Before we plunge into the different ways to increase your protein intake, we should probably explain why it’s important that you’re consuming enough protein in the first place!
Without protein we would not be who we are today! Our bodies are composed of proteins and are necessary for numerous functions within the body, such as: building and repairing muscles, regulating hormone production, improving immune function, and even maintaining a healthy weight. A protein deficiency (not consuming enough) can actually lead to negative health consequences, including: brittle hair and nails, loss of muscle mass, anemia, compromised immune system, and brain fog. I think we can mutually agree that consuming enough protein is vital. If you’d like to learn more about why protein is so important, please click here where we have an in-depth blog on the subject!
Now that you know WHY protein is crucial – let’s talk about HOW MUCH protein you need to be consuming. Here’s the kicker though, not everyone needs the same amount, the amount will vary from person to person. YOUR protein requirement depends on several factors such as body weight, age, height, muscle mass, your activity level, etc. If you are unsure of what your needs are, click here and Sarah Bowmar will help you determine the protein requirement for YOUR body.
Let’s dive into what you came here for, the different ways you can increase your protein intake!
Know Your Protein Sources:
It’s going to be difficult to increase your protein intake if you aren’t sure what foods are high in protein to begin with! We composed a list of some animal and plant-based protein sources:
- Poultry- such as chicken, duck and turkey
- Some Dairy (such as greek yogurt, milk, cottage cheese)
- Red Meat (i.e. beef or pork)
- Whole Grains (quinoa, rice, and oats are great options)
- Veggies (not all veggies are higher in protein, but broccoli, asparagus, and brussel sprouts all have a higher protein content)
- Fish (tuna, salmon, cod, etc.)
- Nuts or Nut Spreads
- Legumes (beans and lentils)
- Deli / Canned Meats and Other Meat Snacks (APEX)
- Protein Supplements (shakes, bars, cookies, etc.)
Start Your Day With Protein:
Traditional breakfast foods like cereal, oats, toast, bagels, etc., while convenient, typically don’t pack much protein. It’s easier to achieve your daily protein goal if you’re starting out the day with a source of protein. You can still enjoy those convenient and tasty breakfast options we mentioned, however, try switching it up and throwing in a protein source as well! Whether that be toast with a few eggs, a bagel with greek yogurt and fresh fruit, oats with a scoop of protein powder mixed in, or cereal with a protein shake on the side, by starting your day with protein you’re more likely to hit your protein goal! And if you’re not much of a breakfast eater, try adding a scoop of protein to your coffee.
Include a Protein Source With Every Meal & Snack:
No matter how many meals / snacks you eat in a day, ensuring there’s a protein source every time you eat is another great way to increase your protein intake! Not only will it help boost your protein, but it will also leave you feeling more satisfied. Fun fact, protein not only increases the release of a hormone (ghrelin) that makes you feel full, but it also takes longer for the body to digest. Both of which lead to you feeling more satisfied and less “snacky” between meals!
Have High Protein Snacks on Hand:
When you are feeling like it’s snack time, make it more like protein time! This is an easy way to ensure no matter what’s on your agenda that you can get some protein in! Whether it be protein bars, meat snacks (jerky, sticks, bites, etc.), hard-boiled eggs, deli / canned meats, edamame, nuts, or protein shakes – all of these high protein items can be prepped and ready to go for your on-the-go snacking needs!
Increase Your Portions of Protein:
If you’re really struggling to hit your protein goal, a simple solution is to start making your protein portions larger. For example, if you normally eat 3oz of chicken at lunchtime, try bumping it up to 4 or even 5oz. Every ounce of chicken has roughly 6g of protein – the extra 1-2oz can up the protein content by 6-12g! As you can see, increasing your portion sizes slightly can significantly boost your protein intake.
Consider Utilizing Protein Supplements:
If you’re still finding yourself falling short on protein, it might be time to consider taking advantage of protein supplements. Ideally you want to get the majority of your protein intake from whole food sources, but we understand that sometimes that’s just not happening. This is why we created our protein packed products, protein powders, protein nut butters, protein cookies, and protein bars. Not only are they a convenient source of protein, but they’re also absolutely delish! With several products and flavors to choose from, you most definitely will be able to find something you enjoy.
All in All:
There are numerous ways to increase your protein intake, these are just a few suggestions to get you on track to reaching your protein goal. Try incorporating these tips into your diet and start reaping their benefits!