How to Get More Protein in Your Diet

Protein broken down to its smallest form are amino acids. Amino acids are considered the building blocks of life. Adequate protein intake is needed to build, repair, and maintain body tissue including muscle. Amino acids are used to transport substances and aid in the production of enzymes, neurotransmitters, antibodies, and hormones.

 
 
How to Get More Protein in Your Diet - Balancing Bites Nutrition
 
 

How much protein do you need?

Many people have a difficult time consuming their protein needs. The recommendation for the general (healthy) population is 0.8 g/kg (0.36 g/lb) of body weight. That recommendation is meant to meet minimum needs to prevent protein deficiency. Those that regularly workout should consume 1.4-2.2 g/kg (0.63-1g/lb) of body weight. This amount of protein is meant to meet their basic needs as well as grow and repair muscle.

Benefits of consuming adequate protein?

Besides our basic biology needs that I mentioned above, adequate protein intake has several other benefits such as satiety, weight management, and increase performance. Protein has a higher thermic effect when we digest it. Thermogenesis is a process that generates heat through the digestion of food. We burn more calories to breakdown and digest protein than carbohydrates and fats.

What are some protein sources?

I’ve listed common animal protein sources for each meal to give you some ideas. 

Breakfast

  • Eggs

  • Breakfast meats

  • Egg sandwiches

  • Protein smoothies and shakes (made with protein powder)

  • Ready-made protein shakes

  • Protein oatmeal (made with protein powder)

  • Protein pancakes (made with protein powder)

  • Protein baked goods (made with protein powder)

  • Greek yogurt

Lunch and Dinner

  • Chicken

  • Turkey

  • Beef

  • Fish

  • Tuna fish

  • Deli meat

  • Bison

Snacks

  • Greek yogurt

  • Cottage cheese

  • String cheese

  • Homemade protein baked goods (made with protein powder)

  • Protein bars

  • Protein shakes and smoothies (made with protein powder)

  • Beef/Turkey jerky

  • Pork rinds

Desserts

  • Protein ice cream

  • Greek yogurt

  • Protein microwave mug cake (made with protein powder)

  • Protein baked goods (made with protein powder)Protein cheesecake (made with protein powder)