When I started living a healthier lifestyle I read everywhere to include lean sources of protein into my diet. Increasing protein intake can aid in fat loss which means losing weight. So that is exactly what I did, every meal. And for me, it seemed to work with the addition of removing junk from my diet and exercise.
Protein is a great way to make you feel satiated plus it is an essential nutrient to build and repair muscles when burning calories when you exercise.
Easy Ways to Add High Protein Foods to Your Diet
Choose eggs: Not everyone is an egg lover, but 1 large egg has 6 grams of protein while 1 egg white has 3.6 grams. For breakfast, choose 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites either scrambled or in an omelet with vegetables to have almost 14 grams of protein just in eggs. You can also add egg whites to oatmeal, pancakes, french toast and homemade waffles.
In a Rush? Choose Cereal: Cereal is a quick breakfast food when in a rush. Topped with berries and nuts plus milk you have a complete meal. But don’t choose cereals loaded with junk. There are many quality cereals on the market that include protein. I adore Post Great Grains(8 grams protein per serving), Nature’s Path Heritage Crunch (6 grams protein per serving, Kashi GoLean Crunch (9 grams protein per serving and Special K Protein (10 grams protein per serving). I’ve also heard great things about Kay’s Naturals Protein Cereals, though haven’t tried them.
Protein Powder: There are so many on the market, it can be overwhelming to find one that is high quality. I recommend the new CleanSeries Whey Protein Isolate. This is non-gmo, with fabulous ingredients, that’s low in sugar and no fat offering a whopping 23 grams of protein per scoop. Protein powder can be added to yogurt, baked goods such as muffins, smoothies, oatmeal, homemade breakfast foods and additional blended drinks.
Switch to Greek: If you are still eating regular yogurt, go ahead and make the switch to Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier so in my opinion tastes much better than sugar laden high calorie yogurts. Greek has 2x more protein than traditional yogurts. Choose plain nonfat Greek and mix with fresh fruits and nuts/seeds. There are flavored one’s on the market as well. I’m a big fan of Stonyfield Greek.
Say No to Fatty Meats: These have more calories and are higher in fat so choosing lean meats such as extra lean ground beef, pork loin, chicken and turkey breast will give you less calories. Also choose skinless chicken as the skin is what is unhealthy for you. Chicken is so versatile, you can use it with most meals you make! Choose 3-5 ounces of lean meats for meals. This includes fish/seafood such as albacore tuna, tilapia, mahi mahi, shrimp etc. Also, if you eat sandwiches, choose low fat & fat free deli meats. It can be difficult finding good brands but I’m a fan of Sara Lee low sodium honey turkey breast.
Incorporate Protein Rich Dairy: Milk, cottage cheese, low fat ricotta and low fat cheeses are great ways to get more protein into your diet. Low fat string cheese is a great snack with an apple and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter! Because these tend to be higher in fat, there are more calories so always read serving size and stick to it.
Nuts/Seeds: These are heart healthy and much healthier to include in your diet than other sources of fat. Ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, pistachios, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin and sunflower seeds should be added to your diet. Sprinkle on oatmeal and salads, or grab a handful. Also include natural nut butters (almond, peanut butter) to snacks, oatmeal, toast etc. All in moderation though since nuts and butters are high in calories.
Beans: I am a huge bean fan as they are chock full of vitamins, low in fat, cholesterol free, filling and versatile! Make a bean soup, add garbanzo beans on salads, add black beans with 2 ounce lean ground beef on taco night or kidney beans to sloppy joes. Dip those veggies in hummus. Beans are also great for meatless nights and vegetarian dishes. If choosing canned varieties look for no salt or low sodium varieties.