As one of the three macronutrients, protein affects your body and how it functions. It repairs skin, bones, muscles, and hair, builds the relationship between cells and organs, drives chemical reactions, and delivers molecules inside the body.
But not all proteins are the same and that is determined based on their amino acid profile. Namely, 9 essential amino acids are vital since the body can’t produce them and thus needs to take them through food. Some proteins have them all, like animal products, while plant-based food can achieve this by combining two or more sources.
A 2014 study found that a high-protein diet can reduce the levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and help you control your appetite. Therefore, if you want to improve your diet to eliminate fat and increase muscle mass, here are 5 foods that keep you full but help lose weight you should consume regularly.
- Start your day with delicious eggs
Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day and will make sure you don’t get hungry and overeat for lunch. Recipes for this morning meal include versatile dishes and combinations that you can have different foods every day.
Eggs are seen as the ultimate breakfast food that you can serve alone or as part of a more elaborate dish, like a salad. Whole eggs have the most nutrition, but they can be high in calories. Instead, use only egg whites, add some scallions and red peppers to mix, and you have a delicious and healthy omelet.
- Use low-fat dairy products for smoothies and salads
Canadian researchers concluded a study that showed the positive effects of dairy products on weight loss in obese premenopausal women. If you have problems with lactose, you can switch to fermented dairy products or those completely without it.
For example, Greek yogurt is great to add to smoothies or combine with your cereals, and cottage cheese is tasty with nuts and a little bit of honey. Moreover, to make your meals even healthier read the labels before buying to choose dairy products with low to no sodium.
- Eat more fish and other seafood
If you are on a low-calorie diet and want to avoid hunger fits, opt for fish and seafood to dominate your meals. Salmon and mackerel are great sources of protein and are full of omega-3 acids that will prolong your fullness. You can bake them in the oven wrapped in foil with herbs, lemons, and garlic cloves, you can grill them on the stove, or cook them to put in salads.
On the other hand, you can have shrimp instead of fish occasionally considering they are full of iodine, important for metabolism and thyroid functions. You can add them to pasta, risotto, and salads, or just grill them with veggies, it all depends on your calorie intake and preference.
- Include meat in your meal plan
Meat is one of the eight food groups high in protein but what type you are eating and how you prepare it makes a lot of difference when it comes to how healthy the meal is. For example, chicken breasts have the highest percentage of protein, beef is in the middle, while pork belly has among the lowest. Pork rinds have high levels of protein and, specifically, collagen protein. They are often seen as healthier and more guilt-free snacks because they contain fewer calories, saturated fat, and carbohydrates.
The best way to prepare meat is with a minimum of oil and let it cook on its fat. Ordering quality meat cuts online and having them delivered straight to the grill is the healthiest option since the pieces will be fresh and full of natural juices. Add some seasoning, like herbs and sea salt, to heighten the flavor, and pair your meat with sautéed vegetables.
- Prepare a black beans soup
Black beans are a type of legume which are a perfect source of protein if you are a vegetarian or vegan. Although they are higher in carbs, you should include them in your diet for their high-fiber properties that will control your hunger. This is supported by a 2016 study that showed that eating legumes can lead to moderate weight loss than diets based on caloric restrictions.
When it comes to black beans, you can make soup by cooking them with onions and celery or use them for salads. Soy is another legume that you should keep in mind when switching to a high-protein diet and wanting an additional source of fiber. The most popular way to consume it is as milk and tofu which are commonly used in vegan diets as a replacement for dairy products.
The bottom line
There is only a fraction of foods that keep you full but help lose weight you should consider switching to or increasing your diet. However, moderate physical activity and 7–9 hours of sleep can boost your metabolism and lead to healthy fat loss. The most important thing is to find combinations and meals that you will enjoy so you stay on course and achieve satisfying results.