About 4 years ago, I went on a high protein, low sugar, low fat diet and it helped me lose over 100 lbs. I continue to follow those rules pretty well, for the most part. However, it is hard sometimes to get in the protein I need on those days when I feel like only eating salads and popsicles or full carb meals. Over the years I have learned that little substitutions can make a big impact on my protein intake. It isnt hard to do, and the benefits are huge. Did you know that.......
Protein helps your muscles. Amino acids build and repair muscle. The more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate, and the more calories you burn.
Protein helps your blood. Hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells, carries fueling oxygen throughout your body.
Protein helps your bones. Nearly 30% of bone weight is collagen, another protein.
Protein helps your hair and nails. Both are made of Keratin, a protein thats constantly replenished as new amino acids arrive.
Protein builds immunity. Amino acids help form illness fighting antibodies.
Protein keeps hunger away. Dietary protein is harder to process than fat or carbs so your body burns double the calories digesting it. Amino acids trigger hormones that signal fullness so you eat less.
I try to add protein to every snack and every meal I eat.
Greek yogurt is a great protein packed breakfast. Add an ounce of walnuts or almonds for an extra boost.
Oatmeal cooked with 1/2 cup skim milk
Protein shake, try mine with 8oz of water/8oz of coffee for a lower calorie boost.
Whole grain english muffin with 2 tbsp peanut butter or almond butter
A salad with any of the following, tuna, salmon, grilled chicken breast, chicken salad, chickpeas, sunflower seeds or cannellini beans will be protein packed. Put salad dressing on the side and dip your fork in, instead of pouring it on to save fat and calories.
Celery with almond or peanut butter and raisins.
1/2 cup of quinoa with fresh veggies. Use quinoa in any dish instead of pasta and add some chicken.
1/4 cup black beans, grilled chicken, shredded lowfat cheese, salsa, some lettuce and a whole grain wrap.
1/2 cup whole wheat spaghetti, 1/4 cup cannellini beans, 1/4 cup mozzarella, spinach, 2 tsp olive oil
grilled steak tips and feta on a salad with raspberry vinaigrette (dipped, not poured!)
Ground turkey with a little teriyaki sauce, formed into a burger, grilled, tossed on a whole wheat bun, with lowfat cheddar and a slice of pineapple.
Snacks and desserts:
A handful of almonds, add some dark chocolate chips and some shredded coconut to amp the yumminess.
Yasso greek yogurt pops have 6-7 grams of protein per bar.
lowfat pretzels dipped in peanut/almond butter. I use a protein butter (chocolate almond flavor) to up the protein. I love the sweet/salty mix!
Peanut butter balls. Mix coconut, protein powder, peanut butter, mini chocolate chips. Form into golf ball size and freeze. Eat 2 and it will be an 8 gram of protein dessert.
I do splurge, I do try to make my tastebuds happy, but I try to be smart about what I eat, too. If you want some more high protein recipes, let me know. I have a ton!