A big challenge many people face is that they simply find it hard to get good amounts of protein in their diet without massively overeating or eating so much that they can’t see the body fat changes that they want! A consistent question I’m often asked is ‘How Can I get More Protein.’
The first step is to familiarise yourself with what foods actually contain worthwhile protein levels. Nuts, dairy (and eggs), meat, and lentils are all helpful here. Remember, though, that meat is the only complete protein; it provides all 9 essential amino acids that your body can’t produce on its own. (There are over 200 amino acids, about 22 standard amino acids, but they can be used in many different ways. 9 are notarized as ‘essential’ because the body can’t produce them.)
This means that you can combine protein sources to make up complete proteins if needed – beans and brown rice, for example, and spinach mixed with almonds. Usually, not seeing changes is a result of not eating enough protein. So, the simplest way to speed up your results is to ensure you’re maximizing your daily protein intake.
- Add more meat to your diet. This one had to be said – eating lentils, beans, and eggs will get you protein, but there’s no substitute for almost 30g of protein in one hit with 100g of lean steak!
- Make sure you always have high-protein foods to snack on. Your fridge, and especially your work lunch if you take food to work, should always contain nuts such as almonds or Brazil nuts, and ideally sandwich meat such as turkey or chicken. Eating a few slices of good quality pre-packed chicken can easily be worth 15g – 30g of protein.
- Consciously choose PROTEIN. The way to see changes is (unfortunately) to be strict with yourself. Eating chocolate every day is a no-no. If you are considering foods, try and think about what is the best value in terms of containing protein. For example, a Friday afternoon pub lunch can offer varied menu choices. Choose the chicken or fish dish over the vegetarian pasta and your body will thank you.
- Similarly, do you have to drink a pint every time?!
- This has built up to the key – number 5 – Change Your MINDSET. The obvious truth when trying to change how your body looks is that you have to do something different from what you have been doing previously to see long-term changes. If you ignore your protein, you will find it hard to progress.
Therefore, the more you consider what you’re eating and how you can get better-quality food, especially protein, into your diet, the better. Make sure you are improving. This is the difference between training and working out. If you’re training, you are heading towards a goal and have improvement in your sights.
Extra: Protein bars/supplements. I didn’t want to list this one as a ‘main’ point, but it is undeniable that supplementation can go a long way to helping improve one’s protein intake. Overall, bars are an excellent way to get a hit of protein. Most contain the equivalent of a protein shake, 15-25g of protein in one bar. Unfortunately, most contain a similar amount of carbs, meaning that they are a calorific way of getting in your protein.
So there you have it – keep these tips at the forefront of your mind and you will see both your protein intake rise and your results happen faster!