You probably know that protein is the key to building muscle, getting lean and recovery. We are bombarded with protein shakes, protein bars, post workout high protein recipes and more! But what about cheat day? Are there any junk foods that can up your protein intake even when you are having a day off? It is recommended we intake around 0.5-0.7g of protein per pound of body weight. But when trying to build muscle a higher amount is recommended – between 0.8 and 1.2 grams. This can be a high goal to reach when you are eating ‘cheat’ foods.
So we’ve compiled a list of some of your favourite junk foods that will boost that protein intake.
Protein Packed ‘Naughty’ Meals
The Fry Up
While the fry up is often shamed for the high levels of saturated fat, with both meat and eggs it ensures you get a decent intake of protein. Bacon and pork sausages are often both shamed for their poor nutrition but if grilled rather than fried can provide you with plenty of protein whilst minimising the fat. A Weatherspoon’s fry up provides 41g of protein which can be up to 80% of your daily recommendation.
Chicken is a great source of protein and even though it is fried, on a cheat day, going for fried chicken means that you still may reach that protein target. Opting for grilled chicken rather than deep fried reduces the fat intake that comes with fried chicken – Nando’s quarter chicken has a massive 57g of protein!
Lean beef or chicken burgers will have high protein levels meaning a burger isn’t the worst choice on a cheat day. Unfortunately grabbing a burger from a fast food chain means the meat is processed along with all the other ingredients. For the best option go for a more gourmet burger this way there will be a lot more protein.
‘Not as protein packed’ Sweet Treats
Definitely not great for you but due to the large amounts of milk, ice cream can top up your protein intake. Most brands of ice-cream provide you with 4g of protein per 100g , but if you opt for a nuttier flavour this can be up to 6g. Make it even better by opting for frozen yogurt – similar protein levels but much less ‘bad’ fat!
Nutty chocolate bars
Definitely a lot more naughty than others, but opting for a nut filled chocolate bar could provide around 4g of protein per 100g.
Maybe we are making a few excuses for our indulgences? Balance is key!
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