8 Ways to Add More Protein Rich Foods to Your Meal Plan
Protein is underrated! Did you know that protein is an important component of every cell in our bodies? Protein helps you build and repair tissues, they make enzymes, hormones, and other essential chemicals in your body, and protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
By eating the optimal amount of protein, you’re helping the body stay healthy and function properly. And, you’re helping it build bigger, stronger muscles. Achieving the gains you’re looking for!
So, what’s the ideal amount of protein to eat every day? That depends mainly on your weight and activity level. For an average person, you should eat 1.6 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. But, if you work out every day, the level increases to 2.2 to 3.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Do the math and you’ll see you’ll be eating a fair amount of protein!
If you’re struggling to get the right amount of protein into your body, here are 8 Ways to Add More Protein-Rich Foods into Your Meal Plan.
- Eat Protein First
A great technique to help you eat more protein is to eat your protein first. Protein produces a hormone that helps you feel full longer, so by eating protein first, you can control your hunger, and diet better.
Protein also helps your metabolism while you eat and sleep, and helps keep your blood sugar levels low after eating meals.
- Snack on Cheese
Cheese is high in protein and calcium, and lower in calories than common snack foods like pretzels, chips, and crackers. If you’re looking for a healthy, protein-packed snack, cottage cheese or even a cheese stick are great options.
- Swap Out Cereal for Eggs
Eggs contain more protein than popular breakfast items like toast, cereal, bagels, and even oatmeal. Three large eggs provides 19 grams of high-quality protein, while also providing you with the important nutrients selenium and choline.
Eating eggs can also help you reduce your bad cholesterol and decrease your chances of developing heart disease.
- Eat Canned Fish
You can find just about any type of fish in a can: tuna fish, salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Eat it on the go, or as a snack straight out of the can. It doesn’t spoil if it’s left out of the fridge! If you’re in the mood for something different, you can even mix it in a healthy mayo and add it to your salad.
Canned fish is an excellent source of fatty acids and omega 3s, which can help fight inflammation and protect your heart health. A typical 100 gram serving of canned fish contains about 20-25 grams of protein and about 150-200 calories.
- Protein Shake for Breakfast
Have a protein shake for breakfast. Or even better, right after you work out. Not only are you starting your day out on a good note, but by adding more protein to your diet, you rev up your metabolism — this, setting your body up for success!
To pack an even greater punch, feel free to add fruits and vegetables to your morning protein shake.
- Pair Peanut Butter with Fruit
Fruit may be rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber, but it’s low in protein. By pairing fruit with peanut butter, you’re not only getting a great mix of sweet and savory. You’re also getting the benefits of fruit and the high-protein peanut butter.
- Add Protein to Every Meal
This may seem obvious, but a great technique to get enough protein in your diet is to make it a goal to add protein into every one of your meals throughout the day.
You don’t want to just eat all your daily protein in one sitting, which may do more harm than good. Spread out your protein intake by eating smaller portions of protein with every meal.
Researchers suggest eating 20-30 grams of protein at every meal, which will help you feel full longer, as well as preserve muscle mass better than consuming smaller daily amounts of protein.
- Get Creative!
If you’re struggling to get the optimal amount of protein into your diet, then you’re going to need to get creative! There are so many ways to add more protein into your meal plan.
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