5 Ways to Sneak More Protein into Your Diet, that aren’t smoothies or shakes! Getting enough protein is important for your health, it builds muscle and aids in weight loss and maintaining that loss! It could be the catalyst that takes you to the next level!
If you’re looking for high protein recipes check out my 20 Light & Easy High Protein Meal Ideas using pantry staples!
5 Ways to Sneak More Protein into your Diet
Protein. I know you’ve heard it before but honestly protein needs to be a HUGE part of your diet. One of the biggest things I’ve learned over the years is that I wasn’t eating enough in general and definitely not eating enough of this key muscle builder.
Sure, I’d have breakfast, lunch and dinner. But I was eating an average of maybe 60 to 70 grams of protein per day and some days less. Mostly, because I just wasn’t paying attention to how much I was eating at each meal.
So to start off this – “What is your Why” Series I wanted to give you a challenge! Don’t worry. I’m doing it too! I want you to focus on eating more protein. This key nutrient aids in toning up and building muscle as well as weight loss. Just try it for a month and see your body change!
Why is Protein Important?
Protein is one of the three macronutrients our body needs, the other two are fat and carbohydrates. Each one of these macronutrients are essential and affect the body differently. So why is protein important?
- It is shown to reduce appetite and hunger levels. Which is why increasing protein intake while reducing fat and carbohydrate intake can aid in weight loss. This macronutrient is by far the most filling of all the other three.
- Your muscles are primarily made of protein. Which means it is a key factor if you want to increase muscle mass and strength.
- It boosts metabolism and increases the number of calories you burn throughout the day.
How Much Protein Should I Eat Per Day?
As a baseline, for a normal sedentary person you should be eating .36 grams of protein for every pound you weigh. Meaning you’d multiply your weight in pounds by .36. That would equal the amount you should be eating per day. (Example: 135 lb. person x .36 = 48.6 grams of protein per day)
If you are trying to lose weight or tone up you, should be eating your weight in protein. So, if you weigh 150 lbs, you should be eating 150 grams per day! Wow is right!
Now, if you’re an athlete or trying to gain muscle you should multiply your weight by 2. That is the amount you should be eating per day. (Example: 175 lb. x 2 = 350 grams of protein per day) That is A LOT of protein.
Hopefully this exercise helps you realize you are probably not eating enough protein during the day. Change the way you eat and see change in your body!
5 of My Favorite Ways to Add Protein During the Day
I’ve found a couple of ways to slowly increase my protein intake during the day to meet my goals. First, I have it first thing in the morning – whether it’s eggs, egg whites or a smoothie. But it’s so important to start with that! Next, I try to make sure that each of my meals is between 25-30 grams of protein. Lastly, I make sure that my snacks are between 10-15 grams of protein. If I do all of this, I usually hit my goals.
Here are my favorite ways to add protein to my diet:
- Protein Powder: This is probably one of the easiest ways to add protein to your diet. I have a smoothie almost everyday! I’ve used Daily Harvest Smoothies and have made my own. Some of my favorites are – Tropical Mango Smoothie, Cafe Mocha Smoothie or any of these 4 Make Ahead Smoothie Packs. I also add protein powder to my energy balls for an extra boost. If you haven’t tried my No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Bites or my No Bake Chocolate Brownie Energy Bites yet you have to! As far as which brand, my favorite protein powder is Vega Vanilla & Greens – it has 20 grams in every scoop, is plant based and tastes great .. not gritty at all.
- Collagen Peptides: First and foremost, what is collagen? Collagen is the main structural protein found in most of your bodies connective tissue. It’s a big deal. It is great for your skin, hair, nails, increases joint mobility and encourages better digestion/gut health. I add this nutrient packed flavorless powder to my cup of coffee every morning! Which helps me reach my goals and gets me moving for the day! You can add it into your favorite smoothie, soup, broth or even energy bites. I use Vital Protein Collagen Peptides – you’re going to love it!
- Egg Whites: Now before you think I’m a yolk hater, I’m not. I love a good sunny side up egg yolk. But when I’m eating for just protein, egg whites are the best bang for your buck. A 1/2 cup of egg whites has 13 grams and only 63 calories!! I love to do this and add in some fresh vegetables or a side of berries for extra carbohydrates!
- Lean Meats: For lunch and dinner my focus is lean high protein meats. I don’t want all the fat, just the protein itself. So I buy things like Top Sirloin, Beef Tenderloin, Chicken Breast, Tuna or White Fish. Salmon is also great, just know that it usually has a lot of good fats in it. Which is fine, just keep that in mind when you’re planning. I also LOVE to use Rotisserie Chicken (just the white meat) to throw instead salads or the lean lunch meat from the deli rolled up with hummus or something like these Veggie Turkey Rollups (13 grams per roll)!
- Greek Yogurt: Y’all. My secret weapon in the snack department is greek yogurt, more specifically Light & Fit Greek Yogurt. They are only 80 calories but have 12 grams in every cup! It’s like having a creamy dessert! Can you say amazing? Top them with fresh berries, nut butter or even mini chocolate chips for a dessert! Either way just make sure you have them on hand to meet your protein goals. My favorite flavors are vanilla and toasted coconut vanilla! Sooo good!
Disclaimer: I am not a certified personal trainer. Always check with your doctor before starting a new fitness regime or changes to your diet and please listen to your body.