Protein is that elusive nutrient that we’re constantly being told will work towards keeping us lean, building our muscles and helping us lose weight. But with so many different sources of protein available to us, how exactly do we go about packing our diet high in protein? Citing a lack of protein as the reason you’re not moving forward with your weight loss goals coming from your fitness coach is a bit of a tired response. However, the science behind it is sound: protein is an extremely important part of a balanced diet, and an increased intake of it can have many positive effects on our bodies. With that in mind, here are some ideas on how you can pack your diet high with this essential macronutrient.
Prioritise Protein When Building A Plate
When making a meal, the first place to start is with the source of your protein. The best sources of protein are lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, and plant-based proteins. Whatever you do, don’t get caught in the trap of prioritising carbohydrates and fats over your protein portions. You’re not baking a cake, you’re creating balanced meals that contain all the nutrients your body needs. So, when building a meal, make sure you’re first thinking about what your protein is first. Protein and fibre are key when it comes to managing your blood glucose levels, so try to incorporate both into every meal you eat. If you’re struggling to meet your daily protein intake, then adding more fibre to your meals will at the very least slowdown digestion and help you feel fuller for longer.
Replacing Cereal With Eggs The OG Protein Source
Eggs are the OG protein source. They have been around since the beginning of time, and for good reason. This delicious little gem packs a serious protein punch (around 7g per large egg) and is also a great source of vitamins and minerals. They are a versatile food and can be eaten at any point during the day. You can have them for breakfast, as a snack, or even as a side dish at dinner time. Plus, they are relatively cheap and can be bought in bulk to make them even more economical as they can also be used in a number of different dishes, and are easily accessible, making them a great option for packing your diet high in protein.
Stop Snacking On Sugary Rubbish
As well as prioritising your protein sources, it’s important to look at the types of foods you are snacking on. Are they high in sugar? Low in protein? To ensure you’re actually packing your diet high in protein, you need to cut out the sugary rubbish. The foods that are actually high in protein are usually not the ones that are high in sugar, so be wary of that. You probably already know that sugar is not good for you, but did you know that consuming too much sugar can actually lead to weight gain? This is due to the fact that sugar is converted into fat more quickly than other nutrients, such as protein. To avoid this, avoid sugary snacks, and opt for a protein-rich alternative instead.
Add A Protein Shake To Your Diet
If you’re struggling to hit your protein requirements you should consider adding a good quality protein powder supplement to your diet. These are easy to make at home and can be packed full of other great ingredients that are beneficial to your health. It is important to be careful with the amount of sugar you add to your shake, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Skimmed milk is a great alternative to full fat, as it contains fewer calories and fat compared to and keeps its protein content. Pro tip: If you don’t like milk or are dairy intolerant try using coconut milk, there isn’t as much protein but it’s tasty and low in cals, you could also try adding some fresh strawberries or blueberries to the blender. They’ll add a delicious fruity flavour to your shake without impacting the nutritional content much.
The bottom line
Protein is essential for growth and repair, and a diet that is low in protein can lead to a number of health issues. To pack your diet high in protein, you need to prioritise protein-rich foods, cut out the low-protein sources, and supplement your diet with a protein shake is often an easy way to get a quick win. Put your energy into the four points above, and it will help you feel healthier and more energetic as a result.
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