Best Foods To Lose Fat & Build Muscle: 11 Superfoods For Weight Loss

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Best Foods To Lose Fat & Build Muscle: 11 Superfoods For Weight Loss

There are so many benefits to reducing body fat and building muscle. Besides the physical health benefits, it also benefits your mental health. Watching your calorie intake and participating in regular exercise might do the trick for someone who wants to lose weight.

However, losing body weight is not the same as losing fat. Losing fat and building muscle at the same time is another feat entirely, and it requires a strategic game plan. In this article, we’ll show you the 11 best foods that will help you lose fat and gain muscle in one go.

The best foods to lose fat and build muscle must be accompanied by a workout plan for maximum results. Losing fat and gaining muscle may seem counterintuitive at first glance, as losing fat requires a reduction in body mass, while achieving muscles may require the exact opposite.

Going on a low-calorie diet can help you lose some fat. However, it could also cause a loss of muscle mass. Also, an extremely low-calorie diet may be counterproductive, as it may affect your energy levels when you need to work out. All these show that it is paramount for you to balance the proper diet and exercises to lose fat and gain muscle.

After you get it right, it forms a virtuous cycle, as an increased lean muscle mass causes your body to burn more calories and fat at rest.

It’s common knowledge that protein-rich foods can help build muscles. Thus, in this article, you’ll find the best high-protein sources to build muscle. We also list other foods essential to your fat loss and muscle-building plan.

So how many calories should you consume if you want to lose weight? You can take two pounds of calories weekly to maintain your body weight, as 1 pound of fat includes 3,500 calories. You can also try weight loss gummies to burn body fat.

With the help of a long-term approach, you can lose 10 pounds in a month without rebound weight gain. People with strict diet plans like keto, fad, or paleo often suffer from rebound weight gain. However, a diet with all sorts of food works best for weight loss. You can also try weight loss supplements for women. 

11 Best Foods To Lose Weight & Gain Muscles 

A high protein and low carb diet can support you in your weight loss. Such a diet can also prevent rebound weight gain and limit the range of your daily calories. Some high-protein diets include cheese, eggs, peanut butter, yogurt and breakfast cereals. You can also try smoothie diets and you can find smoothie diet reviews on the internet.

  1. Fish (Salmon, Tuna, etc.)

Fish is an excellent source of high-quality proteins. This makes them a great addition to your fat-loss diet. The omega-3 fatty acid in fatty fish also promotes the reduction of cortisol production in the body. Thus, it might help reduce your body’s fat storage over time.

Also, it’s been linked to higher serotonin production in the body, therefore controlling appetite and putting you in a better mood. This might be beneficial to help you work out at the gym.

The B vitamins in fatty fish are also great metabolism boosters. They contain fewer calories than some other fish. For example, 50g of boiled tilapia fish can have up to 13.2 grams of protein, with just 64 calories.

Fatty fish is also great muscle-building food. It’s the go-to muscle-building protein choice for several bodybuilders. Due to its high protein content, it causes your body to turn food into energy for quicker fat burning.

Besides its benefits to fat-loss and muscle building, fish also has several other health benefits. A fish-rich diet can benefit your skin, heart, and immune system.

  1. Soya

Also called soy, this nutrient-dense food from the East Asian legume soybean is an excellent source of protein. Soya is one of the most highly researched plant-based proteins. In addition, it is a technically complete protein. This means that soy contains every nine essential amino acids necessary for our body’s optimal function.

Some research also shows that soy can help build lean muscle while reducing muscle loss associated with fat burning. While protein-packed, it also contains several essential vitamins and minerals with unsaturated fats.

Soybean is consumed by many people and has the greatest protein content of all other beans. This explains why it’s a staple meal in so many cultures in the world. Its extract, soy protein, is used to make protein shakes that are popular among bodybuilders. Tofu and soy sauce are other popular derivative products of this vegetable protein.

Due to its high fiber content, this bean aids digestion and is very filling. Thus, having soy as a meal or a protein shake can help curb overeating.

  1. Meats

Animal-based proteins are the best sources of all the essential amino acids. A beef-rich diet is common with bodybuilders as it promotes muscle growth and strength.

Not only do meats contain high-quality protein, but they also contain vitamins and creatine. This substance has links to muscle mass building as well as aids muscle recovery after workouts.

However, meat usually packs calories and lots of unsaturated fats. Thus, it’s best to go for lean beef with fewer calories.

White meats like chicken are protein-rich and have a relatively low-fat percentage. A 2-ounce serving of chicken contains nearly 18g of protein. The chicken breast has a tremendous protein-to-fat content ratio, making it a great muscle-building food. Thus, chicken breast is a very common part of a bodybuilder’s diet.

Also, for beef, it’s best to opt for lean red meat. Turkey meat is also great muscle-building food. Turkey’s breasts, however, are the best source of lean protein compared to other parts of the turkey. Chicken breast may have a slightly higher protein content than other turkey parts. Just ensure to trim off the fatty parts.

For chicken and turkey, bear in mind that the skin of these poultry products contains saturated fat. Thus, eating them with the skin almost doubles the total fat content of your meal.

Also, as much as possible, opt for free-range chicken, as they contain less fat and more essential nutrients. Free-range poultry is more likely to have higher-quality protein that helps block fat storage by keeping some fat-storing hormones at bay.

  1. Full-Fat Dairy

Full-fat dairy got bad press and was considered unhealthy for a long time. Many believed low-fat dairy products were a healthier alternative to full-fat dairy at that time. However, this was before scientists realized that full-fat dairy contained the necessary fats our body needs to thrive.

Full-fat dairy contains essential fats and is more filling, thus making you feel fuller for longer. Therefore, full-fat dairy can promote muscle building without increasing body fat. Low-fat dairy, on the other hand, would promote unhealthy eating habits, as it is less filling.

Greek yogurt is an excellent full-fat dairy product that promotes muscle growth. Also, its low lactose content makes it easier to digest. Cottage cheese is another excellent full-fat dairy product for building lean muscle.

It also contains casein, one of the slow-digesting dairy proteins effective for the absorption of nutrients. Thus, cottage cheese could promote muscle growth.

  1. Shrimps

If you love seafood, it must come as great news that shrimps are great for muscle gain. When taken with high-calorie foods, shrimp can be beneficial to weight loss and gaining muscle.

In a serving of 85 grams of shrimp, there are 0.4 grams of fat and 17.1 grams of protein. This high protein-to-fat ratio of shrimp makes it a great addition to your fat-cutting diet. Shrimps also contain high amounts of selenium and vitamin D.

  1. Quinoa

This grain is a great and healthier substitute for rice and pasta. Quinoa is also one of the few plant foods with complete protein. Besides its high protein content, it also contains higher dietary fiber than most other grains.

A frequent meal of quinoa and lean beef makes a great combo for achieving a leaner physique. Due to its high fiber content, quinoa can help reduce appetite and promote metabolism.

Quinoa also contains ecdysterone, a substance resembling steroids that has anabolic benefits. This substance and its high protein content make quinoa a top food for muscle building.

  1. Nuts

Nuts are a great source of protein and great snacks to have in between meals. Pistachios, for example, have antioxidant qualities and have a lower fat and calorie content than most other nuts.

Almonds are also packed with vitamin E and calcium and contain proteins necessary for muscle growth. Although most contain unsaturated fats and high caloric content, there’s been no serious link between nuts and weight gain.

When taken in moderation, nuts are great snacks to keep you full and also keep you from snacking on unhealthy foods. Due to their rich roughage content, they tend to help reduce appetite and thus curb overeating tendencies.

  1. Eggs

Eggs are the go-to protein of choice to build muscle. Besides being a complete protein, there’s much more to eggs than meets the eye. After getting so much bad press for their high cholesterol levels, eggs are now reclaiming their place as an essential nutritional protein. They’re packed with so much protein that one egg can constitute up to 12% of your daily protein needs.

CLA, an acid in egg yolks, when in high amounts, helps to reduce the percentage of body fat. DHA is an essential fatty acid also present in eggs that catalyzes the body’s fat-burning abilities.

Eggs are also full of the amino acid leucine. Thus they are a great source of muscle-building protein. Egg whites and yolks have several benefits to fat loss and muscle gain. These facts make eggs a superfood for burning fat while gaining lean muscle.

  1. Brown Rice

Brown rice is an excellent low-calorie and low-carb alternative to white rice. It is a whole grain that contains the bran and germ, which are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. It also contains potassium and other nutrients and might be easier to digest than white rice.

It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can thus help you exercise more effectively. It cleanses the body system and is also an excellent fat burner.

  1. Beans

Beans are an excellent protein source and contain a high carbohydrate content. This combination of protein and carbs makes beans a great addition to a muscle-building diet.

Beans have a high insoluble and soluble fiber content and thus are highly satisfying. Beans are also beneficial for protection against heart disease. Although different kinds of beans have slightly different contents, the more abundant ones like lima beans, edamame, and kidney beans have a low-fat content and are great for fat burning and gaining muscle.

  1. Whey Protein

Whey protein is one of the market’s most popular protein shake varieties. It’s also a star ingredient in most protein bars and supplements.

This byproduct of cheese making has been compared several times with soy in its muscle-building effectiveness. Whey protein is highly researched, and its benefits are extensive. It may have some anti-inflammatory effects and also boosts metabolism and fat burning.

Amongst the many benefits of Whey protein, it might also help prevent muscle loss associated with aging. Also, it helps to increase muscle strength and promote muscle growth. Thus, whey protein supplementation is an excellent way to build muscle and lose fat.

Important Factors To Remember To For Weight Loss &  Muscle Building

  • Include Protein in Your Daily Diet

Protein is the ultimate macronutrient to gain muscle. A diet rich in quality protein has several benefits to your overall health. Therefore to achieve both goals of burning fat and building muscle, you need to increase protein intake.

Note that our bodies continually build and break down the proteins in their muscles. Thus, there’s a need to keep your protein levels optimized daily. Consuming high protein content in one go is not as beneficial as incorporating it in everyday meals.

Due to our body’s energy requirements when digesting proteins, the process boosts your body’s metabolism. You should include protein-rich foods like chicken, salmon, eggs, and Greek yogurt into your daily diet if you intend to lose fat and build muscle.

  • Eat Whole Carbohydrates

Carbs are not all bad; they have nutrients that can make a well-rounded meal. However, not all carbs are healthy for you. Processed carbs are carbs that have been refined and broken down into packaged foods.

If you are incorporating carbs into your diet, go for whole carbs, i.e., carbs from whole high-fiber foods. These are good carbs that are essential to your diet and body functions.

Good carbs include unrefined whole grains like quinoa and oatmeal, legumes, nuts, some vegetables like spinach, etc. As much as you can, avoid packaged foods for your carb source as they contain unhealthy carbs.

  • Take Healthy Fats

In your bid to burn fat and build muscle, remember that not all fats are bad for you. Unsaturated fat is a great addition to your muscle-building diet as it helps supply energy to your muscles.

Dietary fats are so-called because they are required for the general health of your body. It’s essential for optimal heart and reproductive health.

Unsaturated fat could either be polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat. So, the right fats might promote weight loss. The kinds of fat you should avoid are saturated and trans fats. Some countries have a daily recommended limit of as low as 20g for saturated fats for a healthy lifestyle.

Trans fat could also sometimes be labeled differently on some products. However, note that products like cakes, biscuits, margarine, and deep-fried foods all contain trans fat.

For healthy fats, go for sources of unsaturated fats like avocado, cheese, extra virgin olive oil, etc.

  • Add Vegetables to Your Diet

Undoubtedly, vegetables are a great part of a healthy diet. Not only are they nutrient-dense, but they also aid your body’s ability to process food.

Vegetables contain several vitamins and minerals that boost your body’s metabolism rate. This makes vegetables effective for burning fat. Fiber-rich vegetables will also linger in your digestive tract for longer and cause you to feel fuller for longer periods. This can help curb your appetite for unhealthy foods and snacks.

Some seasonal vegetables also have antioxidant qualities that make them beneficial to your overall health.

  • Get More Sleep

Besides the right diet and exercise habits, your lifestyle and habits contribute significantly to your body’s fat-burning and muscle-building abilities. Thus, to sustainably achieve your body goals, you must ensure that your daily habits allow for the changes you want to see.

Several studies have, over time, linked better sleeping habits with increased fat loss. Thus, consider getting a full night’s sleep of at least seven hours daily. As much as possible also, you should stick to a sleep cycle every day. This means you should try to sleep around the same time every day and wake up at almost the same time.

To burn fat and improve overall health, consider pushing back your bedtime or waking later. A lack of sleep has many disadvantages, it could cause an increase in your appetite and ultimately lead to overeating.

  • Exercises That Help You Lose Fat and Build Muscle

Exercise has far-reaching benefits, far beyond just fat loss and muscle building. Healthy eating must accompany regular exercise for optimal muscle growth and fat burning.

Burning fat and building muscle may not necessarily lead to weight loss. It’s possible to burn fat, build muscle, and still weigh the same as you used to. However, your body composition would have changed.

While losing fat would require that your body burns more calories than it consumes (i.e., calorie deficit), building muscle requires the opposite. Thus, exercising to attain these two goals must be targeted.

However, not all kinds of exercise burn fat and build muscle mass. In several studies, cardio (aerobic exercises) has been linked to muscle growth and lower body fat. These exercises are especially beneficial to heart and lung function. Some aerobic exercises include skipping, swimming, running, and cycling.

While on a healthy diet as prescribed in this article, ensure to participate in at least 150 minutes of cardio weekly. These sessions should be spread throughout the days of the week.

Strength training (or weight training) is also essential for muscle building and burning fat, increasing your body’s metabolism. Some studies show that this effect remains in your body system hours after your strength training routine.

This is a great advantage of building muscle mass. It increases your body’s resting metabolic rates, thus leading to more fat burning.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is also effective for muscle gain and burning fat. HIIT involves periods of intense activity followed by rest periods of less intense activity. You can use regular cardio exercises for your HIIT. For example, a HIIT routine could involve you jogging for 4 minutes, bursting into a sprint for one minute, and then repeating the cycle.

  • Drink More Water/Non-Sugary Drinks

The importance of loading up on water daily cannot be overemphasized. Studies show that filling up on water before meals aids digestion and will help you feel fuller and prevent overeating.

Thus, if you’re working on a long-term plan for a healthier life, you must drink at least four liters of water daily. Sugary and fizzy drinks lack nutrients and are full of calories. Alcohol also provides no nutritional value, and high consumption has been linked to increased fat buildup, especially in the abdomen.

Also, alcohol lowers inhibitions, so its use may encourage unhealthy eating habits. Thus, instead of alcohol or sugary drinks, opt for water or teas like green tea.

  • Consider Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is not for everyone. It holds much promise in increasing your body’s fat-burning capacities.

Intermittent fasting involves alternating between periods of fasting and eating. There are different types of Intermittent fasting. While some involve alternating days of eating, others are less stringent. For example, 16/8 fasting involves restricting your eating to an 8-hour period every day and going without food for the remainder of 16 hours. There’s also the 5:2 diet, and the Eat Sleep Eat methods of intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting can help your body burn fat when you pair it with a good workout routine. Since there are several ways to fast intermittently, you might need to explore them to find your best fit.

Remember that the foods you eat when fasting intermittently are also important. Thus, you must further research the best diet plan to follow to optimize the results of your fasting.

  • Load up on Fiber

High-fiber foods have many benefits to your digestive health. Research has shown that besides their benefits in fat burning, they can also lead to muscle gain.

Fibers are usually classed into soluble and insoluble categories. Soluble fibers, as their name implies, easily dissolve in water. Soluble fiber takes longer than other foods to move from the stomach to the small intestine. Fruits, nuts, and oatmeal are some examples of great sources of soluble fiber.

Insoluble fibers, on the other hand, do not dissolve in water. While they are indigestible, they promote healthier bowel movements. Some examples of food rich in insoluble fiber include apples, barley, beans, potatoes, whole wheat and vegetables. Generally, fibers help to reduce fat content in the blood. They also reduce blood sugar levels and thus promote muscular health.

It’s not advised, however, to take high fiber foods after workouts, as they may affect your insulin levels necessary for muscle gain.

Conclusion: Best Superfoods For Losing Weight & Gaining Muscles 

People often focus heavily on exercising to lose fat and build muscle without realizing that there has to be a diet to complement your exercise.

This article listed 11 different common foods that are great fat burners. These foods also aid muscle growth and increase lean mass. A diet rich in lean protein is essential to attaining a trimmer physique. Proteins are muscle-building foods. Therefore, eat protein-rich foods if you want to lose weight and build muscle.

Besides proteins, fiber-rich foods like vegetables and fruits might be great for losing fat and building muscle. Also, foods containing unsaturated fats might aid your body’s ability to burn fat and build muscle. For dairy products, opt for full-fat dairy products, as they are beneficial to weight loss and muscle growth. A good alternative to get results faster is weight loss pills

However, there are other food classes that are necessary for muscle gain and fat loss as well. Even if you are on a vegan diet, several vegan foods are sources of high-quality protein. Observing a healthy lifestyle and the right diet will help you burn fat and build muscles in no time.

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