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9 Easy Ways To Increase Your Protein Intake

Written by Shannon Clark

Whether you’re already on a fitness program designed to build lean muscle mass, lose fat, or improve athletic performance or you’re just about to put your first foot ahead to start up on one, it’s critical that you’re looking after your nutritional intake.

The foods you eat on a day to day basis are going to provide the raw materials you need to create new lean muscle mass, therefore giving you the tools you need for success.

One nutrient that’s of particular importance is that of protein.  Protein rich foods provide amino acids, which are the building blocks that protein is made up of, so providing a steady stream throughout the day is key.

Many people struggle to get their needs met however and may fall short when it comes to results because of it.

Fortunately, it’s easier than you think to get your requirements in.  Let’s look at 9 easy ways that you can boost our protein intake.

Add Protein Powder To Your Morning Bowl Of Oats

The very first fast and easy way to get more protein into your diet is to simply stir a scoop of your favorite protein powder into your morning bowl of oatmeal.  Protein powder is perhaps the simplest and most convenient way to get your protein intake up, so start making use of it.

If you aren’t in the mood to cook a full fledged breakfast containing lean protein, it works as a great substitute.  Mix it into your oatmeal, stir in some nut butter (which adds even more protein!) and then top with fruit.  You’ll be all set with a balanced breakfast in minutes.

Use Beans Rather Than Grains

The next quick tip to boost your protein intake is to start swapping out the grains you might be eating – brown rice and barley for instance for beans instead.

While both will provide a complex source of carbohydrates and dietary fiber, only beans provide a hearty dose of protein.  While some grains do contain a few grams of protein, it’s just not comparable to what you’ll get with beans.

Just keep in mind you should make this swap slowly and gradually. Too many beans all at once could lead to some gastrointestinal problems as they do contain far more fiber as well.

Whether you prefer black beans, brown beans, or kidney beans, all will fit the bill perfectly.

Create A Vegetable Dip With Greek Yogurt

Getting more vegetables into your diet is a must, especially if fat loss is a goal of yours.  Vegetables are low in calories and rich in nutrients, making for the perfect choice for anyone who wants to be focusing on eating right.

That said, they’re low in protein, so don’t make for a complete snack.  Change that by creating your own healthy dip utilizing Greek yogurt.  Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein and is also going to provide a rich source of calcium as well, perfect for keeping your bones strong.

Mix some Greek yogurt together with a little low fat sour cream or mayonnaise and any dip mix and you’ll be all set with a handy, on-the-go snack that boasts a decent protein content.

Snack On Hard Boiled Eggs

Another higher protein snack to start utilizing more often is hard boiled eggs. For most people, finding high protein snacks does tend to be the most challenging as they aren’t as likely to transport chicken breasts or steak around to eat between meals.

Hard boiled eggs however are perfectly portable and can be made in advance so they’re ready to go when you are.  Just be sure to keep them chilled as you bring them with you as you go about your day.

Eggs will not only provide the protein you need, but the saturated fat and cholesterol they contain can also help keep your testosterone levels regulated, ensuring that you can build lean muscle mass as you desire.

Add Protein To Your Salads

Another thing you’re likely eating a decent amount of, especially if fat burning is your goal is salad.  Salad is a great way to get your vegetables in and during the warmer months, can be a lighter meal that won’t weigh you down.  Plus, it’s relatively fast to prepare, so perfect for those busy weekday nights.

This said, salad alone is going to provide very little protein.  Make sure that you pump it up by adding some grilled chicken, chilled, pre-cooked shrimp, chickpeas, or beef slices to the salad.

To that, you can also add on some nuts, lower fat cheese, or sunflower seeds to add a little more protein further.

Not only will this make the meal more satisfying, but it’ll also boost the taste as well.

Snack On Nuts Throughout The Day

Speaking of nuts, that’s another food to start making better use of throughout the day if you want to increase your protein intake.  Nuts are a great source of protein, fiber, as well as healthy fats, so are a must for any diet plan.

The only thing to remember with these is that they are very calorie dense, so a small handful is all you need.  Don’t go overboard with these or you’ll be in for rapid weight gain in no time.  Of course if you are looking to build muscle, you can use this to your advantage and eating them more frequently may be a good thing instead.

Try and switch up the variety of nut you choose as each contains a different nutritional profile.  Walnuts for instance are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids while almonds on the other hand provide a powerful dose of vitamin E.

Variety will get your nutritional needs met and ensure you aren’t getting bored with your food intake.

Prepare Meats In Bulk

When it comes time to preparing your meats, one simple trick to make it easier to get your protein needs up is to prepare them in bulk.  Rather than grilling two chicken breasts for one meal for you and your significant other for instance, grill five or six servings.

This way, you have ready-to-go protein always on hand for throughout the day.  Lack of time to spend cooking is one of the most commonly used excuses for not eating right, so you want to be doing everything in your power to combat this.

Remember that if you don’t use all the chicken that you eat that time, you can always freeze it for later use as well.

Do the same for beef, pork tenderloin, or turkey.  Be careful with fish however as due to its flaky nature, it doesn’t freeze as well.

Snack On Cottage Cheese Before Bed

Before you turn in for the night, one great high protein snack to start making use of is cottage cheese.  Cottage cheese is a form of casein protein, making it great for the pre-bed period because it’ll digest very slowly in the body, ensuring you get a steady stream of amino acids over time.

To round out this snack, try adding in some natural nut butter, nut pieces, or simply serve it with a few fresh berries if that’s what you prefer.

Adding healthy fats however will slow the release of the amino acids even further, ensuring you stay satisfied until morning.

Prepare Smoothies

Finally, the last quick and simple way to add more protein to your daily diet is to make use of protein smoothies.  Now, rather than heading out and hitting your local smoothie bar, where you will easily take in 400-500+ calories in one smoothie, whip up your own at home.

The great thing about making your own smoothies is that you can completely control what you put in the smoothie, making sure that it fits with your diet perfectly.

Add in some whey protein powder and to that, you can add some low sugar yogurt or cottage cheese if you want to boost the protein even more.  Use unsweetened almond milk to keep the sugar content down and then add in whatever fresh or frozen fruit you desire.

Finish the smoothie off by adding in some healthy fats either from nut butter, coconut milk, or avocado, and you’ll have a well balanced smoothie at your fingertips.

These can be great when you’re on the go and just don’t have time to sit down and eat a snack.

So there you have some fast and quick ways to add more protein into your daily diet.  Always remember that you should be aiming to get protein with each meal and snack that you consume, aiming for at least 15-30 grams per snack and 20-40 grams per meal depending on what your nutritional intake needs are.

Choose high quality protein sources and you’ll soon be reaping the benefits including reduced appetite levels, stabilized blood glucose levels, improved recovery between your workout sessions, and an improved body composition.

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