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The Best Ways to Get Extra Protein in Your Diet

One of the things most people are struggling with when it comes to their diet is consuming enough protein. Without thinking about it consciously, it can be difficult to get a substantial amount of protein in throughout the day.

That being said, there are some simple ways to get more protein into your daily diet.

1. Eat a little more of what you're already eating.

This is by far the easiest strategy. Instead of adding extra things into your diet, instead eat more of what you're already eating. Instead of 3 oz of chicken, have five. Instead of 1 egg, have 1 egg and 2 egg whites. This way, you don't have to go out of your way to drastically change anything. Beware of fatty cuts of meat or fish though as you do want to watch overall calories. Eating 8 oz. of ground beef might not be as conducive to your goals as 4 oz., even if it is more protein.

2. Make small substitutions that add up

Instead of adding sour cream to your tacos, top them with a bit of plain Greek yogurt. Substitute your milk in your coffee for a higher protein milk or premade protein shake. Add plain yogurt or cottage cheese to baked goods instead of butter or oils. Use yogurt instead of mayo in many recipes. Instead of pasta with no protein, try a chickpea or lentil pasta with 15g or so per serving. You can also substitute your afternoon snack for a more protein filled one--add a shake, protein bar, cheese stick, yogurt/cottage cheese or some sliced deli meat instead of your normal crackers.

3. Add protein in ways you don't notice

You can also add protein into your day in ways your barely notice. Add egg whites to your oatmeal by whipping them in towards the end of cooking--you don't even taste them. You can also try adding protein powder to your oats for a cake like consistency. While it may seem weird, you can also add pasteurized egg whites to smoothies. Mix yogurt into your morning shake or add some cottage cheese to your scrambled eggs for a nice creamy texture. Add beans or some meat to soups even if it's not in the recipe. Use a protein powder in your smoothie if you aren't already. Try high fiber/high protein wraps and breads instead of your normal choices.

4. Make sure to include protein at every meal and snack

No matter what, try and make sure you have a protein with every meal and snack. This will keep you accountable to your protein goal, and also ensure you're getting enough throughout the day. About a palm sized portion of protein is a good visual for how much you should be having. Remember that foods don't have to "match" the meal you're eating either--you don't have to have bacon because it's breakfast.

Eating more protein can feel like a chore but it's really not that hard. Put a conscious effort into doing it and you will get better at getting more into your daily diet.

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