Weight Loss Support - More protein?




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Euphy
05-16-2012, 01:09 AM
So, my doctor told me I'm not getting enough protein. I actually love meat, but I have a carb addiction. I also like getting something quick to eat, and I don't want to take the time to cook chicken. I know it's really lazy, but sometimes I just don't want meat. I had a big steak for Mother's Day, but the week before that, I'd barely eaten any meat. I tend to eat a lot of salads and potatoes.

When I'm not in the mood for meat, what are some good ways to get protein? I'm kinda picky and I don't like beans or lentils. Protein shakes?


JohnP
05-16-2012, 01:45 AM
Based on the specific context of your situation - yes protein shakes are a viable alternative.

Also - eggs are a good protein source and easy to make.

Euphy
05-16-2012, 01:59 AM
Thanks. :) I'm really going to try and eat at least one chicken breast everyday. I just get so tired of cooking sometimes. I'll make some hard boiled eggs to keep on hand.


amandie
05-16-2012, 02:42 AM
I love cottage cheese as a source of protein, great on salads. Sometimes I use it as a "dip" for veggies with some garlic powder, chives and black pepper. Sometimes hot sauce. I also love to make dill potato salad with cottage cheese instead of mayo, SO good.

Milk and yogurt is another way to get some protein in. Greek yogurt seems to be a bit higher in protein compared to some others so maybe check that out?

Lastly, nuts and seeds (including nut butters), while calorie dense, are also a good way to get some protein in.

Euphy
05-16-2012, 03:29 AM
Thanks for the suggestions. I'm just finding it difficult to get the nutrients I need while staying at 1200 calories. My doctor actually suggested 1300-1400, so I might have to bump it up, but I'm already not losing weight at 1200! I've been eating the potatoes for potassium, since it gets expensive buying bananas. I think the coffee I drink is depleting my potassium, but I have to have the caffeine to function. I don't even drink but maybe 1 or 2 cups, but when I drink coffee, my potassium plummets and I get leg cramps. I also eat Fiber One cereal because I have to have it otherwise I can't...you know. Nothing else keeps me regular. Argh, so frustrating.

nelie
05-16-2012, 06:34 AM
Have you been keeping a food log? It'll help you track your protein.

You don't like any beans? Have you ever tried chickpeas? I like them many ways but think they are a great salad addition. I recently saw a recipe for chickpea croutons that sounded good. If you like soup, white kidney beans are a great thickener.

Misa66
05-16-2012, 06:35 AM
Egg whites! I say only the whites mostly if you want to keep it healthy. A handful of almonds or cashews can do the trick and not to mention peanut butter too :) it may not be too low fat but a PB sandwich on whole wheat bread will keep you full for a few hours...and a glass of milk ;)

seagirl
05-16-2012, 07:01 AM
Cook a bunch of chicken all at once, and hardboil a dozen eggs so there is always something to grab. That's what I do and it makes meal planning so much easier. ANd the protein keeps me fuller. Last night I cooked about 6 bonesless skinless chicken thighs (so much more flavor than breasts) and made pulled pork in the slower cooker. now I have quick protein to grab for meals, throw in some veggies and little grain and its a meal.

berryblondeboys
05-16-2012, 07:12 AM
There are so many ways to sneak in protein. Nuts, protein powders, yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs as well as meats. Don't just cook one piece of chicken. Cook up three or four and reheat as you needed it. Put a roast in a crock pot with veggies, etc.

As far as potassium goes, everyone thinks of bananas, but there are other and better ways. Bananas are calorie dense and full of sugar. There are better ways to get potassium that are healthier for you. For fruits, bananas are kind of low man on the pole as far as 'bang for the buck" goes.

runningfromfat
05-16-2012, 07:56 AM
I had this issue too and for me increasing protein really does make a difference. I'm not carb free by any means but I have found increasing my protein intake, decreased my appetite. Here are some changes I made in case they help.

- eggs for breakfast. I absolutely need the protein then, probably more so than any other part of the day.

- soup. I LOVE a good chunky soup. I throw in a lot of veggies, some noodles and meat. If you're not a big fan of meat it's a great way to get it in without it being overwhelming.

- try not to eat carbs alone. If you do eat bread, eat it as a sandwhich with meat and veggies on top

- peanut butter (sugar free!) and apples is a match made in heaven. ;)

- do you mind beans with seasoning? We often make tacos with ground beef and beans mixed together and then with lots of taco seasoning.

sontaikle
05-16-2012, 08:00 AM
Protein shakes are a great way to get a lot of protein for few calories. :) Get the powder and that way you can make shakes yourself for less calories. Also you use the powder for other things that way.

Cook a bunch of chicken all at once, and hardboil a dozen eggs so there is always something to grab. That's what I do and it makes meal planning so much easier. ANd the protein keeps me fuller. Last night I cooked about 6 bonesless skinless chicken thighs (so much more flavor than breasts) and made pulled pork in the slower cooker. now I have quick protein to grab for meals, throw in some veggies and little grain and its a meal.

Yes this—make your meals in bulk.

Every week or so I'll grill a LOT of chicken breasts and that will be my lunch for the week. I wouldn't want to cook them every day either! Doing it all at once saves time and it's right there in the fridge for me to make into a wrap, salad or whatever I want :)

Same thing with hardboiled eggs. I'll boil up a bunch and grab n go when I want them.

ELBS717
05-16-2012, 10:17 AM
eggs are good and if you like them hard-boiled then you can just do a bunch at a time and keep them in the fridge for a quick grab... good on top of a salad. I'd also try adding sunflower seeds or raw walnuts to your salad, too.
I like jerky and turkey sausage which are quick to grab/easy to make... just watch the sodium. :)

Euphy
05-16-2012, 03:31 PM
Have you been keeping a food log? It'll help you track your protein.

You don't like any beans? Have you ever tried chickpeas? I like them many ways but think they are a great salad addition. I recently saw a recipe for chickpea croutons that sounded good. If you like soup, white kidney beans are a great thickener.

Yes, and my protein intake is always very small compared to carbs. For instance Monday, I had 27 grams of protein and 130 grams of carbs. I'm thinking of making some little crustless quiches with spinach. It's just weird, sometimes I go crazy for meat and I'll have chicken everyday, and a big steak a couple times a month. But then there will be a whole week or two where I just don't want meat at all.

I hate sounding so childish and picky, but I AM picky. It's just making dieting rather difficult, especially when I really need certain nutrients. You all have given me some great ideas, though. :D

Munchy
05-16-2012, 03:55 PM
Greek yogurt also has a lot of protein in it - I buy chobani 0% plain and I use it as "sour cream" as well as yogurt.

I like to cook an entire dish when I have time, divide it into servings, and freeze it. That's pretty much the only way I have time to eat homemade meals everyday.

LockItUp
05-16-2012, 04:16 PM
Everyone has great advice!

Other than meat I like: protein shakes (powder and make it myself), greek yogurt (plain and add my own fruit or whatever), eggs (4 egg whites have about the same calories as 1 whole egg, but twice the protein!), nuts, lower fat cheese like string cheese (80 cals 7 grams of protein).

I average 120-140 grams of protein per day now, and boy it's really helped me in a lot of ways (I also am around 1200 calories a day). More energy, less hunger, more weight loss. Just my experience!

nelie
05-16-2012, 04:43 PM
Yes, and my protein intake is always very small compared to carbs. For instance Monday, I had 27 grams of protein and 130 grams of carbs. I'm thinking of making some little crustless quiches with spinach. It's just weird, sometimes I go crazy for meat and I'll have chicken everyday, and a big steak a couple times a month. But then there will be a whole week or two where I just don't want meat at all.

I hate sounding so childish and picky, but I AM picky. It's just making dieting rather difficult, especially when I really need certain nutrients. You all have given me some great ideas, though. :D

I don't eat meat at all but I get plenty of protein. I love beans though. I'd definitely try ways to sneak it in.

lm3898
05-16-2012, 04:49 PM
I make a promasil protein shake a lot - it's a scoop of chocolate flavored protein w/ a cup of skim milk and some ice and it tastes AWESOME - seriously, not as good as a chocolate shake of course, but pretty freaking good & it's loaded w/ protein and low fat/cal!

JossFit
05-16-2012, 04:52 PM
Just wanted to add some of my favorites;

- Chicken: I also cook it up in batches and put it in the fridge to use for the next few days.
- Pre-cooked chicken: You can buy it at ANY grocery store already cooked!
- Tuna: comes in pouches that don't even need to be drained (they make canned chicken too)
- Greek Yogurt
- Cottage Cheese
- Whole eggs
- Egg whites
- Protein powders
- Nuts (though I would consider them a fat source moreso than a protein source but they do have a bit of protein)
- Beans
- Low fat cheeses
- Fish: Can buy it pre-cooked and frozen if it's more convenient for you
- Milk
- Soybeans (edamame)
- Tofu

Getting protein is super easy! :)

linJber
05-16-2012, 05:40 PM
I'll just ditto what everyone else has said - but for quick and easy protein, it doesn't get much easier than opening a can or pouch of tuna. And I cook an oven full of chicken at a time. Take out the bones and skin and freeze in single serving baggies that is then is available in about 1 minute for chef salads.

Keep working at finding what works for you. It will fall into place.

Lin

Euphy
05-16-2012, 05:56 PM
As for protein shakes, what's the best kind? My doctor told me to avoid soy, and I have some hemp protein shakes, but they taste HORRIBLE. Is there anything tasteless?

nelie
05-16-2012, 06:25 PM
What hemp ones do you have? The ones I have are a mix of hemp, brown rice and pea protein. I guess I have odd tastes but I like them. I eat soy foods but soy protein shakes are soy isolate which I'm not a fan of and I,m not a fan of whey protein shakes either for a similar reason. I generally say check your local health food store, they may even allow you to return them if you don't like.

Euphy
05-16-2012, 06:40 PM
I have the Nutiva hemp shakes. They're awful, I don't think I've tasted anything worse.

Amarantha2
05-16-2012, 07:06 PM
I use a lot of protein as that is how I feel my best (it also burns more calories in digestion than carbs and fats so it aids my weight management). I do protein shakes and also just wanted to mention re lowfat cottage cheese that it is very versatile, great instead of mayo for tuna salad and other cold dishes, and really great as a smoothie base with fruit or anything, which makes kind of a cheesecake shake.

There are a number of specialized snackie type products around that give a hit of protein in a low glycemic, usually gluten free, product while making you feel you are eating chips.

Also you can bake things like brownies and muffins or whatever and add protein powder or beans or cottage cheese or eggs (for ease, I sometimes use frozen or refrigerated egg product instead of fresh eggs).

kaplods
05-16-2012, 07:41 PM
Most of my favorites have been mentioned. I keep whey protein around for protein shakes, and I love greek yogurt. I also use tvp (textured vegetable protein, also called tsp, textured soy protein - looks like grape nuts cereal or beige aquarium gravel).

To use tvp you just have to reconstitute it with roughly equal parts hot water or broth. It's also easy to add to other foods. For example I brown a huge batch of not-so-lean ground beef with onion, celery, and garlic and throw in about 1 to 2 cups of tvp per pound of ground beef. I don't add any water until the ground beef has lost it's pinkness. This way, the tvp soaks up the meat juices (yes a little fat, but the tvp has no fat, so I still end up with a low-fat mixture. If the beef is quite fatty, I'll brown the ground beef first, drain off the fat and then add the dry tvp). I then freeze the mixture in ziploc bags and "moosh around" the bag every 20 to 30 minutes so that it freezes in "crumbles" and I can just scoop out what I need to make spaghetti sauce, taco meat, sloppy joes, casserole ingredients, loose meat for sandwhiches...

Some people say that too much soy can cause problems, but that a serving or two per day usually isn't a problem unless you have hormone issues like hypothyroid. I do have a borderline low thyroid, so I don't eat soy every day, but do have about three to five servings a week in the form of tvp and edamame, and once in a while a soy-based protein bar.

I don't eat a lot of starchy veggies and grains (no more than 4 servings a day on my higher protein, lower carb exchange plan), but I try to make them higher protein choices like quinoa, wild rice, oats, amaranth, millet, and teff.

My huband makes a really good grain mix he calls his "pilaf" from brown rice and a mixture of assorted grains. He cooks it all together in a big pot with twice the liquid (broth or water) usually called for in grain cooking and lets them all simmer until tender. Then he drains off any extra water (because some of the grains are tiny, he uses a fine mesh strainer, not a collander).

That may seem like a lot of cooking, but by making a huge batch on a Saturday, we can get weeks worth of servings (because this too can be frozen like the beef/tvp mixture, you just have to be more careful if you want to try to freeze it in a scoopable form. Instead of mushing it around in a freezer bag you store the mixture in tupperware or freezer bags very loosely only about 1/2 full and then shake the container rather than "moosh".

I know you don't like beans and lentils. I didn't either (except for my grandmother's bean and pork hock soup, chili and my mother's baked bean recipe that contained cooked ground beef) until I experimented with them and found some really good recipes. You might find that you like them too, served in different ways than you're used to.

For example, I love lentils cooked with ground beef and onion (or the tvp/beef mix) and cooked in spaghetti sauce, and poured over pasta - unless I use lots of lentils then I eat it just like stew). The lentils stretch the ground beef. They also make a nice sloppy joe with the ground beef or ground beef/tvp.

I do tend to still tend to prefer beans and lentils when they're cooked with meat rather than when they replace meat (although I do love Indian dal - a vegetarian yello split-pea soup).

Another kind of weird way I like beans, is mixed into a tuna salad. They're pretty good mixed into a traditional tuna salad (with light mayo), but they're even better in a salad made of canned albacore tuna, sliced sweet vidalia onion, and a good italian dressing with a shaving of asiago cheese.

Hmm, I'm getting hungry. Think I'll go see if we have the makings for the tuna salad.

Hope some of my ideas help.

chickadee32
05-17-2012, 01:42 AM
You mentioned a need for fiber in addition to protein, so I'll throw one more suggestion out there: Quest protein bars (http://www.questproteinbar.com/). Someone mentioned them in a thread on here recently, and I tried them and think they're quite good (especially microwaved for 15 seconds :) ). Most are 170 calories with 20g protein and 17g fiber, and they're an easy way to get more protein in when you need something to grab that doesn't require any work. As far as I know you can only order them online, but you can order single bars in any flavor to try and the shipping isn't outrageous. If you google "Quest protein bar reviews" you'll find some independent reviews out there on them.