I know in a previous post I talked about macronutrients, and how following a specific macronutrient plan is very beneficial when it comes to your fitness goals. Whether you’re looking to losing weight or building muscle and getting stronger, protein plays a key role in this. Protein is essential for a number of processes within the body, including the building and repairing of muscle. Many people overlook the importance of protein in their diet because they think that it’s going to make them “bulky” and it’s only for guys that want to get huge. I often hear, “Christine, I don’t want to eat more protein and look like a man!” The reality of it is, as a woman, it’s very hard to “get bulky” because of our hormones and you’ll only get bigger if you’re over eating.
It’s important to understand that protein is an important source of energy for our bodies to be able function properly. I personally prefer to eat real, whole foods as my sources from protein, but will sometimes add in protein powders when baking or need something on the run.
Some of my personal preferences are:
Eggs are a great high protein food, especially because they are so easy to incorporate into a variety of meals. I love cooking an egg and throwing it on top of pretty much any meal. I often have them at breakfast with some Ezekiel bread or throwing it on top of a turkey burger for dinner. They keep me full through the morning so I don’t experience the 10am crash and are a sneaky way to add more protein into a meal without a lot of bulk. I always eat the whole egg because it’s full of important vitamins that keep blood sugar levels at bay, which means keeping your craving for sugar down as well.
Surprise, surprise right?! I love having other healthy fats such as nut butters and avocado so it’s the perfect low fat protein so that I can add plenty of other yummy fats and stay within my macros for the day! Plus, there are so many ways to prepare chicken that it doesn’t have to get boring, forget plain baked chicken breast spice it up a little with different seasonings and healthy marinades!
I have a hard time getting in enough protein everyday and fat free greek
yogurt has really helped me get my intake up. I usually get plain, fat free and then add my own granola, berries or nuts to make it more fun. The kind with fruit already mixed in tends to be higher in sugar and that way you can dress it up however you want!
As I said before, I prefer to eat whole foods rather than supplements for my protein but sometimes it’s just impossible to get enough. I don’t endorse a certain brand of protein powder, but I always look for ones that are a Whey Concentrate protein because it’s absorbed at a moderate pace and I tend to have it in between meals and not just post work out. I also look for good quality ingredients. Most places use marketing to build up a lot of hype about their product when it, in fact is not very good.