If you look at any good diet (even some of the fad ones), you can see that you’re advised to boost your protein intake. Why? Because protein is essential for many bodily processes like repairing tissue, maintaining bone health and burning fat. It can also lower your blood pressure—it’s good for every part of your health. However, protein is more complicated for including in your diet than carbs and sugar, but if you follow these high-protein meal ideas, you’ll manage to load up on protein and achieve all your fitness goals.
You can start your first day of high-protein diet with a hefty breakfast of 3 eggs, whole-grain toast and some peanut butter and fruit (a pair goes perfectly with all this). This meal will not only be tasty but also keep you energized and full until lunch. For lunch, you can grab a nice salad that will refresh you and replenish your energy levels. A super tasty and healthy choice is avocado and cottage cheese kind that you can supplement with an orange. Now comes dinner, a real treat for all foodies. For dinner, you can go big with a steak, a serving of sweet potato and some grilled veggies (zucchini is always nice). Play with variations and you can have a full-proof one-day meal plan whenever you don’t know what to eat.
Start the day light with a good smoothie made with coconut milk and strawberries (berries are great antioxidants, so feel free to throw them in your diet). Enrich your smoothie with some tasty protein powder with berry flavors to match your drink. A formula with collagen is always beneficial, especially if you want to look lean and youthful. For lunch, you can go with some fish. Salmon with mixed greens, drizzled with olive oil and vinegar is always a good choice. If you need something more, an apple between lunch and dinner will hit the spot. For dinner, some chicken with quinoa and veggies will not only satisfy your taste buds but also complete your daily protein needs. To mix things up, go with Brussels sprouts instead of broccoli or zucchini this time—you want to keep things interesting. Also while you’re waiting for your dinner to cook, you can start preparing your breakfast for day 3.
At the end of day 2, you prepped your overnight oatmeal, so now you can sleep a little longer and quickly grab your protein breakfast. Make your oats with a scoop of protein and you will notice how much fuller you’ll feel throughout the day. Your lunch can come in the form of chimichurri noodles and your dinner can consist of creamy lentil soup and mixed greens with Dijon vinaigrette. This dinner is only about 425 calories, so if you need something more, add half an avocado and whole-wheat bread to your meal.
We’re starting day 4 strong with a 3-egg omelet with some cheese, chili, olives and salsa. While you work, you can munch on an orange if you feel any cravings before lunch. If you have any leftovers from your chicken and quinoa, just add a tiny salad to it and you have a delicious lunch for almost no money and effort (no everything needs to be 100% fresh). Fish for dinner is always a great idea, so grab some halibut, lentils and broccoli and you’ll have a light, protein-filled finish to the day.
And finally, we have day 5 starting simple with some cottage cheese, chopped walnuts, apples and cinnamon. This combo might sound weird, but once you try it, you’ll fall in love instantly. For lunch, you can have a tasty yet simple sandwich with salmon and mayo spread topped with some carrot sticks for crunch. This light lunch will keep you full until your royal dinner of meatballs and marinara and squash spaghetti.
You can rest over the weekend and relax because what you do for 5 days is more important than what you do for the remaining 2. All in all, don’t run from protein when you’re dieting—you’ll achieve great results in a healthy way that won’t ruin your metabolism or cause you any harm.