A diet filled with high-protein foods is critical for staying lean, building muscle, and feeling full.
However, when you're away from the house and don't have time to meal prep, coming up with healthy meals can be difficult.
When you're on the go and don't have healthy meals readily available, it's easy to get tempted by unhealthy options.
These are usually high in processed carbs or unhealthy fats like fast food, candy, chocolate, chips, and muffins.
Why is Protein Essential?
Protein isn't only essential for building muscle; it's also necessary for producing hormones and giving every cell in your body the raw material they need to function.
Even your hair and nails are made up of protein.
Protein molecules are made up of 21 amino acids, which are essentially the building blocks your body can use to make new tissues.
When you eat a high protein food, say a chicken breast, your body has to break it down with enzymes before it can reuse the amino acids.
The Best Easy To Pack High Protein Foods
Life is busy, and there isn't always time to pack a full meal before leaving home.
Luckily, the following five protein sources can all be prepared in ten minutes or less.
Read more on each of the following below:
#1 Canned Tuna
Protein: 30g per can
Canned tuna has been a staple in the diet of bodybuilders for years because of canned tuna's convenience and protein content.
Not only is tuna high in protein (around 30g per can), but there's also little fat and no carbs.
However, tuna meat is often contaminated with mercury.
To keep yourself from getting mercury poisoning, men should keep their weekly intake under three cans and women under two cans.
#2 Greek Yogurt
Protein: 18g per serving
Greek yogurt has a thicker texture and higher protein content than regular yogurt since the whey is strained.
Even if you have dietary restrictions, some stores sell lactose-free Greek yogurt, so you can still enjoy this excellent protein source.
If you don't want to meal prep, you can buy single-serving packages.
However, watch out when you buy flavoured varieties because they can be high in sugar.
If you want to flavor them yourself, a healthier option is to add fruit to each package.
#3 Protein Powder
Protein: 30g per serving
You may already be taking protein powder in your post-workout shake; however, protein powder is much more versatile than that.
You can also add it to your oats as a flavouring to avoid adding sugar.
Throw some oats in a container and sprinkle with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, and you'll have yourself a complete meal in under two minutes.
#4 Hard Boiled Eggs
Protein: 6g per large egg
Throw a couple of eggs into boiling water in the morning while you're getting ready, and by the time you make breakfast, your eggs will be done.
Each egg contains 6g of protein and one of the fullest spectra of vitamins and minerals found in any food.
They also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that keep your eyes healthy.
#5 Canned Beans and Legumes
Protein: 15g per serving
They may be the only vegan-friendly option on this list (besides some kinds of protein powder), but that doesn't mean that they can't contribute a significant amount of protein to your diet.
One serving of chickpeas has about 15g of protein.
By themselves, they don't have all the amino acids required by your body, but coupling them with a complementary protein source like brown rice makes up for the amino acids they lack.
Never Get Caught away from Home without Protein
One of the hardest parts about eating clean is making sure you have easily accessible protein foods.
With a little bit of foresight and planning, you can use these five foods to make sure you're not relying on fast food for nutrition.
For two weeks, focus on only hitting your protein needs by prepping protein.
Once you solidify you protein prepping routine, you can focus on improving other parts of your nutrition like incorporating more fruits and veggies into your diet.