With swimsuit season right around the corner you may be one of the many people that would like to shed some unwanted winter pounds. Protein can help you accomplish that weight loss goal! I typically recommend about 0.7-0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
So if you weigh 150lbs, you would require approximately 105-120 g of protein per day. Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates and helps to maintain a stable blood glucose which results in satiety and reduced cravings.
Protein aids in recovery and growth of muscle which helps to increase metabolism and thus calorie burn. So how can you get protein at every meal and snack? Here are my eight favorite protein sources along with a variety of ways to incorporate them into your daily meal plan.
1. Greek Yogurt
- Eat it by itself as a snack
- Mix it with seasoning packets such as fiesta ranch for a raw vegetable dip
- Mix it with frozen fruit and honey to make a delicious fruit dip
- Mix it with grapes, chopped apples, toasted walnuts, T of honey, & parsley
- Blend it with a frozen banana and a your favorite fresh fruit such as oranges, mango, or strawberries
- Use it in place of sour cream on baked potatoes, tacos, etc.
- Use it as a salad dressing http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/ranch-dressing-recipe/index.html
2. Cottage Cheese
- Serve it as a side dish to your meal
- Use it on top of a green garden salad
- Dip for baked chips or veggies: Mix 6 T cottage cheese, ¼ c of light cream cheese, ¼ c of sun dried tomatoes, 1t lemon juice, 2-4 T buttermilk, dash garlic powder and hot sauce
- Cooked your favorite way
- Scrambled in a stir fry of your favorite veggies
- Hard boiled as a snack or in salads
- Deviled with guacamole & ham http://nutritionexpert.com/blog/2010/11/ham-and-avocado-deviled-eggs/
- Pasteurized egg whites blended with frozen mixed fruit and a banana
- Grilled salmon, shrimp, halibut which can be added to make your own fish tacos!
- Get your omega 3′s when you are also packing a powerful protein punch!
- Toasted and toss in salads and whole wheat pastas
- Plain as a snack
- Mix with dried fruit (almonds and dried tart cherries for a snack at the pool)
6. Nut Butters
- Almond or peanut butter on whole wheat toast or an English muffin with a drizzle of honey
- Peanut butter on celery with raisins
- Mix with Greek vanilla yogurt and serve with fresh sliced apples
- Bean Salads § http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/three_bean_salad/
- Served as a side, tossed in tacos or as a filling with cheese on a whole wheat tortilla
- Made into hummus with raw veggies or whole wheat pita chips
8. 1% Organic Milk
- A glass by itself
- With your favorite whole wheat cereal or oatmeal
- Added to your favorite smoothie
- Mixed with hot chocolate for a sweet treat
Research Assistance Provided by: Sarah Volling