How well are you able to get 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking?
One of the main supplemental rules that Tim Ferriss included in The 4 Hour Body was to get 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking.
A lot of people refer to it on forums, but do you even know where this “30 in 30” came from? He mentions it in the book in an example of his father, who saw a 23 lb weight loss in 2 months, but only 6 of it in the second month. When he started consuming 30g protein 30 within 30 minutes of waking “to restart fat-loss”, he dropped another 19 lbs in one month.
He makes four recommendations for getting sufficient protein in the morning:
- Eat at least 40% of your breakfast calories as protein
- Do it with two or three whole eggs (each egg has about 6g protein)
- If you can’t handle the eggs, use something like turkey bacon, organic pork bacon or sausage, or cottage cheese
- The third option is to use a protein shake with water
Here’s why, according to the book:
1. Eating protein first decreases your white carbohydrate cravings, which in the morning aren’t usually ideal carbs. Do you often crave a bagel, toast, or donuts in the morning? Wouldn’t it be great to kick that habit?
2. While you sleep, your body is doing a ton of maintenance, and part of that means it dips into your fat stores. When you give your body sugar in the morning, it’ll burn the sugar. I don’t know about you, but I prefer continued fat loss.
What does 30 grams look like?
You can do things a couple different ways:
- 5 whole, large eggs gives you 30g
- Generally, about 150g of sausage will give you 30g protein
- Tim also discusses using cottage cheese, and a cup gets you close to 30g protein
- 3-4 oz of tuna is around 30g protein
- 1.5 c of lentils is 30g protein
All of those, individually, are slow-carb compliant foods. So you could do something like 3 eggs, 50g sausage, and throw in some spinach for good measure and you’ll be getting 30g protein for breakfast. It’s not really as difficult as we want to make it sometimes.
The protein shake option
That said, an amazing number of people ask about protein shakes. I guess it’s because we’re always in a hurry and have somewhere to go. There’s a big problem I have with protein shakes though:
Most of them really suck.
They’re full of soy (which isn’t as good as you’ve been told), they’ve got a bunch of fillers, artificial ingredients, or they’re specifically for building muscle. None of that is what we want.
Because so many people can’t seem to stomach real food in the morning, or they find it really hard to prepare and consume food within 30 minutes, and because so many people have asked, I’ve done some research looking for one that doesn’t.
I have a second reason too. I get up around 5am to do side work before going to my real job. I try to be as quiet as possible, and I usually don’t feel hungry that early anyway. So I wanted to try a protein shake as soon as I wake up, and then I’ll have a normal breakfast with my family or when I go to work.
The one I’ve settled on is Mark Sisson’s Primal Fuel.
Why I picked Primal Fuel
I’ve been following Mark’s stuff for a long time, and anyone following me on Twitter will usually see a few of his posts tweeted out. The guy is 60 and looks like he’s 28. It’s crazy. He’s been in nutrition for something like 20 years, and all of the products he’s created were first created to fill a need he had. I trust the ingredients he uses because, quite frankly, he uses the supplements himself.
I also know he created the protein shake specifically not for bulking up, only quickly getting an appropriate amount of protein. He didn’t create it for fat loss in the same sense as a diet meal replacement shake, but the formula he uses helps promote fat loss.
Even though it’s sweet, it’s designed to help kick sugar cravings. If you look at other shakes, like Myoplex, they’re using corn syrup (not sure if it’s HFCS or not) for sweetener. Primal Fuel uses Stevia as well as some sucrose. If that bothers you, remember that the Myoplex shake Tim recommends has 20g carbs. Primal Fuel has 11g.
Mark is also very adamant about not drinking calories, which is one of the slow-carb rules. So I know Primal Fuel wasn’t designed to just be mindless calories. It uses whey protein isolate (the best form you can get) and coconut milk to get a really great combination of protein and fat that’s going to help promote fat loss.
One warning about protein shakes
Whatever you do, don’t use protein shakes as a “diet” tool. Slim fast doesn’t work, and neither will this if it’s how you’re losing weight. As a supplement, it’s fine. One a day at the right time will go a long way to get you through to your next meal or take the edge off a serious sugar craving.
How easy is it looking now?
Now that you’ve considered what 30g protein in the morning looks like and a few different ways to get it, are you going to give it a try? Whether it’s through eating eggs and sausage or drinking a protein shake, it’s definitely worth it to try, especially if you’re in a plateau that you want to bust.
I’ll be doing it specifically myself, and I’ll come back with a report on how well it’s gone. I always get a protein rich breakfast around 9am, but I’m going to see if getting 30g when I wake up at 5:30am makes a difference.
What’s your perfect slow-carb breakfast? Tell me in the comments!
(Disclosure: The links to Primal Fuel in this post are affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you purchase it. It doesn’t increase the price to you, but it helps me keep the lights on over here. I appreciate your support!)