Today is National Protein Day (yes, there really is a day for everything!) so what better time to shed light on this oh-so-important-but-often-overlooked macronutrient. According to a recent survey, 37% of Americans don’t get enough protein and I believe that! The USDA recommendation is 45 grams of protein for women, but for most people that’s far too low!
It’s common that when my clients start to work with me in a Health Coaching program, that they aren’t getting enough protein to sustain their weight loss goals. Not surprisingly, this is even more common with my clients who primarily eat a plant-based or pescatarian diet. And to be honest, it’s something I struggled with myself in the past. Recently, I’ve focused on increasing my protein intake and have been noticing more satiety from my meals, fewer cravings and increased muscle definition – all good reasons to eat more protein. If you’re struggling with getting enough protein, aim for .7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight and heed these 10 ways to increase protein intake.
One // Add Protein Powder. Added to your morning smoothie or your oatmeal, a protein-packed breakfast can impact how you eat the rest of the day. Protein powder can add up to 20 grams or protein to your breakfast or snack.
Two // Nibble on a Protein Bar. I used to shun protein bars because many were loaded with sugar and other questionable ingredients, but protein bars have come a long way since then. If you’re on the go or need an easy source of quick protein post-gym, consider a protein bar.
Three // Put an Egg On It. The easiest way to use up leftovers, make them taste just as good as the day before and boost them with protein is to put an egg – or two – on them.
Four // Mix In Collagen. Tasteless and easy to incororate into anything (think: smoothies, tea, coffee oatmeal, baked goods, protein bars), it easily adds an extra 10 grams of protein to anything you use it in.
Five // Eat a Protein-rich Breakfast. Swap out your morning granola for a protein-rich breakfast like eggs or last night’s chicken and vegetables.
Six // Snack on Greek Yogurt. Greek yogurt packs a serious protein punch. Just go for the full fat, unflavored varieties and add your own mix-ins like fruit, granola, nuts and seeds.
Seven // Include Lean Protein in Every Meal and Snack. When planning meals and snacks always include a lean protein to keep you full and satisfied longer.
Eight // Don’t Pass on the Peas. It turns out the veggie that haunted every childhood dinner plate is actually full of protein with more than 8 grams per cup! Use them to add protein power to your hummus or guacamole, add them to pasta or keep it simple and make them as a side dish.
Nine // Consider Plant Proteins. If you’re a meat-eater, increase protein intake by experimenting with plant-based proteins like tempeh and tofu to add variety to your meals.
Ten // Reach for Jerky. As lean as it gets, jerky is trimmed of fat and is totally portable. Choose brands that are sustainable, wild and low in sodium. Don’t eat meat? Check out salmon jerky!
Do you eat enough protein? How do you increase protein intake?