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Protein is an extremely popular macronutrient due to its many benefits, so let’s discuss how to increase protein intake in your diet. Here are 5 easy ways to get more protein in your diet. You’ll learn why protein has such hype around it, how much to consume, and five strategies on how to add more. Ready? Let’s go!
Why eat protein?
Protein is the building block of the body. Some of the benefits of eating protein include boosting immunity, increases satiation, stabilizes blood sugar, and helps burn calories. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, nine of which are essential, meaning they must come from food (the body doesn’t make them). If the diet lacks essential amino acids, the body will pull the protein needed from breaking down muscle.
In short, consuming sufficient protein will prevent your body from breaking down muscle, which is vital for fat loss. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories the body burns at rest.
How much to eat?
For adults, the protein recommendation is 1/2 gram of protein per pound each day. For children, about 1 gram per pound each day, due to rapid growth. However, it is common for athletes and bodybuilders to push protein intake higher, to 1 gram per pound each day or 25-30% of total calories. Tracking your intake and testing different levels is the best way to discover the right amount for you since needs will vary based on current lean muscle mass and activity level.
5 strategies on how to increase protein intake:
- Find a high-quality protein powder. There are so many ways to add protein powder into your daily routine; you only have to get creative! You can add protein powder to pancakes, oatmeal, cookies, and smoothies. My top recommendation is this organic vegan blend on Amazon. They have the best tasting plant protein, with 160 calories and 30 g of protein in 2 scoops. This mix is Certified USDA organic, Non-GMO project verified, gluten free, dairy free, and soy free.
- Start your day with a green protein smoothie. I recommend this to all my health coaching clients. Mix dark greens like spinach with frozen berries, almond milk, protein powder, and chia seeds or nut butter for a fantastic start to the day. Clients claim starting the day with a super healthy meal helps them feel amazing and stay on track throughout the day.
- Add complete proteins to meals. These include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, yogurt, edamame, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, buckwheat, and nutritional yeast. All of these can be prepared in bulk ahead of time for grab and go meals during the week. One of my favorites to meal prep is cold quinoa salad.
- Combine incomplete proteins to make a complete protein, such as beans, peas, nuts, and whole grains. Not all proteins contain all nine essential amino acids, but combining them does. For example, combine black beans and brown rice.
- Drink BCAAs during or after intense workouts – BCAA’s stands for branch chain amino acids, which are 3 of the essential amino acids. I highly recommend this brand on Amazon because it contains Vegan Certified plant-based BCAAs, L-Glutamine, and electrolytes. The all-natural blend lacks the offensive aftertaste of anything artificial. I drink it for intense and long gym sessions!
Summing-up, boosting protein intake can assist with weight loss, muscle building, improved energy, or boosting immunity. I hope these strategies helped you take that step! If you enjoyed reading how to increase protein intake, you might also like this blog post on removing empty calories to lose weight. Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter for my free healthy grocery list!
Till next time,