Last Updated on January 2, 2023 by Lauren Beck
While some of us need more than others, protein is an essential macronutrient that we all need to consume in our diets.
When ingested, protein is broken down into constituent amino acids inside the body, where they are used to create new proteins, such as those found in your hair, skin, nails, and muscles. Protein can also be used for energy when carbohydrates aren’t readily available.
The average person needs between 0.6 and 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, and those with a muscle-building goal need between 1.2 and 1.7 grams per kilogram.
If you’re struggling to reach your protein target, keep reading because we’ve got some top tips for you!
How to Increase Your Protein Intake
Consuming too little protein can lead to reduced muscle mass, weak nails, thin hair, and hormonal imbalances. So, even if you’re not an avid gym goer trying to build muscle, you still need to make sure you’re eating enough of this essential macronutrient. Here are some top tips if you’re struggling to do so.
Eat protein at every meal
A lot of people struggle to reach their daily protein targets because half of their meals don’t contain any protein at all. By making a conscious effort to add protein to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can ensure you’re consuming enough each day.
At breakfast, consider egg on toast with a slice of bacon or if you want something slightly lower in fat, make a large bowl of Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of high-protein granola, nuts, and seeds.
Lunch and dinner can be meat or tofu based, such as a chicken-based dish, A5 Japanese wagyu steak sandwich, tofu stir fry, or spicy curry with beef. The options really are endless, so have some fun with it!
Find high-protein options in the grocery store
Most brands now offer high-protein alternatives to their standard products and you can easily find these in grocery stores. For example, you can find high-protein yogurt, granola, soup, and bread .
By opting for the higher protein option, you can increase your overall protein intake without making too many changes to your diet. You’ll be able to enjoy your favorite foods while maximizing your health. It’s a win-win!
Add protein powder to your diet
Most protein powders contain between 20 and 30 grams of protein per scoop. They’re an easy way to increase your protein intake.
Protein powder comes in a variety of forms, including whey, pea, and soy protein, with the latter two being suitable if you’re following a dairy-free or vegan diet. There is an endless variety of flavors, so you’ll never get bored!
You can mix protein powder into your yogurt, pancakes, home-baked goods, and smoothies to reach or even surpass your daily protein target. If you’re trying to gain muscle, consider taking a protein shake to the gym each day.