You already know that protein is one of the main cornerstones of a healthy meal. The macronutrient is crucial to building and maintaining muscle mass.
But protein also has another nutritional superpower: helping you feel full.
This includes at mealtime, which dietitians refer to as “satisfaction,” meaning that if you eat protein during a meal you’ll feel fuller faster during that meal. And that also includes after mealtime, which dietitians refer to as “satiety,” meaning that if you eat protein during a meal you’ll feel fuller longer after that meal.
(Slightly nerdy, we know, but important!)
Feeling satisfied at a meal means you’re less likely to overeat at that meal and feeling satiated after that mean means you’re less likely to snack between meals.
This is also why so many calorie-restrictive diets fail. If you’re trying to cap your calories at, say, 1,500 per day, that could easily push protein off your plate. Yes, you’ll lose weight this way, but you’ll also lose muscle. Plus, you’ll quickly grow tiresome of feeling hungry all the time and no wonder people hate dieting.
So how much protein is enough protein? Extensive research and the dietitians on our advisory board recommend that you target 30 grams of protein at each meal in order to reap the full extent of the nutrients muscle-building, gut-filling powers.
That said, sometimes it’s hard to hit the mark when it comes to getting enough protein in your diet. And high-protein meals don’t always sound that appealing, either. (If you’ve been eating nothing but grilled chicken breast every night, you know exactly what we’re talking about.)
That’s why you should check out these 18 high-protein meals, which are are flavorful, simple, and satisfying. Each one contains a payload of protein—and flavor. So that you never have to gnaw through another tough and stringy chicken breast again.
1 Spicy Pork Chops with Pineapple
The chili powder, chipotle, ancho, and cayenne combine into firestorm of heat, tempered only by the enhanced sweetness of fresh pineapple rings grilled in pork juices. With a little mint and sea salt on top, it’s hearty and light all at once.