If you have been trying to structure your daily nutrition plan, but seem to keep falling short of getting in enough high quality protein… look no further because I’ve come up with 5 great additions to your diet that will help you get more protein intake with less overall calories.
First, let me start by saying that if you’re an active, athletic type person, you need to be getting in around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight to promote optimal recovery of your physical efforts. For less active individuals 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight is recommended.
Next, is to find a diverse selection of protein options that will help you to get in the required amount of protein without ridicules amounts of fat or carbohydrate calories.
Keep in mind if you’re trying to build muscle, dieting for weight loss, or trying to maintain leanness, you will need to keep track of your overall calories. This is done by tracking your macro nutrients which include: protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
Finally, you need to try to be open-minded to experimenting with new foods, even if you haven’t liked them in the past. This is obviously disregarded for any food allergies, but learning how to take foods that maybe seem boring or don’t taste great alone could be the answer to getting in that extra protein that’s needed.
1. Egg Whites
Egg whites alone are gross… at least to me, but I’ve learned how to incorporate them into my diet to boost my protein intake without a ton of fat. There is typically about 13 grams of protein, 1 gram of carbohydrates, and 0 grams of fat in a half cup of egg whites.
I have found that by simply adding egg whites to my whole eggs and making scrambled eggs with other added ingredients like spinach, peppers, or green onions, etc. is a delicious meal that is packed with protein; making this option a great way to start the day.
2. Plain Greek Nonfat Yogurt
This is an acquired taste, but did you know that you can transform this tart-tasting food into one of the most delicious, high protein meals that will be something you look forward to daily.
If you simply add 1 cup of frozen fruit, 1 cup of yogurt, 1tbsp of agave nectar, and a little water you will be getting an extra 24 grams of protein, 30 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 grams of fat.
This smoothie recipe is simple and can be a great post workout drink. Also, can be a fast meal or snack when you’re on the go or are fighting a craving for something sweet.
3. Low Fat Cottage Cheese
Growing up, I remember my mom making me eat this, and I hated it… now, I eat it every day!
The best way I’ve found to enjoy eating cottage cheese is with about a tbsp of raw honey on it. To me this was a game changer!
A half cup of cottage cheese has 14 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of fat. Cottage cheese is a great source considering the portion size and having little carbs and fat in it.
If you add in this option to your diet a couple times a day; that’s an extra 28 grams of protein… BOOM!
4. Protein Powders
This is the easiest and most convenient way to get extra protein in your diet. I recommend whey protein isolate because it’s usually digested fairly well and has 20-25 grams of protein per scoop of you have a good one.
You can easily add 1-2 scoops a day and get in an extra 20-50 grams of protein.
Another great option is whey protein bars. I usually start every morning with a protein bar and coffee. Try to get a good quality protein bar with at least 20 grams of protein and low sugar.
5. Vegetable Sources
There are many high protein plant sources that can be great options… if you choose the right ones!
Obviously, I’m not talking about lettuce here. What I mean is high quality plant protein sources like: chick peas, beans, lentils, spinach, chia seeds, oats, quinoa, wild rice, and barley to go along with a lean meat source… unless you are a vegetarian, then these will be your only options.
A lot of the time when we think of vegetables; they are thought as something on the side, and typically have little to no macro nutrient density. I’m not saying don’t eat veggies, I’m saying if you do… make it count for something.
Adding these vegetable sources can greatly increase your protein intake overall. By simply choosing chic peas or lentils over white rice, you will get extra protein per 1 cup of the same serving size as white rice.
Eat Better & Live Well!
Making better choices in the kitchen can make or break your diet in terms of achieving the macro nutrients needed to successfully obtain your goals.
For active individuals that workout on a regular basis at least 4 days a week need to be consuming around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
This can be a challenge at times when you have a busy schedule and don’t make time to prep meals in advance. If this is you, I have a solution for you… check out my article, Healthy Meal Prep Services – Chef Prepared & Delivered. This is a great option because it’s fool-proof nutrition.
Also, if you are looking for some meal ideas, check out my Healthy Meal Prepping Recipes if you like to cook.
At the end of the day, it comes down to planning and tracking your food to ensure you are getting what’s required for you to achieve your goals.
We all have some type of goal whether it be weight loss, muscle gain, recomposition, or even to maintain your physique. Regardless of the goal, it takes discipline and dedication to achieve the goal, but more importantly consistency to maintain and keep moving forward.
It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.-Vincent Van Gogh