Protein is a macronutrient that helps to build and maintain muscle and tissue (other macronutrients are fat and carbohydrates). Protein is made up of amino acids and is required in every cellular function. Some protein exists naturally within our bodies, and some is required through food. This protein, known as dietary protein, is essential to life.
When measuring dietary protein sources as part of the SHAPE Program, Phase I: Fast Track Cleanse, always measure in ounces (oz.), not number of grams per serving. You can use a food scale to measure by weight or a measuring cup to measure by volume.
Because not all sources of dietary protein are purely protein, we classify proteins into dense, mid-dense and non-dense:
- Dense protein includes beef, poultry, fish, and goat and sheep cheese. While these foods contain mostly dietary protein, they also contain some fat. When cooking with dense proteins, be sure to cut off visible fat before cooking. Measuring after cooking is usually best, but not required.
- Mid-dense protein includes eggs, tempeh and tofu. They contain mostly protein, but also some fat and a small amount of carbohydrates.
- Non-dense protein includes yogurt and cottage cheese. These foods contain protein, some fat and carbohydrates in the form of lactose, a naturally-occurring sugar. Non-dense protein is optional for Phase I.
Serving Size (4 oz.)
90% Ground Beef
Goat/Sheep Cheese (3 oz.)
Eggs (2 large, count as 2 oz.)
Cottage Cheese, 2%
Greek Yogurt, 2%
What about protein days?
Protein days should only be done in Phase II or as recommended by your practitioner.
Your Program Guidebook explains how to do a protein day or you can read this article: Why, When and How Should I Do a Protein Day?
If your practitioner recommends that you do a protein day, be sure to choose only dense protein sources.
If you’re a vegetarian, choose eggs. If you’re a vegan (avoiding all animal products), choose tempeh or a high-quality pea protein powder.
Remember: the SHAPE Program is not one-size-fits-all. We know that each of you are different. It’s up to you and your SHAPE practitioner to determine what is best for your unique journey.
Our SHAPE ReClaimed team will continue to study the health effects of various foods, products and ingredients. Please know that we are intentional with our program, and all decisions are made with your health and success in mind.