One of the most common things we see when people come to us to lose weight is that they have diets that are low in protein and high in carbohydrates. One of the first changes that we encourage is to decrease total carbohydrate intake and increase the amount of protein that is consumed (exactly how much of each macronutrient a person needs depends on their goals, body weight, body fat percentage, activity level and body type.) The first question we are often asked after giving this advice is where can I get my protein from?
The following is a list of some of the best sources of protein to allow you to achieve your weight loss goals.
Lean Beef - Lean beef is an excellent source of protein as well as being rich in zinc, iron and Vitamin B-12. To find out more about the benefits of red meat please refer to our previous article.
Seafood - While not as high in protein as Lean beef, seafood is a great option with white fish being low in fat. Cold water fish is high in fat although it is omega 3, the healthy kinds of fat that must be supplied through the diet.
Poultry - Poultry is a quick and easy and versatile source of protein; the white meat is the leanest portion.
Pork - Pork is one of the richest sources of an amino acid known as leucine, which makes up one third of our muscle protein and consuming this amino acid stimulates muscle repair and recovery. Eggs, chicken and lean beef all contain leucine.
Eggs - each medium sized egg contains roughly 6g of protein in a form that is easily digested. They also contain a host of vitamins and minerals (Vitamins A, B5, B6, B12, B2, E, D, K, Selenium, Folate, Phosphorus, Calcium and Zinc. Eggs contain all of the essential amino acids in the right ratios so our body makes full use of them.
Yoghurt - Yoghurt contains both casein and whey proteins so it is an excellent option for those who choose not to eat meat. We recommend choosing a low fat Greek yoghurt like Chobani as it has the highest protein content without having high amounts of fat or carbohydrates.
Milk - Dairy contains not only muscle building protein but bone building calcium. Having a mix of both whey and casein protein means that it has both fast and slow acting protein which makes it a great protein snack after training. Try a milk based fruit smoothie with some low carb protein powder as a high protein snack.
Soya - Is a great choice if you're dairy intolerant and consuming soya products like tofu or soy milk will help boost your recovery.
Legumes - while technically a source of carbohydrates legumes such as beans and lentils are a great source of Iron and fibre which aids in digestion.
Leafy Greens - While they don't contain as much protein as other vegan sources like tofu or legumes, leafy green do contain amounts of protein however they are also packed with significant amounts of antioxidants and fibre.
Supplementation - you have many options when it comes to eating enough protein but sometimes life gets in the way and supplementation is needed. We have a wide variety of protein powders and bars available to ensure you're staying on track.
Take home note, for optimal health we recommend consuming your protein from as many different sources as you can to optimize the amount of different vitamins minerals and amino acids that your body receives. But the most import thing that you can do is make sure you're hitting your daily protein requirement!
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.