A while ago I was frustrated and telling a very fit friend of mine about how I had successfully lost 35 pounds and had been thrilled with the results until the scale just stuck. For some reason, I just couldn’t push past the plateau. I was expecting sympathy, instead, my friend whimsically asked me if I was eating enough protein and then quickly changed the subject.
Hours later, I sat down with My Fitness Pal app and Google determined to look further into my current protein intake and what I needed to do next. I found The Institute of Medicine recommends that the average woman, ages 19-70, consume 46 grams of protein per day. A Popsugar article suggested I eat substantially more. I reached out to a few personal trainer friends who suggested I eat even more protein and shoot for 80-90 grams a day.
Since I L-O-V-E meat, I was surprised to find I was averaging around 30 grams of protein a day. No wonder I was “hangry” most of the time, not building muscle tone at a rate I thought I should, and the scale had hit a plateau!
One of my google searches declared protein as the king of nutrients when it comes to fat loss and a better-looking body. If it’s possible, this blog from Healthline was even more complimentary to my future best pal, protein. Healthline reported protein boosts metabolism, reduces appetite, and improves weight-regulating hormones.
I quickly went to work on researching ways to consume more protein in a day and decided to start with breakfast. Since I am highly intolerant to eggs, my breakfast options are somewhat limited, so I found a shake and paired it with several other healthy protein-rich ingredients:
Spinach (one cup) – Love starting my day with a leafy green vegetable and this one offers about 1 gram of protein.
Avocado (1/2 an avocado) – Great for healthy fat and has 2 grams of protein.
JJVirgin Paleo Inspired Shake (two scoops) – In case you haven’t heard me say it before I absolutely love this gluten free, dairy free, soy free, flavor-full plant-based mix with 22 grams of protein. (order here)
Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel (one scoop) – Got to love a great source of protein that is also great for your skin, nails, joints, bones, and muscle mass especially when it has 11 grams of protein. (order here)
Silk Protein Milk (one cup)– This dairy-free soy free milk has 10 grams of protein.
Imagine Bone Broth (one cup) – When I first read about putting bone broth in smoothies, I didn’t think it sounded very good. I quickly found out that it brings out the flavors in the other ingredients, adds a ton of gut healing goodness and 9 grams of protein.
Wow! Not sure if you were adding the protein grams up while you read, but my morning protein shake has about 55 grams of protein. What a way to start the day off!
Gluten – Free, Dairy Free Protein Shake with 55 Grams of Protein
Is protein the magical ingredient to any diet or weight loss program? Since I am still working on my own weight loss, I don’t feel 100% qualified to answer that question. I can tell you eating more protein on a daily basis has had some fantastic advantages:
Made Dieting More Fun – Did you just read that? Yes, I said it – Fun and dieting in the same sentence. Eating more protein has helped to lessen my appetite and provide satiety which has made dieting SO much more enjoyable.
Made More Muscle and Less Puff – Within days of eating more protein I noticed I was less puffy and firmer all around. I may have even noticed a new muscle or two!
Fewer Cravings – Protein helps to maintain blood sugar levels which means insulin release is better controlled. I wrote about this in How I Eliminated My Sugar Cravings and You Can Too! I have officially sleighed my sugar dragon and sweet tooth and know protein was a big help.
So, if you have been dieting for some time and have hit a plateau, feel “hangry” much too often, have sweet cravings, or would like to build some lean muscle and lose some puff, you may want to eat more protein. If you love delicious chocolate shakes, you’ll love my recipe!