Want to lose weight? One of the best ways is to take in plenty of protein. Nutritionists say that women should take in about half a gram of protein for every pound they weigh, and more if you exercise. Protein helps us lose weight for a few different reasons, including:
- It helps to keep you feeling full longer. If you include protein with every meal and snack, you’ll be a lot less health to turn to unhealthy foods between meals.
- Protein helps you burn more fat. When it comes to torching your body’s extra fat, protein is the best. Eating plenty of protein will amp up your metabolism. That’s because digesting protein requires a lot more work and burns more calories. It’s like the difference between going for a walk and going for a run!
If you’re exercising on a regular basis, you’re going to get even more out of the protein you take in, especially if you consume it within 30 to 45 minutes of your workout. That’s because your muscles are extra open to nutrients during that time period. Eating protein then will build lean muscle, which helps your body burn more calories throughout the day.
Best Sources of Protein
The good news for people looking to boost their protein intake is that there are so many delicious and easy ways to do it. Here are some of the best protein sources for weight loss:
Vegetables – Most people don’t think of vegetables as good sources of protein, but many of them are. Spinach has almost as much protein as a hardboiled egg, while peas deliver protein and all the vitamin C you need in a day.
Fruit – You may not think of tomatoes as a fruit, but they are. Snacking on sun-dried tomatoes will boost your protein intake while giving you plenty of fiber and potassium too. Want something sweeter? Try guava – it’s the highest protein fruit and gives you 600% of your daily vitamin C needs.
Beef – Whether you choose cow, bison, ostrich or pork, eating beef will boost your protein levels fast with over 20 grams of protein per serving.
Seafood – Seafood is a healthy choice for a lot of reasons, and protein is one of the top ones. Fish will keep you feeling full for a long time. This is because it has such high levels of protein. It also has a big impact on your serotonin levels which is one of the hormones that makes you feel hungry. Favorites include white fish like halibut, salmon and canned tuna in water.
Poultry – White meat turkey and chicken are both great sources of lean, high quality protein.
Eggs – Eggs are one of our healthiest foods. They’re an all-time favorite source of protein as well as amino acids, iron and antioxidants. Make sure you eat the yolks too.
Legumes – Beans, lentils and nuts all have high levels of protein and fiber. This means that they do double duty at keeping you feeling full for a long time.
Seeds – Chia seeds are a highly concentrated source of protein that is easy to add to food, and the same is true of hemp seeds, and pumpkin seeds. And don’t forget almonds for a delicious, high protein snack.
Dairy –Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are some of the best sources of protein for weight loss.