One of the most important foods for fat loss is protein. This essential nutrient is vital for the body to survive and thrive. When digested, protein is broken down into amino acids that become the building blocks for making your body structure including muscles, bones, tendons, tissues, skin, hair and nails. Protein builds and maintains muscles, boosts metabolism, regulates hormones, and balances neurotransmitters. These key functions work together to decrease body fat, reduce cravings, enhance brain functioning, improve sleep, prevent disease, promote longevity, and support your overall wellbeing.
Fat Loss Fuel
Many low-calorie diets result in weight loss at the expense of muscle, which greatly slows metabolism. In contrast, a protein-rich diet preserves metabolism-boosting muscle and produces a thermogenic effect that helps you burn more daily calories. Protein also greatly impacts fat loss by providing high satiation, decreasing hunger and reducing cravings. If you find yourself consistently overeating or craving sweets, then try including more protein.
How To Enjoy
Protein helps you get lean, stay firm and function strong all day long. Here are 4 tips for enjoying protein:
- Enjoy 25 grams of quality protein per meal, which is about 4 eggs, 3-4 ounces of fish/poultry/meat/seafood, 1 cup cottage cheese, 1 serving protein powder. Using the palm of your hand is a good reference for determining portion size.
- Balance your protein intake with plenty of antioxidant-rich, fiber-filled plant foods such as veggies, fruits, gluten-free grains, beans, and legumes. Non-starchy vegetables, such as kale, cabbage, broccoli and spinach, should cover the majority of your plate.
- Promote high satiation and prevent overeating by starting each meal with protein, followed by non-starchy veggies, and natural fats. Save the high carb foods such as starchy veggies, gluten-free grains, beans, legumes and/or fruits for last.
- Boost HCL as needed to break down and absorb protein, as well as vitamins and minerals. Do not take HCL is H. pylori is present.
Protein-Packed Meal Ideas
- Eggs with nitrate-free bacon, spinach and mushrooms
- Omelet with goat cheese, sliced tomato and basil
- Cottage cheese with raspberries and almonds
- Full-fat plain Greek yogurt with vanilla protein powder and cherries
- Chocolate protein shake with blueberries, spinach and cilantro
- Baked bison meatballs with kale chips and sweet potato fries
- Grilled steak with steamed broccoli and mushrooms
- Lettuce-wrapped burger with onions, tomato and mustard
- Rotisserie chicken with hummus, cauliflower, carrots and peppers
- Roasted turkey with lemony green beans and slivered almonds
- Slow cooker pulled pork tacos with avocado and peach salsa
- Broiled salmon with asparagus, mushrooms and peppers
- Stir-fried shrimp with snow peas, carrots, scallions and mushrooms
- Sous vide halibut with tomato and arugula salad
- Canned tuna stuffed tomatoes with olives and baby spinach
- Black bean burrito with peppers, onions, organic corn tortillas and guacamole