One of the biggest New Year health and fitness goals people have is to improve their diet and start eating healthier. In one of my recent posts I discussed how you can do that by eating healthier carbohydrates this New Year. Today I’m going to be following up on that post and listing 4 Ways To Get More Protein This New Year.
As you probably know, protein is one of the three macronutrients your body needs to survive. Its main role is to build, maintain and repair all of your body’s cells but it also regulates a number of important internal processes. If you don’t eat enough protein, you not only miss out on all these benefits but you also put yourself at risk of protein deficiency. The good news is that adding protein to your diet isn’t difficult and if you follow the four steps listed below, you’ll be well on your way to increasing your intake this New Year.
1) Have A Protein Packed Breakfast
For many people, breakfast consists of carbohydrate heavy foods such as bagels (which contain over 50% carbohydrates), cereal (which contains over 70% carbohydrates) and toast (which contains over 50% carbohydrates). Therefore, one simple but effective way to increase your protein intake this New Year is to change what you eat for breakfast.
There are plenty of protein packed breakfasts you can prepare. For example, a meat and vegetable omelette is a tasty, easy to prepare, high protein breakfast choice which also contains plenty of healthy fats, fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. A bowl of natural yoghurt, with a scoop of protein powder and a selection of your favourite fruits is another quick, simple, nutrient packed, protein rich breakfast option. Alternatively, if you’re in a rush and need to eat and move, a protein shake and a banana is a portable, protein packed breakfast choice that takes less than a minute to prepare.
2) Go For Protein Rich Snacks
Snacks are another area where many people’s protein intake is lacking with popular processed snacks such as chocolate or crisps both containing over 50% carbohydrates and less than 10% protein. The good news is that like with the breakfasts listed above, there are plenty of protein rich snacks out there.
For example, nuts are an extremely filling, protein filled snack which also contain plenty of healthy fats. Seeds are another natural, protein rich snack that contain lots of healthy fats. The best part is both these snacks are easy to carry with you and can be put in your bag or your pockets and then eaten whenever you get hungry between meals.
3) Add Lean Proteins To Your Lunch
If your lunch is lacking in protein, this is yet another opportunity for you to increase your daily protein intake this New Year. Adding protein to your lunch is very easy and there are lots of high protein lunches you can choose.
For example, grilled chicken is a fantastic addition to any salad that contains plenty of protein and can be prepared the night before. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something warm, these protein packed soups are hot, healthy and tasty. Finally, if you’re pressed for time, smoked salmon, cottage cheese and olives with a dash of salt and pepper is a quick and easy protein rich lunch choice.
4) Mix Up Your Protein Intake
One final way to keep your protein intake high this New Year is to make sure you mix up your protein intake. If you eat a ham omelette for breakfast and a chicken salad for lunch every day, you’re going to get bored of these foods pretty quickly and the chances are you’ll revert back to the low protein meals you were eating before.
However, there are so many different sources of protein available, that you can create hundreds of different protein packed meals and eat something new every day. Dairy products, fish, meat, nuts and seeds are all great sources of protein and each group contains plenty of different high protein foods.
In addition to this, there are hundreds of ways to prepare all these protein rich foods. For example, eggs can be used as part of an omelette (as discussed in this article) or alternatively they can be boiled, fried, poached and scrambled. Meats can be fried, grilled, roasted or even steamed. Nuts and seeds can be eaten on their own (as suggested in this article) or roasted with a range of sweet and savoury ingredients to add flavour.
By following the advice in this article, you can easily increase your protein intake this New Year. Not only will this give your health a real boost but it will also allow you to avoid the negative symptoms of protein deficiency. So, if any parts of your diet are currently lacking in protein, follow the steps above and start adding the extra protein you need to your diet today.
Now I want to hear your thoughts. Do you struggle to eat enough protein? Are there any other tips and tricks that you’re planning to use to increase your protein intake this New Year? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts. Also, please Like, +1, Pin and Tweet this post, so that as many people as possible can increase their protein intake this New Year.