So you are being told that you need to eat more protein. You think to yourself, there is only so much chicken breast and fish I can eat in one day! I know the thought of eating nothing but boring chicken breast in every meal can be nauseating. Granted, chicken is a great option for a lean protein in a meal but the good news is there are plenty of other options out there aside from chicken and fish to get your protein intake up without also adding too many carbs or fats.
Egg whites or eggs. Ok this one isn’t a surprise to anyone. We all know eggs are one of the first things you think of besides meat as far as high in protein. I prefer just eating egg whites because it is pure protein, but if you can fit the fat in your diet, whole eggs have even more protein in them.
Cheese. Low fat cheese is a great protein source! I use fat free cottage cheese with fresh fruit as a snack at times. It is low carb, fat free, and about 13g of protein for a serving. This also goes for fat free cream cheese on a bagel thin, fat free cheddar cheese or mozzarella on a salad or anything else you are consuming. Sometimes I even have string cheese as a snack if I need to add to my fat and protein counts. It is a great way to add protein without too many carbs.
Milk. Fairlife makes a delicious lactose free “milk”. The fat free version has 6g of carbs and 13g of protein. This is perfect for smoothies or cereals. I swear it tastes just like real milk. I don’t know how they do it.
Jerky. Sometimes I need a snack in between meals and I don’t have time to make anything, or I’m traveling and on the go. This is when it is nice to have jerky on hand. I like the turkey sausage links in the jerky section at the grocery store. They are soft to chew and they taste pretty good. It is an easy way to house down some protein if you are in a hurry.
Protein shakes and bars. Like with jerky, sometimes you need a quick snack and it is just easiest to have a protein bar or a shake. I am really trying to cut down on this in my current diet because it is easy to fill your diet up with shakes and bars and forget about real food. It is more beneficial if you actually eat your protein from whole food. These should be used more in times of disparity (I know its hard, they taste so much better than chicken). Make sure you are checking the nutritional label because some protein powders and bars are very high in carbs and fats. Use only if you can spare it.
Nuts and nut butters. These are OK but keep in mind they are by far heavier in fat than in protein. So if you can spare the fat they can be a decent protein supplement, however a small amount goes a long way. Check the nutrition facts and serving size.
Other meats. Aside from chicken breast and fish there are some other meat options that are lean. Turkey deli meat, pork tenderloin, turkey breast tenderloin, ground turkey 98% fat free, lean ground beef, flank or sirloin steak are all good options.
I hope this helps someone! Protein is the hardest macro to hit for the average person. It used to be mine but lately I don’t seem to have a problem hitting this macro! I have learned a lot in my journey about food sources and as I get more and more experienced on counting my macros, it gets easier and easier.