10 Foods That Help Build Muscle for Weight Loss
Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned vet in the gym, it doesn’t matter if you’re not putting the right nutrients in your body. Starting your meal plans with the right protein are vital in your weight loss journey. In my experience, start with these 10 protein packed foods to build strong muscle.
No brainer, right? It doesn’t matter what grocery store chain you go to, chicken is always available for your diet. No need to worry about if you should only consume light or dark meat, go for it! Whatever works for your diet & lifestyle.
Pronounced KEEN-wah this nutrient based source of veggie protein comes in different varieties. We keep it in our pantry for its versatile nature with pairing other vegetables. How does it help with building muscle you ask? It happens to be rich in iron (helps supply oxygen to our muscles), rich in magnesium (helps relax blood vessels), high in riboflavin (B2) improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells.
It can be hard to find foods that are high in calories and nutritious at the same time. High in carbs and protein beans per serving are very low in fat. Combine this with a lean protein and rice, you’ll be on your way to providing enough firepower to start shedding that unwanted weight.
If you are on a plant based diet looking for protein options or variety can be hard fought at times. While I do enjoy lean animal based protein, I live in a house with vegetarians and working tofu in my meals works greatly. With more than 7 grams of protein per serving it can serve as an excellent substitute for meat. Also, it’s fairly cheap.
Fish in general is high in protein and very lean. Be careful of what type of fish you eat as farm-raised options are everywhere (learn more). As tuna can be a bit on the pricey side look for albacore tuna in the can. One 5oz can contains 30 grams of protein. Wow!
Instead of going to white rice choose brown for the better protein option. One cup has five grams of protein. It also is high in amino acids, providing a strong vegetarian option for building muscle. The main difference between brown and white rice is its fiber content. Fiber supports weight loss because it helps you feel full, so you’re not as likely to grab something extra to eat throughout the day.
Greek Yogurt (plain)
When you compare Greek yogurt to regular yogurt, a 6-ounce serving of Greek yogurt contains about 15 grams of protein (regular yogurt 9). For you guys following low-carb diets it’s about 8 grams lower per serving. If you happen to be keeping up with your macros watch the fat content. Some brand can pack as much as 16 grams of saturated fat per 7 ounce serving (yikes). Regardless, it can be a quick snack to get your protein fix.
While this tiny seed may not provide a large source of protein, its nutritional value packs a powerful punch. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3’s and omega 6 fatty acids, potassium, and antioxidants. When I get up in the morning I throw it my oatmeal to start my day. If you are into breakfast smoothies, try a few tablespoons (2 grams of protein) for an extra boost!
Besides being relatively cheap, lentil pack 18 grams of protein and 40 grams of carbs. Lentils take about 20 minutes to cooks so, start your weekly planning Sunday and you’ll have an incredibly flexible option for fixing your meals throughout the week. Like brown rice, lentils are high in fiber, so you shouldn’t feel the urge to grab that snickers bar from the vending machine.
For some reason, beef always seems to be one of the top choices for building muscle. With the blend of protein, amino acids, & creatine the reason is obvious. While the reports for red meats are mixed, in moderation it remains a strong choice.
Just remember that to lose weight you will have to be in a caloric deficit. One of my favorite apps to keep up with my nutrition is MyFitnessPal.
Good luck on your journey to a fitter you,