Our bodies rely on protein for growth and to repair body tissue. Although our body produces some amino acids, to get the essential amnio acids we must keep topping up our supply through our daily intake of protein. Many people eat extra protein for a variety of reasons, such as after surgery it’s a good idea to increase the protein levels to speed up the healing process for a quick return to pre-op health.
Why more Protein is better for Weight Loss
When you’re trying to lose weight, protein is your friend. Protein is “slower burning” (it is metabolized differently from carbs); therefore, you are likely to eat less and stop snacking constantly between meals. Body builders eat stacks of protein too, as it helps them reach their optimal performance.
Most people get their protein from meat, fish, eggs, and beans, there are however many other foods which offer us proteins. Vegans don’t eat meat therefore they have to make sure they eat enough plant-based protein to meet their dietary needs. Plant based protein doesn’t have the same high levels of protein that meat does.
Eat these foods to Increase your Protein Intake
We get protein from many food products; we have created a quick guide of some of the best foods to increase your protein
- Meat – meat contains really high levels of protein and should be eaten daily.
- Eggs – all sorts of eggs are protein rich, they can be gulped raw, boiled or scrambled or even made into a tasty Omelette for lunch or dinner.
- Fish – most types of fish will boost your protein, however one of the best is salmon.
- Poultry – Chicken is versatile and can be incorporated into many dishes or eaten on its own. Turkey is another great source of protein.
- Cheese – is another excellent source of protein, however the low-fat cheese is the best choice, it’s also a great source of calcium and vitamin D. Just remember that cheese has lots of calories!
- Milk – not only is milk a great choice for protein, it supplies us with calcium and B12 too, milk is also good for strong bones.
- Natural yoghurt – natural yoghurt is another protein rich food, if you find it boring, add some nuts and seeds to add flavour and texture.
- Nuts & Seeds– Peanuts, pistachio, cashew, and almonds, all these nuts offer really high levels of protein.
- Oats – Oats are one of the foods with the highest levels of protein, you could try making your own fruity high protein bars with oats.
- Nut butter– peanut butter is probably the most common, it is loaded with protein, however it’s high in fat too, although research is showing it might not stop you losing weight. We can also get natural cashew butter and a few others.
Eat more Protein to lose Weight
When we are trying to lose weight, it is a really good idea to increase our protein intake. If we reduce the amount of carbohydrates and fat we eat, and replace them with protein, it reduces the hunger hormones and increases satiety hormones. This means you will feel fuller for longer and the significant reduction in hunger leads to you eating less, hence you lose weight.
Most people find that by replacing carbohydrates with protein, they naturally consume fewer calories over time. This probably comes down to the satiety factor (a 200-calorie steak fills you up more than an equivalent calorie portion of bread).
How much Protein is a Good Amount?
There is plenty of debates about the amount of protein we need to consume daily. It can’t be said that everyone requires the same amount, as the amount we need depends on many different factors, our age, weight, height, and build are just a few of these factors.
It’s recommended however that males should have 56 grams of protein per day, and women should have a lesser intake around 46 grams. This is enough to make sure you don’t suffer from protein deficiency; however, it wouldn’t be enough for weight loss or body builders to feel any benefit.
Try Protein Supplements
When you want to guarantee an increase in your protein intake quickly, a protein supplement might be right for you. Protein supplements are often fine-tuned with specific amino acids (protein is constituted from different amino acids) for distinct purposes. There are many great options to choose from, including protein-specialist formulators like Protein Republic. You can see their awesome range by clicking the link below:
Tips to Get More Protein Everyday
There are many ways to increase your protein intake. Below we have made a list of some of the steps you can take to ensure you raise your protein intake daily.
Add protein to your breakfast to kickstart your day.
- We can easily add more protein to our diet by making a few simple changes. Instead of having that extra slice of toast we can replace it with an egg.
- Have a protein rich breakfast would be to have porridge for breakfast instead of pancakes, not only would you benefit from the oats, but if you made your porridge with milk, you would increase the protein level significantly.
- Instead of high sugar shop bought shakes, you can quickly make your own. You can pack your shake with peanuts, cashews, pistachios or even add seeds into them to give them the taste you desire.
Replace regular snacks with high protein snacks.
Some people tend to snack often between meals, however many of us tend to snack on the wrong types of food. We can easily replace our regular snacks for high protein snacks.
- Instead of having a packet of crisps to snack on, have some peanuts or cashew nuts instead.
- At breakfast time we can get a natural yoghurt and load it up with crushed nuts or seeds instead of buying the high sugar shop products.
At lunch time or for dinner the list is endless on ways to boost your protein levels.
When we talk about lunch and dinner time it’s always exciting to find out how simple it is to increase our protein levels just by changing one ingredient in our recipe. Here we have a couple of the most basic ways which will ensure your protein levels are on point.
- Many people enjoy the standard meat and 2 vegetables dinner. However why should we settle for this, when we could use the same meat and the same vegetables with high protein beans? Throw them in a stock pot and make a stew overflowing with our tender meat, various types of beans (the beauty of this is you can add all your favourite beans, be it chickpeas or soybeans) and have a delicious meal while at the same time increasing our protein with every mouthful.
- The same thing applies when we are having soup for lunch, we can pack it with lentils as lentils are another great source of protein. When your soup is filled with lentils and beans, it reduces the need to have bread with it and less bread means less carbohydrates.
Sneaky ways you can Boost your Protein Intake
Everyone loves a quick fix, and people want to lose weight or build muscle or even heal their body after surgery are no exception. There are ways to boost up the protein levels without having to change your routines too, much, however the results would be life changing.
- A quick and simple way to boost protein in your diet is to add a protein powder to your food. The protein powder can be added to yoghurt, shakes, home cooked deserts and even mixed in with your breakfast cereal.
- Another sneaky way is by just changing your store-bought flavoured yoghurt for a natural Greek yoghurt and adding your own fruit.
- Use garam flour where possible as this is another good source of protein.
- When you make a salad, start adding chopped nuts into your salad for extra flavour, crunch and protein.
Protein and Your Metabolism
So, you see, there are many ways to increase our protein intake. The changes we need to make are not difficult, and food with high protein levels are very accessible. Finally, we must remember that our bodies need protein, for many different reasons including our hormonal balance. Protein is synthesized in our bodies for peptides which affect our metabolism. When we have a high level of protein in our bodies, there is no shortage of the raw materials we need to speed up our metabolism and thus burn more calories.
Hopefully, this article has given you a few ideas about how to get more protein in your diet, and why it’s so important to do so!