A list of High-Protein Foods for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain is presented here. In addition to being low in calories, these food items are rich sources of proteins that help muscle gain.
If you want to grow some muscles, exercise alone would never help. Nutrition plays a crucial role in weight loss and the body-building process.
Protein, the building blocks of the body aids in muscle development. So, you need an adequate supply of protein before you go for any body-building or weight loss exercises.
Proteins have been an integral part of all pre-and post-workout snacks. Its consumption needs to be adjusted with the amount of daily physical activity. That’s why if you undergo strength training you need to consume extra protein.
While protein is the most critical component of the diet for muscle growth, carbohydrates and fats also play essential roles.
But most of the high protein sources are also high in fat and no matter its importance, fat still needs to be consumed in lesser amounts.
For this reason, the type of protein is the most important thing to focus on while preparing workout meals or snacks.
So, for weight loss and muscle gain, high protein sources such as lean meats, poultry, and plant-based protein are ideal choices.
Here is a list of some High-Protein Foods for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain.
1. Soy Protein
Soybean contains 36% protein which makes it a high protein source. Soybeans and other soy products are the most protein-dense option among all the plant-based protein sources. Although the quantity of protein in each form of soy varies greatly.
Soy protein can add an ample amount of protein when added to salads, soups, or other recipes as an alternative to meat.
One study suggests that soy protein is better than animal protein as it helps in muscle building without boosting blood cholesterol levels or saturated fat which is increased by consuming animal protein or full-fat dairy products. [Ref]
2. Chicken Breast
Although, the whole chicken is a good source of protein it also adds a sufficient amount of fat that hinders the process of muscle building.
For that reason, chicken breast is an excellent alternative. It provides 30% of your daily protein needs in a single serving. Chicken breast can be easily added to breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes.
Apart from protein, it also contains sufficient amounts of niacin (Vitamin B3) and vitamin B6 which are good for cardiovascular health and aid in lowering levels of bad cholesterol in the body.
When choosing chicken, go for organic chicken that is pesticide-free and is not fed any antibiotics.
Lentils are so far the best option because their fiber and protein go hand in hand. One component keeps off extra pounds and the other aids in muscle building.
One cup of cooked lentils gives 18 grams of protein.
Lentils due to their low fat and high protein content help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disorders.
Lentils can be consumed as a part of salads, soups, and gravies for lunch and dinner to supply your body with an ample amount of essential amino acids.
Chickpeas, kidney beans, fava beans, and all other varieties of beans have a high protein content per serving. When cooked, one cup of beans gives about 15 grams of protein.
Along with protein, beans supply complex carbohydrates that further enhance satiety.
According to one study, regular consumption of white beans for 35 days led to significant weight loss in the experimental group while the other group showed no significant weight loss. [Ref]
Legumes are protein-rich and also contain complex carbohydrates, folate, iron, phosphorus, and manganese. The majority of bean varieties also aid in the development of lean muscle.
Eggs are a source of complete protein which means they contain all the essential amino acids. Eggs are one of the best foods for muscle building.
Eating eggs accelerates the process of bodybuilding because it supplies all ten essential amino acids in one go.
Another benefit of eggs is that they contain biotin (vitamin B9) and vitamin B6 that aid in increased absorption of protein.
Always go for organic eggs as they provide a better quality of macro and micronutrients.
Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt is high in protein it often contains a double amount of protein as compared normal yogurt.
Switch from full-fat yogurt to Greek yogurt in order to enhance muscle gain without extra fat. The probiotics present in yogurt enhance digestion and absorption by increasing bacteria in the stomach.
Yogurt is a healthy breakfast option and can be substituted with high-fat side dishes such as sour cream, mayonnaise, and dips. It is also beneficial to consume yogurt as a post-workout snack.
Nuts and nut butter are a fantastic source of protein and essential fats. They are also high in fiber which further enhances their role in muscle building and weight loss
Nuts such as almonds contain essential vitamins and minerals such as magnesium that act against inflammation and boost cognitive function.
8. Whey Protein:
Whey protein and other protein powders such as pea protein, soy protein, and chicken protein powders are widely being used by athletes.
They speed up muscle recovery and aid in muscle mass development.
Whey protein is considered one of the best protein powders because it provides a greater concentration of essential amino acids.
High-protein fish such as salmon, tuna, and tilapia are great for muscle building. These have abundant quantities of B-vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.
Fish is the best choice for weight loss too. It is loaded with protein and good fat that aids in bodybuilding and prevents weight gain.
10. Cottage Cheese:
When it comes to cheese, you must go for cottage cheese instead of high-fat and sodium-rich varieties such as cheddar and mozzarella. Just like Greek yogurt cottage cheese has a high protein content and is also a good source of calcium.
Cottage cheese contains both calcium and phosphorus which aid in the process of bone formation. It is a simply healthy way of bodybuilding!