If you know protein is really important for your weight loss goal…but it’s so dang hard to get enough….I’ve got you!
It’s easier than you think to add more protein, and it also doesn’t have to feel like you’re gnawing on steak or chicken all day. I mean, if you want to fire up the grill and have those for dinner, that works too!
The GOAT for having a solid source of protein that’s super quick, easy, and delicious.
Make sure you have a good protein powder on hand for your high-protein smoothies. Check out this post where we explain exactly how to pick a good protein powder and also some of our favorite brands. You can also add Greek yogurt to your smoothies for protein.
A great protein hack is swapping your traditional noodles or pasta for a higher protein option! We love Banza pasta because it’s a chickpea-based alternative that has about 20 grams of protein per serving.
Edamame– and black-bean-based noodles are another higher protein option, and they are surprisingly tasty! I find them at Aldi.
You can always choose a whole-grain variety of what you typically buy as well. Just look for whole-grain wheat flour as the first ingredient. This gives you a bonus of over 5 grams of protein per serving depending on the brand.
Speaking of pasta, you can add even more protein (without even adding any meat) by adding cottage cheese! Hear me out – this one is super good. If you don’t love the texture of cottage cheese, it’s okay because you’re going to blend it right into the sauce making a super creamy and cheesy sauce.
Just blend your favorite pasta sauce and about 8 oz of cottage cheese together either in a blender or with an immersion blender and then add to your cooked noodles. Even your picky eaters will love this one!
This is a great hack for protein but also for getting in more veggies! When I’m prepping for my week ahead I like to blend a full container of cottage cheese with one packet of ranch seasoning. This is great for dipping carrots, peppers, cucumbers, etc. for a snack or side at a meal. You can also do this with Greek yogurt. Either way, you won’t miss your regular ranch dressing and you’re getting a lot more protein.
Don’t miss out on the protein power of edamame! You can often buy it frozen and shelled, which means it’s ready to eat once thawed. You can add it to salads or a grain bowl, or simply plain as a snack. 1 cup of edamame is 17 grams of protein!
Even though it’s been trendy for a while, collagen is still a legit way to add some protein to your day. It’s not considered a complete protein with all the essential amino acids, but it is still a protein source. It’s handy because it easily dissolves into coffee or hot tea. You can also add it into smoothies or oatmeal.
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If you love your morning oatmeal, add more protein by adding a scoop of protein powder or mixing in some egg whites during the cooking process. The egg white thing might seem weird, but seriously, give it a try. It doesn’t change the taste and it actually increases the volume of your oatmeal so you can enjoy a nice big warm bowl in the morning. Yum.
Swap regular yogurt for Greek yogurt
This one is simple, but if you haven’t swapped your regular yogurt for Greek yet, you’re missing out. Greek yogurt can contain as much as 17 grams of protein per servings vs. just 9 grams in regular varieties. I recommend buying a plain, full-fat or nonfat Greek yogurt and adding your own flavorings at home like vanilla extract, honey, or cinnamon with berries and a little nut butter.
You can also swap sour cream for plain Greek yogurt. The taste is very similar and the Greek yogurt has much higher protein than sour cream.
Powdered peanut butter
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE regular peanut butter…but it’s not super high in protein. Powdered peanut butter can be helpful to have on hand to add to smoothies or oatmeal and still add that peanut butter flavor, while also increasing the protein without more added fat.
Powdered peanut butter surprisingly has about 4g of protein per tablespoon!
You can also mix the powder with water or milk to mimic regular peanut butter. And another idea is just mixing this with regular peanut butter. This creates a more balanced peanut butter with good healthy fat and more protein!
One other hack I like to use is mixing the powdered peanut butter with milk or almond milk with a frother and then using that to eat with cereal! Sounds weird, but if you like peanut butter, why not make a peanut-butter-tasting milk that has some bonus protein?
Don’t forget that seeds have great protein content! Chia seeds have 6g of protein per 2 Tbsp and hemp seeds have 10 grams of protein per 3 Tbsp. You can add seeds like this to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, and more!
High protein pancakes
Don’t you dare have pancakes next without making a higher protein recipe! They are so easy and delicious.
This is a hidden gem for vegetarians and vegans because it really packs a protein punch without animal protein. One and a half tablespoons has about 8 grams of protein! Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavor so it’s great to add to sauces, soups, scrambled eggs, pasta, or casserole dishes.
Some final reminders to get your protein in throughout the day:
Measure your protein! If you’re eating chicken, beef, ground turkey, deli meat, etc., use a kitchen scale. Your goal should be about 4-6 ounces of cooked meat, and this will really help make sure you’re getting enough protein at a meal as it will clock in around 30-40 grams of protein.
Eat your protein first! Protein is the most satisfying macronutrient, so don’t fill up on other things before getting in your protein. This is also a really great weight loss tip because protein is really good at turning off your hunger hormones, meaning you’re not going to be as snacky eating other foods if you’re getting in the protein you need first!
Also linking a few more protein-related posts for you here:
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