How these 10 healthy Instagrammers get enough protein – even the vegans

By | October 14, 2018

New research has found nine in ten of us are conscious of getting enough protein – these healthy Instagrammers reveal exactly how they get theirs 

How important is protein really? From a pescetarian yogi to the strongest woman in Britain, we spoke to your favourite female Instagrammers from across the health and fitness world to find out how much protein they eat and how they manage to get it all in.

The transformed personal trainer: Emily De Luzy

Followers: 9426

One day at work Emily bent over to pick up a file from the floor and ripped her trousers down the back. At that moment she made the decision to have a complete lifestyle overhaul – she was five stone overweight and managed to go from a size 16 and unhappy with her body to standing on stage, competing as a bikini athlete. These days she works as a personal trainer and runs the app FitQueen Bible which works as a personal trainer and nutrition coach in your pocket.

Emily de Luzy, personal trainer how to get more protein 9 Instagrammers reveal their tricks by 2

The protein plan

‘I eat 120-130 grams Of protein per day. I consume protein in all of my meals, starting with breakfast. I also always make sure I have an adequate serving of protein directly after exercising for optimum recovery and muscle growth. I base my protein intake on eating one gram of protein per pound of body weight. I weigh 130lb so I always try to consume 130 grams of Protein. I do a lot of weight based training with the intention to grow muscle which is why I like to program myself with this ratio.

Getting enough protein is really important to me as I don’t want to wake up the next day after a hard gym session and hobble around the house. Protein helps our muscles recover and grow. As a personal trainer and coach, I understand the science behind the importance of proteins in our diets so for me it is super important. Also, I’m a piggy – keeping up my protein helps to keep me feeling full and reduces my cravings for sweeties and chocolate.’

Emily De Luzy before and after, how to get more protein 9 fitness instagrammers reveal their tricks by

Emily shares her before and after pictures on Instagram to help motivate her clients and followers

The diet

‘I eat protein all day, every day. I make sure there is protein included in my breakfast, lunch and dinner but also post-workout and when I snack throughout the day. I eat regularly and protein is always present in each meal. I like to try and consume my Protein via food sources rather than powdered drinks. I like to chew my food not drink it!’

How I start my day: 

‘I start my day with a food that is not just my favourite breakfast but also my favourite meal of the day. It’s my own recipe I call my FitQueen Blueberry muffins. If it’s a weekend and you have a bit of extra time, they can be made fresh first thing in the morning or you can just as easily prepare them the night before. They include a generous serving of protein along with other vital ingredients that help fuel me for my day. Also – muffins for breakfast that help keep me in shape are a definite win, win for me.’

How I get my protein: 

‘If I have a quiet week I will eat a variety of meats – I’m a BIG fan of some seasoned chicken, a tuna salad or a BIG fillet steak from the butchers. But if I’m busy, I want to try and avoid the stress of spending additional time in the kitchen. On those weeks I will stick with my safe options of chicken or tuna. I tend to wait until I’m out at a restaurant to eat different kinds of meats.’

How I snack on protein:

‘I have two favourites. One is a good serving of zero percent fat Greek yoghurt with toppings. I call this the FitQueen Goodie Bowl and I have numerous variations of Goodie Bowls which I enjoy daily. I also love a good hard-boiled egg on Ryvita. I think you just have to refuse to care about the hard-boiled egg smells in the office with this one.’

The healthy hacks

‘Aim to include 20-30 grams of protein in your three main meals. Perhaps you bought a Margarita Pizza for dinner, instead of eating the whole thing, try eating half but topping that half up with chicken. You now have yourself a balanced, portioned controlled meal including all three nutrients. Make sure you are checking the numbers on food labels and don’t trust packaging. Don’t trust a cereal box just because it says ‘high in protein’ on the front.

Eating healthy does not mean eating foods you don’t like. I used to be five stone overweight and there is absolutely no way I would have lost the weight if I had to eat foods I didn’t like. And back then I was VERY fussy and lived off KFC. To lose the weight, I made sure to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables per day and prioritised consuming the right portion sizes of a variety of foods. Being healthy is all about balance. Consume the foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals so that you can feel good but that doesn’t mean you can’t include a controlled amount of chocolate or ice cream. First I make sure I tick off my ‘foods that are good for me’ list and then I can also enjoy some ‘foods that are naughty but nice’ as well.’

The wellness wiz: Ayten Yildirim 

Followers: 48.3k

24-year-old Ayten is a health enthusiast with a BIG online following. She’s a recipe creator and uses her foodie creations to shoot and show off gorgeous online content on her social media channels and blog. She has featured as a guest blogger on sites across the web and describes herself as a positive mental health advocate, who is all about spreading the wellness-shaped-love.

Eat Nourish Love, how to get more protein 9 Instagrammers reveal their top tips by

The protein plan

‘I’m not sure how much I eat specifically, but I make sure to have protein with every main meal and wherever possible as or as part of a snack. I know roughly how much I need based on general nutritional advice and my body weight. But because I don’t keep track of my macros or calories so it’s quite difficult to know if I am getting enough. I believe that we don’t need to track macros to be healthy because each day is different. Our health includes so many factors such as stress levels, sleep, emotional and mental health and how active we are, it goes beyond what we are eating. Our body will send us signals to let us know when we are hungry and I believe that responding to those signals by having satisfying, well-balanced and nourishing meals, eating mindfully and recognizing when you are full, is an easier more carefree approach to eating that can still be healthy.

That being said, it is important to me to eat enough protein because I know it is so beneficial for us. But I try not to over think it. As long as my meals have a bit of everything, are well balanced and nutritious, I’m happy. I do hope I’m getting enough though, I like to go to the gym on a regular basis as well, so I know I need it for my muscle recovery!’

Ayten Eat Nourish Love, how to get more protein 9 Instagrammers reveal their top tips by

Ayten goes to the gym on a regular basis which is why she tries to include protein with every meal

The diet

How I start my day:

‘I love a big ‘Buddha bowl’ filled with sautéed leafy greens such as spinach, roasted veggies such as broccoli, courgette and mushrooms, some quinoa and poached eggs. I also sprinkle over some hemp seeds, crushed nuts and chilli flakes. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, texture and flavour – a very delicious and satisfying start to the day that always sees me through until lunch!’

How I get my protein: 

‘I prefer to eat my protein from whole foods instead of supplements such as protein powder. I don’t eat meat so I have to do my research and get creative in the kitchen with plant-based protein. My main sources are eggs, chickpeas, beans, legumes, tofu and fish. For example, a typical main meal would be a Mexican-style baked sweet potato filled with a homemade bean chilli and a side of smashed avocado.

I love variety in my meals and I really enjoy experimenting in the kitchen. I’m always searching for new recipes. I love looking through cookbooks, trying new herbs and seasonings for flavour and using different cooking styles. My favourite new cookbooks that I have recently been taking inspiration from are The Food Medic for Life and Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook: Plant-based recipes for a conscious way of life. I also have so many different styles of cooking that I love but now that we are entering colder months, I’m enjoying making food in the oven to create warm, comforting meals. I’ve been getting creative with roasting tofu, chickpeas, vegetables and potatoes, experimenting with different herbs and seasonings and seeing what delicious flavours work well.

How I snack on protein: 

Kind protein bar peanut crunchy butter how to get more protein by

‘On weekends I like to make protein balls which I usually just chuck anything I can find into! Things like oats, nut butter, chia seeds, cacao powder and almonds or cashew nuts work really well. They’re great to have on hand when working from home and I need an energy boost. If I’m heading out, I’ll pop a snack in my bag and at the moment, my favourite is KIND Snacks new protein bars. They’re all delicious but I am obsessed with the Crunchy Peanut Butter flavour!’

The healthy hacks

‘Try to incorporate protein at every main meal. Protein is just as important as carbohydrates, healthy fats and getting your veggies and fruit in. When you think of your meal, see it as an opportunity to not only fuel your body but get as much nourishment as possible. That means having a bit of everything, including protein!

My biggest piece of advice would be to find what works for YOU and try not compare yourself to others. You will find that many people (on social media and in your real life) think they have the ‘perfect’ way of eating. But what might work for one person, will not work for another. No one knows your body better than you and what makes you feel, think and live a happy, healthy life. Make sure that when you are eating, it comes from a place of self-care, where you are nourishing your mind, body and soul.’

The world’s strongest woman: Farah Fonseca

Followers: 6583

Farah has been training in a gym for most of her life but her fitness journey really got started when she entered her first strongwoman competition in 2015. She’s a personal trainer and Bootcamp instructor but even more impressively she’s also won the title of England’s strongest woman twice, Britain’s strongest woman AND this year she battled it out for the title of the world’s strongest woman and came out on top.

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Farah Fonseca pro strong woman, how to get more protein 9 fitness instagrammers reveal their tricks by

The protein plan

‘During intense training periods, I aim to eat at least 140g of protein per day. This can be throughout the day – so I make sure to eat protein in every meal and also with snacks. For my body weight (I generally sit around 63kg) I times this by 1.8-2.2. So you times your body weight in kilo’s by the number depending on how active I am and how much training I am doing. During the phases that I can be training up to 6 times a week I eat towards the highest end which is 140g per day and when I train only 4 times per week then I’ll keep it towards the 120g per day.

I feel like it is extremely important to try and get in enough protein on a daily basis. It helps with recovery from my training, helps muscle building and helps to keep me feel full between meals which are all really important to me.’

Farah Fonseca Norway contest how to get more protein 9 fitness Instagrammers reveal their tricks by healthista

Farah competing for the title of strongest woman in the world in Norway

The diet

‘I try to eat protein in every meal – so breakfast will always at least one protein source and meal three and four will always have protein in it as well (which will include either a meat or fish).’

How I start my day:

‘For breakfast, I like to have three eggs, smoked salmon and avocados – or a cheeky steak! I love steak for breakfast cooked medium rare (I hate it overcooked) with a coiple of fried eggs. It’s so delicious.’

How I get my protein: 

‘I generally eat chicken for lunch, and then either fish or red meat in my evening meal. I also tend to have two protein shakes per day which helps me to reach my targets each day – rather than feeling like I have to eat all the time!

Because I do have a set amount of calories and protein to eat each day it is easier for me to generally eat the same foods each day. When I used to eat different meals on a daily basis it becomes really difficult to track the amount I was eating so it is easier for me to eat the same food groups for my protein intake to make sure I’m eating enough of the right foods.

Generally, I eat the following four meals per day plus two shakes:

  • Meal one: three eggs with smoked salmon and avocado
  • Meal two: porridge oats with coconut milk, topped with fruit an cinnamon (usually this is post-workout)
  • Meal three: chicken curry with rice and vegetables
  • Meal four: Beef stir fry with lots of vegetables and rice noodles’

How I snack on protein:

‘I generally use protein shakes as my go-to snacks between meals – but if not, perhaps a Pulsin bar.’

Healthy hacks

‘Just adding one protein based source into each meal can be really beneficial. Adding in some eggs or fish into a salad, or making sure you’re having protein at dinner such as tofu, beans or again fish or a meat source can be a really easy way to increase your protein intake. Protein shakes are an equally easy way to increase protein intake if you struggle with ideas.

And my ultimate hack is moderation. Everything has to be moderation for it to be sustained. Don’t try to go cold turkey on eating foods you know might not be as good for you – there is always too much of a good thing, so find the balance, become more adventurous with foods and enjoy the process of eating.’

The Crossfitting kangaroo-lover: Maddy Black

Followers: 7370


Maddy Black is only 20 years old but she’s already an Olympic weightlifter and CrossFit queen. The Australian fitness fanatic is a student in Brisbane and is weeks away from being a fully qualified occupational therapist. Through coaching and her social media, she says that she plans to empower others to reach the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (and you’ll never guess what her favourite kind of meat is).

Maddy Black, how to get more protein - 9 fitness instagrammers reveal their protein tricks by

The protein plan

‘I currently eat 147 grams of protein per day and I make sure I track it daily through My Fitness Pal. I always space my protein out evenly across the day. I will consume protein immediately post-training for breakfast, and then four more times across the day. If I haven’t hit my protein target after dinner, I will consume casein protein before getting into bed.

I have experimented with various amounts of protein with guidance from other health professionals, and 145-155 grams per day seems to be perfect for me. For others wanting to count their macros, one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is a good starting point. For example; 67 kilograms of bodyweight = 147 pounds = 147 grams.

Getting enough protein each day is not only important for muscle repair and recovery, but it also keeps the metabolism going. It’s so important for me especially when I am cutting weight before an Olympic weightlifting competition as I have to be under a certain bodyweight to compete. Accurate protein consumption each day is what allows me to cut weight safely.’

The diet

‘I eat protein in all my meals – breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and before going to bed. I believe that eating it in small amounts spaced evenly throughout the day is key.’

How I start my day: 

‘My favourite breakfast is a bacon and egg white omelette! I mix 200 grams egg whites, 25 grams of light grated cheese, spinach leaves, red pepper and mushrooms and two rashers of shortcut bacon and then any vegetables.’

How I get my protein: 

‘In my main meals, I tend to opt for things like chicken breast, turkey breast, kangaroo and occasionally white fish. For breakfast, I’ll always eat egg whites and then throughout the day, I’ll snack on Greek yoghurt, low-fat cottage cheese or a casein powder. Occasionally, post-training I will use a good quality WPI protein powder but I always prefer to eat my protein rather than drink it.

I am pretty boring when it comes to lunch and dinner as I’m okay with eating the same thing for four to five days in a row. Kangaroo meat is definitely a favourite of mine as it is so lean and flavoursome. In Australia, Kangaroo comes in the form of mince, sausages, steak and marinated fillets (similar to Beef). It’s extremely lean and also an affordable option! A typical meal of kangaroo for me would look like: 100 grams of cooked kangaroo steak, with steamed beans and broccoli, and roasted sweet potato, pumpkin and carrots. Cut up kangaroo sausage also goes well tossed through a big salad.’

How I snack on protein: 

‘I usually change my snacks from day to day depending on whether I am at home, uni or the gym. But my go-to is probably 160 grams of Chobani Fit Yoghurt with fresh strawberries and cinnamon. I love eating yoghurt as a mid-morning snack, as it keeps me full until lunch. But depending on the time of day I train, I might swap this to mid-afternoon so that I can eat the yoghurt immediately post-training. It’s a great snack as it really can be eaten at any time of the day and still have its benefits.’

The healthy hacks

‘Plan ahead. The night before, write down what you will eat for each meal and snack and ensure each one contains protein-rich source. Write down the time you will eat each meal, ensuring it is every two to three hours. Don’t save all of your protein for dinner to eat a massive steak; excessive protein all at once is not effectively used by your body.

Another great tip is to consume a fast-releasing protein immediately after a big training session. If you train in the afternoon, avoid waiting for one to two hours before having dinner. This is where a good quality protein powder would be useful.

Maddy Black, how to get more protein 9 Instagrammers reveal their tricks by

Maddy stresses spacing out protein throughout the day to make sure you reach your targets

And finally, I’m a huge advocate of mindful eating! Slow down, breath, be present and enjoy every bite. I am continuously trying to improve in this area. It is something I have only become familiar with in the past year as my coach has placed a big emphasis on this to improve absorption and digestion of food. It is important to put your body in the state of ‘rest and digest’ prior to eating, as we often don’t realise how rushed we are moving from one task to the next (I am definitely guilty of this).

A few tips to get started: take five to ten deep breaths before eating a meal. Chew your food more. And no more distractions (no phone or laptop).’

The creative cook: Pamela Higgins

Followers: 13.1k

After struggling with an eating disorder as a teenager, Pamela is now a huge advocate for healthy eating and the power of healthy indulgence. She runs popular food blog, looks after her toddler AND works as a freelance recipe developer, with a speciality in creating healthy versions of indulgent sweet treats. She spends much of her time in the kitchen, rustling up new recipes and is a champion the #IndulgingInnocently hashtag.

SpamellaB, how to get more protein 9 Instagrammers reveal their top tips by

The protein plan

‘I know I should be getting about 50 grams of protein a day, based on my weight and activity levels. Eating the right amount is important to me as I exercise a LOT – on a daily basis I do a workout at home with weights, kettlebells, a medicine ball, resistance bands and skipping rope and do a full body circuit. I also go on six-mile hikes with my toddler in the pushchair (he gets a good sleep!) as I love being out in the fresh air and being out in nature. Plus, running around after a little one, looking after a big house and garden gets the steps in – my average is about 25,000 steps a day.

‘I try to eat protein at every meal throughout the day but I’m not sure how much I have in total as I don’t track macros. Although I do feel like I get a good amount just by how I feel in terms of mood, hunger and energy. I choose not to track macros because I suffered from a very destructive eating disorder throughout my teens – which involved missing a year of school – and part of my recovery was to let go of counting numbers, calories, macros etc. I prefer to eat more mindfully and know that what I’m eating boosts my health, mood, energy. Each to their own, it can be a good way to monitor nutrition but it’s not for me.’

The diet

How I start my day:

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‘I love simple things for breakfast that I can jazz up and customise differently depending on my mood. Some days I might have porridge with protein powder mixed in, topped with fruit, seeds, nuts, etc or others I might make a smoothie with plenty of fruit, vegan protein powder, almond milk, yoghurt, a superfood powder and oats. If I’m eating out on a weekend, my favourite brunch involves gluten-free toast or a bagel topped with poached eggs, avocado, spinach and halloumi – my favourite!’

Put your own twist on Pamela’s protein porridge with THIS vegan protein powder.

How I get my protein:

‘I try to keep things varied so my diet is interesting plus I love experimenting with different things and I get bored eating the same things every day. Although I’m not fully vegetarian, I eat 80 percent plant-based and like to get my protein from pulses (chickpeas and kidney beans are my favourites) and lentils and grains like quinoa. I also try and include foods like tofu, hemp seeds, chia seeds, nuts and seeds (and nut butter of course) as much as possible. Plus occasionally eggs and dairy products.

A main meal should have plenty of flavours – that’s why I love Mexican food! I combine grains or carbs like sweet potatoes, quinoa or brown rice, plus a source of protein like black beans or kidney beans, with loads of veggies – peppers, courgettes, mushrooms, spinach, avocado – and maybe some salsa, cheese or sour cream dip as little additions.’

How I snack on protein: 

‘I love making my own healthy treats made from high-protein ingredients like nuts and seeds, oats, chia seed, and sometimes even add protein powder to them. But I don’t always have the opportunity to cook everything from scratch. So when I’m in a rush I absolutely love KIND PROTEIN bars. They’re crunchy, satisfying, packed with nuts and contain 12 grams of protein per bar.’

The healthy hacks

‘My advice would be to make sure you’ve got a varied diet and to be aware of what’s on your plate at each meal. Have you got carbs, plenty of fruit or veggies, some healthy fats and of course, protein? Look out for high protein snacks (there are plenty on the market now), and with such a boom in veggie and vegan alternatives to meat, you can be sure there’s something for all tastes and dietary choices, whatever meal you are eating.

And my number one rule for healthy eating would be to make sure you eat a wide variety of foods. Eat as natural as possible but also enjoy treats, it’s all about balance. I find that if I base meals around vegetables then include some slow-release, high fibre carbs, plus a protein source and add loads of flavour from herbs and spices, that keeps me feeling full and satisfied. I have a super sweet tooth but I am mindful of sugar so I love making my own healthy versions of indulgent things!’

The super-fit mum: Kristy Ardo

Followers: 197k

Kristy Ardo is not just the super-fit owner of a hugely successful Instagram account. She’s also a mum of three and a qualified personal trainer specializing in prenatal and postpartum fitness. Kristy loves to promote home workouts that can be done easily with your kids around. She aims to inspire busy mums everywhere to accomplish their fitness goals, even if they just have 15 minutes to spare.

The protein plan

‘I typically eat protein at every meal, about 50 percent of my diet consists of it. With diet there is not a one size fits all and some people need more protein based on their lifestyle and activity level. But I make sure that I eat about 30 grams of protein at every meal. I personally run cleaner on good quality proteins. When I eat a high carb diet my body tends to crash and my energy levels dip. I eat grain free so that’s another reason why protein is a key component of my diet. On top of that, I’m also breastfeeding and supplement with a protein powder to keep my milk supply up.’

The diet

How I start my day: 

‘For breakfast, I enjoy eggs, bacon and sausage. We eat some type of eggs, bacon, and sausage combination every day. We do mix it up a little bit. Some days we’ll have breakfast wraps (in a gluten-free tortilla), sometimes we might have omelettes or scrambled eggs instead of fried eggs. But generally, we have the same key ingredients every day.’

How I get my protein: 

‘I personally enjoy eating grass-fed beef and steak. And when I have beef, I love eating tacos! If we are eating steak, I tend to go for fajitas, or pick a vegetable (like asparagus) and pair it with sweet potatoes. I also supplement with a grass-fed whey protein and put it in my shakes.

My main meat sources are grass-fed beef, free-range pork including bacon, free-range chicken, as well as turkey. I believe quality meat is important. Meat is so heavily processed nowadays and eating processed meat can be full of hormones and preservatives. That’s why I believe it’s important to eat high-quality meats in order to absorb proper nutrients. For the most part, I never buy processed meats. But we might eat them if we are at a BBQ or a friends house.  Sometimes it’s really hard to avoid it, but we do live in moderation and I understand that you can’t always eat perfectly.’

How I snack on protein: 

‘I like to keep easy protein snacks available so that it’s easy to eat them while I’m busy. I love snacking on beef jerky, salami, smoked salmon, nuts and cheese. I especially love manchego cheese! We also do fresh mozzarella sticks (the boys love them). I am also a sucker for goats cheese though – it’s my absolute favourite and a good source of healthy fat as well.’

Kristy Ardo and children, how to get more protein 9 instagrammers reveal their tricks by

On Instagram, Kristy shares positive images of how much her body has changed during pregnancy

The healthy hacks

‘Find a high-quality whey protein supplement that is sourced from grass-fed cows. Or start by adding a small amount of protein to each meal. Find proteins you enjoy eating!

I believe in food quality and eating clean whole foods. In our house, we eat gluten-free. Gluten and grains break down into sugar and are stored as fat in the body. I think juice is one sugary food that is best avoided (especially for kids) we also try to avoid cereals because they are normally packed with sugar.’

The routine queen: Alicia Grimshaw

Followers: 1151

Alicia is a northerner with a self-professed passion for eggs, brunch and high-intensity training. She’s also the Deputy Editor at London’s About Time online magazine – a website that features stories covering everything it’s about time you tried in London. As a fitness fanatic and meat-obsessive, she knows a thing or two about trying to up her protein.

Alicia Grimshaw, how to get more protein 9 Instagrammers reveal their top tips by

The protein plan

‘I go to the gym quite a lot – so I always make sure my post-workout meals are heavy on the protein to help my muscle repair. I tend to go to the gym in the morning, as I’m too tired at night and I find that a meal after the gym has to be balanced so I usually have poached eggs and avocado on toast with a protein shake – so simple, but great for the soul.

I make sure I have a protein source with every meal. Whether that’s a protein shake with my breakfast, some chicken for lunch, or, again, chicken for dinner (I eat a lot of chicken). I have a personal trainer who has done a great job of breaking down how much protein, carbs and fats I need to consume over the course of the day. It works out at roughly 220 grams of chicken per meal.’

The diet

‘It can be hard getting enough protein throughout the day. I get most of my protein in at dinner time as often it’s quite difficult to eat enough protein for breakfast – especially if you’re in the office and don’t want to cook eggs in a microwave (I did once and it was a terrible sight AND smell).’

How I start my day: 

‘I don’t eat chicken for breakfast (there was a time when I did), but these days I stick to a protein shake and avocado on toast. If I have time to cook breakfast at home, my favourite for packing a protein punch has to be an omelette. I add some feta, olives, pesto and sundried toms and it tastes perfect.’

How I get my protein: 

‘I’ll admit it, I do mostly get my protein from chicken. A one point I was called ‘Three Meats Grimshaw’ – it was back in my chicken for breakfast days and I was eating ham for lunch and minced lamb for tea.  A whole lot of meat.

I do think chicken is such a versatile meat though, you can pimp it up with a range of condiments. I have one chicken dish which I never tire of and it’s so simple to cook. You just bang everything in one pot. Throw in some onions, peppers, mushrooms and chicken, sautée and then add in some chopped tomatoes, loads of paprika, hot sauce, a bit of rosemary and a slice of courgettes. Then just stir in some spinach at the end. I serve it with baked sweet potato and broccoli. I’m a woman of routine – I’ve also been eating the same salad for a good year. For lunch, I pre-cook chicken (a common theme) and mix spinach leaves, olives, spring onion, peppers and beetroot and have some couscous on the side.’

How I snack on protein:

‘It has to be KIND Protein Peanut Butter – absolute snacking game-changer. And 12g of protein – winner!’

The healthy hacks

‘Even though I’m a self-professed meat-lover, increasing your protein intake doesn’t mean you have to ram loads of meat down. There are other avenues you can explore in order to dial up the protein: snacks, shakes, eggs and cheese are other great alternatives.

My number one rule for healthy eating is that everything is great in moderation. So don’t try and cut out food groups. Have a carb. Eat gluten. It’s all about buying better quality stuff. I always try and buy good quality products, especially when it comes to buying meat. It’s worth spending an extra couple of quid for high-quality meat. You can’t argue with the quality and it just tastes better.’

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The bicycle boss: Gemma Sampson

Followers: 3627

Cycle-savvy Gemma is a sports dietician and duathlete. She’s all about empowering women to fuel their bodies right with a focus on using your food to get the most out of your sporting performance. She’s a Liv brand ambassador (the first cycling brand built solely for women) and jets off all around the world as part of her work.

Gemma Sampson, how to get more protein 9 fitness instagrammers reveal their tricks by

The protein plan

‘Habitually, I eat about 120 grams of protein a day, and I try and spread that evenly throughout the day at each meal and snack, and especially after a training session. Protein shakes and powders have their place, but I prefer a food first approach as much as possible. After hard training sessions, I might make myself a protein smoothie using milk, cottage cheese or Greek yoghurt and fruit. It’s ideal to be getting about 30-40 grams of protein after a training session to support muscle recovery.

Ideally, for the amount of training I do, I need to be eating 130-160 grams of protein per day. This equates to 2-2.5 grams per kilogram of body weight. I train anything from 10 to 20 hours per week so getting enough protein is important to help recovery, support my muscles in getting stronger and it can also help with appetite control and weight management.’

The diet

‘I aim to eat at least 30 grams of protein in all of my meals – breakfast is where I struggle the most unless I am eating eggs.’

How I start my day: 

‘I love a good omelette packed with vegetables and a bit of cheese. Alternatively, I’ll make up a bircher muesli using Greek yoghurt or cottage cheese for a protein punch. If I have more time on my hands for brunch I also love to make French toast with a quality piece of sourdough soaked in egg and served with a bit of fresh fruit and Greek yoghurt for extra protein.’

How I get my protein:

‘Years ago, I had a much more vegetarian diet and only ate meat once or twice a week. Interestingly, as my training load has increased I have noticed that my protein intake from meat, fish or chicken sources has increased because I crave it more – almost daily! But my main sources of protein would definitely be dairy based – I have a lot of milk, high protein yoghurts, cottage cheese, eggs as well as eating beans and lentils regularly.

I tend to eat different things most days – I get bored eating the same foods too often so I try and mix it up regularly. Meat-wise I eat either fish, chicken, pork or beef (with loads of veg) in the evenings. I also use cans of tuna, add cooked chickpeas onto salads and cook with quinoa for some plant-based sources.’

MORE: 9 protein food facts that will give you a better body

For a protein-packed snack: 

‘I love eating Skyr yoghurt, or a Greek yoghurt that has over 10 grams of protein per 100 grams. If you add a bit of fresh or frozen fruit and a sprinkle of nuts, you can easily add about 15-20 grams of protein into a quick, easy and tasty snack. It’s delicious mixed in with a bit of vanilla chia seed pudding. My current favourite combination is either figs or peaches with Greek yoghurt and vanilla chia seed pudding.’

The healthy hacks

‘Look at how your protein is being distributed throughout the day and start with the meal and snacks where you have the lowest intake. Lots of people don’t eat much protein at breakfast, so you could start by increasing protein at that meal. This could be by adding eggs or a high protein Greek yoghurt.

And it sounds simple but I always advise eating more fruits and vegetables! It’s advice that’s under-rated for being too simple, but the fact is that most people don’t eat enough of it.’

The well-balanced yogi: Emily-Clare Hill

Followers: 13.2k

Emily started her life as a dancer (saying that dance was her meditation) but these days yoga is Emily’s passion and she’s an active part of London’s yoga scene. Not only does she run London’s Mudra Yoga Studio with her partner Paul but she also co-founded Sunday School Yoga – a non-profit teaching community. Check out her Instagram for both serious yoga-pose and background inspiration.

The protein plan

‘Every day is totally different but I really notice when I don’t have enough protein – my energy levels drop. I do like to have fish almost once a day and usually try to add in eggs where I can. If I’m rushing around I love to boost myself with neat nutrition protein powder in a smoothie.

Some days are way more physical than others so the amount I eat really varies but I don’t like to get too caught up in numbers. As a yogi, I like to listen and feel out what I need for myself and from there nourish as I feel I need. That being said, I notice that I don’t recover half as quickly if I don’t have enough. I feel as though I can’t get through all the things that I need to get done by the next day because my body is still rebuilding.’

Emily Clare Hill yoga in nature, how to get more protein 9 fitness instagrammers reveal their tricks by healthista

Emily prefers not to track her protein and istead tries to listen to the needs of her body

The diet

How I start my day: 

‘I love eating porridge in the mornings. I load it with everything from fruit and nut butter to seeds. My favourite nut butter has to be almond and I usually have it with a splash of banana. I also love poached or scrambled eggs, avocado and tomatoes on sourdough!’

Check out Healthista’s favourite nut butters here.

How I get my protein:

‘I don’t eat most meat but I do eat fish. So when I’m picking my main meals I tend to get my protein that way, but also through eggs. A typical main meal would be some white fish paired with whatever veggies I feel like eating that day. My all-time favourite is a cod stew made by partner, it’s incredible! At lunchtime, I tend to opt for eggs and avocado on sourdough or spelt pasta with a mix of vegetables and sometimes prawns.

I stopped eating meat when I was about five years old – I never liked it as a kid and it’s stuck. But since learning more about the meat industry, I’m even more happy in my decision. As well as fish I eat a lot of pulses and nuts. There are so many other ways to get your protein aside from eating meat and you can also cook up a healthy, protein-packed main meal with some beans, legumes and pulses.’

How I snack on protein: 

‘Nuts are the best and easiest protein-source to snack on. Or I do like to opt for some nut butter smothered on a banana!’

The healthy hacks

‘Let go of the extra carbs and find a protein that you like instead – it will fill you up for far longer. When it comes to diet in general, I also recommend starting from scratch and trying to eat a ‘whole’ diet – by that, I mean avoiding foods like ready meals and packets of products that we now call food. Instead, opt for foods from the earth.’

The superhuman Spartan: Madeline Dolente

Followers: 35.1k

This Washington based fitness Instagrammer has a big following on social media both across the pond and in the UK too. And is it any wonder? Madeline is a Reebok athlete and is certified in 83 disciplines. She works as a Spartan Ambassador and coach and is also an Elite Spartan racer, having competed in 24 marathons to date. Is there anything this athlete can’t do?

Madeline Dolente athlete, how to get more protein 9 fitness instagrammers reveal their tricks by

The protein plan

‘My goal is to eat 149 grams of protein per day and I eat five times a day to ensure I have enough energy for all of my activities. As an Elite athlete and fitness model and with the Spartan World Championships, my goal has been to increase my muscle mass while decreasing my body fat. I did a Dexascan which told me my muscle mass and body fat. I also did a test to analyze my resting metabolic rate (RMR). I used that information in combination with my goals to calculate the necessary grams of protein per day to reach my goals

If I don’t have enough protein, I will cannibalize my muscle (the muscle will start to eat itself) which will lower my resting metabolic rate and prevent me from being in the best shape possible.’

The diet

How I start my day: 

‘My favourite protein-packed breakfast is my protein pancakes with sugar-free syrup. When I’m busy I opt for ready-made protein pancake mix because I only have to add water. Otherwise, I use three eggs, one-quarter of a cup of oatmeal, one scoop of vanilla protein powder, one tsp of baking powder and Lily’s dark chocolate chips It’s so yummy and 60 chips is less than 5 grams of fat.’

How I get my protein:

‘My favourite sources of protein are from fish, chicken, egg whites, protein powder, steak, almond milk, seeds, protein pancakes. My typical dinner is four to five ounces of grilled chicken, brussels sprouts or broccoli and four ounces of sweet potatoes.

I tend to eat the same things unless I go out to eat and I usually have fish and asparagus when I eat out.  Ahi Tuna is my favourite fish so that is my go-to whenever I eat at a restaurant. Sometimes I will switch it up with salmon to get a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids which help for recovery after an intense workout. It’s important for me to stay on track when eating out because eating healthy is something that needs to be consistent. A one night binge can easily derail a week’s worth of workouts.’

How I snack on protein: 

‘I love almond flavouring. My favourite protein snack is almond milk with a scoop of protein powder or an almond flavoured protein bar.’

Healthy hacks

‘I think using an app like MyFitnessPal can help people understand how much protein is in the foods their current eating. I have my clients incorporate more fish, chicken and turkey as well as protein powder into their meals. And eating out doesn’t have to be unsociable. When dining with others I make sure that my eating preferences are never an issue to others. If I know I will be somewhere that I can bring food, I will bring my food already prepared. If I’m attending a function with appetizers and alcohol, I’ll eat my dinner at home beforehand so I can easily excuse myself from eating and not be tempted on a ravenous stomach. If I’m eating out, I will ask for dressings on the side or my fish or chicken baked rather than fried and I tend to eat foods without sauces or gravy.

And my number one rule for healthy eating is to think of food as your fuel. Choose nutritious foods to perform your best! If you were a Lamborghini, you’d pay for premium fuel so treat your body that way!’

Read more:

9 protein food facts that will give you a better body

Got a bloated stomach again? Here’s the REAL reason

Whey protein: what you need to know

Do you need to add more plant-based protein to your diet?


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