Maintaining good overall health requires you to eat a balanced diet. On the top of it, if you are on your way to weight reduction, it becomes all the more important to eat right in addition to being physically active. However, it is a lesser known fact that protein is the only crucial nutrient for weight loss. Eating a protein rich diet helps to reduce appetite thus boosting your metabolism. Protein is a highly an essential component of every cell in your body,
It has also been revealed through studies that a diet that contains ample quantity of lean protein helps to lose weight and kick off the stubborn belly fat. It also improves the muscle health while making them stronger. Adding further, eating a protein rich diet also helps the body to burn more calories. This is because protein possesses the ability to change various weight-regulating hormones. Therefore, it uses different mechanisms to promote a healthy weight.
Why is Protein good for Weight Loss?
The popularity of protein is reigning high among those aiming at weight loss. As you move forward on your journey to weight loss, you might think about this macro-nutrient being so precious.
Here are a few reasons why protein intake aids a healthy weight loss.
- Requires more of your Energy
The ‘Thermic Effect of Food’ (TEF) refers to the energy that is used to digest food into small and absorbable components. Protein possesses a higher TEF contrasting fat and carbs, meaning that you are actually burning a higher amount of calories to process protein than processing the other two.
- Curbs Carbs Highs and Lows
Pairing protein with carbohydrate food items can slow down the absorption of sugar from the stomach into the bloodstream thus keeping your blood sugar from rising and ward off future carvings.
- Promotes Muscle Repair and Growth
You need a high protein diet, especially after bouts of intense exercise. Therefore, try to increase your protein intake on days of intense workout. Moreover, if you are strength training, consider munching on a high protein snack just after the training session, when the muscle is sensitive to nutrients that can be used to repair and grow muscles.
To reduce weight and maintain a healthy mind and body, it is important to make correct protein choices. After all, quality matters the most. Here is a list of top high protein foods that work wonders for weight loss.
Oatmeal is one of the healthiest sources of protein. Oats contain healthy fiber, manganese, magnesium, vitamin B1 (thiamin), and various other nutrients that aid weight loss as well as overall health. It is also believed that oats contain more protein count as compared to any other common grain (1).
Quinoa is one of those few plants that contain high protein content and are free from gluten (2). It is the rare plant food that contains all nine essential amino acids. In addition, it is also an amazing source of fiber and other essential antioxidants. Besides being helpful in weight loss, quinoa also helps to prevent numerous health conditions.
[ Read: Low Calorie Recipes For Weight Loss ]
- Chicken Breast
This is another high protein food that is popular among people on a weight loss regime. This is for the fact that chicken breast contains lesser amounts of saturated fats and carbs. Additionally, it is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. This further makes it one of the most ideal protein sources, specifically if you are trying to shed those extra pounds or gain some lean muscle (3).
This amazing plant food is an incredibly healthy vegetable that is loaded with high amount of proteins along with other nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber (4). Furthermore, this low-calorie source of protein is believed to fight serious diseases like cancer. Above all, its health benefits are simply amazing.
Although tofu tops the contest among soy popularity, tempeh seems to bag the victory crown in the protein department. It is prepared from soy beans instead of soy milk. This is the reason that it contains just the double amount of protein, which is approximately 20 grams per ½ cup, as compared to 10 grams per ½ cup in tofu (5). You can either prepare it easily at home or also go for over the counter packing available in the market.
Asparagus is one of the underrated veggies. It is from the group of vegetables that’s easy to forget about. However, it should be a part of everybody’s diet for containing about 27 grams of protein per cup, that’s quite high. You can add it to just anything and everything – from pizzas to sushi – or just eat it on its own. Of the numerous amazing ways to cook it, roasting seems to be the most delicious and tempting.
Corn is something that should be eaten all through the year for containing about 16 grams of protein per cup. You can either eat it right off the cob or add it into your casseroles or tacos (6).
- Lima Beans
Beans have always been considered as a solid protein source. Lima beans contain as much as 15 grams per cup. Although it is hated by many, they taste really good and yum if cooked properly (7). It is an advice from renowned dietitians to stay away from canned stuff and roast them in the oven. You can add them to soups or juts sneak them into your baked dishes.
While most of the vegetables contain an average of 1-5 grams of protein per serving, a whole cup of peas contains up to 10 grams of protein. This makes it one of the most important plant-based sources of protein. Well, that’s not all yet! Unlike other plant foods, peas are also packed with high levels of glutamine, an amino acid compound that helps to repair muscles post workout and improve digestive health (8). Moreover, they have also proved helpful to reduce alcohol cravings and sugar levels.
So, what are you waiting for? Include these protein rich food in your diet and kick start your weight loss journey today!