How To Boost Protein Intake
One of the best ways to achieve your physical goals, whether they are to lose weight or gain muscle, is to eat plenty of protein. However, some people can find it difficult to boost their protein intake when they first start, so here are some tips for protein-packed meals and snacks that taste delicious.
- Include protein with every meal
According to the British Nutrition Foundation, the recommended amount of protein per day is 0.75g per kg bodyweight, equating to 45g for a 60kg woman.
However, protein is also known to reduce appetite and increase fat burning, as well as maintain muscle for those on fat-loss diets. Therefore, Healthline suggests having 30 per cent of calories come from protein (600 calories, or 150g, for a daily intake of 2,000 calories) is ideal for losing weight.
This is why it is important to include protein in every meal and snack; otherwise, it can be difficult to make sure you hit your protein goals. Breakfasts could be a protein smoothie, porridge with protein powder, or eggs; and lunch or dinner could include meat, chicken, eggs, soy products or pulses.
- Change the way you snack
You might be used to grabbing a chocolate bar, biscuit, cake, or packet of crisps when craving a snack mid-morning or afternoon. However, these are typically high in calories and sugar or salt, and do not tend to fill you up.
Alternatively, you could eat protein bars, grab a protein shake, or even just snack on cheese. Cottage cheese, in particular, is very high in protein and is known to keep you full.
Just one cup of cottage cheese contains 23g of protein and only 176 calories.
Alternatively, you could have boiled eggs, veggie sticks with humous, crackers or apple with peanut butter, a handful of nuts, seeds, or roasted edamame beans or chickpeas, or protein balls, made with dates, nuts, protein powder and coconut oil.
- Enjoy Greek yoghurt
Greek yoghurt is a protein superfood. One cup of non-fat Greek yoghurt has 24.5g of protein, just 0.9g of fat and only 141.6 calories.
The great thing about Greek yoghurt is it can be enjoyed as a snack with fruit and seeds, as a breakfast with some granola, peanut butter, berries, or seeds, or as part of your lunch or dinner. You could make tzatziki or raita, for instance, to go with a barbecue, or dollop some on top of a spicy chilli or curry. There are many ways to add Greek yoghurt to your meals, boosting your protein intake at the same time.
- Add protein toppings
If you already make sure you eat protein at every meal, but are still falling short of your daily goal, you can easily increase your intake with some healthy toppings.
Nutritional yeast, which is a favourite among vegans; pumpkin and sunflower seeds; chia or flax seeds; almonds, peanuts, pistachios and walnuts are all rich in protein, as well as contain other important nutrients.
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