It can be a challenge to get in the right amount of protein each day to maintain or add muscle to help you lose weight or become leaner. Adding one or two high protein snacks to your daily intake can keep your metabolism burning and hunger away! Especially in the late afternoon hours. Here's a few ideas to keep your body fueled throughout the day, the right way!
1. Cottage Cheese and Fresh Fruit
Have 1/2 cup cottage cheese with 1/2 cup of your favorite fruit.
Try some super fruits! Bananas, mixed berries, and any high fiber fruit would do.
2. Jerky (Beef or Turkey or Ostrich )
Choose low-sodium, natural, or lightly-flavored options of various jerky. You'll find turkey, beef even ostrich jerky! The size of most single-serve packs is about one ounce and contains about 9 grams of protein! Plus jerky is chewy and keeps your mouth busy! This is a convenient, portable snack that keeps fresh for months when packed properly.
3. Mixed Nuts or Trail Mix
Measure it out! Mixed nuts provide an easy way to get a delicious dose of protein in a convenient, shelf-stable package. The best nuts for protein? Almonds and pistachios. Add a few pieces of dried fruit (not too much they can be high in sugar and calories) and maybe a few mini choc chips and there ya go! Even the kids will love it!
4. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds make a great snack once they’re washed, dried, and roasted. Just 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds has about 14 grams of protein! Store bought ones may have salt or sugar on them so be sure to check the labels!
5. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs are one of the best on the go snacks ever! Inexpensive and loaded with nutrients, eggs are one of the best ways to get a good dose of quality protein. Hard boil and pre-peel a dozen at the start of the week, then have them for breakfast or snack. Egg whites are the highest protein while the yolk is the fat. Don't worry about that, because the components in the whites nullify the fats in the yolk so it is a healthy, balanced food!
Myth #1 Lifting incredibly slowly builds incredibly big muscles.
Not necessarily the best structured study to prove this right or wrong, but the University of Alabama conducted a study with two groups of lifters doing a 29-minute workout. One group performed exercises using a 5-second up phase and a 10-second down phase, the other a more traditional approach of 1 second up and 1 second down. The faster group burned 71 percent more calories and lifted 250 percent more weight than the super slow lifters.
The problem I have with this study is that the protocol of 1 second up and down is way too fast to be safe or effective. Sure, the faster moves burned more calories, but the slower lifting most likely created a greater muscle response thanks to the time under tension. Sometimes studies done don't tell the whole truth! I teach my clients to use a steady pace of 3 or 4 seconds up and the same down. This becomes a habit and very difficult for them to cheat!
If you are an advanced exerciser, you can play with the tempo and time under tension, otherwise the good habits that come from slower steady lifting are worth the time spent!
Myth #4 Never exercise a sore muscle.
Don't skip that workout, just because you are sore! First, determine how sore you really are. "If your muscle is sore to the touch or the soreness limits your range of motion, it's best that you give the muscle at least another day of rest," says Alan Mikesky, Ph.D., director of the human performance and biomechanics laboratory at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. In less severe instances, an "active rest" involving light aerobic activity and stretching, and even light lifting, can help alleviate some of the soreness. "Light activity stimulates bloodflow through the muscles, which removes waste products to help in the repair process," says David Docherty, Ph.D., a professor of exercise science at the University of Victoria in Canada. The real expert says: If you're not sore to the touch and you have your full range of motion, go to the gym. Start with 10 minutes of cycling, then exercise the achy muscle by performing no more than three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions using a weight that's no heavier than 30 percent of your one-rep maximum, says Docherty.
Myth #5 Stretching prevents injuries.
"Stretching increases flexibility, but most injuries occur within the normal range of motion," says Julie Gilchrist, M.D., one of the study's researchers. "Stretching and warming up have just gone together for decades. It's simply what's done, and it hasn't been approached through rigorous science." The real expert says: Warming up is what prevents injury, by slowly increasing your bloodflow and giving your muscles a chance to prepare for the upcoming activity. To this end, Dr. Gilchrist suggests a thorough warmup, as well as conditioning for your particular sport. Of course, flexibility is a good thing. If you need to increase yours so it's in the normal range (touching your toes without bending your knees, for instance), do your stretching when your muscles are already warm.
1. Complete most important tasks first.
Each day, identify the two or three tasks that are the most crucial to complete, and do those (the worst first!) first. Once you’re done, the day has already been a success. You can move on to other things, or you can let them wait until tomorrow. You’ve finished the essential.
2. Learn to say “no”.
Making a lot of time commitments can teach us how to juggle various engagements and manage our time. This can be a great thing. However, you can easily take it too far. At some point, you need to learn to decline opportunities. Your objective should be to take on only those commitments that you know you have time for and that you truly care about.
3. Sleep at least 7-8 hours.
Some people think sacrificing sleep is a good way to hack productivity and wring a couple extra hours out of the day. This is not the case. Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep for their bodies and minds to function optimally. You know if you’re getting enough. Listen to your body, and don’t underestimate the value of sleep.
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Fit 220: Portable Protein Snacks, 3 Tips to keep you on track and treat your muscles right for best results!