For most people the key to becoming fit is to lose weight while at the same time building healthy lean muscle. In order to accomplish both of these goals at the same time you need to be very conscientious about your choice of foods.
Some people attempt to lose weight by choosing one of the popular fad diets that abound. While such diets may shed pounds, your weight loss is actually due more to loss of muscle than actual stored fat, leaving you looking somewhat slimmer, but feeling anything, but fit. Other people tend to believe that they can build muscle, and shed fat, simply by working out and taking dietary supplements while continuing to eat a less than healthy diet. Strength and endurance training combined with a nutritional supplement (Typically a protein shake) is simply not enough to improve your physique or leave you feeling completely healthy.
The only healthy and realistic way to both lose weight and tone and build muscle is by eating a proper diet filled with a variety of healthy foods, getting healthy exercise, and plenty of sleep. In fact, most of the actual building of the muscle comes during rest, not during the time you are exercising. Exercising simply improves circulation which helps muscles to grow and contributes to burning calories which is necessary for successful weight loss.
Proper diet is the real key to proper weight loss and building muscle, which means that substituting those unhealthy fatty meats, rich desserts, gravies, and sauces and choosing to make the 8 foods below part of your daily diet is the best and fastest way to become the slimmer more muscular and fit person you want to be.
Protein is extremely important to building lean muscle and accomplishing those weight loss goals. However, keep in mind that some proteins are better at accomplishing this than other proteins. When consuming protein focus on enjoying some of the following foods.
When choosing chicken or turkey as part of a healthy weight loss and muscle building diet, you should choose skinless breasts of these fowls as the skin is loaded with extra calories and saturated fat which you simply don’t need and will slow weight loss. 4 ounces of boneless chicken breast contains 88% protein and 160 calories, 1/3 of those calories immediately get burned simply because it takes more energy for your body to digest this type of food.
Most people complain that chicken and turkey breasts are boring, this simply doesn’t have to be the case. You can prepare this food using a wide variety of spices, and adding tomatoes (not ketchup!) and other healthy vegetables to the breast to make a tasty and interesting low calorie and muscle building meal.
Many so called diet experts try and convince people that they need to give up red meat while trying to lose weight, this is simply not the case and red meat, when eaten within limits can also help to shed fat and build muscle. Red meat contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that the body needs including: Iron, zinc, selenium and vitamins A and many of the B complex vitamins. Make sure you choose lean cuts of meat with no visible fat. (the butcher trims off all the superficial fat). Today, lean cuts of red meat only contain between 1 and 4 grams of fat per 100 grams of meat, whereas, in 1990 meat contained 9 grams of fat per every 100 grams of meat. Lean red meat doesn’t just have to be a steak or London broil, but also includes such meats as Bison, venison, and ostrich as well.
However, it should be noted that the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland (2009) has recommended that you should eat no more than 150 grams or about 4 or 5 ounces of red meat per week. (No recommended maximum limits have been set for lean poultry or fish).
Fish is the easiest source for good quality fats (Omega 3) and rich in vitamin A and D as well as a number of B vitamins. It also contains important minerals such as Magnesium, potassium, selenium and iron. Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna are highly recommended and offer excellent health benefits, and should be part of a regular healthy diet if it is not already. It is recommended that you eat at least three servings of fish per week as the Omega 3 fatty acids can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, may help to keep your joints healthy, and may even help to burn calories faster.
Low Fat Curd Cheese
Low fat curd cheese is also important to healthy fat loss and muscle building diet. Not only is curd cheese loaded with healthy protein it also is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. Best of all, because low fat curd cheese takes longer to digest than many other foods it helps you to feel full longer (which is great for weight loss).
Low fat curd cheese is the ideal protein to eat at night as it contains the protein building block tryptophan which aids in falling asleep easily. Of course low fat curd cheese is not recommended for those who have digestive problems, but for every one else 100 grams of cottage cheese is usually well tolerated.
Fitness experts love eggs and not only recommend them to people who are trying to lose weight and get fit, but actually eat themselves. Not only are eggs high in protein and filling but they also contain a number of vitamins (mostly in the yolk of the egg) such as Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, E and K as well as iron. Eggs can be eaten in the morning as part of healthy breakfast, as well as hard boiled an enjoyed as a snack.
Eggs were once thought of as bad for your health and high in cholesterol, but further studies discovered this was simply not the case, and that eggs are actually a healthy low calorie food.
Along with protein, you do need to consume some carbohydrates in order to lose weight and build muscle. While there are plenty of sources of carbohydrates available, the very best source and the one that you should include as part of a healthy diet is oatmeal.
Oatmeal not only contains carbohydrates that help to keep blood glucose levels balanced because it takes time to digest, but it also is high in fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full longer while keeping your energy levels up during those working out periods, preventing you from feeling flap and floppy when exercising. In addition oatmeal can also help to lower bad cholesterol which is good for you heart.
Studies have shown that unsaturated fats are necessary to good health and aid in weight loss, there are a variety of foods from which you can get the daily recommended amounts of unsaturated fats including snacking on a handful of nuts such as almonds, and walnuts. You can also use small amounts of Avocado or olive oil in cooking or salad dressings, and of course the Omega 3 fatty acids from fish is an excellent source of health fat.
Fruits and Vegetables
No healthy diet would be complete with a plenty of healthy fruits and vegetables as part of your daily meals. Not only are fruits and vegetables loaded with vitamins and minerals your body needs, but they also help you to fill satisfied and help to prevent those food cravings which lead to weight loss failure. While all fruits and vegetables are good for your health, you should at least include some amounts of tomatoes, peppers (red, green, and yellow) leafy greens such as spinach and kale, berries such as strawberries and blueberries, and fresh raw carrots and celery in your weight loss muscle building diet. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories, rich in flavor and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways from fresh and raw to roasted.
Along with the eight foods listed above, you also need to drink plenty of water. Water is necessary to help keep you hydrated when working out, keep you feeling full longer, and washing toxins from your body. Drinking water also helps your body absorb necessary nutrients from your food which are needed to maintain health and reduce stress on your body during weight loss and exercise.