Up Your Protein Goal
When you go from eating a small amount of protein to trying to get in over 200g a day, it gets challenging. Not only does it get a bit expensive, but it becomes a chore, and sometimes you are just too full! Of course in an ideal world, you would have prepared several well-balanced meals of good sources of protein, which you would eat systematically through the day.
The reality, however, is that we get lazy, or we do not find the time to prep these meals, or, quite frankly, we just do not have it in us to get through all that food! Your goal should always to be to work up to this ideal scenario, whether that means starting to diarize food prep time, or building up your appetite to get through all that food. For now, however, here are a couple of ways to trick yourself into hitting your macro nutrient goals for protein without breaking the bank, taking up too much time or energy, or stuffing your face!
Let us get the first and most obvious point out the way. Whey protein is your go to source for extra, easily digestible protein. The benefits of whey protein are that your body processes the vast majority of the protein, while with other protein sources only process a partial amount of the protein. Additionally, it tastes good, and it’s very easy to prepare.
Keep in mind, however, that it does not need to be taken by itself. Having your chicken salad along with your protein shake might help in reducing the quantity of your salad, making it easy to consume, and therefore easier to hit your macronutrient needs! Using milk instead of water additionally aids your protein shake by adding an extra 5-10g of protein, which over the course of the day can make a difference. Lastly, in relation to whey protein, keep an emergency serving close by – whether on your desk, in your car, or in your bag. When you cannot get any decent protein sources, having a serving of whey will keep your metabolism in check, and your macronutrient goals in line.
You do not have to stick to one protein source in every meal. This leads to monotonous flavour and texture, which will make you lose your desire to consume the food, which makes it a lot easier to eat. There is nothing wrong with cooking your chicken with turkey bacon or having some beef mince with your eggs. Combining protein sources in this way makes for more interesting flavour profiles, more stimulating texture and you can actually look forward to your meals.
It makes a big difference when your meals actually taste good, and you want to eat them. Of course, it goes without saying that doing this will mean your protein count is much higher, therefore you are much more likely to hit those macronutrient needs.
Add in an extra meal or two. Some people are trying to consume 200 plus grams of protein in three of four meals. This is a very burdensome undertaking that I do not advise. In such a situation it is much easier to have five or six meals, with the same amount of food spread over these meals. So it does not mean you necessarily have to eat more food or spend more money because your portions will be much smaller. But this does mean that you will not feel so stuffed with each meal, meaning it will be easier to eat everything that you need to. Of course, there are those who are already eating very frequently, so this tip would obviously not apply to you. The next tip, however, may be of use.
Nighttime snacks. Getting in some protein before bed time can be quite easy, tasty, and beneficial. Ideally, you’ll get in such snacks an hour or two before you go to sleep, but the point of protein sources in snacks such as this is that they will be slow digesting proteins, meaning your body will process the protein overnight. This can drastically help you hit your protein goals, in that you can get in a substantial amount of protein out of a very easy to consume snack.
The best protein sources for a snack such as this include cottage cheese, almonds, low-fat yoghurt, milk and casein protein. Again, you do not have to limit yourself to one source of protein in such a snack as this – combining yoghurt, almonds, and a bit of casein protein, maybe even some Myprotein syrup, can make for a tasty desert that you can enjoy, while at the same time satisfying your protein needs.
Add in your non-animal based proteins to meals. Adding in some beans, almonds, lentils, or even pea protein can help you add some protein to your meals, while not feeling like you are consuming an entire animal farm. Be aware of the macronutrient profiles of these foods though, almonds are high in fat, and while being a good form of fat, which your body certainly does need, eating too much can throw out your caloric goal for the day quite quickly. When making stir fry’s, sauces, or stews, throwing in a few lentils or beans can bolster your protein count in the foods, while also adding in some great amino sources, as well as other micronutrient factors.
It is important to note, with all of the above being said, that protein is not the only macronutrient you need. It is also far from the only nutrient you need. People get very hung up on hitting their protein goal for a day but toss aside any care for getting in the right amount of fat and carbs, and more importantly, micronutrients found in veggies. So while you may take away some useful tips for hitting your protein goal, always be aware of the rest of your diet – your results are best when everything is in balance.