Fat loss and achieving a lean, strong body is not about starving yourself or spending hours in the gym.
Rather, it is about eating the right foods that energize you, fill you up, and give you the most nutrients per calorie. Protein foods happen to be best for achieving all three of those goals for the following reasons:
- Raise your metabolism—it costs the body more calories to process protein than carbs or fat.
- Appetite-reducing—protein causes the release of gut hormones that keep you satisfied.
- Triggers protein synthesis, preserving (or building) lean muscle mass so your body burns more calories at rest.
Which is why you need a list of go-to foods that provide high-quality protein. Look no further…
Eggs are a perfect protein source, providing a wealth of amino acids that are used by the body to repair muscle tissue. This means eggs are great for minimizing hunger and they’re a valuable protein source for athletes, who need optimal recovery from training for peak performance.
#2: Whey Protein
Whey protein is arguably one of the best fat loss, muscle building foods and it has some pretty amazing therapeutic benefits. Scientists are using it in the clinical setting to fight diabetes, stimulate mitochondrial activity, reduce blood pressure, fix your gut, prevent muscle loss in the elderly, treat cancer, and improve bone health.
#3: Beef Liver
When people eat beef liver (packed with 25 grams of protein per 3 oz. serving) for breakfast, they have greater satisfaction and less hunger at lunch than when they eat a carb-based breakfast. As a bonus, beef liver has an array of protective nutrients in a source that the body can easily absorb including phosphorous, potassium, vitamin A, copper, folate, choline, and zinc.
One of the most satisfying hunger-reducing proteins, chicken is high in total protein content (30 grams per 4 oz. serving) with a large array of amino acids and a balanced blend of fats (mono, poly, and saturated).
Salmon has 20 grams of protein in one serving, just slightly less than beef. Another reason to eat salmon frequently is that it is overall nutritionally rich, providing healthy doses of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, vitamin B12, niacin, selenium, potassium, and iron.
Not everyone can source bison readily, in which case grass-fed beef is an excellent substitute since both reach the 10-gram threshold dose of essential amino acids that is a consistent indicator of leanness. But bison has a better overall nutritional profile—one study found that men who ate bison more often than beef had less inflammation and lower triglycerides.
Turkey provides the highest protein content per gram (34 grams per 4 oz. serving) but it’s lower in the powerhouse amino acid leucine that triggers protein synthesis. But tunnel vision on specific amino acids isn’t all that useful in real life, and the high total protein content of turkey along with its delicious flavor makes it great for keeping hunger at bay.
Halibut has the highest protein content per gram of all fish, weighing in with a whopping dose of 30 grams per 4 oz. serving, which will maximally stimulate protein synthesis for a better metabolism throughout the day.
Besides being rich in protein with around 25 grams per serving, yogurt provides beneficial bacteria for a healthy gut. Go Greek for nearly double the protein content and opt for versions without the fat removed for the greatest nutritional and hunger-reducing punch.
#10: Yellow Split Peas
Yellow pea protein has recently become all the rage due to its relatively high vegetarian protein content (15 grams per serving) and the fact that it has been shown to raise hunger-reducing gut hormones to the same degree as whey protein. Plus, one study found supplementing with it in conjunction with weight training led to more muscle development than whey. Use pea protein for convenience and add yellow peas and other legumes into your diet for texture and flavor.