym five to six times per week like Men’s Health fitness director, Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., you’ll need enough protein to help rebuild the muscle tissue of strenuous lifting.

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Experts agree: To build muscle, you’ll need to consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of your target body weight. That means if you want to weigh 200 pounds, you should be eating about 200 grams of protein a day.

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Yes, that’s a mountain of chicken breasts and powder scoops. Samuel, who weight trains five to six days a week on top of workout shoots and some HIIT cardio sessions, has his protein intake down to a science. We sat down with him to see exactly how he stuffs in about 180 to 200 grams of protein into his every day.

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Ebenezer Samuel’s Protein Plan
Breakfast
Right upon waking up at 6 a.m., Samuel will down a protein shake with a scoop and a half of protein powder in it, which equates out to a little over 35 grams of protein. A few hours after that, he’ll grab 3 to 4 eggs, a little bit of bacon, spinach, and potatoes—another 30 grams of protein.

Lunch
Around noon, Samuel will grab lunch—his least protein-heavy meal of the day. He typically reaches for a spicy tuna roll with avocado, which has about 18 grams of protein.

Snack
Once the late afternoon hunger hits around 2 or 3 p.m., he’ll snack on some smoked salmon and Greek yogurt. That adds another 20 to 25 grams. Once he gets home from work, he’ll grab something light before he hits the gym. He’ll grab another protein shake with a scoop and a half of his favorite powder—another 37.5 grams.

Dinner
After his workout, he’ll come home for his favorite meal of the day. He’ll down 6 to 8 ounces of salmon, some veggies, and some brown rice, which boasts about 35 grams of protein. For dessert, he’ll indulge in a Yasso Greek Yogurt Bar, with another 4 grams.

Late Night Snack
Just before bed, Samuel will finish the day with a bowl of rolled oats for another 14 grams of protein. If he feels like he needs a little more protein, he’ll have one more scoop of protein powder at 25 grams.

“I’ve had some things I really enjoy, and it all keeps me full and has me ready and humming for all of my workouts,” Samuel says.

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