You probably know by now that sufficient protein intake is important for a variety of reasons. Something that comes up quite frequently with my coaching clients is adequate protein intake. Many of them, but not all, have goals for changes with their body, specifically body recomposition (think fat loss, not just weight loss, while also keeping / adding muscle definition). Regardless of whether someone is looking to maintain or change their physique, protein is one of the most important factors—of course sleep, stress management, and strength training are also big factors as well!
What you may not realize is that protein affects your weight management in many other ways as well, not just those ways it is associated with muscle building!! This means that you can eat strategically for your goals! Protein helps to your regulate hunger—both the physical sensation of fullness (satiety) and in terms of mental satisfaction and the end of the desire to eat (satiation). Everything you eat throughout your day affects your choices at the following meals as well as your physical hunger and cravings. No meal happens in isolation. For any of my clients struggling with hunger, energy, and/or cravings, one of the first things I do is recommend starting their day with a high protein meal lower carb meal (or a meal with protein and non-starchy carbs). You can also structure your meals to your advantage by consuming macronutrients in a specific order.
If you’re interested in finding out more, head here.
Now onto the tips!
1️⃣ Drink your protein. Whole food sources should be your primary focus, but there are other ways to adadd in extra quality protein sources at various times throughout your day. Besides the obvious protein powders, there are other ways to do this. BCAA powders are a fun way to not only increase your protein intake, but also add flavor to water. @bowmar_nutrition makes an excellent BCAA powder. Try Advocare Spark if you also want a caffeine boost. Add collagen powder to coffee, sauces, soups, etc. I like the tasteless kind from Vital Proteins (blue container) because it dissolves entirely and you can’t tell it is even in whatever you add it to!
2️⃣ Liquid egg whites. This is one of my go to’s for an inexpensive, low calorie, complete protein boost. You can add them to sauces, casseroles, oats, and more. Use them to bulk up meatloaf and spread it the cost of meat further. Cook them in will be pie pans to make patties you can add to your sandwiches. Products like Muscle Egg are incredible for making sweet omelettes and crapes. Pasteurized liquid egg whites can be added to all kinds of things without needing to be cooked. If you don’t tolerate powdered proteins well, they are a great alternative to use as your protein source in smoothies.
3️⃣ Include protein at snack time! Add a protein source to every snack—it will also help you with staying full longer! Some of my favorites: Boiled eggs with EBTB seasoning, deli meat like Boar’s Head with mustard (Sam’s brand at Walmart has some amazing flavors!), Greek Yogert or skyr (I absolutely LOVE Siggi’s Dairy 0% Vanilla!) with mix-ins like berries or nuts if desired, my protein gelatin recipe with a scoop of Naturade / Vegan Smart (same product with new label after rebranding) vanilla pea protein and a serving of PB2 mixed in (tastes like a PB&J!), DNX bars (Peri Peri is my favorite flavor), or even leftover meat from dinner.
4️⃣ Make protein versions of your favorite treats! Try the #BeltsanderBrownie c/o @the_beltsander, @vanessa_simfit protein pancakes, @lorifitlife pumpkin protein cookies, a Dashing Dish protein iced coffee, a @kmathewson_fit mug cake, @rebekahclementson fluff, @ohilyssa protein cheesecake, or one if my #BOSS recipes (aka big ole smoothie shake) frozen then eaten like ice cream.
5️⃣ Meal prep your proteins! Make sure you are prepared for the week ahead with a few different options, even if you just buy a rotisserie chicken and cook some ground meat. Go ahead and pull apart the chicken and discard the carcass (or use it to make it stock!) The fewer steps you have to take in order to get it in your mouth, the better. Have them ready and in Tupperware or glass containers plain sight for easy access. It sounds silly, but it is so helpful when you are busy. Remove every barrier to action!
1/ What’s your favorite way to hit your protein intake?
2/ Do you include protein at every meal / snack?