5 Tips to Hit Your Daily Protein Goals
Making sure to get enough protein in your diet can sometimes be challenging. A person can eat only so much chicken, fish, and beef. If you are worried about meeting your protein needs, the tips below may help. Let’s look at 5 tips to help you easily hit your daily protein goals.
1. Make High Protein Versions of Your Favorite Dishes
This may sound like a no-brainer, but did you know just a few simple adjustments can help you change your favorite dish into a protein powerhouse? One easy way to do this is by adding protein powder to your meals. Next time you go to make your favorite lunch or dinner, make sure it contains a good source of protein. If not, you may consider giving the recipe a protein boost with some protein powder.
For example, if you are a pizza lover but don’t feel like overloading on the greasy pepperoni and cheese toppings to get your protein in, make your own pizza dough and add a little protein powder. This also works well in dishes such as oatmeal, soups, stews, smoothies, muffins, pancakes, sauces, and more.
Protein powder can mix easily into various dishes, especially if you choose a non-flavored powder. Be careful to choose a high-quality protein powder that is free of added sugars and artificial sweeteners.
Aside from adding protein powder, you can add to your favorite dishes by keeping a few high-protein ingredients in mind. Some great, protein-rich additives that are versatile for many dishes include meat, seafood, eggs, Greek yogurt, cheese, edamame, cottage cheese, tofu, tempeh, and more.
If you normally enjoy a bean and cheese burrito, try adding some chicken or beef. If you love a salad without meat, throw in some edamame or hard-boiled eggs. Swap out mayonnaise in your favorite tuna salad for Greek yogurt for an additional boost. The possibilities are endless.
2. Grab for a High-Quality Protein Shake
Like protein powder, a high-quality protein shake can be a super simple and convenient way to incorporate more protein into your diet. But how do you know if the shake is high-quality? Look for one that contains minimally added sugars per serving, ideally less than 5 grams. You also want to choose one that is free of artificial or unnecessary additives.
Naked Nutrition’s lemon blueberry protein powder is a great example. Simply combine with water, your favorite smoothie, or other beverage for a quick, on-the-go protein boost.
3. Keep On-The-Go High Protein Snacks on Hand (Jerky, Protein Bars)
This next tip is for you if you are always on the run. Another simple strategy for optimizing your protein intake easily is to be sure to keep on-the-go high-protein snacks on hand. This could be something as easy as protein bars, jerky, hard-boiled eggs, roasted edamame, nuts, seeds, cheese, Greek yogurt, and more.
If you have them in your car, at work, or in the refrigerator ready to grab at home, you are more likely to choose those while you are out and about than other snacks. Having them visible and already prepped helps remind you to stay on track and not have to think about what you want to eat.
4. Meal Prep
This next one is a big one. Meal prepping may seem daunting to some, but it can be an incredibly useful tool for those looking to have better control over their diet. For those looking to meet their protein goals, meal prepping is essential.
Meal prepping can be simple or time-consuming, depending on your prep style. For those new to the game, consider taking some time during the weekend to consider what meals and snacks you want to have during the week to stay on track. Next, write a list and hit the store.
If you are not a fan of cooking, take advantage of minimally processed already prepped foods many grocery stores already provide. Some good examples of this include roasted chicken, frozen grilled chicken, steam in-bag rice, pre-cut fresh or frozen veggies, etc. This makes throwing together meals a breeze and will create additional free time during your week to focus on other things.
5. Know Your Protein Targets
Last, but certainly not least, you need to know what your protein targets are to be able to set a goal to reach. Your protein target will be individualized to you, your activity levels, and your goals.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American College of Sports Medicine, most people should be consuming somewhere between 0.8-1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For athletes, this number increased to 1.2-2 grams per kilogram of body weight .
For example, a professional bodybuilder who weighs 220 pounds (100 kilograms) should be consuming between 120-200 grams of protein daily. You should space your protein intake out evenly throughout the day for optimal absorption and utilization. Protein should also be emphasized following a workout for muscle recovery.
With your protein target in hand and the rest of the tips mentioned in this article, you are all set to crush those protein goals. Sometimes sticking to a healthy protein-rich diet requires a little bit of creativity and planning, but the results are worth it.