How To Add Additional Protein To A Diet
Adding lean, protein-rich food items to entrees you already eat, helps boost your protein intake without drastically increasing calories. Protein is an essential macronutrient that builds muscle tissue, is a component of all cells and provides energy when carbohydrates and fat are not available. Between 10 to 35 percent of your calories need to come from protein, which offers 4 calories per gram, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. If you follow an average 2,000-calorie diet, you need 50 to 175 grams of protein each day.
What Is A High
A high-protein diet is one where you work on getting plenty of protein probably more than you are used to getting as the first focus of your eating patterns. Protein-rich foods include eggs, meat, seafood, legumes, and dairy products. These foods are not only high in protein but high in nutrients in general. That means a high-protein diet is also a high nutrition diet.
Increasing protein can be very helpful for weight loss because protein can help tame your appetite.1 It also supplies plenty of the raw materials needed to maintain your muscles and your metabolism, both of which help ensure that youre burning calories at an appropriate rate.2
For people who want to build muscle, getting more protein than is typically recommended is a must. Current recommendations, known as the RDA or the recommended dietary allowance, are designed for healthy people and meant to prevent malnutrition they arent meant to help increase muscle mass or improve medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes.3
Diets with increased protein can have a positive effect on the treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, and possibly even heart disease.4 Higher protein intake also helps prevent sarcopenia, which is a loss of muscle mass that can occur as you age, and a related condition, osteoporosis, which is a loss of bone mass.5
More high-protein guides
You can read more about how much protein most people are eating now in our expanded section here:
Start Your Day With Nuts
Starting your day with a handful of nuts is a great way to incorporate protein into your diet and overcome sugar cravings throughout the day. Soak almonds overnight and break your fast with them. If you forget soaking almonds overnight, start your day with a few walnuts for the protein boost you need. In addition, they help control the portion size during breakfast since most vegetarian breakfasts are usually high in calories.
Along with protein content, the cherry on the top is the micronutrients and minerals that come with it! Nuts are antioxidant powerhouses that are low in carbs and a great source of countless other nutrients.
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Prioritise Protein At Every Meal
One of the easiest ways to get more protein into your diet is to simply make it a priority at every single meal you eat.
If youre tracking your nutrition, this could be as simple as splitting your daily protein target into 3 , then making sure to reach that figure with every meal.
If tracking isnt for you, thats okay. Just try to include at least a palm-sized serving of a high-protein food at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Average 46 To 56 Grams Per Day
Protein should represent about 10 to 35% of your daily calories, depending on your overall health and activity level. The average healthy adult should have .8-1.0 g/kg of protein each day. This means that an average woman weighing 150 lbs. should aim for 54 to 68 grams of protein each day. Its also best to eat a consistent amount of protein throughout each day rather than load up at one meal and go without for other meals. Your body loves consistency, especially in protein intake.
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Add Tofu As A Smoothie And Shake Thickener
Tofu doesn’t have to just be scrambled into a stir fryyou can use it as a thickener in shakes and smoothies, as well as a base for dips and soups. A half a cup of the stuff will give you 10 grams of excellent, flavorless protein, but make sure to choose a tofu that doesn’t use the coagulating agent magnesium sulfate, which has been shown to cause cancer in lab animals. Tofus that use nigari salts, lushui, or clean sea water as a coagulating agent are safer choices. Once you found that better-for-you product, find your new favorite shake recipe with this list of 23 Best Protein Shake Recipes!
Adding Protein To Your Plate
Protein comes in many different shapes and sizes. In fact, Strong4Life registered dietitian Katherine Shary notes, It is possible for a child to get enough protein without eating any animal products.
High-protein foods and drinks:
- 1 cup of cow milk or soy milk has 8 grams of protein
- A 3-ounce piece of meat has about 21 grams of protein
- 1/2 cup of cooked black beans has about 8 grams of protein
- 1 individual container of Greek yogurt has 12-14 grams of protein
- 1/2 cup of tofu has 10 grams of protein
More good sources of protein:
- Lean meats, fish and poultry
- Lentils and other legumes
- Grains, including bread and pasta
- Nuts and seeds
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Fight Sweets With Healthy Stuff
Yet another birthday at work with cupcakes? Or extra stress have you aching for some sweets? To fight the urge, Berndt has this trick: When Im craving sweets, I reach for a chocolate milkshake made with chocolate whey protein blended with frozen almond milk cubes. Its delicious, and the protein helps curb my craving for sweets.
Start Your Day With A Protein Shake Instead Of Fatty Coffee
Trading a fatty coffee for a protein shake is an easy, tasty move that can dramatically increase your protein intake and lower your fat intake. A protein shake also requires little time to prepare and consume, unlike many other breakfast options.
Whey protein shakes are a popular choice. Research demonstrates that whey protein may help you lose fat, retain muscle, and improve blood sugar control.8 Some protein powders are made from egg whites, which may also promote fat loss and muscle retention.9And early evidence suggests that plant-based protein shakes may help improve body composition.10
At Diet Doctor, although we encourage you to choose minimally processed foods most of the time, a protein shake may be a better option than a fatty coffee for losing weight and retaining muscle.
A whey or plant-based protein shake provides at least 20 grams of protein and little to no fat. Look for types without sugar or other additives to keep carbs low. Artificially sweetened protein powders are fine, or feel free to add your favorite sugar-free sweetener, berries, vanilla, or cinnamon.
By the way, we arent suggesting that you give up your morning coffee, but we do recommend drinking it black or with a little bit of milk or cream if weight loss is your primary goal.11
Check out our quick and easy protein-packed shake recipes below.
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Eat Protein At Breakfast Lunch And Dinner
Dont wait until dinner to start eating your protein, ensure that youre including a source of protein at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Although you can certainly create a healthy breakfast without a ton of protein, if youre trying to increase your protein intake neglecting to include it in your morning meal will leave you playing catch up all day long. Instead, ensure that all of your meals include a source of protein to help ensure youre reaching your protein target by the end of the day.
Why Do We Need Protein
Protein is an essential nutrient, responsible for multiple functions in your body, including building tissue, cells and muscle, as well as making hormones and anti-bodies. Everyone needs protein in their diet, but if you do endurance sports or weight training you may benefits from increase your protein intake, as well as factoring it into your training routine at specific times to reap its muscle-building benefits.
Studies also suggest that as we get older we may benefit from eating more protein because it helps minimise the muscle loss associated with aging.
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Healthy Eats: 6 Simple Ways To Add Proteins For Vegetarians
When you tell someone that you are a vegetarian, the first question you are likely to get is, where do you get your protein ? Most vegetarians believe that they dont get enough protein from the food they eat and I also know a few who started consuming meat believing this myth but the fact is, there are plenty of vegetarian foods that can give you enough protein for the day.
Prioritize Animal Protein Over Vegetarian Protein
Although both animal and plant proteins are highly nutritious and can and should be included in a healthy diet, gram per gram, animal sources of protein are more concentrated sources of protein and can, therefore, more easily and quickly increase your daily protein intake. Animal protein sources, such as meat, poultry, and seafood, are primary sources of protein, meaning they contain more protein than carbohydrates or fat, while plant proteins, such as beans, lentils, nuts are seeds, are primary sources of another macronutrient. On average, beans and lentils have a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein, while nuts and seeds have a 2:1 ratio of fat to protein. Although some plants do contain protein, gram per gram and calorie per calorie, animal proteins have higher levels of protein so prioritizing animal protein sources can help to increase your protein intake.
To be clear, you can most certainly still increase your protein intake if you follow a vegetarian diet or dont eat much meat. Youll simply need to be more strategic when choosing your vegetarian protein sources as some options, such as tofu and tempeh, are more concentrated in protein than others, such as nuts and seeds.
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Easy Ways To Add Proteins For Vegetarians
1) Start your day with Eggs If you are an eggterian, having some hard-boiled eggs or an egg white omelette for breakfast is a perfect protein kick-start for your day.
Serving According to USDA- the egg white contain 3.6 g of protein whereas the whole egg contain 6 g of protein in it.
2) Munch on Greek Yogurt Greek yogurt has half the calories and twice in protein when compared to the regular yogurt thus making it perfect for munching with some fruits or by itself.
3) Proteinify your meal There are tons of easy ways to up the protein content in your meal
- Add some nuts/sunflower seeds/ flax seeds to your salad to get that extra protein. Chickpeas is also a great source of protein.
- If you eat rice for lunch or dinner, have it with lentils / Kidney beans /Legumes / black beans/ moong Dal.
- Consume Tofu/ paneer with your meal.
- Substitute regular cheese with cottage cheese.
3) Substitute rice with Quinoa at times Quinoa is technically a seed that contain more protein than any grain. It is called Complete Protein as it includes all 9 essential amino acids that body cant produce. Plus, it is versatile and can be consumed with oats as a breakfast dish or tossed in your salad with some veggies for lunch or you can totally make an Indian style upma with it.
Avoid protein bars that contain more/artificial sugars. my personal favorite is these.
What about you? What are your favorite proteins for vegetarians?
How Much Protein Do You Actually Need
Its super easy to get enough protein in your diet, and most people eat far more protein than they actually need.
Up to the age of 70, the average woman is recommended to have 0.75 grams of protein for every kilogram of her body weight each day. If you weigh 75 kilos, for example, that equates to just under 60 grams of protein per day.
From the age of 70, it bumps up to 0.94 grams per kilo, per day. For men, the recommendation is 0.84 grams of protein per kilo, per day until the age of 70, and 1.07 grams per kilo, per day after that.
Another way to look at it is to aim for a certain number of serves of protein-rich foods each day. For women, the goal is two and a half serves of protein until the age of 70, and two per day after that. If youre pregnant, your goal bumps up to three-and-a-half serves per day.
For men, its three serves of protein until the age of 70, and two and a half after that. In case youre wondering, one serve of protein is equivalent to:
- 65 grams of cooked red meat, like beef or pork
- 80 grams of cooked poultry, like chicken or turkey
- 100 grams of cooked fish
- Two eggs
- One cup of legumes, like beans, chickpeas or lentils
- 170 grams of tofu
- 30 grams of nuts and/or seeds
Instead of trying to solve a maths equation every time you sit down to eat, however, a far easier way to make sure youre hitting your protein needs is to follow the healthy plate model.
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Protein Makes You Lose Weight Even Without Conscious Calorie Restriction
Protein works on both sides of the calories in vs calories out equation. It reduces calories in and boosts calories out.
For this reason, it is not surprising to see that high-protein diets lead to weight loss, even without intentionally restricting calories, portions, fat or carbs (
In this study, the participants lost an average of 11 pounds over a period of 12 weeks. Keep in mind that they only added protein to their diet, they did not intentionally restrict anything.
Although the results arent always this dramatic, the majority of studies do show that high-protein diets lead to significant weight loss .
A higher protein intake is also associated with less belly fat, the harmful fat that builds up around the organs and causes disease .
All that being said, losing weight is not the most important factor. It is keeping it off in the long-term that really counts.
Many people can go on a diet and lose weight, but most end up gaining the weight back .
Interestingly, a higher protein intake can also help prevent weight regain. In one study, a modest increase in protein intake reduced weight regain after weight loss by 50% .
So not only can protein help you lose weight, it can also help you keep it off in the long-term .
Eating a high-protein diet can cause weight loss, even without calorie counting, portion control or carb restriction. A modest increase in protein intake can also help prevent weight regain.
What It Is And How To Do It
You may have heard that high-protein diets can help with weight loss and metabolic health. Thats why, at Diet Doctor, we feature high-protein recipes and meal plans. But how do you know if a higher protein diet is right for you?
This guide will explain what high-protein diets are, help you find the best high-protein foods, and explore the potential benefits of high-protein diets.
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Protein Cuts Cravings And Reduces Desire For Late
Cravings are the dieters worst enemy.
They are one of the biggest reasons why people tend to fail on their diets.
Another major problem is late-night snacking. Many people who have a tendency to gain weight get cravings at night, so they snack in the evening. These calories are added on top of all the calories they ate during the day.
Interestingly, protein can have a powerful effect on both cravings and the desire to snack at night.
This graph is from a study comparing a high-protein diet and a normal-protein diet in overweight men (
The high-protein group is the blue bar, while the normal-protein group is the red bar.
In this study, protein at 25% of calories reduced cravings by 60% and cut the desire for late-night snacking by half!
Breakfast may be the most important meal to load up on the protein. In one study in teenage girls, a high-protein breakfast significantly reduced cravings .
Eating more protein can lead to major reductions in cravings and the desire to snack late at night. These changes should make it much easier to stick to a healthy diet.
Use Lean Ground Meat Or Poultry Whenever Possible
For instance, 3.5 ounces of regular ground beef has about 23 grams of protein, 19 grams of fat, and a protein percentage of 38%. This is still a good option, although youll get more protein per calorie if you choose leaner ground beef.
The same amount of regular ground pork has about 22 grams of protein, 31 grams of fat, and a protein percentage of 25%. It provides far less protein and more fat than leaner ground pork.
Make a simple switch to lean or extra-lean ground meat or poultry to get more protein with less fat:
- Ground pork, extra-lean:
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Have Snack Bars For Travel
On the go, running late, running early or just um, runningand you find yourself hungry ? To solve the dilemma of drive-through or bust, Berndt says to keep protein-packed bars in your glove compartment. I keep a box of protein-packed bars in my car to refuel right! Try these 10 great recipes for homemade protein bars.
Use Chia Seeds In Puddings And Baking
If you’re going vegan, did you know that you can swap out eggs for chia seeds and water in your baking? They have about five grams of protein per ounce and will make your baked goods and puddings creamy and delicious. For more smart swaps, these 25 Healthy Ingredient Swaps for Baking will blow your mind!
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