Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fill up on Protein

Have you ever made yourself or ordered a giant salad, jam-packed with more vegetables than you can count?   (No? Just me, then? ;) )

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!  


  1. I always try and include protein at every meal for this exact reason but sometimes I don't always remember to. Great post thanks for sharing :)

  2. I'm in! Although I do enjoy a unusually veggie-filled salad, I will try to replace SOME of the veggies with more protien!

  3. my trainer tells me 20 grams minimum per meal and to aim for 1 gram per body weight each day... I read your post nodding the whole time..

    yep and yep

  4. I order a salad JAM PACKED with veggies... AND PROTEIN! I LOAD UP n the chicken or fish like salmon... A salad to me is NOT COMPLETE until there is some animal protein (or any meal for that matter)!

    I have NO IDEA how vegans or vegetarians do it!!

    1. Yesss - I used to just do the veggie salad, but now I always incorporate protein. It makes a huge difference!

  5. I think this is a really solid reminder. Coming from an endurance sport background, I know that I am still a bit too carb heavy. I have been trying, lately to boost the protein. Anxious to read the article you cited!

  6. doing this changed my life.

  7. YES YES YES! (riveting comment, i know! ;) what i'm trying to say is: YES! I AGREE!!!)

  8. If protein is one of the key in helping build muscles in our body, is is alright to mix a protein shake with an l-arginine supplement which is also known for possibly help a good blood flow in our body? Is this method advisable or not?


I would love to hear from you! Please share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences below: