It’s well known that protein is great for keeping hunger pangs at bay, but did you know it's also a great way to prevent muscle loss?
Unlike fats and carbs, which are stored in cells as fat and glycogen to use when needed, protein can’t be stored by the body. But without enough protein, our muscles will start to waste. So if we want to maintain our muscle mass to look lean and keep our metabolism revving, we need to top up our protein supplies every day.
A 60kg woman needs to consume around 48g of protein each day. Here’s 5 easy ways to reach this target:
1. Eat more eggs
No time for eggs at brekky? Well there’s no reason humpty dumpty can’t make an appearance at lunch or dinner – or anytime in between too! These naturally pre-packaged gems of goodness clock in at around 6g of protein per large egg. Two of these and you’re a quarter of the way toward your daily quota. Add eggs to your lunchtime salad, make a frittata, or simply boil and keep in your gym back for a pre-prepared post-workout snack.
2. Eat more cottage cheese
There’s a reason cottage cheese is the go-to snack of choice for body conscious weight lifters and dieters alike – it’s packed with muscle building, tummy satiating protein, without the kilojoules. A cup of cottage cheese provides 24g of protein (that’s half your daily need), with just 852kJ. Stir through berries and almond flakes for a healthy brekky, or use it as a toast topper with a drizzle of honey. Substitute it in for recipes that call on cream cheese or white sauce (think lasagnes, pastas and stuffed veggies) for a healthier twist.
3. Make more smoothies
Green smoothies are the food du jour – and the great thing about these fashionable frappes is there are loads of smoothie friendly ingredients you can add in for an extra protein hit. Beyond protein powder you could throw in some nuts, seeds, cottage cheese or yoghurt to boost the protein punch.
4. Sneak in seeds
There’s a lot of protein to be found in nuts and seeds, so wherever you can, sneak these tasty additions into your diet. Add slithered almonds to your salad, pecans in your porridge and chia seeds in your cherry-berry smoothie. Just keep portion sizes in mind because these tasty morsels are also high in fat – a tablespoon will do.
5. Get creative with protein powder
A 30g serve of protein powder will give you an average of 26 extra grams of protein in your day. An easy way to boost your protein count if you like protein shakes; not so easy if you’re not a fan. The good news is this versatile powder can be used in a myriad of ways – just check out Pinterest if you’re lacking inspiration. Bake protein into muffins, biscuits and pancakes, roll it into choc-protein balls, and stir it into your morning porridge.