How to get into the best shape of your life, according to science | 6/20/2017, 10:16 p.m.
Frustrated by a lack of progress at the gym? According to science, the answer to your fitness plateau may not ...

Frustrated by a lack of progress at the gym? According to science, the answer to your fitness plateau may not involve exercise at all, but diet.

Per new research from Skidmore College, experts suggest giving the PRISE method a go. The “RISE” in PRISE stands for essential elements of maintaining a good fitness routine: resistance exercise, interval sprints, stretching, and endurance exercise. Meanwhile, the “P” represents what may be missing from your current regimen: protein-pacing. In other words, chowing down on protein regularly throughout the day. And by regularly, we mean doubling up and some.

While The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for the average woman is 46 grams of protein a day. Protein-pacing requires consuming as many as 120 grams in a day, Health magazine said.

In two recent studies, exercise scientist Paul Arciero and his team tracked a total of 50 physically fit men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 for 12 weeks. While each participant followed the same RISE exercise routine and consumed the same number of calories per day, only half took part in protein-pacing.

After the trial, researchers found that while each participant showed improvement in their fitness regimen, those who also followed protein-pacer guidelines had greater gains.

It’s no secret that consuming high levels of protein increases muscle mass; in turn, boosting metabolism and burning body fat. However, some may wonder if protein-pacing is right for them. There is still much to be uncovered.

In the meantime, here are five protein tips Arciero says will jumpstart you’re journey to achieving optimal fitness. Learn what works for your body and fitness goals.

  1. Have your first serving of protein – one of at least 20 grams of high-quality protein four to six times per day — within 30 minutes of starting your day. Consume your final serving before bed. The key is to space your servings out evenly throughout the day.

  2. Learn to eyeball 20 grams of protein. For example, for animal protein like chicken, fish, or beef refer to your flat palm as a measuring tool (about 3 to 4.5 ounces), said Arciero. For plant protein, such as lentils, quinoa or beans, help yourself to a serving the size of your fist.

  3. Trying to shed unsightly pounds? Eat even more protein — between 25 and 40 grams per serving.

  4. If you plan on hitting the gym, aim to eat one serving of protein right before you train dirty. In turn, you’re providing your body with the means to both fuel and repair your muscles.

  5. Keep high-protein snacks like hard-boiled eggs, whey or pea protein bars or powder, almonds, or Greek yogurt on hand to give any meal an instant boost. This will also help you make healthier food choices.

Track your diet and get helpful recommendations on Arciero’s free iOS app GenioFit. “It comes down to the quality of what you’re eating,” Arciero told the fitness publication. “We need to step away from thinking a calorie is a calorie, and more importantly de-emphasize the amount of food you should be eating, and focus on the kind of food.”