This post is brought to you by The Beef Checkoff and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
As some of you know, from September 24 through October 24 I participated in The Beef Checkoff 30 Day Protein Challenge. The Motherhood asked me to take part in the #ProteinChallenge and see if this simple diet change could make a difference in my overall health and wellness. With the kids back in school, this was the perfect time for this, as I would have more time to focus on myself and what I eat. Game on!
Apparently, most Americans consume almost all (about two-thirds) of their daily protein at dinner despite how some research has shown it may be beneficial to spread out your protein intake over the course of the day, in roughly balanced amounts.
What is The Beef Checkoff 30 Day Protein Challenge?
The #ProteinChallenge consisted of:
- Keeping track of my food, hunger, and moods.
- Following this calendar:
In the beginning, I learned what foods filled me up and which did not. My protein levels were all over the place along with my moods. Eating Pringles for a snack may taste good but in the long run, doesn't do much in terms of filling me up. My hunger levels were crazy high by the time 3pm rolled around because of being a breakfast skipper. By that time I was STARVING and it was hard to fill myself up, but anything and EVERYTHING sounded good in the moment. Not a good thing!
So Did The Protein Challenge Pay Off?
Yes! As I progressed through the challenge I learned that protein really does fill you up. It's NOT a myth guys! I filled up quicker and for way longer. I wasn't hungry between meals snacking on lord knows what. When I did snack I chose protein rich foods like beef jerky. My STARVING, crazy moments subsided and I was rarely hungry.
What Was The Hardest Part Of The Protein Challenge?
Honestly, the hardest part was eating when I wasn't hungry. When they say protein helps you feel fuller immediately and longer, they mean it! It became hard for me to follow the calendar with such little appetite but I wanted to stick to the plan. When it came time to start eating breakfast I went for protein rich yet lite foods to help me out.
Here is a sample of my typical meals:
- Sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit
- Beef and Egg Breakfast Mugs
- Sausage Pizza
- Hamburger and fries
- Beef jerky
Making a new protein-rich meal every week helped keep things interesting and me moving along with the calendar. Thank you Beef It's What's for Dinner for all of the yummy recipes!
This #ProteinChallenge even got me back to my roots. In case you didn't know my 90-year-old grandfather lives with me and my family. He's 100% Mexican and often has cravings from his childhood like picadillo.
Picadillo is a comfort food typically made with ground beef, tomatoes, and other ingredients (depending on where you live). The one I make is very similar to hash and it's delicious. My grandfather loved it! And it was totally easy to get my balanced protein serving out of this meal. One cup of my Beef Picadillo With Potatoes gives you 30 grams of protein!
I am going to try to stick to balancing the protein in my meals. If you don't want to feel hungry this is definitely the way. Take break days because that NOT hungry feeling will linger over causing you to eat less those days. And it has its benefits…
Surprisingly, even with eating three meals a day that consisted of WAY more food than I normally eat, I lost a couple pounds. I was totally shocked and THRILLED! More energy, low hunger, and weight loss!!
Join the Protein Challenge today and you’ll receive goals, tips, and inspiration to keep you on track. If you think about it, 30 days is nothing in the big picture of things. If you hate it, then stop after the 30 days and never eat that way again, but you really have nothing to lose.
Remember, one small change in your diet can make a big difference in the way you feel. The 30 Day Protein Challenge is a fun, step-by-step way to help you get an optimal amount of protein throughout your day.
Protein puts the wheel in your hands and gives you the control you need to take on the day. Avoiding that “I’m STARVING!!” feeling encourages you to make the right food choices, not just at that particular meal but all day long!