Today I’m sharing how I add some extra protein into my diet. It always seems to be the macro that I struggle with the most in getting enough.
I want to preface this post by saying that I am not a nutrition professional. These are the tips and tricks that worked for me. Before changing your diet, talk to your doctor or find a qualified registered dietitian to talk about the nutrition goals that are right for you.
Know your protein goal.
Talk to your doctor or registered dietitian to find out how much protein you should be eating in a daily basis. Lots of things can impact how much protein you should be eating, such as sex, age, and any health conditions that you may have.
Once you know how much protein you should be eating everyday, you can start working towards that goal. Make sure you talk to someone who’s qualified to give you nutrition advice (hence my recommendation of a doctor or registered dietitian) so that can look at any health considerations that are specific to you. It’s so important to know that what’s right for your friend of someone on Instagram may not be for you.
Know where you’re beginning.
Having an idea of your current protein intake makes all the difference when it comes to knowing how much more protein to include in your diet. When talking to your doctor or registered dietitian, they’ll probably ask you to track your food intake fore a few days. This gives both them and you and idea of how much you’re currently eating. Make one of the days that you track a weekend, because they can vary from your usual routine during the week.
I like using My Fitness Pal to track my food. It’s super easy to use, and you can even scan bar codes in food packages instead of typing it in manually and searching. I go into more detail about how I use My Fitness Pal in this post. I also wrote about if My Fitness Pal Premium is worth the money.
Once you have a good baseline and know where you stand, you can begin to make changes in your diet, including how much more protein you should be including.
Aim to have protein at each meal.
I’m much more likely to reach my protein goal for the day if I include protein at all three meals and any snacks that I have throughout the day. It’s generally harder for me to get in protein in the morning at breakfast. My favorite protein packed breakfast is a smoothie that I make in the blender. I include frozen berries, vanilla yogurt, a splash of water, and protein powder. My favorite kind of protein powder is Pure Protein Vanilla Cream (affiliate link).
I’m not very likely to reach my daily protein goal if I don’t make an effort to eat protein at each meal. Leaving it for only lunch and dinner isn’t usually successful for me. Making it a priority throughout my day (including breakfast which can sometimes be carb heavy for me) mean that I can spread the protein out throughout the day.
Think lean protein.
Or course these suggestions will vary according to your likes and any other diet concerns you may have, but some of my favorite sources of lean protein are fish (tuna is a favorite of mine), skinless chicken and turkey, tofu, beans, Greek yogurt, and lentils.
As you can see, there are lots of foods that are high in protein and lower in fat. That’s not to say that you can’t enjoy read meat- it’s hard to go wrong with a juicy cheeseburger once in awhile. It’s the choices that you make on a daily basis that matter – think the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy 80% of the time and live life the other 20% of the time when you’re out with friends or celebrating a holiday meal with family.
What are your favorite ways to get in protein?
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