17 Ways to Sneak More Protein Into Your Diet

Including more protein in your diet is a great way to stay fuller for longer, which can help you lose weight. It can be tricky to know where to start, so we’ve rounded up 17 easy ways you can boost your protein intake on a daily basis!

Start Your Day with a Protein-Rich Breakfast

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According to Healthline, “Adding more protein to your diet is one of the most effective ways to lose weight. Research shows eating at least 20 grams of protein at breakfast can really help.” Consider ingredients such as Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or eggs for a cheap, healthy source of protein to start your day.

Snack on Protein-Packed Foods

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Protein-rich snacks will help you feel fuller for longer and avoid a blood sugar spike. Try keeping a stash of mixed nuts on hand for easy snacking, or protein bars and shakes are convenient options too. Other choices include a hard-boiled egg or jerky, great for a quick boost!

Upgrade Your Salads

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Adding protein to your salad will leave you feeling fuller for longer, and Business Insider suggests ingredients such as grilled chicken, eggs, or beans as a great way to add protein. You could also consider topping your salad with seeds or nuts for added protein and nutrition.

Incorporate Protein into Your Baking

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Everyone likes a sweet treat every now and again, so why not make your baked goods that much more nutritious? Try swapping out wheat flour for almond flour, or swap out a scoop of flour for a scoop of protein powder. You could also experiment with beans or legumes in brownies or Greek yogurt in cakes and muffins.

Make Protein-Rich Dips

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By preparing yourself some high-protein snacks, you’ll be less likely to reach for the chocolate. A hummus or bean dip is rich in protein and makes a great snack alongside some chopped veggies. You could also try using Greek yogurt or cottage cheese as the base for a creamy dip.

Choose Protein-Enriched Pasta and Breads

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Pasta is an easy carb to add to most meals, but you can boost its nutritional value by opting for pasta made from legumes such as lentils or chickpeas for a higher level of protein. By switching to whole grain or sprouted grain breads, you’ll also get more protein in your meals.

Add Protein to Your Soups and Stews

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Soups are cheap, warming, and nutritious, but they can sometimes leave you feeling a little hungry. Self Magazine suggests options for adding protein to keep you feeling fuller for longer, including stirring in nutritional yeast, topping with Greek yogurt, or adding a high-protein grain such as quinoa to the soup. You could also swap croutons for roasted chickpeas.

Add Cheese and Dairy

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Dairy products are high in protein, so consider incorporating cheese and other dairy products into your meals. You could top dishes with a sprinkling of parmesan or feta cheese, incorporate cottage cheese into lasagna, or simply switch natural yogurt to Greek yogurt to get more protein.

Reinvent Your Smoothies

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Smoothies are a convenient way to pack in the plants and fiber, but why not add some protein too? Try adding a scoop of protein powder or nut butter to your favorite recipe, or mix in silken tofu for a smooth, creamy texture.

Make Protein-Packed Pancakes and Waffles

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A great way to start the day, adding protein powder to your pancakes and waffles will make it a hearty breakfast. You could top with Greek yogurt or cottage cheese instead of syrup for a protein-rich flavor, and top with nuts or seeds for an added crunchy boost.

Opt for Protein-Rich Grains

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Not all grains are made equal, so try mixing up your usual rice for quinoa, buckwheat, barley, or farro for a protein boost. You can use them as you would rice or add them to soups and salads. For breakfast, try switching your oats for millet or spelt to switch things up.

Experiment with Plant-Based Proteins

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NBC News has reported that eating a more plant-based diet that is low in saturated fats, refined grains, highly processed foods, and added sugars “is linked with a longer life expectancy, and just as importantly, a quality of life that includes a healthier body and mind.” Consider trying tempeh, tofu, or adding more legumes and pulses to your diet for a plant-based protein boost.

Get Creative with Eggs

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Eggs are fantastic, healthy, and cheap sources of protein that are perfect for whipping up a quick meal or snack. Hard-boiled eggs are great as snacks or in a salad, or you could make a frittata or quiche to use up all those veggies in the fridge—add cheese for even more protein.

Choose Protein-Packed Seafood

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High in protein and omega-3, seafood is a great choice for a healthy, balanced meal. Incorporate salmon, tuna, or shrimp into your salads and pasta dishes, or use canned sardines or anchovies as a quick snack on toast. You can even up the protein on Taco Tuesday by using soft white fish for a light take on the Mexican classic.

Use Nuts and Seeds

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Nuts and seeds are a great source of protein that can be easily added to any meal. Add chia seeds or flax seeds to yogurt, cereals, or baked goods, or use nut butters as spreads. Harvard Health says, “Nuts and seeds provide healthy mono- and polyunsaturated plant oils as well as protein.”

Incorporate Lean Meats

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Lean meats are a fantastic source of protein and can be easily included in most meals. Choose lean cuts of beef, pork, or poultry for main dishes, and make burgers, meatballs, or tacos with ground turkey or chicken. You can change it up by making stir-fries and kebabs with lean meat and vegetables.

End Your Day with a Protein-Rich Dessert

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A sweet treat is always tempting at the end of a long day, so when the cravings appear, reach for a protein-rich dessert. You could whip up a protein mug cake or make a dessert smoothie with protein powder, fruit, and milk. For a convenient snack, choose dark chocolate with nuts for a sweet and protein-packed treat.

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