As many of us already know, going to the gym is not the only way to get results in the process of losing -or gaining- weight. Although working out is fundamental, nutrition is crucial to achieve noticeable changes in our body and overall well-being. You don’t have to commit to over-the-top diets. Actually, restrictions will ultimately prove to be unsustainable in the long run and hinder your progress.
Choosing your meals wisely will automatically improve your performance, combined with physical exercise you obtain results in a healthy, maintainable way. Continue reading to check more details on how to include protein in your meals and how this strongly benefits your health.
Why protein is crucial when aiming for great results
Once immersed in the fitness world, you learn the importance of protein for everyday life, not only for the gains but for the body to function properly and help the tissue recover after training sessions.
- If your purpose is to lose weight: Foods heavy on protein help keep you full for longer, while still giving you the nutrient kick you need. The satiety that comes with a balanced meal containing a good source of protein reduces binge eating without starving yourself and keeps cravings at bay.
- If your purpose is to gain muscle: When we weight train, our muscle tissue tears and as the recovery starts the tissue replicates, matures and fuses to the damaged one. Protein helps throughout all this process, stimulating growth and ensuring the muscle can keep up with future demand by increasing its strength.
Where to get your protein?
Everyone has different requirements according to numerous factors that will determine how much protein has to be consumed, depending on the level of activity or the lack of it, age, weight goal, etc. On average, the recommended daily amount is about 0.36 grams of protein per pound, so that means for example, 54 grams per day for a 150 pound person.
Now, so much emphasis on protein intake can make it seem out of reach and create a narrative of having to rely on supplements to get your protein requirements met. However, there are so many natural, affordable and accessible ways to include this macronutrient in your everyday meals, without these fancy and expensive powders influencers want to shove down our throat.
Keep on reading to learn how many protein sources you can find in easy ingredients at your nearest grocery store, you will be able to put together protein-filled meals in no time. Like this one to start: https://minuterice.com/recipes/cheesy-chicken-and-rice/.
- Eggs: Great for breakfast, you can make them boiled, scrambled, poached, in toasts, sandwiches, omelets and so on. We all have a personal egg recipe we can’t get enough of.
- Nuts: Almonds, pistachios, walnuts and cashews, so much variety to choose for your oatmeal porridge or banana cake toppings, even to eat on their own as finger snacks.
- Chicken: One of the most dynamic ingredients on the list, apart from being delicious and accessible, you can include it in any meal from breakfast, to lunch and dinner.
- Cottage cheese: Salads, omelets, sandwiches, the list goes on. We love cheese, so it’s nice to know we get a benefit from it.
- Greek yogurt: This one is popular, you can use it on almost every breakfast option, on your smoothies, oatmeal, your salad dressings, topped with nuts and fruits, just too delightful and versatile.
- Milk: Remember when mom used to make us drink milk in the morning to grow stronger? Well she was right! Great thing is you can pour it into many meal preparations.
- Lentils: Beans or peas, they are your favorite and you can’t deny it. Very easy to work with and incorporate on your food. Think about bowls, burritos, rice, tacos and so on, they add just the perfect final touch.
These were just a few of the options you probably already have in your pantry that can add that protein intake to your meals. Other options contain fish like salmon, lean beef, quinoa and vegetables like broccoli, you just need to take a closer look at the nutrition label and you will be achieving those macronutrients for your gains, the simple and unprocessed way.