Protein for women can be a scary thing to think about let alone increase the actual amount we put into our bodies! Protein usually is associated with large bulky muscles and saying goodbye to those skinny strap style clothing items. This is SO far from the truth and if your goal is to build lean muscle, protein intake is more important than ever. Need more details surrounding the benefits of protein? Click here.
The body needs protein to function optimally, benefit from the workouts we are doing to those muscles and repair/grow new muscles as a result of all the hard work we are putting in. As women, we are not genetically made to become "bulky" so the fear of this happening should be removed from your thoughts.
Now you know why it is SO important to increase your protein intake, the real question becomes HOW do I increase my protein intake? What, you aren't interested in slamming down 3 protein powder shakes a day and consuming 4 dry chicken breasts? Don't worry. I hear you. Although, for a long time I did think that was what I had to do to see results. Oops.
Swap your snacks. Snacks are such a good way to increase your protein intake during the day, as long as you are choosing the right snacks.
Recommendations: Jerky, nuts, greek yogurt, cheese and veggies, cottage cheese, roasted chickpeas.
High protein in every meal. Getting enough protein in each meal will make it easy to increase your protein intake. If you include a high protein source in each meal, you will feel satisfied and your muscles will thank you especially if you have completed a workout that day.
Recommendations: Chicken breast, fish, shrimp, lobster, eggs, salmon, turkey.
Eating out. I definitely went through an unfortunate period of my life where I viewed eating out at restaurants the devil. I was so worried about what I would eat and with all the temptations put in front of me, I would spiral into a deep dark food binge. This is because I had an unhealthy relationship with food. I now go out to eat whenever I feel like it and do not worry about what I am consuming. It is such an amazing feeling. For the purpose of this post though I will talk about how easy it is to still increase your protein intake and enjoy a delicious meal!
Recommendations: Starbucks - Spinach, egg white and feta wrap. Wendy's - Ultimate chicken grill sandwich. Mucho Burrito/Chipotle - Burrito bowl with chicken (guac as your sauce). Mcdonalds - Egg White Delight McMuffin. Popular menu items at most restaurants: Steak and vegetables, Salmon and vegetables, Sushi, Thin crust pizza with chicken and vegetables, Salads with dressing on the side, Whole wheat sandwiches/Wraps.
Protein is certainly a hard thing to increase daily! Now you should have more of a handle on WHY it is so important and some ways to easily increase your daily intake!
Stay strong. Eat protein. Be the fire.