If you are trying to lose fat without losing muscle, both nutrition and physical activity are essential in order to achieve your fitness goals. While having a proper workout routine that challenges your body is key, without the right nutritional support, your progress will be held back.
Eating high-protein foods are very important when it comes to building muscle, but both fats and carbohydrates are necessary sources of energy. If your fitness goals involve gaining lean muscle, you should be exercising regularly and increasing your calorie intake every day by eating muscle-building foods.
Foods That Can Help You Lose Lose Fat and Build Muscle
In one of our recent blog posts, we shared some ways that you can lose fat without losing muscle, one of them being eating right. To further extend upon this topic, we are going to share some foods that should be included in your diet.
If you want some high-quality protein, healthy fats, and other important nutrients like B vitamins and choline, eggs are the way to go. If you did not already know, proteins are made up of amino acids, and eggs contain large amounts of leucine, an amino acid which is essential for muscle building. Additionally, the B vitamins in eggs are important for energy production and a variety of other processes in your body. Scramble them, use them to make an omelet with fresh veggies, or simply hard boil them to give your body the energy and protein it needs to build muscle without gaining fat.
In the nutritional world, chicken breasts are a staple for gaining muscle. Not only are chicken breasts loaded with protein, about 26 grams per three-ounce service to be exact, but they are packed with B vitamins niacin and B6, which are especially important if you are regularly working out. Both niacin and B6 help your body properly-function during your workouts and other physical activity that is necessary for optimal muscle gain. Plus, because research has shown that higher-protein diets containing chicken may help with fat loss, making it a great option to add to your diet if you want to lose fat and build muscle. Season with salt and pepper and grill it for a delicious protein that can be used for meal planning.
Beans are often referred to as the magical fruit, and they also can be added to your diet for lean muscle gain. Beans like black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans are packed with about 15 grams of protein per cup of cooked beans. Not to mention, they are an excellent source of B vitamins and fiber, plus are high in iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. With that said, beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein to incorporate into your diet. Use them to make stews, add them to salads, or roast them for a delicious snack.
If you are trying to increase muscle and overall health, salmon is a great option to add to your meals. There are about 17 grams of protein and two grams of omega-3 fatty acids in a three-ounce serving of salmon. Not to mention, they have several essential B vitamins. The omega-3 fatty acids are critical in muscle health and are even known to help improve muscle gain during fitness routines. Grill it, poach it, bake it, smoke it, or at it raw over cucumber salad or brown rice.
Protein-rich foods are important for building lean muscle, but you also need energy to stay active. As mentioned, food with carbohydrates can help supplement this energy. With about 40 grams of carbohydrates, eight grams of protein, and five grams of fiber per cup of cooked quinoa, it is the perfect grain to add to your meals. Not to mention, it is gluten-free—perfect for people with gluten intolerances. Lastly, it has beneficial effects on metabolic health and it has hearty amounts of phosphorus and magnesium, which plays an important role in the function of your muscles and nerves, both of which are used every time you move.
Peanuts, while small in size, have a lot of protein, carbs, and fat. Additionally, they have high amounts of leucine, the same amino acid that is found in eggs. A half-cup of peanuts contains around 17 grams of protein, 16 grams of carbohydrates, large amounts of unsaturated fat, and just over 400 calories. Eating peanuts is a great increase your calorie and nutrient intake and drive your muscle gain. Peanuts can be added to salad, eaten raw as a snack or they can be added to your homemade trail mix.
Eating the right foods is essential if you are trying to lose weight and gain muscle, incorporating these foods into your diet is sure to set you on the right track to reaching your goals. Your diet should include healthy foods that have amounts of protein, fats, carbohydrates, and other nutrients to provide you with the energy you need to push through your workouts and exercises. At QuickHit Fitness Labs, we truly believe that proper nutrition and healthy eating habits are just as important for your wellbeing as exercise. When you incorporate our HIT workouts with proper nutrition, you can build lean muscle while shredding fat at the same time. If you would like to learn more about our workouts or nutritional plans, contact our fitness experts today.
Be sure you keep an eye out for our next blog post, as we will continue to share some more foods that can be incorporated into your diet to help you lose fat and build muscle.