Protein is vital for our body. Literally. You need to ingest protein in some way because it’s the building block of bones, muscles, and skin, and the key component in enzymes, hormones, and more. Proteins are made up of amino acids, nine of which your body cannot make on its own. Protein is not stored in your body, unlike carbohydrates and fats, so you need to consume protein every day to replenish your supply.
Good news for anyone working toward a weight loss goal, foods high in protein take longer to digest than high in carbohydrate foods, so you will feel full long after you eat them.
How much protein do you need The recommended daily dose is 0.8 grams per kilogram of your body weight. Just multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36 and you have the amount of protein to consume on a daily basis. For example, a person weighing 150 pounds will need 54 grams a day. (Pregnant women and athletes may need more.)
Her Nutrition plan from Nutrisystem is carefully balanced under the guidance of expert dietitians so that you get just the right amount of protein along with healthy carbohydrates and fats. You want to be sure that your flex meals and snacks have plenty of high quality options. Lean meat, poultry, and fish are some of the most obvious and popular sources. However, there are plenty of other ingredients that can still provide a serving of protein while fitting into your weight loss plan.
Check out these seven easy (and tasty!) Ways to eat more protein:
Serving size: 1 big
Protein per serving: 6 grams
Why: An egg contains choline, a nutrient your body needs to burn fat.
Fresh idea: Make a high protein and filling lunch out of egg drop soup with low sodium chicken broth (a free food) and non-starchy vegetables like carrots and celery.
2. Simple non-fat Greek yogurt
Serving size: 1 cup
Protein per serving: 22 grams
Why: Greek yogurt contains healthy sources of probiotic bacteria that aid digestion, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Fresh idea: Make a hearty and tasty dip out of herbs and spices.
Serving size: 1 cup
Protein per serving: 8.5 grams
Why: From breakfast to bed, milk fits into any meal and is a great source of vitamin D and calcium.
Fresh idea: If your day drags on, indulge in the classic afternoon snack with a cup of low-fat milk and one of the 10 types of biscuits of your choice available on the Nutrisystem menu, including double chocolate peanut butter.
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Serving size: ¼ cup
Protein per serving: 2 grams
Why: Get the most out of your SmartCarb offering! While hummus on Nutrisystem is considered a high-fiber SmartCarb, it also helps you smack in some extra protein. Chickpeas (the basic ingredient in hummus) are rich in lysine, an essential amino acid rarely found in plant foods. Tahini, an ingredient made from sesame seeds, contains the amino acid methionine. Together these components form a complete protein.
Fresh idea: Instead of mayo on your sandwich, spread a thin layer of hummus on top of the bread or wrap.
5. Protein shakes
Serving size: 1 shake
Protein per serving: 15 grams
Why: When you need a big boost of protein (plus some fiber, vitamins, and minerals) in a snap, Nutrisystem Protein Shakes deliver it all quickly, easily, and in delicious flavors like rich chocolate and creamy vanilla.
Fresh idea: Have Nutrisystem Shakes ready for those hectic days when you can’t sit down and eat the right meals. The shakes have everything you need to keep you going even in tight times. Click here to stock up on shakes! >
Serving size: ½ cup cooked and peeled off
Protein per serving: 11 grams
Why: Along with the large serving of protein, you also get nine grams of fiber and only 120 calories.
Fresh idea: Lightly steamed edamame are fun and a great way to eat protein – they even come in shells like peanuts that you whip open to chew the beans in. Season with a little garlic or chili powder.
Serving size: ½ cup cooked
Protein per serving: 4 grams
Why: Here’s another way to take your SmartCarb serving to the next level! While this super grain is technically a SmartCarb on Nutrisystem, it contains all of the nine essential amino acids your body needs, making it a complete protein.
Fresh idea: Try quinoa instead of oatmeal for a hot breakfast on a cold day. Add walnuts for protein or try dried fruits for sweetness.