6 Ways to Pump Up Your Protein
Protein is popping up everywhere, in bars and shakes to everyday cereals and bread. You can even get protein-fortified water these days! Since protein is a slow-burning fuel, it takes longer to digest. It keeps you full for longer and helps your body build and maintain muscle. It’s an essential part of a weight loss eating plan. With that in mind, here are six health tips concerning protein.
1. Focus on the essentials
A complete protein source is one that contains all nine essential amino acids to support human dietary requirements. Not only does a complete protein contain all the essential amino acids, but it also contains them in perfect proportion in terms of biological function. Examples of healthy protein include low-fat dairy, lean meat and quinoa. These are all good parts of a weight loss meal plan for women.
2. Stay consistent
The amount of protein you consume as part of a healthy diet can vary, depending on your overall health and activity level. More importantly, don’t forget to eat a steady amount of protein throughout the day, instead of loading up on it at dinner each night. It’s best to eat a variety of protein sources. For example, eggs for breakfast, chicken breast for lunch, and a quinoa salad for dinner.
3. Read labels: Even on fresh meat
You may be an avid label reader when it comes to your granola bars and yogurt, but it is equally as important to read the label on your “fresh” protein sources as part of a healthy eating plan. Purchasing your chicken or fish from the refrigerated section of the grocery store does not necessarily mean you made a better choice. If the ingredient list on your protein source contains words other than the actual food source i.e. “chicken” or “fish,” search for a different brand. Watch out for additives such as artificial colors, high fructose corn syrup, MSG or nitrates, because they indicate the meat has been processed.
4. Realize animal proteins are the most ‘bioavailable’
Proteins consumed from animal-based foods are the most easily harnessed and used by your body. That’s why they make such good gym foods! For instance, 20 grams of protein from egg whites delivers more of a protein punch than the same quantity of protein from plant sources. You can still get the protein you need from non-animal sources; however, protein from animal sources is absorbed more readily by your body. Having a varied diet that incorporates plenty of plant-based protein and low-fat dairy in addition to lean animal protein is a great way to incorporate varied sources protein into your weight loss diet.
5. Try unique sources of protein
Everyone is familiar with basic protein sources, such as beef, chicken, and fish, but there are many other great options for incorporating protein into healthy meal plans. These include dried beans and peas, tofu, quinoa, nuts and nut butters, seeds and Greek yogurt.
6. Use protein to help ‘get your burn’
Protein is thermogenic; this means that it creates a slight calorie burn as it’s digested. When compared to many carbohydrate-rich foods, protein has a greater thermogenic effect. It’s like giving your digestive system a good, hard run. Eat protein as a post workout food, and you can extend your calorie burning even longer!
Remember, as a Curves member, not only do you get a full body workout that will help you get in shape and stay in shape, you’ll also receive guidance on a weight loss meal plan. The customizable Curves Nutrition Program can help you burn fat, build muscle, and lose weight. You’ll get tips on how to get more protein into your weight loss diet, make healthy choices when you eat out, and shop for workout foods. You’ll also get tasty recipes that incorporate all the foods you need as part of an energizing healthy eating plan.