Adding healthy protein to your diet might sound difficult at first, but once you get the hang of things you should have no problem. There are plenty of healthy plant and animal-based protein sources that are easy to prepare and readily available. Try any of these seven tips for adding healthy protein to your diet today.
1. Start Your Day with Eggs
Are you starting your day with just coffee or some cereal? You could be missing out on an optimal meal for protein. Try having a protein rich breakfast in the mornings instead! Whether you like your eggs scrambled or enjoy folding veggies into an omelet, eggs are an affordable source of protein that are extremely versatile and essential for adding healthy protein to your diet.
2. Add Protein Powder to Your Oatmeal
Okay, so maybe you’re not a fan of eggs. No problem! Oatmeal is another great breakfast option and you can easily add protein to it. Many bodybuilder and fitness competitors add protein powder to their oatmeal when preparing it. All you need to do is add ½-1 scoop of protein per serving of oatmeal is a easy way to add about 20 grams of protein to your breakfast.
3. Add Chicken or Tuna to Your Salad at Lunch
Eating protein at lunch is another key strategy for building muscle and burning fat. Protein also helps regulate blood sugar and energy levels, so it’s really important to have some protein in the middle of a day. Adding 3-5 ounces of chicken or tuna to your daily salad is a super easy way to sneak in some protein. Why chicken or tuna? It packs the easiest and stays fresh even when you take it to lunch for work!
4. Try a Protein Shake after Working out
If you’re working out and trying to put on some muscle, that’s great! But remember that muscles aren’t built in the gym—they’re built when your muscles recover in the following hours and/or days after your gym session. Consuming a protein shake within 30-60 minutes is a great way to get more protein and help your fatigued muscles repair.
5. Eat Greek Yogurt or Cottage Cheese with Fruit as a Snack
Instead of reaching for chips or crackers during that midafternoon slump, use this meal as an opportunity for more protein. Snacks like Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit can easily give you another 12-15 grams of protein. I personally like these products because they usually come in single servings that pack well and can be eaten on the run.
6. Make Protein the Base of Your Dinner
It’s tempting to eat a giant bowl of pasta for dinner. But where’s the protein?! Let protein shine center stage, especially for dinner. Since your body is going to fast for the rest of the night while you’re sleeping, it’s important that you have enough protein before sleeping. This way, your muscles will continue to repair and grow even while you sleep.
7. Snack on Nuts or Seeds at Night for Late Night Cravings
Are you the kind of person who is tempted to nosh on sugary treats like ice cream or cake late at night? These foods will only sabotage your protein efforts. Instead, try eating something like raw almonds or walnuts. They pack a great dose of protein as well as some healthy fat to keep you full for the rest of the night.
Getting enough protein in your diet is pretty important if you’re trying to get lean and put on some muscle. But if you make an effort to get some protein in at each meal, you’ll meet your protein quota in no time. What are some of your favorite go-to foods that are rich in protein?