Increasing your protein intake can be a really great, natural way to give yourself a healthier — and leaner — body.
In fact, many nutritionists that say a high-protein, low-carb diet can help many people with healthy weight loss and ensure that your body is still getting the essential nutrients it needs to function properly.
If you’re thinking about changing to a high-protein, low-carb diet, you might be wondering where to start and what the best foods are for you.
Luckily, we’ve come up with some easy ways to eat more protein and less carbs for a healthier and leaner body. Read our handy post below to find out how.
Start the day with eggs for a protein-rich breakfast
You may have spent many years ignoring her advice, but in this case, your mom was right — breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.
Starting the day with a protein-rich breakfast is a great way to get healthier and leaner.
Firstly, you need to ditch breakfast items like cereal which is loaded with added sugar and simple carbs. Similarly, those baked goods are also high in carbs, so you’re going to have to get rid of those pastries and croissants too.
Instead, you can start the day with a healthy omelet or scrambled eggs. Eggs are an excellent source of high-quality protein, as well as being rich in important nutrients like selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12, and minerals such as zinc, copper and iron.
As well as being really good for you, they’re also pretty inexpensive when you compare them to other protein-rich foods like meat. Plus, they’ll help to fill you up so you’ll snack less during the day.
Change your snacking habits
It doesn’t stop with meal times either; changing your snacking habits is an easy way to make your body healthier and leaner.
Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to snack on carb-based foods such as chips and cookies. We’re all guilty of it. You’re hungry or bored and you reach towards the snack cupboard, pull out a bag of tortilla chips or pretzels and demolish the lot.
The issue with these sugary, salty snacks is that they’re high in calories; an average serving of chips is approximately 150 calories, and we often eat more in one sitting. They are also super processed, which means they contain lots of refined carbs (the bad kind) which can increase the risk of obesity and cause big mood swings in your blood sugar levels.
Instead, have some protein-rich dairy. Cottage cheese, in particular, is really good for you — it’s high in protein at 25 grams per portion, filling, and relatively low in calories. Hard-boiled eggs are also a good source of portable protein.
You can eat lean jerky too, but it’s best to make your own to ensure that there are no added sugars or artificial ingredients.
If you need inspiration, check out this awesome list of healthy, high-protein snacks.
Sprinkle nuts and seeds on top of everything
Nuts and seeds are both rich in protein and incredibly healthy. That’s why they’re perfect for sprinkling on top of various meals, or even having on their own as a snack.
If you want to add some protein and healthy fat to your breakfast yogurt (we’d recommend choosing Greek yogurt, which contains nearly 20 grams of healthy protein per portion), then you can top it with chopped almonds. Almonds are low in carbs but high in fiber and healthy fat.
Similarly, you can add nuts and seeds to salads or in rice and quinoa dishes to give meals an extra boost of protein. The best nuts and seeds for this are:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Cashew nuts
- Chia seeds
Nuts and seeds are high in protein, but they’re also a nutritional powerhouse — full of essential minerals, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids to keep your body and brain healthy.
Include high-quality proteins in each full meal
Including high-quality proteins in your meals can really improve your health, and increase your strength and muscle mass. At the same time, it will help you to lose weight and belly fat, lower your blood pressure and is even good for your bones.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure you always include a good source of protein in your meals.
This could be meat, such as beef, turkey or chicken. If you’re going to cook meat, make sure you choose lean cuts of meat over fatty meats; this will increase their protein content and reduce their fat content.
Add plenty of fish to your diet too. Salmon is a strong source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, so why not complete your meal with a salmon steak? Alternatively, you can use canned fish (such as salmon, tuna, mackerel or herring), which is a good lunch option if you’re on the move.
These protein-rich ingredients will help to fill you up, so make sure they’re the star of the show rather than relying on stodgy carbs to make up the bulk of your meal. In these cases, you don’t even need to include carbs, and can use proteins such as beans and pulses to make up the bulk of your dinner if need be.
Increasing your protein intake and reducing your carb intake is a surefire way to get a healthier and leaner body.
Protein-rich, low-carb diets mean that we’re getting as many nutrients into our bodies as possible while reducing weight — or improving our body’s composition.
Follow our tips for eating more protein and fewer carbs, and you’ll soon see the difference in your body and your health!