It can be tough to eat a healthy diet.
You're probably juggling work, family, and other commitments, which can leave little time for meal planning and cooking.
And if you're traveling for work or fun, it can be even more difficult to find healthy food options.
Or maybe you are just allergic to apps and food tracking.
If so, don't worry, there's still hope!
It is possible to eat a low calorie high protein diet when you're busy / traveling, and without using a food tracking app.
Here are a few tips:
1. Focus on whole, unprocessed foods.
Whole, unprocessed foods are generally lower in calories and higher in protein than processed foods. They're also more nutritious and filling.
Good examples of whole, unprocessed foods include:
Lean meat, poultry, and fish
Fruits and vegetables
2. Make simple, protein-rich meals and snacks.
When you're short on time, it's easy to grab unhealthy convenience foods. But there are plenty of quick and easy meals and snacks that are also healthy and protein-rich.
Here are a few ideas:
Breakfast: Hard-boiled eggs, Low Fat Greek yogurt with berries and (a few) nuts, protein shake
Lunch: Salad with grilled chicken or fish, tuna salad, lentil soup
Dinner: Salmon with roasted vegetables, chicken stir-fry with brown rice, tofu scramble
Snacks: Berries, seeds, lean meat (eg cold cuts), Low Fat Greek yogurt, protein bar,
3. Be prepared when you're traveling.
If you know you're going to be traveling, come prepared with healthy snacks and meals. You can pack your own food or research healthy restaurants in your destination.
Here are a few tips for packing healthy food for travel:
Pack hard-boiled eggs, seeds, apples, oranges, and dried fruit.
Make protein shakes and smoothies ahead of time and freeze them.
Pack whole-wheat crackers and low-fat cheese.
Pack whole-grain bread.
Pack caned tuna.
If you have to eat out, look for options that are grilled, baked, or steamed instead of fried. And avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of sauces.
4. Don't be afraid to estimate your calories.
You don't have time use a food tracking app, and you don’t need to be accurate. Sometime you will guess too little, some times too much. It will even out. Any amount of inaccuracy is better than just not tracking at all. Just make sure to focus on whole, unprocessed foods and to keep your protein intake high.
Here are a few tips for estimating your calories:
Most protein-rich foods contain about 30 grams of protein in a portion the size of the palm of your hand. And each gram of that protein gives you 4 calories per gram.
Most fruits and vegetables contain about 1 calorie per gram.
Most whole grains contain about 3 calories per gram.
Most healthy fats contain about 9 calories per gram.
To estimate your calorie intake, simply add up the number of calories from each food group. For example, if you eat a grilled chicken breast the size of 1.5 palms (45g of protein, which is 180 calories), 1 cup of broccoli (30 calories), and 1/2 cup of brown rice (105 calories), your total calorie intake would be 315 calories.
Following these tips can help you eat a low calorie high protein diet and help you keep on track with your diet.
The greatest value of this is that you will feel that you are still winning, instead of being worried that you are losing all your progress. That kind of worry usually makes people feel demotivated and give up completely and head straight to the YOLO aisle of the supermarket 🙂
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