Build muscle mass
There are plenty of resources out there explaining how to lose weight and we are all familiar with the traditional method of creating a calorie deficit to drop some pounds, but if you want to be fit, strong, and healthy, you likely have two goals in mind – to lose fat and gain muscle. This is where it gets tricky because you need a lot of energy and specific nutrients to accomplish both of these at once. In order to be successful, you should keep one eye on your calorie count, but above all else, eat the right nutrient-rich foods. Ready to make a change? As always, speak to your physician before making drastic changes to your diet and lifestyle. Once you're ready to embark on this journey, you can work these foods into your diet, challenge yourself in your workouts, and be sure to drink plenty of water to build muscle, lose fat, and feel your very best.
10 foods that will help you build muscle mass.
Eating enough protein is crucial when it comes to building muscle. Egg yolks have been getting a bad rap recently because many believe that that they're fattening but the yolk contains so many vital nutrients your body needs, so think twice before ordering an egg white omelette. If you have high cholesterol, you can be mindful of your egg consumption but don't rule them out entirely. Instead, focus on cleaning up your diet and speak to a trusted physician to improve your numbers.
2. Fish Oil
Fish oil reduces inflammation which will help ease sore muscles and joints, while also lowering body fat. It also may have an effect on testosterone production (though more research is required to determine the full extent of its impact) which lends itself to muscle growth. Consuming wild salmon (not farm-raised) can provide 20 grams of protein for every 100-gram serving, but you can also consider adding a fish oil supplement to your routine if you're not a seafood fan.
Apples are one of the best fruits to snack on for weight loss because they are rich in fibre so you can feel full in between meals. They are also high in antioxidants and the energy they give you makes them one of the best pre-workout snacks. The key is to eat the apple in its purest form (skin and all) and pair it with healthy add-ons like nut butter or Greek yogurt.
4. Mixed Nuts
Besides being high in protein and fibre, nuts also provide a wide variety of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin E. The best part is that almost all nuts are equally nutrient dense so you can mix and match your picks to avoid flavor fatigue. However, if you go the peanut butter route, make sure it’s the all-natural kind with no added salt or sugar to keep it as healthy as possible.
Broccoli is an excellent choice for fat loss because it’s so high in soluble fibre yet very low in calories. This veggie is also perfect if you’re on a strict diet because its nutrients are consistent no matter how you cook it or serve it. If you do get bored of broccoli, replace it with other cruciferous vegetables, like cabbage, cauliflower, or kale, which will provide the same benefits and keep your meals varied and exciting.
This all-star vegetable contains a lot of the same nutrients as broccoli (a lot of which may also prevent cancer and heart disease). It also prevents muscle and bone loss, making it a great choice when you're on your health journey. You can eat it raw in a salad, pan fry it with a little bit of olive oil and garlic, or even sneak it into your favourite smoothie recipe... the options are endless!
Quinoa is higher in fibre and protein than any other grain option and is gluten-free to boot. While you’re trying to lose fat, you should limit your carbs and choose the right kinds of grains to fuel your body, so quinoa will come in handy whether you enjoy it as a side dish, in a burrito bowl, as part of a stir-fry, or even in a burger.
8. Red Meat
Most of these other foods are great for fat loss, but you need to eat enough protein if you want to see significant muscle development. A small amount of red meat can be beneficial, as it's protein-rich and has a solid dose of vitamin B12, iron, zinc, and omega-3s. Just be sure to eat grass-fed beef and avoid consuming red meat on a too-regular basis.
If you’re not one for red meat or you're looking for a solid lean protein to add to your diet, white turkey has your back. It has almost zero grams of saturated fat! If you find that it's too dry for your liking, you can add a little bit of olive oil, fresh salsa, or mustard to improve the taste without overdoing your calorie load. You could also make a lean and filling pot of chilli using ground turkey, black beans, and other vegetables you have on hand.
Flax seeds boast a trifecta of nutrients: protein, omega-3s, and fibre. The wonderful thing about this super food is how easily you can sneak it into any number of meals. Try tossing some flax seeds on top of your morning oatmeal, salad, smoothie, or you can even use it as a crust for chicken tenders!
A Final Note
In general, clean eating, whole foods, and having small meals every few hours will help you reach your goals. Maximise protein, limit carbs, and remember to drink plenty of water. Water consumption is particularly important to prevent water retention which can appear like extra fat on the body, keep you from mistaking thirst for hunger, and assist in muscle recovery. More than anything, make sure you are doing a mix of cardio and weight training in conjunction with your healthy eating plan and try to always challenge yourself so you can keep your body guessing.