Some people avoid protein because many protein-rich foods are high in fat and calories. But there are healthy ways to get protein in your diet and still lose weight. Use these tips to eat the right amount of protein for weight loss and good health.
Will Protein Help You Lose Weight?
When people begin on a diet to lose weight, they normally expect to be hungry. Losing weight, on the other hand, does not have to entail getting hungry if you eat more protein.
Good amounts of lean protein will help you feel full and satisfied throughout the day, which can help you lose weight faster by curbing your cravings.
Sarah Berndt, MS, RD, CD, CPT, is a certified personal trainer and registered dietitian. She notes that protein not only improves satiety (the sense of being full), but also helps to control blood sugar, strengthen the immune system, and maintain a healthy metabolism.
So how do you get enough protein to lose weight? Sarah suggests getting some form of protein at every meal. These are just a few ways to get creative and include protein at each meal, during snack time, and even at dessert.
5 Ways to Get More Protein for Weight Loss
Make Cooking Protein Easier
One of the most common reasons why people do not consume more protein is that it is difficult to prepare. Let’s face it, meat doesn’t do well in the microwave. However, there are a variety of low-cost counter grills that make grilling meat more convenient and healthy.
Many people are familiar with the George Foreman Grill brand. Sarah also mentions that grilling is a fantastic technique to cook food that is low in fat. Sarah recommends cooking turkey, lean pork, lean beef, and even tofu in addition to chicken.
Get Creative With Eggs
There are a plethora of popular healthy omelet and scrambled egg recipes. However, you can get creative and make a healthy veggie and egg frittata on Sunday night, portioning it out for lunches throughout the week.
Unlike meat, eggs are easy to microwave and transport to work in single-serve containers. In addition, boiled eggs can be added to a variety of cuisines that you might not normally consider.
Add scrambled eggs to tacos, chopped cold eggs to a three-bean salad, sliced hard-boiled eggs to a sandwich, or a raw egg to ramen or soups while they’re cooking.
Eggs could even be served with a breakfast sandwich. Because eggs have a mild flavor, you can use them in a variety of ways.
Pick Veggies With Protein
Animal sources of protein have a higher bioavailability than plant sources, which may have a lower bioavailability of particular proteins. All of the necessary amino acids are also found in animal protein.
However, this does not rule out the possibility of veggies contributing to your overall protein consumption. Some vegetables are superior to others.
Peas, bean sprouts, tofu, soybeans, mushrooms, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cooked spinach, kale, artichoke, sweet corn, avocado, and asparagus are all good sources of protein from vegetables. Protein is even found in some fruits. For example, a banana can contain up to 2 grams of vitamin.
Stock Up on Legumes, Beans, Nuts
Legumes are the best source of protein for non-meat eaters. Butter beans, for example, have 14 grams of protein per cup.
Although this is less than a single serving of chicken breast, combining beans with protein-rich veggies results in a high-protein lunch. Quinoa is a protein-rich legume that is also widely consumed.
Beans and nuts are also wonderful snacks because they are easy to prepare ahead of time and transport. Just be cautious when selecting the best variety. Canned beans are fine, but many of them have salt and sugar added to them.
You’ll be better off and save money if you take the time to cook your beans from home. Also, choose nuts that aren’t overly seasoned or salted.
Eat Protein for Dessert
Believe it or not, you can even include protein in a healthy dessert. Low-fat yogurt with fruit is a great example.
Greek-style yogurt tends to have more protein, but remember to eat this sweet treat in moderation (both the frozen and refrigerated varieties), as some of the brands and flavors contain quite a bit of sugar.