If you’re serious about losing fat and building muscle, both your diet and your physical activity must join hands.
It takes both serious attention to both diet and physical activity if permanent success is to be achieved in the weight/fat loss area.. Using one without the other will not get the job done, at least not permanently. In other words, you cannot eat a diet loaded with processed foods and unhealthy fats and expect that your physical activity can overcome such damaging habits. It won’t, and to believe so, is just fooling yourself.
So, once you’ve got your strength training routine in place whether performing at the gym or at home, it’s time to pay serious attention to your diet.
Since you’re working your muscles, you’ll require more protein than before. It is the building block and maintenance center for muscles and since muscles are the workhorses of the body, plenty of protein is required to support them.
Protein is beneficial is many other ways as well. It not only supports lean muscle growth, it helps to shed unwanted pounds by keeping you feeling fuller longer.
Sadly, if you shortchange your body of the protein it needs, both your external and internal organs suffer because of it.
Protein choices can come from and include a variety of foods. It’s always best to go with organic, grass-fed and free-range whenever possible to avoid consuming harming hormones and extra chemicals.
Here’s a shortlist of great protein choices:
Seafood is low fat for the most part and even fish such as salmon (great protein choice) that is higher in fat, provides the heart-healthy kind – omega-3 fatty acids, not the damaging kind of fat. Salmon is great as a main course or dressing a salad.
Lean meats –
Poultry, but stick with white meat since dark meat is higher in fat. Also, to support weight loss, you should remove the skin before cooking.
Pork tenderloin is leaner than it used to be and can now be enjoyed as well as lean beef (if possible go with grass-fed organic because its leaner and free of damaging hormones) in moderation.
There is such a huge variety of beans to choose from and they are the perfect plant-based protein source that also provides us fiber. Black beans are the perfect choice to start with.
According to the American Heart Association adults can safely enjoy 1 egg a day.
Dairy products –
Most dairy foods such as milk and yogurt are excellent sources of protein. Opt for skim or low-fat dairy. It will help keep your bones and teeth strong and guard against osteoporosis.
Soy protein can also help lower cholesterol levels when at least 50 grams or more are consumed daily.
Nuts and Seeds –
Like beans, Mother Nature has provided a near endless variety of these protein boosters. From pumpkin seeds to pistachios and the ever favorite sunflower seeds (and all of them in between), you can’t beat them for taste, texture and high protein. Remember though, that all the calories you consume still count towards your daily total and nuts in particular can be high in fat.
Even veggies can provide us adequate amounts of protein. Peas, spinach, broccoli, edamame, potatoes and asparagus are all great choices.
At times, you may find yourself in need of some quick protein snacks. If you are out of the house and must purchase them (always best to make your own and bring them with you), be sure to read the label first. Choose those that are low in fat and sugar and avoid all others.
Try to include some form of protein with every meal you eat and even with your snacks. It takes longer and more energy to break-down and digest protein than other macro and micro nutrients, so it burns calories and helps us to lose weight.
For a selection of healthy snack foods and bars that are sugar and gluten free and made with a variety of different veggies –
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