Two weeks ago I talked to you about 3 things everyone should do to get leaner. One of those was to eat protein every meal.
As I said I usually find that when people first come to see me they aren’t eating enough protein. This doesn’t mean I have everyone eating huge amounts of protein, far from it. But there is a certain amount most people should be aiming to eat to stay healthy and lean!
As I said in that blog, some of the advantages of eating enough protein include helping our bodies repair themselves, keeping our nails, hair and skin healthy. But another big one in terms of getting in shape is the fact that protein keeps us feeling full and less likely to snack.
I thought it would be useful to follow that blog post up with some help on how to eat more protein and ways to incorporate it into your diet.
The average female should be aiming for 80-100 grams of protein a day. That might sound a lot but it’s actually not too difficult when you break it down. If you eat 3 decent meals a day and include protein in every one that will be around 20-30 grams of protein per meal, you’re up to 60-90g of protein already. Add in a protein yoghurt or a shake and you’re there!
Just to give you an idea, a regular chicken breast is usually 30-40g of protein and a tin of tuna is around 20g.
How to include more protein in your breakfast
Breakfast is always the meal people struggle with the most when it comes to including protein. The standard breakfasts of cereal and toast are mainly carbs and contain very little protein.
Eggs are the easiest option, whether that’s boiled, poached, fried or an omelette.
If you’re not keen on eggs you can try having yoghurt with some berries and nuts. There’s loads of yoghurts available now that include more protein so give them a try.
Another alternative is to go for a smoothie and just add a scoop of protein. There’s so many different brands and types of protein on the market, you just need to go for a whey protein, it will contain mainly protein and minimal carbs and fat. Just go for one that you like the taste of and is affordable.
If you still prefer your cereal you can get cereals that have added protein, the same with your toast you can also get protein bread, so no excuses!
Protein in your lunch and dinner
Obviously it’s a lot more straight forward to include more protein in these meals, you can just include meat, fish, eggs or cheese. For example if you’re having a sandwich or a jacket potato just make sure you’re having something like chicken or tuna with it.
But don’t feel you just have to restrict yourself to chicken and tuna, there’s loads of other options. You could have beef, turkey, ham, bacon, salmon, mackerel, mix it up and make your meals tasty and interesting! Beans and pulses are great sources of protein too if your vegetarian or even if you’re not and fancy a change. Quinoa which can be used as an alternative to rice or cous cous is also a brilliant source of protein you can include in salads and all sorts of ways.
More protein in your snacks
The tips for including more protein in your snacks are much the same as at breakfast. You could go for eggs, yoghurt or simply have a smoothie with a scoop of protein. Cottage cheese is also a great source of protein.
Nuts and seeds are a good source of protein too but you have to be careful how many you eat. Nuts in particular are very high in fat, sure they are good for you but if you eat too many you’ll be eating a lot of extra calories.
But we’re actually spoilt these days with other snacks available that contain protein.
The obvious ones are protein bars (these now taste far better than they used to). But you can also get protein crisps, popcorn, cheese and even beer (I wouldn’t recommend that as a snack though!!!)
To be honest though, as I’ve said, if you’re having around 20-30g of protein in each meal you shouldn’t need to bother with too many of these. Keep it simple, get the basics in place and look to things like protein yoghurts or protein shakes where required.
Give these tips a try, look to include some form of protein in every meal and alongside getting more active your body will change! This is one of the key habits I always try to get my clients to introduce and it really works.
As always if you found this blog useful please share it with others who you also think might benefit from reading it. And if you have any questions or requests for future blogs please get in touch.