Sneaky Ways to Get More Protein into Your Diet

Everywhere you turn, someone’s talking about protein. From protein shakes to protein bars, it can be a bit overwhelming (slightly annoying, even) to keep hearing about protein. Yet, there’s a good reason why everyone talks about this important macronutrient. Although all macronutrients are important as a part of a well-rounded diet, protein plays a critical role in exercise performance and body composition. Here are some sneaky ways to get more protein into your diet.

Protein has so many vital roles within the body. First and foremost, eating enough protein is key to staying full and preventing overeating. In addition, your body needs protein to build and repair cells, support a healthy immune system, and even impact hormone regulation.

Luckily, learning to get more protein in your diet is simple. And no, it doesn’t mean you have to consume another protein shake. Check out these sneaky ways to get more protein in your diet, including breakfast and dinner options that involve real food.

Add Cottage Cheese to Eggs

Eggs are already an amazing source of protein, containing about 6 grams per medium-to-large egg. Not only are they a versatile and easy way to get your protein in, but they also contain many healthy amino acids. Your body can easily absorb the amino acids found in eggs and use them to build healthy bones and muscle.

If you’re already making eggs regularly, why not boost the protein a bit by mixing in some cottage cheese? We know cottage cheese often sounds like something your great-grandmother would eat. But you’ll be surprised how easily it mixes into eggs without changing its flavor much at all. Mixing cottage cheese into eggs makes the eggs creamier and fluffier, which might even result in a better taste overall.

You can add any kind of cottage cheese to eggs, but 2% is a great option if you don’t want to add too much fat. Adding whole cottage cheese will result in a fluffier taste but add more calories to your meal. For example, these high-protein scrambled eggs contain an impressive 17 grams of protein.

Want to add even more protein to your breakfast with eggs? Don’t forget to add a little cheese on top! About one ounce of cheese contains 7 grams of protein, so feel free to add some cheddar atop your fluffy scrambled eggs.

Rethink Your Snack Time

Sugary snacks are tempting when you have a sweet tooth but provide very little to no nutritional value for you. One way to get more protein into your diet is by switching to high-protein snacks.

For example, instead of potato chips, choose a snack with lots of protein to keep you full. Cheese sticks or cubes, nuts, or seeds are all great high-protein options. Just one classic mozzarella cheese stick (like the kind your mom used to pack in your lunch box) contains 8 grams of protein. Hard-boiled eggs also make a great high-protein snack.

It might take some time to change your habits and opt for high-protein snacks. When you do, you’ll find it much easier to reach your protein macro goals for the day. Filling up on sweet or carby snacks may leave you too full to consume enough protein.

If you do want something sweet, using nut butter in your snacks can help satisfy a craving and also help you get enough protein in. For example, celery with peanut butter or an apple with peanut butter are good options for when you don’t want something savory. Just two tablespoons of peanut butter contain about 8 grams of protein.

Swap Out Rice for Another Carb

Grilled chicken and rice is a classic dinner option you can easily revamp to add more protein. One cup of cooked white rice contains about 4.5 grams of protein. Although this isn’t bad, you can easily replace it with a delicious option that contains more protein.

Instead of using rice as a carb base for meals, consider swapping it out for an ancient grain. Ancient grains, such as quinoa, contain 8 grams of protein per cup. Quinoa also contains lots of healthy fiber and is a great source of phosphorus, folate, and magnesium.

This delicious high-protein chicken and quinoa skillet is an awesome place to start to get more protein into your diet. One serving contains an impressive 52 grams of protein, making it super simple to reach your protein goal for the day. This skillet recipe also uses black beans in its ingredients, which adds another protein boost. Black beans contain about 15 grams of protein per cup.

Add Protein Powder to Your Coffee

If you’re tired of drinking protein shakes, we don’t blame you. Protein shakes are tasty, but they aren’t always what you want to replace a meal. Coffee lovers who already drink one to two cups per day can sneak protein in with protein powder. Many brands even make coffee-flavored protein powder, which mixes into your coffee and enhances its flavor. Be sure to mix quickly (or use a milk frother to blend) to prevent clumping.

Try Peas as a Dinner Side

Before you say, “ew, peas,” hear us out. Peas certainly sound like an unappealing vegetable you were given as a baby or at your grandmother’s house. But when prepared correctly, peas can be an enjoyable source of protein.

Peas contain a ton of healthy protein, usually around 8 grams per cup. They are easy to prepare (or make from frozen) and use in a variety of ways, such as on salads or their own.

These garlic butter peas might help you change your mind about peas. Not only is this recipe delicious, but it requires minimal ingredients and is fast to make. Try swapping out another low-protein vegetable for peas next dinner time, perfect for pairing with any type of lean protein like chicken or lean beef.

Getting Creative

Hitting your daily protein macro goal doesn’t have to feel like a chore. It simply requires getting creative as you learn sneaky new ways to add protein into the diet. From adding cottage cheese to eggs for breakfast to swapping out rice for quinoa for dinner, these simple swaps are easier than you’d think.

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  • Krissie Apatow

    Krissie Apatow is a budding wordsmith, weaving stories that leave readers interested and eager for more. Armed with her pen and imagination, she's on a mission to craft narratives that spark thought and ignite imagination.

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