Protein really doesn’t get enough credit for all of its nutritional benefits, and most people consume far under the recommended amount that they should based on their body composition and activity level. If you’re lifting weights or working out a lot, getting enough protein in your diet is essential to building muscle and creating a strong, lean body. Here are five easy ways to get more protein into your diet:
1. Swap regular yogurt for Greek yogurt: Regular yogurt can be a great, healthy option for meal additions or snacks, but Greek yogurt is even better. Greek yogurt contains twice the amount of protein that regular yogurt has, and has far fewer calories. Plus its creamy texture makes it an even more satisfying option.
2. Start using protein powder: Sometimes, no matter how many naturally occurring proteins you eat, you still aren’t getting enough. Protein powders are a great way to supplement your protein intake, and can be added into smoothies and baked goods without changing the flavor or consistency. These days there are so many different varieties and flavors of protein powders that you’re sure to find one that you love.
3. Eat protein rich, plant-based foods: Proteins aren’t confined to lean meats, nuts, or dairy products, and can also be found in plant-based foods such as beans and legumes, as well as many other vegetables and even grains. Try incorporating these into your diet in place of refined carbohydrates.
4. Learn to love eggs: Eggs have gotten a lot of flak over the years, and depending on what year it is people either love them or hate them. However there’s no denying that eggs are relatively low in calories and high in protein, and they make the perfect breakfast food to jump start your day. Eating hardboiled eggs as a snack is also a great way to get in extra protein during the day.
5. Don’t be afraid of nut butters: Nut butters are another item that people are wary of, mainly because it’s easy to overeat and it’s relatively high in calories. However it’s also high in healthy fats and proteins, and contains more grams of protein then a handful of nuts does. Don’t shy away from eating nut butters; just be careful to consume only the portion size.
Protein is an avid gym-goer or athlete’s best friend, so be sure to incorporate plenty of it into your diet, and to eat something with protein in it during the 30 minute window after you complete your workout to help repair and build muscle. Eating enough protein each day will help you build muscle, lose fat, and keep you full, satisfied, and alert throughout the day.
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