We're at the end of the road, people! It's the final guideline. It's also the scariest for so many women 😱 Let me be clear here: protein will not make you turn into the Govenator.
Honestly, it'd be pretty cool if just eating more protein gave you strong, defined muscles. But alas, it's not that simple.
So, I am an athlete; I purposefully consume a lot of protein to maintain lean muscle mass. However, there was a point in my life where it didn't make sense for me to eat over 100g of protein a day because I just didn't need that much. However, as I started doing more strength based sports and wanting to break personal records, I had to slowly increase my protein intake, over years! Now, I regularly consume 120-150g of protein and maintain a very high lean muscle mass--but that happened over a period of almost 10 YEARS (that makes me feel way too old).
So start by eating more protein at one or two meals. You don't have to buy chicken in bulk and eat 8oz at every single meal. Protein does help you stay full for longer and it keeps your blood sugar in check, so eating a protein-rich snack when you're feeling sluggish or starting your day out with eggs instead of a granola bar may be a good place to start.
While I recommended tracking macros for carbs, I don't make that same recommendation for protein. Why? Because it's not nearly as tricky! A piece of chicken the size of a deck of cards or roughly the size of your palm will have about 20-25g of protein. However, a handful of rice has a different number or carbs than handful of chips which is going to be different than a handful of potatoes. Get the drift?
So keep it simple! Add in a small amount of protein to a meal that currently is a little sparse. Breakfast is a great place to start, most people are conditioned to eat a high carb breakfast--and there's nothing wrong with that if it keeps you going! But try adding in some eggs or egg whites, depending on how you tolerate fat. Low-sugar Greek yogurt, tofu, tempeh, or even a breakfast burrito with beans if you're feeling fancy!