5 Sneaky Ways to Increase your Protein Intake
Since the moment I joined the fitness sphere (about 5 years ago), I constantly hear people struggling with eating an adequate amount of protein.
For me this was always puzzling, since having enough protein in my diet was never a problem. The key is not forcing dry chicken breast down your throat at 11:59 P.M. to hit the protein goal for the day, but creativity in finding ways to get your protein in.
This is why I will give you 5 tricks that will allow you to hit an adequate amount of protein every single day.
1- Having Protein in every meal
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Yes, you might have heard this one, but I was shocked when I saw how many people consider pasta with some kind of sauce a full meal.
Not that there is anything wrong with it per se, but pasta is not what will give you “the gains” you are looking for.
Protein is a very versatile substance – especially in 2022 where we have a proteinified version of literally every food. This is why whenever you are eating any meal, have 40-60 grams of protein to go with it.
Breakfast? Eat an omelet, protein oats (a.k.a Proats), or a turkey breast sandwich if you are on a run.
Lunch? The possibilities are endless. Beef, Chicken, Fish… have anything you want – just have it with protein!
Dinner? Craving something sweet?
Eat a protein soufflé (although it sounds complex, it is prepared in 2 minutes in a microwave)
2 – Replace your sweets
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A sweet tooth is nothing to be ashamed of. We are all mortal human beings who need, once in a while a chocolate bar (or 17 of them).
However, if you want to enjoy your sweets AND make gains in the gym, you should consider replacing your sweets with protein sweets.
What do I mean by that?
As I already mentioned, the world of protein foods is very big and versatile, but one of the biggest gifts it has given us, the gym fitness community is protein bars.
Now I know that some people are intimidated by them, however, there is nothing to be intimidated by – most protein bars taste just like a chocolate bar – with 20 grams of protein.
So if one evening you find yourself craving a chocolate bar – grab a protein bar instead!
3 – Use Protein Powder to Make any Meal a Protein Meal
Most people don’t realize how much can protein powder help in reaching your required protein intake.
Protein powder has many benefits for people who are eating a protein-rich, anabolic diet, but the most important one is its ability to turn any meal into a protein-rich meal.
Let’s take a popular snack as cereal, full of carbs and fat, but with an almost inexistent amount of protein.
Grab a scoop of vanilla protein powder, mix it with the milk before throwing it in the cereal – and bam!
You have enough protein in your meal. Protein powder is a magic powder for gains – it can make any meal anabolic.
And even if you don’t have the culinary skills to make some fancy protein powder creation, it really doesn’t matter.
If you take any protein-lacking meal and consume it while having a protein shake on the side, you will get enough protein in your meal.
4 – Carry Protein Powder Around
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Now, I know that I’ve already mentioned protein powder and its benefits, yes. But protein powder is really an anabolic magic wand that can fix all of your protein problems.
You don’t have much time to eat because most of the day you are working/studying.
Being easy to carry around is another big advantage protein powder has, and I will provide myself as an example of that. Most of us have long periods of the day when we are far away from food.
For me as a university student, this is class time, when I am away from the dorm and the fridge is nowhere to be seen. This shouldn’t stop you from getting in some protein.
Before going to class, work, or any other daily activity, take an empty shaker bottle with a scoop of protein in it.
When you want to sip on something, fill it with water, shake it, and move on with your activity while sipping on it!
5 – Dining out with family or friends? Make the correct choices
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I know that whenever you go out with people you enjoy hanging out with, thinking about “getting in enough protein” is really not something you want to do.
But if you are set on your goals and determined to help your body create the optimal environment for muscle growth, dining out can actually make that really easy because they prepare all the food for you – just look at the menu and make the right choice.
It’s really not that hard. Look at the menu, and order any food with protein in it. That can be fish, chicken, beef, eggs… or any protein of your liking.
This way, you can have a fun time with people you like, eat delicious restaurant-made food, and fuel your body for building muscle!
Look, I know that getting 150 grams of protein per day might seem hard at first for some people, but if you are working out you should change your perspective on nutrition.
Now, I am not saying diet should be boring, bland, and only be composed of sugar-free syrups, protein powder, and dry chicken breast.
In any way, shape, or form, this is not the case – have fun with food when you want to.
There is no shame in eating an extra donut or croissant (if you are French).
However, you should change your perspective on food in general if becoming fit is your prerogative.
About The Author:
Michael Snowden is a nutrition and fitness coach, and an amateur nutrition writer. He is passionate about sports nutrition, the benefits of microelements in food, and the old-school workout culture. If you enjoyed this article, you can check him out on his blog, Natural Decision.