If you want the best and fastest possible weight loss and fat loss results, you need to focus on two things when it comes to your nutrition…
1. Creating that small calorie deficit
2. Increasing your protein
Often creating that deficit is the easier part of the equation for most of us. We simple cut something out or shrink one of our portions a bit.
Increasing protein on the other hand can feel oddly overwhelming, especially when it requires us to adjust other things as well to create that calorie deficit.
But increasing protein is more key than we realize.
Studies have shown that when it comes to fat loss, this macro really is essential, leading to not only faster results but more muscle mass retention and fewer metabolic adaptation, which also ultimately makes it easier to not only lose fat but keep it off.
How many carbs and how much fat you consume can even vary and fluctuate and still work for weight loss if protein is kept higher. Although you may find that you have macro ratios that work better for you based on a variety of factors from activity level to genetics and age.
But studies have even shown that the macro ratio used for weight loss with higher protein, regardless of where carbs and fats fall, always leads to better fat loss and body recomposition results!
And while we may want to strategically adjust carbs and fats to match our activity levels and lifestyle, if tracking macros and tweaking them all at once is overwhelming, the key is just to start with a protein target.
So if you’re starting to adjust your diet and struggling to increase your protein, think about just small changes of even 10 grams a day.
And here are 5 tips to help you increase your protein without feeling like you’re having to fully overhaul your diet.
Because small changes add up!
5 Tips To Increase Your Protein:
#1: Tweak your current portions.
Often we think dramatic changes over small adjustments.
We feel like we have to create completely different meals. Or we just turn only to supplements.
Or we even focus on trying to find ways to force protein into meals we don’t generally eat a lot at – like making super protein packed snacks or desserts.
But instead of trying to make big changes, think about how you can adjust what you’re currently doing with as small a change as possible.
If you’re eating 3 ounces of a protein at a meal, try just increasing that portion to 4.
That little adjustment can add up!
And it doesn’t even have to be adding an ounce more ground beef to your burrito bowl or chicken to your salad.
It could be another ounce of any other type of protein as well that you add on!
#2: Find quick go-to options out.
Often if we are constantly on the go, it can feel hard to get in protein quickly.
It’s why planning ahead to start can be key and it can be helpful to look at the options you do have out at restaurants or easy to grab and go from a grocery store.
These quick protein-centric meals and snacks can help us stay consistent and bump our daily protein intake so it doesn’t feel like we are trying to play “catch up” at dinner.
Take a look around your grocery store and log in a few options to see how they can impact your day.
Things like jerky, hard boiled eggs, shrimp cocktail, and Greek yogurt are all great go-to options.
You can often even find pre-cooked, very simple chicken that you can even re-heat or eat cold…whether you chow it down on it’s on or add it to a wrap or salad packet you pick up.
There are even great options at many fast food restaurants. While maybe not our ideal because of the food “quality,” they can help us maintain a balance overall and stay on track.
Places like Chick-fil-a with their grilled chicken nuggets are a great option.
And often even restaurants like Chipotle allow you to adjust the portion size to match your needs and goals.
Take some time though, as annoying as it may be, to research a few dining out options close to you. It can help you during those times you’re in a pinch or even don’t feel like cooking!
#3: Think swaps! Use those “complementary proteins.”
So not only do we often just need to swap the cut of meat to adjust for the amount of protein vs fat that we are consuming, but we can make even little swaps to the veggies and other carbs we include that can really boost our protein intake over the course of a day.
Often we don’t know how to cut down on the fat in our diet while bumping protein when it can be as simple as eating a chicken breast over a chicken thigh.
And if we want to include red meat, maybe we just change the cut of steak, or even go with 90% lean ground beef over 85%.
Or maybe you don’t like leaner ground beef or chicken breast. Maybe instead you keep that same cut of meat and swap half the portion for shrimp or a white fish with less fat.
Maybe doing that surf and turf combo is all you need to bump the protein while lowering the fat you’re consuming.
Or maybe in your morning omelet you cut back on the full eggs and include some egg whites.
Or we choose to include low fat or fat free greek yogurt over full fat.
Small changes like that can pay off.
So can potentially adjusting the types of carbs or veggies we use to get more amino acids over the day, including more spinach in our salads or mushrooms in our casseroles or broccoli in our stir fries.
Maybe you focus your carb sources more on quinoa over rice or buckwheat pasta over regular pasta.
Maybe we even swap in plant based sources of protein like tofu or tempeh or seitan instead of adding more meat. Or add in edamame to a seafood poke bowl.
We can even include nutritional yeast in a smoothie, sprinkled on salad or added into a sauce to add a cheesy flavor!
Small little swaps add up and can even help us find meals we enjoy more, make us feel fueled and full as we work toward our weight loss goals!
#4: Don’t fear supplements.
While supplements are supplemental and we want to focus our diet on whole, natural foods, we also have to recognize that we make changes when the PAIN of staying stuck outweighs the PAIN of change.
So even if we want to lose weight and fat, if it feels too overwhelming to get started adjusting our diet, there is a good chance, we will never make the changes we need.
Starting out, to make things easier, you may find you do add in a whey or other protein supplement as a snack to quickly and easily bump your protein 20-30 grams per day.
You can include protein powders in baked goods, oatmeals, smoothies or a simple shake.
It can even be good as something to keep in your purse, desk or backpack to mix quickly with a milk or water when you’re on the go!
You could even stir it into a quick microwaved oatmeal to add a protein boost and even some extra flavor!
#5: Mix and match!
Often we get stuck thinking more of the single protein source we already have in a meal, instead of mixing and matching protein sources to increase our protein without it feeling like we’re just eating pounds of the same thing.
For fried rice with chicken, try adding in egg whites for a little texture and a protein boost.
For a little extra protein in a pasta or enchilada bake, think some cottage cheese or greek yogurt with your ground beef.
Even swap the type of pasta you’re using. There are some great edamame, chickpea or even buckwheat options that could give you a boost.
For a stir fry, think shrimp and chicken. Or add in edamame. Diversify those protein sources in your dishes to make things tasty while helping you achieve results.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match protein sources and even try and include more than one in meals! It can be a great way to reduce your fat or carbs while increasing your protein to create the calorie intake you need.
Small changes really add up. Think about how you can use these 5 tips to make small changes to your daily meals and even weekly averages.
You can then choose even just one small swap to start with.
Planning ahead and even experimenting with how these things can make an impact can help you when you are pressed for time and on the go.
So list out some ways you can use these 5 tips in your daily life to see results!
Ready to dial in your macros and see the results you deserve?
Learn more about my Macro Hacks!