Protein is a macronutrient in foods essential to your body to ensure the optimal functioning of your body systems. Such foods include lentils, filets, chicken, Greek yogurt, or squash seeds. They help transport blood within your body organs, boost hair and nail growth, sustain healthy glowing skin, and build muscle tissues that ensure your body works efficiently.
Rebuilding body muscle is vital because it enables you to work out and improve faster, restoring additional muscle. In this case, when you gain more strength, your body can burn off a lot of fat, reducing body weight.
Hitting your protein goals with a busy schedule can be challenging. Whenever you have too much to do, chances are your go-to option for meals are fast foods. And these meals may be fatty without any trace of protein. In the long run, you deny your body the essential proteins it needs, and you could gain excessive weight or have extra insulin buildup leading to exhaustion or diabetes problems.
But with proper planning and effective strategic choices, you can get enough protein even when working with a tight schedule. This article can give you practical tips to assist you in hitting your protein targets. Read on for details:
Consider Protein Rich Snack
Sticking to a protein-rich diet might feel like a hassle when you’re up to your eyeballs at work. But you’ve got other options—protein bars. Now, you might be wondering, ‘Are protein bars good for you?’ Well, yes. They’re great for patching up tired muscles and can offer health benefits similar to a full-blown protein meal.
Sure, not all protein bars are created equal. Some pack more protein punch than others. So, before you start wolfing down bars, it pays to check the label to avoid going overboard with calories.
Even if you’re not regularly at the gym, these protein champions can still work wonders for you. If you’re hunting for other portable protein snacks, give mixed nuts, string cheese, hard-boiled eggs, or even protein chips a whirl.
Set Your Protein Goals
Start off by nailing down how much protein your body really needs. This will depend on your weight, how much you’re moving, and your fitness goals. Health experts usually recommend around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of your weight, but you can scale it up or down depending on your own unique needs.
It’s also important to work out how many protein fixes you need each day. This will help keep your protein intake on an even keel throughout the day. Once you’ve locked onto a protein target, plotting out your meals and snacks becomes easy.
Beat The Clock With Early Meal Prep
When you’re swamped, finding the time to prepare a balanced meal can be a mission. And proteins like fish, beans, chicken, or meat don’t cook themselves. But there’s a trick to it. Get your proteins sorted ahead of time and park them in the fridge.
Making time each week to plan and prep your meals can be a total game-changer. Not only will it save you time during the crazy weekday scramble, but it’ll also mean you can get your protein fix anytime you need.
During your prep, go for lean protein sources like chicken, turkey, fish, meat, eggs, and legumes. They’re lower in fat and carbs, so you’re onto a winner. Cook up a storm with these proteins, then divvy them up into smaller containers for easy grab-and-go options. With your protein ready to rock, you’re all set for a protein-packed day.
Get A Quick Protein Hit With Shakes
If you need a protein boost during a hurried breakfast or workout break, then protein shakes are your best pal. Stock up on options like soy, pea, or whey, and stash the containers at home or work. Just mix it with water or your choice of liquid, and bam! Instant protein boost.
Fancy a more satisfying, nutrient-packed shake? Chuck in some almond butter, fruits, chia seeds, veggies, or peanut butter protein shakes! Protein shakes offer a versatile and easy-to-carry solution to increase your protein intake, even during a hectic day.
Add Protein To Every Meal
If you’re looking to get your protein fix easily, try slipping a source of protein into every meal, from brekkie to dinner. You could whip up some scrambled eggs with veggies, Greek yogurt with almonds, or even just grab a handful of almonds for breakfast.
At lunch and dinner, how about adding some beans to your salad or serving up some chicken, meat, or fish? Eating whole foods and finding protein-dense variations of common items like pasta can help you meet your protein goals, even when your schedule’s bursting at the seams.
Stock Up On Convenient Protein Sources
Make sure your pantry and fridge are always stocked with convenient protein sources that don’t need much prep, like protein bars, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, canned tuna, beans, nut butter, and protein powder.
These can double as quick snacks or emergency protein fixes when you’re strapped for time. Having these protein sources on hand means you’re never without a protein option, even during busy periods.
Make A Protein Rich Spread
Going for a plant-based spread is another clever way to up your protein intake. And it’s healthier for you than the fatty alternatives that might just add to your waistline. Think about spreads like avocado or hummus loaded with fiber, or go for almond butter, which is naturally healthy.
Embrace Food Logging Tech
With the tech game constantly upping its ante, keeping an eye on your protein intake is now easier than ever. Meal planning apps can dish up high-protein meal options—a true rescue when you’re trying to stay afloat in a sea of deadlines and duties. Keeping track of how many protein grams you need each day can be a real pain, but that’s where food tracking device comes in handy.
The cherry on top of these services is their variety. They let you cherry-pick meals that tick all your protein boxes. What’s more, a food-tracking app can help keep tabs on your protein intake, so you can tweak it as needed.
The Bottom Line
When work’s hectic, sticking to a healthy diet can feel like an impossible feat. It’s all too easy to reach for quick snacks or grab a takeaway meal to keep the hunger monster at bay. But the downside is that you’re skipping out on essential protein nutrients. That doesn’t mean there’s no solution to this.
To summarize (TL;DR)
- Meal Planning: Plan and prepare your meals in advance to ensure you have protein-rich options readily available. This can include cooking in bulk, utilizing meal prep services, or preparing protein-packed snacks.
- Protein Supplements: Incorporate protein shakes or bars into your diet as convenient and portable options. These supplements can provide a quick and easy way to boost your protein intake when you’re on the go.
- Prioritize Lean Protein Sources: Choose lean protein sources that are low in fat but high in protein content. Examples include skinless poultry, lean cuts of beef or pork, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy products, tofu, and legumes.
- Snack Wisely: Keep protein-rich snacks on hand, such as Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs, beef jerky, or protein bars. These can be consumed as quick bites throughout the day to increase your protein intake.
- Optimize Post-Workout Nutrition: Consume a protein-rich meal or shake within 30 to 60 minutes after your workout. This helps replenish your muscles and supports recovery and growth.
- Protein-Fortified Foods: Look for protein-fortified food options like cereals, bread, or pasta, which can contribute to your overall protein intake without requiring extra preparation time.
- Time-Efficient Cooking Techniques: Utilize cooking techniques that require less time, such as grilling, broiling, or stir-frying. These methods cook food quickly while preserving its nutritional value.
- Choose Quick Protein Sources: Include fast-cooking protein sources like canned tuna, rotisserie chicken, or pre-cooked grilled chicken breast. These can be added to salads, sandwiches, or wraps for a protein-packed meal.
- Collaborate with Others: Consider joining a meal prep group or exchanging meal ideas with fellow bodybuilders. This can help save time and introduce new, efficient recipes to meet your protein goals.
With the tips above, you can weave proteins into your diet—whether that’s through supplements or snacks. This’ll help keep your muscles fighting fit and your bones sturdy.