6 Ways to Get Out Of A Protein Rut

Why you shouldn't eat too much of the same thing.

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Falling into a protein rut is the result of repeating a fixed course of nutritional action with less-than-satisfying results. You mix up workout routines on a regular enough basis, so varying some dietary measures should come as a no-brainer. And you obviously need to, or else you wouldn’t have clicked this link. Ranked from easiest to most difficult, read on for the 6 most effective ways to break-free from routine and feed your muscles like it’s Flexgiving.

1. TRY DIFFERENT RESTAURANTS

Grilled chicken and broccoli are great, but too much of anything is a recipe for disaster… or worse, failure. Food variety is key to both sticking to your nutritional goals and having a healthy gut. The less variety in your meals, the quicker you’ll get bored, and the faster you’ll fall off your plan. Additionally, recent studies [1] have shown long-term benefits of maintaining a diverse, healthy gut micro biome, which is already harder to achieve than ever before due to contemporary agricultural practices and massively processed foods. The gut is homebase for your immune system, defining the parameters through which your body balances nutrients VS pathogens. Poor gut health can be tied to just about every disease you can imagine. 

2. DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF TO WHEY

Most people just slam whey all day and night… isolates if they know what’s good for them… but there’s a bit more to protein timing than simply knowing when to drink it. Micellar casein extends the anabolic benefits of whey, so use a whey-casein blend that keeps working for you all day, or all night. Instead of exclusively consuming shakes after workouts, have one before bed, too. Quest Protein Powders are a near even split of whey isolates and casein, making your powder management much simpler. It’s like 2 for the price of 1! If dairy’s got you down entirely, though, it may be time to switch up your sources….

3. HIDE YOUR PROTEIN

And by that, we mean literally stick it somewhere you’re not expecting to find it. Getting all the protein you need in each day can be tough to schedule for anyone weighing more than a hundred pounds. The next best thing to building a conveyor belt to your belly is dropping protein land mines. Stuff a bunch of protein powder packets in your glove compartment in case you left your shaker at home. Hide protein bars in your work desk. And if there was, totally hypothetically speaking here… a cupboard of junk food, somewhere in your home… protein chips are a great way to crush a junk food pursuit dead in its tracks.

4. CHANGE THE FORM FACTOR

You can add any extras you want, but at the end of the day a protein shake is still just a protein shake. If you’re bored of the same thing after every workout, make some recovery meals that aren’t shakes. Try and tell me someone special in your life isn’t going to be impressed by Protein Soft-Serve: blend up a shake with half the water and triple the ice. Or for the finishing touches on any salad, crunch up some of those protein chips hiding in your cupboard instead of lame croutons.

Protein Ice Cream, made with Quest Cookies & Cream Protein Powder

5. NEW SOURCES

Man cannot live on protein shakes alone! We know how diligently you’ve been eating chicken at every meal… but don’t forget about your fish & cow! The significance of these different sources is more than just getting enough variety in your gut micro biome, as you’ll also reap the benefits of their diverse amino acid profiles. Plus, different protein sources have their own ancillary benefits, such as the iron you’ll get from red meat and Omega 3’s from fish. When in total doubt, let your body reset. Quit eating like a monster and guzzling shakes. Just like long-term responses to caffeine or alcohol, you can get desensitized to protein. Which ultimately leads to…

6. KETO

A ketogenic diet is the ultimate cellular reset. Take 30 days to purge yourself of carbs entirely, flush your stores of glycogen, and focus on your new favorite macro: fat. The sheer depth of benefits that can come from prolonged (or even periodic) states of ketosis have been well documented [2]. Bodybuilders aren’t shy about keto, either, as adding fats to your shakes can help you stay shredded. Varying states of ketosis require different fat-to-protein ratios, so you’ll still have room for protein shakes and lots of tasty (AKA fatty) foods. Carbs slow you down, physically and mentally. Driving in the fast lane takes some getting used to, but you’ll certainly miss that peak performance once you’re back on carbs.

[1]     http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150714142231.htm

[2]     http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v67/n8/full/ejcn2013116a.html

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