And a Dash of Protein!

Having trouble bypassing that freshly baked pie? Maybe there you found a snickers bar from Halloween? Don’t get me started on the Christmas cookies. Tis is the season and you need to be prepared to be ambushed by all the goodies. Don’t get me wrong, you can have a treat here and there, but you need to do what you can to armor yourself.

So how do you guard yourself. The secret. Protein. Protein is your body guard.

Whatever you eat, make darn sure that you have some protein with every meal or snack.

While the amount of protein you should eat a day depends on your exercise level, your gender, your age, and your goals in health, protein is a very important macronutrient for nutrient cell growth, development of the muscles in the human body, and support for the immunity for sicknesses. Also, adding more protein to your diet is a great way to decrease your appetite.

Here is short article from Webmd (a very credible American Dietetic Association source)

High-Protein Diet for Weight Loss

Some people turn to higher-protein diets to lose weight. That’s because some researchers suggest that higher-protein diets help people better control their appetites and calorie intake.

Diets with 30% protein are now being considered “reasonable” and the term “high protein diet” is now reserved for diets with over 50% protein.

Diets higher in protein and moderate in carbs — along with regular exercise — are often thought by experts to reduce blood fats. It also helps maintain lean tissue while burning fat for fuel. And this happens without dieters being sidetracked with constant hunger.

Researchers don’t understand exactly how protein works to reduce appetite. They think that it may be because a protein causes the brain to receive lower levels of appetite-stimulating hormones. Fewer insulin spikes lead to less fluctuation of sugar levels — and therefore fewer cravings. It may also be due to eating fewer carbs or the specific protein’s effect on hunger hormones and brain chemistry.


So how much protein do you need a day??

The Institute of Health’s Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) recommendations allow for a wide range of protein intake. The range is anywhere from 10% to 35% of total calories for normal, healthy adults.

For example, on an 1,800-calorie diet, you could safely eat anywhere from 45 grams (10% of calories) to 158 grams (35% of calories) of protein per day.

But the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is:

  • Men: 56 grams a day
  • Women: 46 grams a day

Most Americans have no problem getting this much, but would struggle to take in enough protein to make up 35% of their calories.

And for Weight Loss??

To get the potential weight loss benefit, experts advise aiming for around 120 grams of protein a day. If you want to increase your protein intake, do it slowly over the course of a week.

Remember: add lean meats to your diet when you are adding protein such as turkey, chicken, lean beef, low-fat dairy and beans. This is an easy way to have you stay satisfied throughout the day and bypass the sugary bites on the way.

Protein Examples:

Snack Ideas:

Apple + cottage cheese/light string cheese

Banana/any fruit + greek yogurt or high protien yogurt

Rice cakes + peanut/almond butter (be careful though because they are high in fat)

Low carb wrap/corn tortiilla + hummus + feta cheese + roasted red peppers (heat up in microwave)

Breakfast Ideas:

Corn Tortilla wrap with scrambled eggs and cottage cheese (add turkey, bacon bits, deli meat, peppers, etc)

Fruit smoothie: 1 cup of berries, some almond milk (or skim milk), a banana, and a scoop of protein.

Quiche: eggs, spinach, deli meat, a little garlic, salt, pepper. Walah!

Protein Pancakes: quaker oats, hot water, low carb protein, egg whites, ground cinnamon, almond extract



Lunch Ideas:

Black Bean and Corn Salad: tomatoes, green onions, green pepper, black beans, sweet corn, garbanzo beans, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, cumin, and salt

Mac and Cheese Revamped: quinoa, black pepper, fat-free plain greek yogurt, shredded/reduced fat cheddar cheese, dijon mustard


Green Chile Enchilada Casserole with Chicken and Black Beans: corn tortillas, sweet corn, salsa, green Chile, chicken breast, reduced fat Mexican cheese, black olives (optional)

Dinner Ideas:

The best tuna salad sandwich: tuna, cottage cheese, plain low-fat yogurt, red onion, celery, dijon mustard, lemon juice

Balsamic Grilled Chicken Breast: boneless chicken breast, water, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, onion flakes, Italian seasoning, ground mustard, thyme, salt, black pepper


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