In all the years I spent dieting on weight watchers and counting points and calories, there was a little gem of knowledge I was missing from the calculation. Protein fills you up. Aside from the other benefits of lean protein (building muscle etc) the appetite suppression is a huge deal if you’re trying to lose weight. Think about days when you feel like you’ve been eating all day but never quite satisfied. Those days for me used to happen when my protein was lacking. I might have a giant bowl of steel cut oatmeal but if it was made with almond milk (lower in calories but also lower in protein) how was I possibly starving by 10am? Protein. Or those days when I’d have three 100-calorie packs in the afternoon and still be hungry. That’s right, no protein.
When I met with my nutritionist I couldn’t believe she was telling me to eat MORE and eat things that I like: eggs, nuts, cheese, yogurt, hummus! She mentioned that a meal (or snack) without protein was like an outfit with pants. In all honesty, I’m more of a dress gal but I got her point. When I friends who are dieting come to me and tell me they are hungry, the first question I ask is about their protein. And every single time to date, it’s been that have eaten healthy foods, reasonable portions, but no protein. This isn’t the grapefruit diet of the 1970s! It really works.
How many grams of protein should you be getting per day? For me, this is what my daily protein consumption looks like:
One sneaky breakfast food you need to watch out for are smoothies. If you’re only using almond milk you need to either throw in some chia seeds or maybe have some nuts on the side to get enough protein so you’re not getting HANGRY by 9am. You can also explore this list of protein rich veggies to sneak into your smoothie. And snacks — if you have a granola bar make sure it has nuts. Fruit is great but have a smaller portion and add some yogurt or nuts. No more 100 calorie packs (unless they’re … Wait for it… Nuts )
Keeping portable quick sources of protein handy is especially important for moms. If you’re like me, you have everything the kids may need on the go: snacks, drinks, leappad, change of clothes, toys… And for you, if your head is in your shoulders you’re lucky. Success started for me when I took care of myself first. It’s like on an airplane when the oxygen masks come down they instruct you to put yours in first. Same with food – it’s your energy and you need it to
Keep up with those lil buggers, not lose your mind and to stay filled up with healthy choices so you don’t make bad choices when your HANGRY!
So obviously nuts are my quick and easy protein go to. How about you? What’s your favorite portable protein?