Adding more protein to your diet is one of the most effective ways to boost metabolism, strengthen muscles, and burn fat--But eating enough of it can be a challenge. Here are some of our favourite simple strategies to sneak more protein into your diet!
To say that everyone needs protein is an understatement! Protein is a powerhouse that energizes us, it can also help in keeping your cells healthy, and is great for a quicker muscle recovery, especially after a strenuous workout or activity. There’s so many benefits of protein that we can go on about, but the bottom line is that everybody needs protein, but with the ever shifting modern diets, with all the restrictions and what we can and can’t eat as we try and navigate through what makes our bodies feel better day to day, it can become a hit or miss when it comes to protein consumption, and sometimes can even become an omission for some. And in other cases when we’ve found a protein source that works well for us, sometimes we find ourselves lost in the numbers game of how much protein and what we eat to keep up with those levels that we set for ourselves during our health journeys. Sometimes we can’t help but beg the question of how to raise our protein consumption in an easier way, and we’re here to say that there’s definitely a way! With changing times comes changing demands and with that comes a need for convenience because life’s busy enough as it is when we don’t have to track our protein intakes, and we totally get that, so here are a few tips, tricks and products that you can use to raise your daily protein intake as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Have a high protein food in every meal, or opt for a high protein alternative to your meals!
A staple to a complete meal is protein, and it’s not just limited to a type of lean meat or to poultry. A lot of people’s first thought when it comes to adding a high protein item to their dish is a meat type, but it doesn’t always have to be. If you’re adding a main protein in your meals that isn’t meat, you can also consider tofu, lentils, or chickpeas and work that into your meals. If you love yourself a good nut, like almonds, peanuts, or even seeds like flax seeds and pumpkin seeds, try adding these to dishes like your favorite salad–nuts always make a great topper for any salad, provided they agree with your diet–, or yogurt, oatmeal or even add to your breakfast smoothies! Oats are also a super efficient way to get your protein intake boosted, and these can easily go in your overnight oats, you can also buff up your cereal with oats and nuts to give them an extra kick of protein too!
While you can add more protein or have a designated high protein food for every meal, you can also swap out your meals for a higher protein kind. While everyone strives to get the big 3 in every meal (protein, carbs and veggies), some of us don’t have time to make sure we get all 3 in every meal. So when it comes to quick meals you can make, settle for those that promote a higher protein count! Instead of a sugary cereal for a quick breakfast, try a high protein, high fiber cereal to start your day. Swap out those loaded sodium ramens for an easy to make, high protein, plant based ramen! There’s so many different alternatives to easily increase your protein intake, especially when making meals on the go, or if you need something quick to make in a pinch!
Want more protein? Eat more protein, think in protein!
Probably the easiest way to get that protein up is to bulk up on it! Instead of having only half a can of tuna, have the whole can! Ounce up your chicken, turkey, and other lean meats, legumes or beans, and when you’re eating, start with your protein first too, especially if you’re the kind of person that ends up leaving something on the plate (no judgment here, we love ourselves a good take-away container too). By simply having more protein in your meals, you can easily up your daily intake! Proteins are the last thing that you want to cut down on when it comes to your meal, especially when you want to boost up your intake, and even if you don’t want to double up on your protein intake per meal, and know you’re getting a good amount as is, make sure to prioritize it when you’re eating a meal! If you get your protein in first, and then veggies and carbs in last, you’ll be able to satiate your hunger quicker and still prioritize getting your protein in first before you get too full and you find you can’t finish the rest! And with whatever carbs you have left from this meal, you can cook up some protein to go along with it so that you get another meaningful meal, and you don’t waste any food. Making every meal as meaningful to your body as possible and centering your dishes around your protein source will definitely and easily boost your protein intake!
Drink your protein, or add protein to your drinks too!
While making every meal as protein dense as possible, there are other ways to get another boost of protein when it comes to your beverages! If you’re having your usual cup of jo’ in the mornings, swap out your usual creamer for a creamer that delivers on protein! Or if you love yourself some matcha, opt for a high protein matcha drink mix to add to your coffees, smoothies, or teas! Or, if you don’t have time in the mornings to make a coffee or other beverage to get your energy started for the day, and love yourself a good cold brew beverage, try a conveniently made, high protein coffee that already has all the works! No need to stress in making a protein dense beverage when you can just take one on the go with you! If you love those breakfast smoothies but want to make your life a bit easier other than prepping all those ingredients? Try high protein smoothie pouches, and if you’re looking to increase both your protein and help your gut microbiome with some prebiotics in one sitting, opt for a high protein, superfood smoothie pouch! When life constantly takes you on the go, there’s no need to sacrifice in getting that much needed protein, even more so when we’re on the go when we need that energy protein provides! With convenience at the forefront when it comes to dietary needs and lifestyles, many brands are looking for ways to seamlessly boost our energies without us having to sweat over the small stuff! We’re already having to keep track of our water intake, and some of us even struggle with getting those recommended 8oz every day, so why stress in tacking on all this extra stuff? We want it as easy as drinking water, after all! By making both your meals and having at least one protein dense beverage a day, you’ll find that you’ll have much more energy to get you on your way!
Feeling snacky? Get out those protein snacks!
Everybody snacks, we know it. Snacking isn’t inherently bad at all, in fact, it’s usually recommended to have snacks throughout your days to keep your energy up, especially when you either can’t have a meal yet but you’re feeling a bit peckish. It’s definitely better to snack rather than feel hungry until your next meal, and many healthy food companies understand that. Snacks are the most convenient way anyone consumes anything, more than once have we heard the odd adage of “no thoughts, just snacks”, because of how easy it is to munch on some chips or chocolates or crackers. But, like our meals, we want to make everything we put into our bodies as meaningful to us as possible, and snacks are no expectation to this! An easy way to increase your daily protein consumption is definitely through snacks! The next time you’re in a snacky mood for chips, go for Quest's high protein chips that deliver as much protein as it does crunch! Love yourself a good protein bar but want something plant based? Trubars are plant based, all natural protein bars that are quick to fill your hunger on the go! Want some vegan cookies? Lenny and Larry's sandwich cookies are made with a vegan protein blend, and just having 2 of these gives you 5g of protein! Feeling a mid-day sweet craving coming on? Midday Squares may be the perfect thing to kick that craving! There’s a dozen snacks that are healthy and delicious that can elevate both your snacking game and your energy levels with their high protein properties, it’s just a matter of finding them!
With life as busy as it is, or as it gets, sometimes the easiest thing to compromise on is our foods, more than once have we, ourselves, opted to skip a meal or settle for something both easy and loaded with sugar or sodium to get back to the daily grind uninterrupted, but in sacrificing key components of a meal, it leaves us feeling more drained, and hungrier sooner as well because our bodies are running on scant enough energy. It’s time to change the tune of our eating habits and make every meal as meaningful to our bodies as possible!