Protein is an important macronutrient that plays a crucial role in the process of muscle recovery and repair when you are looking to build more muscle or tone your body. It has ‘building blocks’ called amino acids that the body uses to build and repair muscles and bones, in addition to making hormones and enzymes. It is also essential for retaining the muscle you have already gained and can be used as an energy source.
However, while you may be managing to fit more protein into your diet, it does not always mean you are always making the best decisions. There are some very high protein but also high calorie options out there and consuming these foods will have an impact on your ability to lose fat consistently.
So, what are some good alternatives you can make? How can you increase your protein intake without drastically increasing your calorie intake?
One of the most popular sources out there, chicken breast should be a big part of your diet, providing you enjoy it. It has around 33g of protein and 150 calories per hundred grams, meaning that it will dramatically increase your protein intake without doing the same to your calories. Chicken breast also keeps you full and satisfied and is very versatile when it comes to what meals you want to put in it.
Diced Beef/5% Beef Mince
Beef is another great option when it comes to high protein sources. However, the type of beef you choose is key to your calorie consumption. Rib eye, sirloin steak and 15% beef mince are all high in fat and therefore calories, so leaner alternatives include diced beef chunks and five per cent beef mince. If you prefer steak, rump and fillet are the leanest options you can choose.
There are some excellent options for lean protein when it comes to seafood, such as cod, tuna, shrimp, monkfish, salmon, and pollock. However, cod is a very popular option due to its taste and simplicity. It also has excellent nutritional value, with 25g protein and just 100 calories per 100 grams. If you like your seafood, this is a great option.
One of the leanest options you can have, egg whites are a great alternative to eggs. You can also add them to eggs in an omelette, for example, and increase the protein within the meal without having to go drastically overboard on calories. Egg whites have just 52 calories per 100 grams, with 11 grams of protein.
Finally, if you wanted an alternative to chicken and red meat, turkey is another excellent option. Turkey breast has just 185 calories per 100 grams, packing in 29 grams of protein in the process. It is also versatile in that you can use it in salads, sandwiches and stir fry meals, and keeps you full and satisfied without using up too many calories.
So, while getting in great protein sources is important, it also should be matched with lean versions to keep you within your calorie intake. The best options include chicken breast, diced beef or five per cent beef mince, cod, egg whites, and turkey. These options will also add variety to your diet and ensure that your fat loss journey is an enjoyable and sustainable one.