Have you asked yourself, how can I increase my protein intake?
Protein is by far the most popular macronutrient among athletes, weekend warriors, and the active professionals of the world. Many people know they should be eating more protein but don’t know “how much protein do I need to have to build muscle or lose fat?”. Or they get stuck not knowing how to hit their protein targets easily.
Well if you are wondering how to boost protein intake more effectively and consistently, then keep reading because in today’s blog I reveal 4 sports dietitian approved nutrition tips to help you achieve better protein intake.
Why Is Protein Important?
Protein is a macronutrient (or macro as many know it), and is therefore a key building block of our much loved food supply; especially particular foods we know as “high protein foods”. To get more scientific on you, protein is made up of amino acids (9 of which are called “Essential Amino Acids” because the body can not produce them and need to be consumed).
So why should you eat more protein? Well, quite simply, protein is a important building block of your very own body too. Protein’s help with the building of muscles, the repair of your body, as well as having an important role in helping you build strong bones. In addition to this, proteins also help with maintaining your skin and cartilage health as well as being used to make hormones and enzymes in the body to ensure key processes keep on keepin’ on!
In a nutshell, protein helps you be what you are - a functioning human being with a body that needs ongoing repair and maintenance. In some ways, we could say proteins are like the mechanics & panel beaters of the human body.
Suffice to say, you need to eat enough protein and that is why I want to help you out by sharing 4 nutrition tips to maximise your protein game. These 4 strategies have been used personally by myself and my clients to improve our own nutrition.
So without further ado…
4 WAYS TO BOOST PROTEIN INTAKE
Tip #1: Fortify!
Fortification is one of the best things you can do with your meals and snacks. You may be wondering what I mean by fortifying your foods. Quite simply, in this context what I am referring to is adding protein to foods and meals to boost protein levels - in doing so this enables you to optimise the nutrient profile of the original meal. There are many examples of this but here are some of my favourite ones:
Tip #2: Plan Yo Snack Attack
Snacking is an opportunity for hitting your macro targets so planning and executing your snacking strategy effectively and with intent, can be an easy way to boost protein. We all know that we should eat 2-3 main meals per day but if you aren’t hitting your nutrition goals then adding in snacks can be helpful. Typically, people choose snacks that are carb focussed or discretionary in nature. However, this is not going to help you maximise protein intake so you need to plan your snacks more strategically and ensure you get in some protein snack foods as part of your nutrition plan.
Here are some examples of protein snacks:
Tip #3: Choose High Protein Versions
These days you can find SO MANY foods being “healthified” and normally it is by marketing it as a “high protein version” of XYZ food product. Many of these are no more than overhyped marketing fluff of a product but there are some that are solid choices and can be used as an effective tool for reaching your protein targets. As a guideline, the protein version should at least give you 5-10g+ more protein per serve to be even worthwhile of consideration. Also, note that protein versions of discretionary foods are STILL discretionary foods.
Here are some of my recommended protein versions of foods:
Tip #4: Palm Your Protein
Palm your protein is simply a portion control strategy that you may even already know about. The way it works is you make sure that at each main meal you portion out AT LEAST a palm size of the protein food of choice. This works particularly well with meat (and meat alternatives such as tofu) products as it lends itself to the palm size portion strategy very easily and logically. So from now on make sure you palm yo protein!
To cap it off…
So if you want to boost your protein intake and hit your macros more effectively, choose at least 2 of the above tips to action in the next week and see how easy it is to eat enough protein. At the end of the day, protein is important but doesn’t need to be complicated. Find ways of eating enough protein that suit your lifestyle and focus on getting it from wholefoods first and foremost.
And if you are wondering, “how much protein should I be eating?” - aim for 1.6-2.2g/kg of lean (or goal) bodyweight as a general starting guideline.
Want help executing the right nutrition strategy?
So if you are ready to take your nutrition to the next level and elevate your performance in a way that doesn’t make you want to punch your Sports Dietitian, then let’s chat.
I have developed a 90 Day Macro Sherpa program that is a 1:1 nutrition coaching experience to help start bridging the gap between where you are now and where you want to be as an athlete, by designing a bespoke macro focussed nutrition plan that will get you results.
In this program, I'll personally coach you using my flexible nutrition system to help you harness the power of calories and macro strategy to regain your competitive edge - think of it as a bespoke sports nutrition solution that empowers you to eat better to achieve better.
Interested in learning more? Then simply email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or to apply now to see if you are a good fit, simply CLICK HERE and start the process for reaching your peak potential.
Brisbane & Online Sports Dietitian
Hi there! My name's Aleksa Gagic - i'm a Brisbane Sports Dietitian & Brisbane Sports Nutritionist. I have 7+ years experience in providing professional nutrition consulting and want to help you learn about the power of flexible nutrition.