Diet & Weight Loss
If you’re trying to lose a few pounds, gain more energy, or just want to feel more satisfied, get ready to pack in the protein. Here’s how to get more protein easily, according to nutritionists.
Add Greek yogurt
Step aside traditional American yogurt, and allow Greek yogurt to take the spotlight. As nutritionist Tracy Lesht, MS, RD, says, “It’s rich in protein and so easy to eat as a snack or on the go. Just one serving of a Greek yogurt can add about 18 grams of protein into your day.” For an extra 3 grams of protein, top your yogurt with an ounce of nuts (about a handful). These are healthiest ways to load up on lean protein.
Prep meat strips
The best way to make sure you’re actually getting the protein you need? To keep that essential nutrient at top of mind, every single time you set your table. “Each meal should be based on protein, whereby you consume at least 20 to 30 grams of protein (depending on body size and protein type) every three hours or so,” Dr. Robert Wildman, Chief Protein Office for Premier Protein says. If you prep lunches for the workweek, add one small step into your routine to rack up even more grams of protein. “You can prepare and cook extra portions of a lean protein like chicken or fish and keep it stored in the refrigerator to add to meals throughout the week,” Lesh says. Try grilling or broiling to limit added fats. Consider it a healthier version of sprinkling salt (or Sriracha) on your meal.
Keep nuts handy
If you’re wondering how to get more protein into your diet, nuts like almonds or walnuts are great to have around because they can be added to many different foods or eaten on their own as a snack. “In addition to sprinkling them on your yogurt, add nuts to your salad, breakfast cereal, oatmeal, and more,” Lesht says. “An easy tip is to keep a handful of almonds in a Ziploc bag to have on hand for when hunger strikes!” Just make sure to count out your servings so you don’t get into a high-calorie habit of handful after handful of nut varieties. And as with most healthy foods, naked nuts are better than those flavored or salted.
Add beans to anything
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Your vegan friends are onto something when they rave about how much they love creating culinary concoctions out of good ‘ole simple beans. “Add garbanzo beans, white beans, lentils, kidney beans, or black beans to meals like salads, soups, or pastas,” Lesht says. “Beans are full of fiber and average around 15 grams of protein per cup.” These are the best plant-based protein sources.