Finally, protein also has the highest ‘thermic effect of food’ meaning simply by eating it, you’ll burn more calories just digesting it and breaking it down. For every 100 calories of protein consumed, you’ll burn off almost 30 of those calories through digestion. This serves as a great way to boost your overall metabolic rate.
Those seeking fat loss should aim for 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day while those looking to build muscle should aim for 1 gram per pound of body weight.
Since there’s less risk of protein being used as a fuel source when you are eating a higher calorie intake for building muscle, you don’t need quite as much protein overall.
The Best Protein Sources To Consume Include:
- Chicken breast
- Turkey breast
- Lean red meat
- Fish and seafood
- Egg whites
- Low-fat dairy products
- Whey protein powder
If you can get one of these protein sources in with each and every meal you eat, you’ll be on track to success.
The next macronutrient to go over is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are going to help provide an immediate source of energy for the hard working muscles so are a must to eat before and after your workouts.
Some women get caught up in the thinking pattern that consuming carbs automatically means weight gain, but this isn’t the case at all.
As long as you choose wisely and be sure not to overeat, you can have your carbs and still lose weight. Carbs are also a must for building muscle since they supply the energy that your body needs to build this new muscle tissue with.
When it comes to choosing carbs, select the ones that contain the lowest amount of processing possible. Think ‘straight from the ground’.
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
- Sweet potatoes/Yams
These are the more calorie dense forms of carbs, so you’ll eat more of them if you’re aiming to build muscle than lose fat. Furthermore, they should be placed right around the workout periods as much as possible as this is when your muscles will need that immediate source of fuel.
Later on in the day, then you should turn to the fibrous sources of carbohydrates, which are your vegetables. These are so low in calories that they hardly count towards your diet plan, so you can virtually eat an unlimited amount of them. Just do be sure that you aren’t using any high calorie preparation methods with them or you’ll pay the consequences.
Vegetable intake should be particularly high for those looking to lose fat as this will help to keep your hunger under control while keeping your total calorie intake down. Furthermore, these are also loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, so are a must-have for overall health as well.
Finally, fruits can also be consumed in moderation. Some people believe that they should cut fruit entirely out of the picture, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
While they do contain some natural fruit sugar, they also contain fiber, which will help keep you feeling full and prevent the typical blood sugar spike you get from pure glucose.
Fruits are still lower calorie overall, so can be a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth. They do contain more calories than vegetables though, so just be sure that you are adding them to your daily total. Eat too many and you could still gain weight.
There’s no specific recommendation for exactly how many carbohydrates you need to eat on your diet plan and it will largely be determined by how many calories you’re taking in in the first place along with how much dietary fat you’re eating. Once your protein intake is set, then the remaining calories will get divided up between carbs and fats relatively equally.
Remember that there are four calories per gram of proteins and carbs but nine calories per gram of dietary fat.