A few of the most common questions I get from new clients, fall along the same line:
“How do I get in more protein?”
“I’m having trouble hitting my protein macros”
“Can you give me some ideas for protein sources?”
Most people consume far too little protein relative to their other macronutrient sources. Consequently, they have a hard time trying to increase their protein intake.
Let’s face it, carbs are quick, easy and readily available. Protein often requires more prep time and isn’t always as tasty as that bag of chips sitting in front of you.
That being said, once you get used to eating the proper amount of protein, it really isn’t that difficult. You’ll start making a conscious choice to consume an ample amount of protein with each meal and it will quickly become second nature.
Let’s take a quick peek at my usual protein sources from my weekly shopping haul. While this is by no means a comprehensive list, hopefully, it will give you some good ideas for your next trip to the supermarket.
– Liquid egg whites, low-fat cottage cheese, nonfat greek yogurt, all-natural turkey breast deli meat, boneless pork loin cutlets, smoked salmon, eggs, turkey bacon, extra lean ground beef, chicken sausage, turkey meatballs, and pre-cooked chicken.
Not pictured above: my trusty protein powders (Trutein Cinnabun & Chocolate Peanut Butter are my go-to’s)
You may notice after studying the image above that I buy a lot of pre-cooked protein sources. I always like to have some sort of protein ready to go, when I don’t have time to cook. By doing so, I’m much less likely to reach for those unplanned carbs. I’m also lazy and don’t always feel like cooking.
Another helpful activity is to make a list of all your protein, carb and fat sources after going grocery shopping. You can stick this on the front of your fridge and whenever you start wondering what to eat, you can check your list. You’ll waste a lot less food and always know what you have on hand!
Here’s one of my 5-minute meals that’s been in the rotation lately:
All I do is dump a bag of pre-chopped and washed Kale in a big pan with some coconut oil & cook for a few minutes on medium heat. While that’s going, I dump a bag of meatballs in a Pyrex and get the microwave going.
Boom! 3-4 meals ready to go. Now tell me you don’t have the time to eat healthy! 😉
And, for those days where you do have some time to cook a meal — but don’t feel like having to plan in advance — you can pick up some pre-marinated chicken breast (or, other meats) from any grocery store.
The one pictured below happens to be from Trader Joes. Just be sure to check out the label and make sure there isn’t a ton of sugar or unnecessary ingredients.
Lastly, I wanted to share this handy graphic from Bret Contreras’ recent article on protein sources. It’s a great snapshot showing true “high protein” foods.
Hopefully, you now have some ideas of protein sources to get you going! Have any friends who may benefit from this article? Feel free to share it with them!
Do you have any go-to protein sources that I didn’t cover here? Share them in the comments below!
You can also pick up a copy of The Fitness Cookbook here for more macro-friendly recipe ideas.