How To Get Enough Protein Into Your Diet
Follow these 6 steps to make sure your getting enough protein!
How To Get Enough Protein Into Your Diet
Follow these 6 steps to learn how to get enough protein into your diet!
Protein is an important nutrient that is vital to cell growth and development in the human body. Incorporating additional protein into your diet can benefit your overall health, help you increase your muscle mass, and aid in weight loss by boosting your metabolism and helping you feel fuller throughout the day. The amount of protein you need will vary depending on your size, activity level, and goals. Once you know how much protein you should be consuming, you can make a plan for incorporating more protein into your diet and enjoying the many health benefits this key nutrient can provide.
1. Make a list of protein-rich foods you enjoy, and think about ways in which you can incorporate these into your daily menu. Some of the best sources on how to get enough protein into your diet include the following:
- Lean meats, including chicken, pork, some cuts of beef, etc.
- Dairy products, including milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Beans and legumes, including lentils and peas
- Soy products, including tofu, edamame, etc.
- Nuts and seeds, including nut butter
- Plant-based protein powders: soy, hemp, pea, rice, etc.
2. Eat a protein-rich breakfast. Studies have shown that eating a protein-rich breakfast, containing around 30g of protein, can lead to greater satiety throughout the day, and reduce your urge to snack or overeat later on.
- Eggs are a great source of morning protein.
- A protein shake makes a great breakfast.
- Greek yogurt is convenient and high in protein.
- Try a protein-enriched breakfast cereal; when coupled with dairy or soy milk these provide a quick and easy protein-packed breakfast.
3. Include protein in your lunch. A sandwich made with peanut butter, cheese, or lunch meat is an easy way on how to get enough protein into your diet or try a salad with grilled chicken or tuna on top. Protein at lunch helps to keep you satiated throughout the afternoon and can increase the amount of muscle you build after a morning workout.
- Most lunch meats include a lot of preservatives and sodium, so minimize your consumption of these, or look for an organic or natural alternative.
- If you are out of ideas, do a web search for “protein lunch recipes.” You will find many ideas beyond the traditional sandwiches and salads for delicious lunches that are easy to make ahead of time and pack to work or school.
4. Eat protein-rich snacks. Protein snacks are a great way to boost your energy and keep you fueled up longer than carbohydrate-laden snack choices. The following is a list of some of the many great protein-rich snacks you can choose from. If you need more ideas on how to get enough protein into your diet just do a search for “protein snack ideas” and you will find a wealth of great suggestions.
- Mixed nuts or trail mix
- Hard-boiled eggs
- A glass of milk
- Cottage cheese and fruit
- String cheese
- Jerky (Just be mindful of the sodium!)
- Protein bars
- Greek yogurt
- Even a protein-rich candy bar, such as one containing nuts, is a better snack choice than one without.
5. Prepare a protein-rich dinner. You could eat a grilled chicken breast every night and get the nutrition you are looking for, that is a great way on how to get enough protein into your diet but variety is the spice of life! Choose favorite recipes, or go to the internet to learn something new. You might try a turkey meatloaf one night, and a tofu curries the next.
- Don’t underestimate the versatility of legumes as both main dishes and sides.
- Protein-enriched pasta is a great way to add protein to traditionally carbohydrate-heavy meals like spaghetti and lasagna.
6. Order protein-rich foods at restaurants. Many restaurants now feature protein-packed or low-carb menu offerings that you can choose from. Look for an entrée that features meat or protein as a good way on how to get enough protein into your diet, instead of one that is primarily carbohydrate-driven. You can also explain your goal to your server and ask her for suggestions on how to get enough protein into your diet.
- Some cuisines are better choices than others for adding protein. It’s a lot easier to get a high-protein meal at an Asian, American, seafood or burger restaurant than it is at a pizza place or sandwich shop.