Bigger Better More Badass
Those words held no real meaning whatsoever.
But in 2008, they gave me a bigger boner than nudie pictures of Topanga.
This was the slogan used by Epic Games to describe Gears of War 2.
Standing in line at a Wal-Mart on the night the game came out, I expected to live those words for the next few days.
Bigger, better, and more badass is exactly how GoW2 felt.
At least for the first couple of weeks.
Weeks into it’s release, I realized the slogan should have been: Busted. Broken. And Bogus.
Lag was atrocious, maps were uneven, weapons unbalanced, and the online experience we’d been promised wasn’t badass, it was a pain in the ass.
Every Xbox 360 player had swallowed the sweetness of Epic’s sensational buzzword-laden slogan. Only to realize the sour aftertaste months later.
What’s the Buzz?
Buzzwords are jargon or fashionable phrases—mostly—used in the business world. They’re trite, lack a real definition, and recited by those looking to impress superiors.
Recently, buzzwords like:
- Free Range; and more have become more prominent in our world.
Defining half of those words is a job in and of itself.
Slap one of them on a box of oats or a bag of chicken and you have a product that Whole Foods can sell to hippies and middle class over zealous moms for $30 a bag.
Over the last year or two, the next big buzzword that everyone has started using is protein.
Hundreds of bright colored items in your local grocery store will have phrases or words like this emblazoned on their packaging:
“Now with extra Protein”
Everything from Cheerios to bagels, peanut butter, Kind bars, or buzz foods like Quinoa have bright colored labels designed to grab your attention and convince you that their product comes packed with the mighty power of protein.
Sadly, most of these foods per serving barely crack double digits protein numbers.
How can you claim to be “protein packed” when your product has 8 grams of protein?
That’s like a Chinese restaurant telling me that Crab Rangoon are stuffed with crab, when what they really mean is: “we stuffed it with cream cheese and crab flavoring but you’ll never know.”
Ignore the Buzz
Put down the box of Cheerios and leave the protein bread on the shelf.
Return that $30 bag of organic, non-gmo, pesticide free, shade grown on the highest mountain in Peru, protein packed Whole Foods brand Quinoa, because there are better ways to increase your protein without buying buzzword labeled products.
5 Ways to Increase Protein in Your Diet
The trusty staple of bodybuilders and bros worldwide.
Lacking the yolk of the egg, egg whites can be a little bland. You’ll find that people either drown them in the tasty goodness of hot sauce or add veggies and other meats to make omelets with them.
There are other ways to consume egg whites.
Liquid egg whites are safe for you to consume raw because they’re pasteurized. Adding a serving or two to a post or pre-workout shake is a great way to increase protein into your diet.
There is one other way to sneak egg whites into a meal without drowning them like a NYC sewer rat in hot sauce.
Strength coach Jordan Syatt swore by this online and I gave it a try one morning.
In your morning oatmeal, add a serving or two of egg whites (I use ⅓ cup for 10g of protein) while the oatmeal is cooking. Sounds weird I know, but you never taste the egg whites at all.
This is a great way to sneak extra protein into your breakfast in the morning and will help get the muscle building process underway.
I love cheese, but when it comes to fat-loss, especially if your macros keep you on the lower end of fat, consuming cheese can be tricky.
Most full-fat cheeses clock in at around 8-9 grams of fat and 5-7 grams of protein. On the surface, this sounds reasonable.
Yet, it’s really easy to eat half or a whole block of cheese without paying attention.
A whole block of full-fat cheese has about 72 grams of fat and 48 grams of protein.
This means that for many on a fat-loss regimen, cheese has to be cut.
When you’re cutting fat you can also cut the fat in your cheese by opting for non-fat or low-fat cheeses.
Look for cheeses that have at least a 2:1 protein to fat ratio if they’re low-fat.
Part-skim ricotta, feta, or low-fat versions of cheddar usually have around 2-4 grams of fat and 7-9 grams of protein. All this will depend on the brand, but look at labels and find the cheeses that give you more of the mighty P.
Need cheese for your salad?
Look no further than fat-free mozzarella.
Or grab them in stick form and keep these bad boys in your fridge for quick protein packed snacks.
Each mozzarella stick has about 8 grams, plus who didn’t love peeling those things as a kid?
If cheddar is more your game, there are low-fat cheddar options.
Cabot is my go-to low-fat cheddar cheese in this case.
Leaner Cuts of Meat
Everyone knows that chicken breast is low-fat and packed with the mighty P.
Summer’s around the corner and that means one thing, time to fire up the grill.
Meat used for burgers, steaks, or kebabs at BBQs tend to be higher in fat content.
To increase protein out of your burgers, opt for the leaner (96/4 or 93/7) packages of ground beef.
Leaner ground beef can have 4.5-7 grams of fat. But pack a walloping 20-23 grams of protein packed into each 4-ounce burger patty — that’s an almost 5:1 protein to fat ratio.
You’re a steak lover, though. What should you do?
Leaner cuts like flank steak, eye of round, or tip side sirloin are going to be your best bets here.
Or check out this guide here for the leanest cuts of steak to grab at the store.
One of the leanest meats you can grill this summer is shrimp. Shrimp pack an almost 18 to 1 ratio of protein to fat.
Shrimp packs an almost 18 to 1 ratio of protein to fat.
White fish like tilapia, haddock, cod, halibut, and others are high in protein and super low fat.
Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
Like protein, Greek Yogurt has become a bit of a buzzword over the last few years.
As hip as Greek Yogurt is today, it’s still a great source of protein.
You can pick it up at any grocery store and I’ve even seen snack pack versions popping up in gas stations.
Starbucks is even baking it into their muffins or scones — though protein is still lacking in these items, so don’t get fooled.
Using Greek Yogurt as the base for dips or salad dressings is my favorite way to increase protein into my diet.
You can Greek Yogurt to make ranch dressing/dip, Caeser dressing, creamy honey mustard, or marinades and sauces to go on top of meat.
Increase protein while you chop down the fat content down.
All you need for a great Greek Yogurt dip is:
- 2-3 Tbsp. dried parsley
- 1-1.5 tsp. dried dill weed
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup of Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
Add all the ingredients together, stir, and place in a container. Each Tablespoon of this will net you around 1.5 grams of protein.
Powdered Peanut Butter
When clients ask me how they can sneak more protein into their diet, powdered peanut butter has now become the first thing I tell them to pick up.
Because no matter what you hear in the media, nuts and nut butters are not high in protein.
Peanuts and they’re packaged buttery spreads have a 2:1 fat to protein ratio. That doesn’t make them high protein—that makes them high fat. But peanut butter fans need not worry. And if you’re vegan, and tired of soy products, powdered peanut butter cuts that from 16g per serving down to 2g while keeping 5g of protein.
PBFit is (so far) the best brand of powdered peanut butter that I’ve found. And if you’re looking for a cheap and simple vegan source of protein—while keeping peanut butter in your diet—then get a giant tub of this.
The Final Buzz
Buzzword will never go away. The media, marketers, and people you work with, who only use them to sound smart,” will continue using them.
Falling for hype sucks and leaves you feeling taken advantage of.
Instead of falling for the buzzword trap, flip the label over the next time you’re in the grocery store and test their protein-packed claim.