This post has been updated since its initial publication date to include additional expert insights.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you might think that the most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to your diet is to eat less and keep your calorie intake low. However, it’s crucial to make sure you’re feeding your body all the food and nutrients it needs to stay happy, healthy, and energetic enough to tackle all of your fat-burning workouts. One of the most essential parts of any healthy diet is protein, which can help boost your metabolism and speed up weight loss.
To discover some of the best low-fat (or lean) protein foods you can incorporate into your daily diet, we spoke to health experts Jeanette Kimszal, a registered dietitian, Dr. Matt Chalmers, a health and wellness expert, author, and nutrition speaker, Brenda Peralta, registered dietitian, Allison Herries, registered dietitian, Nataly Komova, registered dietitian and fitness expert, and Heather Hanks, registered dietitian. They gave us five options that are as healthy as they are tasty: egg, greek yogurt, chicken, salmonAND beans and lentils. Read on to learn more!
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If you love a good omelette or Eggs Benedict in the morning, we have good news: Health experts agree that eggs are one of the best high-protein, metabolism-boosting foods to put on your plate every day. Kimszal explains that “the protein found in eggs can increase the thermic effect of food and can speed up metabolism,” noting that just one egg offers 6 grams of protein. Chalmers even refers to eggs as “the best high-protein breakfast for fat loss” and says they offer a number of amazing health benefits. “Whether your goal is to build muscle, which also boosts your metabolism, or just burn fat, eggs should be a big part of your diet,” he says. We can definitely top it!
One of the best things about eggs is the fact that they will keep you full throughout the day. As Peralta explains, “studies have shown that eating eggs not only boosts metabolism, but it also increases satiety levels,” adding that “feeling fuller longer means you’re less likely to eat more throughout the day.” And, if you’re wondering what’s the healthiest way to cook eggs, we asked the experts.
2. Greek yogurt
There’s another tasty breakfast staple calling your name if you’re looking to load up on protein: Greek yogurt. Peralta points out that this filled dairy is “low in carbs and high in protein,” noting that this makes it a great option for anyone looking to boost their protein intake through snacking.
She says eating a cup of this yogurt a day is a great way to go—believe it or not, that serving will provide a whopping 15 to 20g of protein, which Peralta says is “more than enough for a snack.” When paired with granola, berries, chia seeds, or any other nutritious toppings of your choice, this meal can do wonders for your metabolism and keep you fuller for longer.
If you want the best high-protein meat options out there, it might be time to swap your cheeseburgers for some leaner varieties like grilled chicken. Herries explains that these meats contain plenty of protein without the drawbacks of a load of fat and calories. “Lean meats, including chicken, turkey and fish, are excellent protein options,” she says, noting that “this is because most of the calories in lean meats come directly from protein.”
Adding some chicken to your plate is a great way to boost your protein intake while maintaining your weight loss goals. Herries states that “100 grams of chicken breast provides approximately 31 grams of protein with only 165 calories.” Cute! We too crave a grilled chicken salad.
Speaking of lean meats, it turns out fish is another great food to incorporate into your diet if you want to boost your metabolism. Not only does it offer a generous amount of protein, but it’s also full of healthy fats. Hanks says fatty fish like salmon is “a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D,” which help “reduce inflammation, regulate immune health, and support digestion,” all of which can help you on your journey. of weight loss. Additionally, lean fish like salmon can help increase the thickness and shine of your hair.
Hanks suggests combining fish with vegetables for the ultimate healthy meal. “Try a salmon salad with low-carb greens for lunch to promote satiety, boost energy levels, and improve digestion,” she says, adding that “salmon also goes well with veggies at night or with an omelet in the morning”. Delicious sound!
5. Beans And Lentils
And, if you’re a vegetarian, there’s one other high-protein food besides yogurt that you can eat: beans and lentils. These lean plant-based proteins are some of the best foods to eat every day for weight loss due to their high fiber content, says Komova. Plus, they’re great for your heart, too. “These legumes contain fiber and lean protein that can keep you fuller longer and reduce feelings of hunger and reduce cholesterol levels,” she points out.
Legumes and beans can also help you tone your midsection. “Beans and lentils accelerate midsection fat burning and prevent fat accumulation due to their high thermal impact,” explains Komova. All in all, that means they can help rev up your metabolism so you can shed belly fat faster than ever before. Noticed!
The bottom line
So, with the help of lean protein foods and getting ample exercise through strength training and HIIT, you can boost your metabolism, promote weight loss, and ultimately transform your body. And when it comes to the best options out there, eggs, Greek yogurt, chicken, salmon, beans and lentils are all tasty and healthy choices.
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