Were you satisfied after? Or were you soon looking around for something else to eat? The fiber and water in these types of meals often fill me up immediately, but then leave me hungry and grazing just two or three hours later. Have you experienced this, too?
This is why I started seeking out protein at every meal. Protein tells your brain you are full, and keeps you full. Protein also tells your body to make and retain muscle and other lean tissue, because it's made up of the amino acids your body needs to repair itself. This is why protein consumption is often recommended for after a workout.
Other benefits? Higher protein consumption is also linked with lower risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Of course, you can increase your protein intake by eating animal sources like fish, meat, and eggs. Vegetarian or vegan? Try these meat-free protein sources. Looking beyond beans and tofu, did you know that you can get protein from vegetables, too? Whether you're eating meat, fish, dairy, beans, nuts, or fruit, Mark's Daily Apple has a great list of dietary sources of protein and grams per serving. Check that out for help choosing foods to fill your plate.
Today, I'm with Jonathan Bailor of the Smarter Science of Slim, when he dares you to trade carbs for protein. Not entirely, of course, but for the most part, the Standard American Diet promotes way too many starchy carbohydrates, whereas those calories really could be going toward body-building, satiating protein.
Since I started making sure I got a significant amount of protein at every meal (aiming for 20-30 grams--an increase at the time for me), I've found that my meals satisfy for longer. I remain satisfied, even two, three, or four hours later. I can make it til the next mealtime without going hungry and searching for snacks. For a while now, I've successfully increased my daily protein intake to near 90 grams/day, and still trying to climb higher. It's been an adjustment, especially after two years of pescetarianism, but I'm getting there!
Want to reap the benefits of increasing your protein intake? I dare you to!