When we talk about food in general there are Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats. In this article we’ll be talking about the A-list of Protein rich foods that are a must for your shopping list. They are staple if you want foods that help to burn fat and build lean muscle, the catalyst for staying lean long term.
Give me another chicken or turkey breast please?
Let me give you a quick run-down on Protein, and why it should be the most vital part of any healthy eating plans. All of our bodies have muscles and organs, which are just cells that are basically made up of proteins. Protein itself is made up of a chain of amino acids, around 22 of them.
The body can create around 13 of these amino acids by itself, but guess where the other 9 have to come from? You guessed it, food and nutrition. Protein nutrition turns to amino acids in the blood and used for a variety of things including cell regeneration and repair.
If that is not enough reason to start topping up on your protein reserves, then understand that protein also helps us feel fuller longer, as the digestion process is longer. So if we fuel our lean muscles to grow, our metabolism will be higher, hence why our bodies will be in a better position to “burns fat”.
What protein sources are good ones to start scoffing down (in moderation)?
Lean meat, such as chicken breasts, turkey breasts is the best options. Then lean pork, lean beef, other red meat, such as kangaroo and literally any fish (Salmon, flake, tuna, etc). Eggs, and low fat dairy are also great options.
Look for “lean”
Remember to try and also get the low fat options of these, so if you go for chicken, then without the skin please. Same goes for beef, no point getting a nice big fatty chop to suckle on. You will also be getting a nice serving of saturated animal fat to clog that most important muscle, the heart.
As a general guide you are looking for proteins that have 10 grams of fat or less per 100 gram portion. If you’re cooking it always try and stick to olive oil sprays or grilling. Layering pots and pans with too much oil will just add to the fat content. Use no more than 1 tablespoon if you use oil to cook with.
If you go for dairy…
A small pot of low fat yoghurt (Greek or Natural) will do just fine. Look for higher protein varieties with no sugar, and just add fruit to sweeten (if you must).
Don’t forget low fat cheese, such as fresh cottage cheese or low fat ricotta but remember your portion sizes should be no more than the palm of your hand.
Eggs are also great but they contain an equal amount of protein, but also contain some healthy fats, so an omelette or scrambled eggs with 2-3 eggs is just fine.
A protein fix through protein powder supplementation is also a very convenient way to get your protein hit. Lean Healthy Shake made with a mix of one-ingredient foods (i.e. fruit & nuts) can be a welcomed and convenience addition to your fat burning diet.
Are you nuts?
Another good natural protein source is a handful of nuts. Almonds are the best, but keep it to no more than two portions per day, due to their fat content. Consume just a small portion per serve generally 10-15 nuts.
If you’re a vegetarian…
Look for sources such as tofu, tempeh or legumes. You could also use the option from above with diary and eggs, with the combination of a lot of fibrous vegetables such as brocolli, cauliflowers and brussel spouts. Similar portion advised below should be adhered too.
How much exactly?
The amount you consume protein is dependent on your goals so seek the advice of a coach. However when it comes to portions, think about the size of you palm. Try and get at minimum of 5 portions of protein a day and you should be well on your way to stocking your metabolism and building lean muscle, to ultimately burn more fats and keeps it away.
Before you are tempted to stick another fried chicken bucket down your gullet as your fix of protein, remember to ask yourself if it’s a lean source? I believe and I’m 99% sure that most of the fitness fraternity would agree, low fat sources of protein rich foods are not just for body builders. Protein is just as effective for those who would like to lose weight and transform their bodies. Include some in every one of your meals and snacks today.
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