Trying to Build Muscle & Lose Fat? These 7 Foods Will Help!
There are plenty of reasons to eat better & work out - improving your health, losing weight, and gaining muscle to name a few. Most people have multiple reasons and luckily these tend to go together quite well. But losing weight AND gaining muscle can be a bit more complicated.
You’re already familiar with the various ways of losing weight - specifically creating a calorie deficit - but if you want to gain muscle as well, that can’t be all you do. In fact, gaining lean muscle requires energy and specific nutrients which means you should focus not only on how many calories you’re consuming but also which nutrient-rich foods you eat (as well as exercising regularly!). Without all of these things, you’ll reach a plateau and be unable to go further.
Here are 7 nutrient-rich, muscle-building foods you should incorporate into your diet while trying to lose weight AND build muscle.
1.Eggs - eating enough protein is crucial when it comes to building up lean muscle. Eggs contain high-quality protein, healthy fats, B vitamins, and amino acide leucine (which is incredibly important when it comes to muscle gain). The yolks of the egg contain many vital nutrients your body needs so don’t stick with just egg whites. Eggs are cheap, versatile, and easy to make so be sure to include them in your diet!
2. Fish - a 3 oz. Serving of salmon contains approximately 17g of protein, nearly 2g of omega-3 fatty acids (which play an important part in muscular health), and several B-vitamins. Tuna contains 20g of protein per 3 oz. and a large amount of A & B-vitamins, which are optimal for health, energy, & exercise performance. Plus, fish oil reduces inflammation which helps to ease sore muscles & joints. And if you’re not a fan of fish itself, add a fish oil supplement to your diet.
3. Nuts - nuts are not only high in protein & fiber but they also contain zinc, potassium, magnesium, & Vitamin E. In fact, a 1/2 cup of peanuts contains 17g of protein. Nuts are also higher in calories which make them a good option if you’re having a hard time getting enough calories to drive muscle gain. You can go the peanut butter route if you’d like, just get the all-natural kind with no added sugar or salt.
4. Quinoa - protein is key to building muscle but you also need the energy to keep going (aka carbs). Quinoa is higher in fiber & protein than the other grain options (plus it’s gluten-free!) so it’s a great choice. It also contains plenty of magnesium which plays an important role in muscle function.
5. Lean beef - adding lean beef to your diet every once in awhile will do your body good! Not only is beef full of protein, B-vitamins, zinc, iron & omega-3s, but some research shows that eating it can increase lean mass gained via weight training. Just remember to consume sparingly.
6. Beans - beans are great sources of fiber, B-vitamins, magnesium, iron, and, of course, protein. They also may play a role in disease prevention! Any bean will do but black, pinto & kidney beans tend to be extremely popular.
7. Tofu - soy protein (like in tofu & soybeans) is considered one of the highest-quality plant proteins. And tofu is also a fabulous source for calcium, vital to bone & muscle health. If you’re looking for a meat substitute while trying to lose weight and gain muscle, this is definitely the way to go.
There are plenty of other foods you can incorporate into your diet to gain lean muscle and lose weight at the same time, but this handful is an excellent place to start. If you’re concerned about having the time to cook great meals that will help you on your journey take a look at our menu. We have everything from breakfasts made with plenty of eggs & protein to a wide variety of fish & seafood dishes. All you have to do after ordering is heat & go. Here’s to your health!