As part of a balanced diet, you should eat more protein. This is something that you are constantly hearing. But getting the recommended daily intake of protein can be difficult. Some resources tell you that you need to eat 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, other sources tell you that you only need 50 grams per day. But the reality is that in order to get the right amount of protein, you need to pay attention to your body and you have to take into consideration your stats and activity levels. There are many benefits to having more protein in your diet, such as increased muscle mass, fat loss, and improved health. But how can you get more protein into your diet? Below you’ll learn simple ways to get more protein into your diet.
Eat the Protein Source First
A simple way to get more protein is by starting your meal eating just your protein source. If you have a meal with equal parts of chicken and rice, eat the chicken first. One benefit of doing this is that you can get more protein into your system before the signal arrives at your brain telling you that you are full. Another benefit is that higher protein intake decreases the hunger hormone ghrelin. So you get satiated with high-protein foods before consuming other foods that might not as beneficial to you.
One of the things to keep in mind is that if you are really looking to up your protein intake, you are going to want a variety of protein sources. You are gonna want to find foods that go beyond plain dry chicken breasts. For example, this stuffed chicken breast recipe comes with walnuts and ricotta, both healthy sources of protein and fat.
Have a Protein Shake
Another simple way to get more protein is by drinking protein shakes. One of the best reasons to start having protein shakes in the morning is their ability to digest quickly. Blending up your protein with frozen fruit or vegetables, and almond butter can provide a great hit of easily absorbable protein and a macronutrient-balanced meal. You can also add flax seeds or chia seeds to up the protein content.
Having protein shakes is also a great way to get your nutrients while you are on the go and to have a meal that takes less than 5 minutes to prepare. Another way to incorporate more protein shakes into your meal plan is by adding them to your pre-workout and post-workout routine. This way allows for maximum protein absorption just when your body needs it.
Eat More High Protein Snacks
These days, there is a huge variety of high-protein snacks. If you have a sweet tooth, you can find bars, cookies, bread, nut butter, pancakes, and even peanut butter cups high in protein. If you have salty cravings, you can find an array of salty snacks such as high-protein potato chips, beef jerky, nuts, eggs, shrimp cocktail, or seeds as a snack. If you are looking for a dairy-based snack, you can eat cheese, kefir, and Greek yogurt. Kefir and Greek yogurt have twice as much protein as traditional yogurt, making it a perfect choice of high protein dessert containing a good amount of good bacteria, which are amazing for your gut, mood, immunity, and overall health. However, make sure that whatever snack you eat are clean – free from high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, colorings, additives, and GMOs.
If you still find yourself eating conventional snacks (baked goods, candy, cookies, chocolate bars, chips, pretzels, fast foods), it’s time to address your mindset and self-sabotaging decisions. It’s time to replace your unhealthy choices with healthier ones. You can do so by slowly changing your habits.
Add Vegetarian Sources of Protein
Despite the great protein profiles of nuts, dairy and meat-based foods/products, not everybody can tolerate them. However, there are delicious high-protein vegetarian and vegan foods. For instance, you can have a cup of edamame – the only problem with it is that it contains soy and many people are allergic to it. If so, you should try other foods such as beans, quinoa, chia seeds (you can make a chia pudding), chickpeas (you can try hummus), vegetarian yogurts (made with cashews, almonds, pea, or coconut milk), or seeded crackers. These choices are easy to find and can make a great meal.
Learn all the best sources of protein so you don’t get bored and neglect your protein intake. Eating your protein first, having protein shakes, and consuming high-protein snacks are simple ways to get more protein. Consuming protein is not an option but a necessity. A high protein intake can help you lose weight, gain muscle, and keep your body healthy.
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor