How to get more protein into your diet
Christopher Worthington considers what steps can you take to increase the amount of protein in your diet.
When you are thinking about starting a fitness regime, one thing you need to be mindful of is your nutrition. If you have specific fitness goals in place, your diet is likely to change, and your nutritional needs will shift. For example, if you are planning on trying to build muscle, your intake of protein will need to increase to help your body to repair itself after workouts. So what steps can you take to increase the amount of protein in your diet?
You do not just need to derive your protein from meat or protein shakes. There are many protein snacks available, many of which are even suitable for vegans.
Buying snacks such as brownies and protein bars can help get additional protein into your system and work as a fantastic pick-me-up after a workout. You could also make your own. There are loads of recipes for protein balls and bars online, you could even use one of those recipes as a starting point to create something that appeals more to your specific tastes.
You can also increase your protein intake by adding a range of different beans, pulses, and nuts to your diet. These are a cornerstone of adding protein to a diet for vegans and vegetarians, for those who eat meat incorporating these into your diet means you can take on more protein.
Keep an eye on your intake though, while you might need more protein to help meet your fitness goals, this should be done carefully and in line with a properly defined nutrition plan.
Part of your nutrition plan, especially if you are trying to get more protein into your diet, might be to look at meal planning. Specifically planning and preparing the many meals you are going to have each day.
If you are looking at building muscle mass and following a regime focused on bodybuilding, you might find that you need to eat more throughout the day. Preparing meals the day before can help you to stick to a regime more closely. This might involve setting time aside each day to prepare ingredients. Depending on how many meals and your dietary requirements this could take a reasonably long time to do so ensuring meal prep can fit into your daily routine is key to making sure you can stick to a plan.
Knowing you have food to eat and knowing the set times for your meals can help avoid snacking and ensure you maintain a balanced diet based on your nutrition plan. It would help if you also looked at a variety in your meals. Aim for the same nutritional benefits but mix up ingredients and flavours whenever you can. This can be invaluable in a long-term plan, getting bored of the same mix of ingredients day in and day out can make it much harder to resist slipping from your nutrition plan and make it harder to hit your overall fitness goals.
Whenever you change your diet to try and help meet a fitness goal, it is vital to ensure you get the right advice. Suppose you are ever unsure about what role nutrition should play in your fitness plans. In that case, it is worthwhile talking to your GP, personal trainer, or even seeing if your gym has a nutritionist, to get advice and point yourself in the right direction.
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About the Author
Christopher Worthington is an experienced medical writer who has several years' experience covering sports injury topics. Christopher has written for various hospital websites and contributed to health blogs.