5 simple protein-packed meals to ward off hunger

Health and Fitness
One of the challenges with maintaining a healthy weight and subsequently a healthy heart is our tendency to overeat at main meals, feel peckish in between meals or crave something sweet after meals.

There are many reasons why this happens, and they’re usually a combination of social, emotional and physiological…

…but before you can tackle the social or emotional reasons why you overeat, excessively snack or crave sugar, you need to address the physiological reasons.

A few reasons you may overeat are:

  • You may not actually feel physically full, because the foods you’ve eaten previously haven’t given your body the tools to feel full.
  • You may be extra hungry because you haven’t eaten enough throughout the day.
  • You may not be eating enough protein.

We learnt from my previous article that protein is an essential part of helping you feel full and satisfied, and that one of the best ways to getting back in control of your appetite is ensuring you’re eating protein-rich foods at each of your meals, particularly breakfast and lunch.

So here are five protein-packed meals that you can throw together to help get you through the day!

The Four Ingredient Supermarket Wonder


100g smoked salmon, sliced
125g tin four-bean mix, drained and rinsed
2 cups pre-cut coleslaw mix (no dressing)
1 tbsp aioli


1. Combine the four-bean mix, coleslaw and aioli in a bowl. Toss to coat evenly in the aioli.

2. Top with smoked salmon and serve.


33g protein
493 calories

The Leftover Roast Meat Wrap


1 wholegrain wrap (50g)
2 tbsp hummus
100g roast lamb or beef, thinly sliced
2 cups green leafy salad mix
½ tomato, sliced


1. Spread the wrap evenly with hummus.
2. Top with roast meat, salad and tomato. Wrap up and serve.


37g protein
468 calories

The Protein Snack Attack


150g high protein yoghurt (eg, Chobani, YoPro)
1 tbsp flaked almonds
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp dried coconut
Fresh strawberries


1. Place the yoghurt into a bowl and top with nuts, seeds, coconut and fruit.

2. Serve immediately and enjoy!


25g protein
462 calories

The Easy Brunch


1 cup baked beans in tomato sauce (reduced salt)
2 cups baby spinach leaves
2 eggs
¼ avocado, cubed


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

2. Combine the baked beans and baby spinach in a small casserole dish. Crack the eggs into the beans.

3. Place the casserole dish into the oven and bake for around 7–10 minutes, depending on how soft you want your egg yolks.

4. Serve and top with cubed avocado.


31g protein
487 calories

Chicken Nugget Dreams


1 chicken thigh fillet, skinless
10g raw cashews
½ tbsp sesame seeds
Pinch sea salt
½ tsp cumin spice
Pinch chilli flakes
50g tzatziki dip


1. Pre-heat an oven grill to 150–180°C.

2. Cut the thigh fillets into thin strips and place into a snap lock or freezer bag.

3. In a small food processor, combine the cashews, sesame seeds, salt, cumin and chilli flakes, and process until the cashews are crushed, but still a little chunky.

4. Add the cashew mixture to the snap lock bag and shake to evenly coat the chicken pieces.

5. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Evenly spread the chicken across the paper and place under the grill for 3–4 minutes. Turn over and grill for a further 3–4 minutes.

6. Serve immediately with the tzatziki to dip.


38g protein
362 calories

Kate Freeman
Kate Freeman is HRI's resident nutritionist. She is a registered nutritionist from Canberra, Australia and the creator and managing director of the largest private nutrition practice in Canberra, The Healthy Eating Hub. Kate consults, writes, presents and mentors in the field of nutrition and has over 10 years of experience in the industry.

Related news

4 ways diet can help lower cholesterol

People often don’t think about cholesterol levels until the GP calls wanting to discuss the results from a yearly blood test check-up. It’s in that moment that you may start to wonder.

While genetics can influence cholesterol levels to a degree, the foods we eat also play a part. One of the main ways our diet can help lower cholesterol is by reducing LDL cholesterol – known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol and associated with increased risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.

Read more

Pistachio berry stacks

Here's a dessert full of the goodness of berries and nuts, perfect for an occasional treat.
Read more

Managing risk factors: type 2 diabetes

People with diabetes are up to four times as likely to develop heart disease as those without. If you have a family history of type 2 diabetes or have recently been diagnosed, the steps you take to either prevent or manage it are the same as you’d take to decrease your risk of heart disease, such as managing your diet and carbohydrates. Here's how.
Read more