Going on a high-protein diet may help you tame your hunger, which could help you lose weight. You can try it by adding some extra protein to your meals.
A healthy serving of protein is often the key to staying fuller for longer. Protein is an essential nutrient, responsible for multiple functions in your body, including building tissue, cells and muscle. Everyone needs protein in their diet, but if you do endurance sports or weight training you’ll need to increase your protein intake, and to factor it into your training routine at specific times to reap its muscle-boosting benefits.
The average daily value of protein is set at 50 grams, but you’ll want to use an online protein calculator to come up with a more specific, personalized value based on your age, gender, and intended activity level.
What to eat
Proteins are made up of a collection of 20 amino acids. Of these, eight are classed as ‘essential’ and need to be sourced from food, while the other 12 are classed as ‘non-essential’ and can be produced inside your body. ‘High-quality proteins’ such as eggs and meat offer more muscle-building amino acids than other protein foods, so are considered more valuable sources of protein, particularly if you do lots of exercise.
Made by straining away the liquid, deliciously thick Greek-style yogurts contain about twice as much protein as regular versions. You’ll also reap the rewards of gut-friendly probiotic bacteria and bone-building calcium.
Nut Butter Boat
Any vehicle for nut butter is perfection in our book. Try loading a few celery sticks with 1 tablespoon of any nut butter (almond, cashew, walnut) topped with a few whole almonds or raisins. If you’re not a fan of celery, try scooping out the middle of an apple and filling it with your nut butter of choice.
These white orbs are near-perfect muscle food. That’s because the biological value—a measure of how much protein from the food can be incorporated into proteins in the body—of an egg is higher than that of nearly any other item in the grocery store. The biological value is largely dictated by the amount of essential amino acids a food possesses, and the humble egg has these in spades.
According to the peanut institute, the peanut contains more plant protein than any other legume or nut. It may not match the amount of protein in a giant turkey leg, but at eight grams per serving it provides an economical way for those on a shoestring budget to get their fill.
Cottage cheese serves as great snack. It’s affordable, comes in reduced-fat versions, and also contains calcium to keep your bones strong. But you can also hide it in creamy dishes, or sub it out for ricotta cheese or sour cream in certain dishes too. Try combining with fresh veggies for a savory treat, or adding fruit and cinnamon for something more sweet.
While most non-dairy milks are light in protein, soy milk is the exception. If you’re eschewing cow dairy for reasons such as lactose intolerance, consider using soy milk to float your cereal in, or for whipping up post-gym shakes. To keep your intake of gut-busting added sugars to a dull roar, opt for brands labelled “unsweetened.” And if your goal is to avoid genetically modified foods, splurge for organic.
This wonder grain is not only high in protein but also low in cholesterol and a good source of iron and fiber. Eating quinoa often is a good idea for vegetarians or anyone looking for a healthy protein. Plus, some varieties only take 20 minutes to cook – you’ll know it’s done when it turns slightly translucent. You can make quinoa salads, or use instead of rice for a higher protein whole-grain.
These leaner cuts of steak provide a fantastic 1 g of protein for every 7 calories; rib eye, on the other hand, delivers roughly 1 g of protein for every 11 calories. Plus, round steak is considered one of the more economical cuts. Leaner cuts of steak like round and loin will become drier than the Sahara with overcooking, so prepare them quickly over high heat to just medium-rare.