High quality proteins derived from your diet are essential to maintain and facilitate muscle growth. And it’s is important to maintain your protein intake, of around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight if you’re taking part in moderate physical activity, and around 2-2.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight for those intense athletes and weight trainers. This will ensure that your muscle mass is maintained (and sufficiently nourished to allow growth) and that any loss of weight is derived through fat alone.
Lose Fat Not Muscle
For weightlifters, it’s important to maintain a protein intake that will aid muscle generation and that any weight lost will be taken from your fat reserves and won’t result in your hard earned muscle being “eaten away”.
- Try not to let your calorie intake drop below 8 calories per pound of body weight. (i.e. a 200 lb person should not eat less than 1600 calories per day)
- Set your daily protein intake to an amount conducive to maintaining muscle mass. (i.e. Approx 1 gram per pound of body weight – minimum)
- Aim to get around 20-30% of your calories from fat, and try to get roughly 2 grams of (healthy) essential omega-3 fatty acids. (i.e. found in Salmon)
The following is a list of high protein foods which can easily be incorporated into one’s daily diet, they include:
1. Fish & Seafood
Seafood is a very good source of protein, and is usually very low in fat. Fish such as salmon, although higher in fat, contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the heart. Sashimi is a great and healthy alternative when it comes fish, and rich in proteins. Check out the article: Kicking Calories and Fat, Sushi is your Answer to Muscle Gains
Raw Salmon (per 100g) = 20g of Protein
2. Lean Poultry (White Meat)
For lean protein, go for chicken and turkey breasts. Avoid the dark meat and the skin as these are loaded with saturated fat and will not only harm your waistline but your heart too.
Roasted Chicken Breast Skinless (per 100g) = 31g of Protein **Hi Protein Winner**
Turkey Breast (per 100g) = 17g of Protein
3. Dairy (Milk, Cheese, Yoghurt)
Being a good source of protein and chock full of calcium, dairy foods are a must. Where possible choose low fat or skim products to aid weight loss. Plain yoghurts with live cultures and cottage cheese are high sources of protein and contain selenium which boasts anti-oxidising properties to not only keep bones and teeth strong but also keep you looking radiant, young and healthy.
Low Fat Milk (per 100ml) = 3.5g of Protein
Low Fat Plain Yoghurt (per 100ml) = 5.3g of Protein
Rich in protein and light on the wallet eggs should be a valuable source of high quality protein. Although the yolks found in eggs contain cholesterol, you can safely enjoy an egg a day, according to the American Heart Foundation.
Chicken Egg (1x Large) = 6.3g of Protein
5. Beans an Legumes
Beans are loaded with protein, and the protein that can be found in a half-cup of beans is equivalent to the amount of protein found in a grilled 3 ounce steak. Plus beans are full of fiber to give you that full feeling.
Raw Green Snap or String Beans (per 100g) = 1.8g of Protein (and 3.4g Fiber)
6. Pork Loin
This is an incredibly versatile choice of meat, which is both lean and low in fat.
Grilled Pork Chop (per 100g) = 29.5g of Protein
7. Soy Protein
Around 25 grams of soy protein taken per day can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Source out soy products like; soy milk, tofu and soy meats to supplement your protein intake.
Tofu (per 100g) = 15g of Protein
8. Lean Red Meat
Lean beef contains around 1 more gram of saturated fat than that of a skinless chicken. As well as being a rich source of protein, beef is also incredibly high in iron, zinc and vitamin B12.
Lean Sirloin (per 100g) = 22.1g of Protein
These are a few of the most popular food available that are rich in protein. Another source of high quality protein is of that found in protein powders – which I will discuss in another article and will go through the different types of proteins available, i.e. whey, concentrate, isolate etc.