You have to lose weight in order to build muscle. That’s what most people think anyway. But it doesn’t always have to be like that. What if you could do both things at the same time? That’s an achievable goal with adequate nutrition. For instance, you should focus on eating low calorie foods to lose weight but make sure they’re loaded with protein as well. If you don’t want to wait to lose weight and then build muscle this article is perfect for you. Keep reading to see what foods to include to your menu to lose weight and retain muscle.
Eggs have been largely underestimated mostly because it’s believed they’re bad for cholesterol levels and thus jeopardize cardiovascular health. But that’s not necessarily correct. For example, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study conducted by scientists at the University of Eastern Finland Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition showed that eggs don’t pose a threat for heart health. After all, eggs are a powerhouse of nutrition and they can make a significant impact on your weight loss.
The International Journal of Obesity study conducted by J.S. Vander Wal and research group of the Saint Louis University showed that eating eggs for breakfast enhances weight loss.
Eggs are also packed with protein which is essential for gaining and retaining muscle mass. Remember, don’t ditch egg yolks because your body isn’t able to synthesize protein from eggs without the yolk.
2. Wild salmon
Wild salmon is one of the best sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. It also gives you 20g of protein per 100g serving. Salmon isn’t a fat-burning food that will magically help you shed those extra few pounds but it’s effective for weight loss. Why? It’s because it has only 155 calories and 7 grams of fat. Due to the fact it’s also good source of protein it poses as perfect nutrient-dense food that is essential for healthy and successful weight loss.
Omega 3 fatty acids in salmon inhibit muscle breakdown while increasing the anabolic capacity of amino acids. To get these benefits, you can also use fish oil supplements.
Berries are packed rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are necessary for overall health and well being. Plus, they’re the best source of antioxidants which protect your body from a wide array of diseases. Furthermore, they’re rich in water content and are low in calories.
The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition study found that eating blueberries prevents exercise-induced muscle soreness. Antioxidant found in berries prevents exercise-induced inflammation. If we take into consideration the fact that muscle degradation and its repair are necessary for muscle gain and retention then berries are exactly what you need.
4. Chicken breasts
Skinless chicken breasts are ideal addition to every weight loss nutrition plan due to high protein levels and low calorie content. For instance, eating grilled chicken breasts helps you fill up without eating too many calories and protein acts like appetite suppressant which means you will eat less. This food is also classic lean muscle-building protein. It’s no surprise that many bodybuilders eat grilled, baked, or cooked chicken breast regularly.
What makes turkey especially amazing is the fact it doesn’t contain carbs which means it’s ideal food to eat when you’re having cravings. Turkey breast is also abundant in protein which helps you build muscle and rev up your metabolism.
Lentils are a great source of protein and fiber which is essential for healthy digestion necessary for effective weight loss. They’re also low in calories and fitness experts consider them as muscle-building tripe threat (high protein content, low calories, high fiber content). The best thing of all, you can cook lentils in bulk as they are easily reheated which is practical if you’re busy.
7. Greek yogurt
Plain Greek yogurt is rich in protein and very filling which is good for your weight loss. For instance, scientists of the University of Tennessee conducted a study whose results were presented at the Obesity Society Meeting of 2007 and they showed that dietary calcium, e.g. in plain Greek yogurt, has a direct impact on weight loss. In fact, for consistent weight loss you should eat yogurt every day.
Greek yogurt is produced in part by straining excess liquid and carbs from regular yogurt thus resulting with product with twice the protein level. It comes as no surprise that all muscle-building food lists contain Greek yogurt.
Broccoli is a great choice for weight loss diet because it’s low in calories and it’s abundant in essential nutrients such as fiber. Except for digestion, fiber is also necessary for satiety thus preventing you to overeat. Another benefit of broccoli is that antioxidants found in it minimize negative effects of estrogen on your muscle-building goals. While most people assume retaining muscle means you should avoid broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, the truth is, they are very beneficial for your endeavor.
There are many reasons your diet should include quinoa. For example, it’s higher in protein and fiber content than rice and oats, it’s more delicious, has low glycemic index and also gluten free. Quinoa is rich in vitamins and minerals essential for energy production and weight loss while fiber and protein content will keep you full.
What makes quinoa a top notch muscle-building food is the low glycemic index which is only 53. This means you get a slower burn from the carbs in this food item thus providing sustained infusion of calories, more energy necessary for retaining and building your muscles.
10. Red Meat
Red meat has a bad reputation and is usually considered as food that will make you gain weight. But that’s not quite correct. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study showed that high protein and low carb diets, which also includes red meat, isn’t only beneficial for weight loss but it also maintains healthy weight range. The study also found no differences between poultry and red meat.
If you want to lose weight and still retain and build muscle you should eat red meat at least once a week because:
- It’s high in protein
- It’s rich in B vitamins essential for supporting metabolic rate
- Contains CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) which combats inflammation and hypertension
- It’s related to testosterone production.
With proper nutrition it’s possible to lose weight and still retain muscle. This article showed you 10 foods that offer both of these benefits. Remember, moderation is the key and it’s also important to include low-calorie high-protein foods to your diet to accomplish your goal.