I ONLY NEED PROTEIN IF I WANT TO BULK UP, RIGHT?
Protein is often associated with bulking up and building muscle. Think of the guy that walks around the gym in a tank top holding a gallon jug of water. That guy must need to prioritize his protein intake, not me.
Ehhh.. No. Protein is an incredibly important building block for so much more than just muscle repair and recovery. And unfortunately, most of us are simply not getting enough through our diets.
Ok, all jokes aside, protein is the building block for every tissue and organ in your body. In order to function at its best, your body needs an abundance of those necessary building blocks.
Protein will also help with satiety, which is just a fancy word for “you’ll feel full longer.” This means less cravings and less temptation to grab that unnecessary snack or binge on the foods you should be eating in moderation.
Combine a higher protein intake with the additional fiber you are getting from eating more vegetables and you’ll naturally find yourself curbing the cravings for fat and carbs. All without the need for a “challenge” with rules telling you what “BAD FOODS NOT TO EAT.”
There is no such thing as inherently BAD foods. There are only foods you should enjoy less often than others. Prioritizing protein and vegetables will help your body sort that out all on its own.
SO, HOW MUCH?
No food scale required! We are keeping things simple. Aim for adding one serving of protein with each of your three daily meals. One serving can be measured as approximately the size of your palm.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Know your proteins! Before you go food shopping, make a list of protein options so that you have plenty available for the week. Eggs, shrimp, fish, beef, chicken, deli meat, etc. Variety is great! Just make sure you have enough for each day, each meal!
Vegan? No problem! Just because you do not eat animal products does not mean protein is less important for your body. There are plenty of vegan protein options - tofu, seitan, legumes - prioritize those and you’ll be good to go!
Spice it up! Higher protein does not need to be grilled chicken breast every day. Use spices, try different sauces, buy protein you'll enjoy. Remember this should create a sustainable habit you enjoy, not another stress inducing chore.