Get the latest healthy living tips.
With holiday indulgences behind us, you’re finally getting back into the swing of a daily routine – with a healthier mindset. Skipping fast food lunches and packing homemade salads for work is getting easier. After-dinner walks are becoming part of your family’s routine. If you’re still on the hunt for tips and tricks to slim down this year, try focusing on protein!
Enjoying a lean protein with every meal helps you feel fuller longer, which curbs the desire to graze and consume too many calories. It also helps your body recover and repair muscle tissue after exercising, according to the health experts at the Mayo Clinic.
If you’re physically active, aim for 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per day per kilogram (1 kg = 2.2 lbs.) of body weight. The more sedentary you are, the less protein you need. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, divide that by 2.2 to find your weight in kilograms, which is 68kg. Multiplying 68 kg times 1.2 equals about 82 grams of protein per day.
So, how can you sneak enough protein into your day? Here are a few easy tips:
It’s a common misconception that the word protein only refers to meat. Actually, protein exists in many foods. When trying to boost your protein intake to satiate hunger and build muscle, the key is focusing on foods that are rich in protein and essential vitamins, such as beans, whole grains, nuts, legumes, leafy green vegetables, milk, and lean cuts of meat, suggests Choose MyPlate from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA.)
Mornings can be busy and frankly, even if there’s time to fry up bacon and eggs, it’s not the most nutritious meal option out there when trying to lose weight.
Instead, try these delicious breakfast options:
You can also experiment with single-ingredient protein powders made from dried, pulverized peanuts, or brown rice to add an instant boost of protein to your meal – try adding a scoop to the batter of these delicious banana-walnut waffles!
You can still have your favorite meals but think about swapping out some of the ingredients to focus on eating protein for weight loss.
For example, when making a salad, skip the sugary dried fruits and calorie-heavy croutons. Instead, sprinkle some of these protein-rich toppers on a bed of greens:
We also love the idea of using sliced deli meat in lieu of tortillas when making wraps and sipping a mug of rich hot chocolate made with a2 Milk® Chocolate 2% Reduced Fat instead of digging into a piece of cake or plate of cookies for dessert.
Finally, snacking is good for you! It helps regulate blood sugars, discourage overeating at an upcoming meal and reduces edginess from hunger, says Everyday Health. The key is making sure your snacks are just that, and not a meal in disguise. The portion should fit in the palm of your hand.
In the late morning, afternoons or before bed, consider snacking on a hard-boiled egg, a mug of warm golden milk, celery sticks filled with sunflower seed butter, raw vegetables dipped in hummus or spicy-seasoned pistachios.
Protein really is abundant when you start paying attention to what’s filling your plate and in your glass. If you’re looking for a protein-heavy drink to accompany your meals, reach for a glass of a2 MilkⓇ. It’s easier on digestion and may help some avoid discomfort. Here’s to a year of health and happiness ahead!