Weight loss doesn’t mean deprivation. If you want to lose weight, it’s not all about cutting foods from your diet and starving. It is really just about eating the right foods at the right time – and the right amounts of them.

If you are one of the many people who has weight management goals or is just interested in toning up, I’ve got one word for you: protein.

A recent study of 39 adults shows that the group that consumed twice the recommended amount of protein for 31 days saw a greater reduction in fat mass, and they still maintained muscle mass.1

On average, a 5’5” woman should consume about 90 grams of protein a day, and this can mean eating a lot of food. So, if you are thinking you’re going to go hungry, think again. You’ll find that to consume this amount of protein, you’ll need to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a few snacks in-between. You’ll be consuming at least 10 grams of protein every two hours, and to do that you’ll be eating quite a bit of food. But since this essential nutrient is offered in a variety of low-calorie foods, like lean meats and whole grains, you’ll find yourself full, without gaining weight. In fact you’ll be losing it.

Build Muscle, Lose Fat

Weight loss isn’t just about a number on the scale, and while body fat actually takes up more space on your body than muscle, what you really need to be watching is your body mass index, or (BMI). This is a measurement of your body fat based on height and weight. Your BMI is a more accurate measurement of your weight management. So, focus on building lean muscle to lose weight or to reach your body shaping goals.

Toned bodies are made of muscle, and muscle is fed with protein, not fats, and simple carbs like sugar. You can also actually burn calories while resting as you increase your lean muscle mass. Studies have shown that each pound of muscle increases the body’s resting metabolism, and you can burn additional calories every day for each pound of muscle you build.2,3

10 Foods or Seasonings for Weight Loss

14649214 – avocado

To lose even one pound of fat, you have to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories, so you really can’t just eat any old high-protein food and expect to lose weight. A proper diet along with regular exercise will help to feed the muscles you need to boost your metabolism, burn calories, and obtain that killer physique you want. But there’s no need to go hungry. Try adding these 10 fat burning foods to your diet to shed pounds easily:

1. Avocados
2. Asparagus
3. Cayenne Pepper
4. Green Tea
5. Hemp Seeds
6. Quinoa
7. Spinach
8. Tempeh
9. Tofu
10. Whey Protein Powder

You can boost metabolism and burn tons of calories by eating foods that help you feel full. How’s that sound? And don’t worry about the number on the scale. Just cut out the processed foods, fuel your muscles with protein, and add weights to your workout routine. The pounds will melt off!

Sources:
1 Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial.
http://www.fasebj.org/content/27/9/3837.abstract

2 F Zurlo, K Larson. Skeletal muscle metabolism is a major determinant of resting energy expenditure. J Clin Invest. 1990 Nov; 86(5): 1423–1427.

“A Pound Of Muscle Burns 30-50 Kcal/Day, Really… – Online Articles: National Council On Strength And Fitness Trainer’s Tools”. Ncsf.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 21 Jan. 2017.

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About the Author

Dr. Amy Lee

Dr. Amy Lee has board certifications in internal medicine, physician nutrition and obesity medicine specialty. She practices internal medicine with a heavy emphasis on nutrition, wellness and weight management. Her Clinical nutrition fellowship training at UCLA has allowed her to incorporate realistic lifestyle modification in all her medicine patients.