This post has been updated since its initial publication date to include more expert insight.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you may think that the most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to your diet is to eat less and keep your calorie intake low. However, it’s vital to make sure you feed your body with all the food and nutrients it needs to stay happy, healthy and energized enough to handle all of your fat-burning workouts. One of the most essential parts of any healthy diet is protein, which can boost your metabolism and accelerate weight loss.
To discover some of the best low-fat (or lean) high-protein foods to include in your daily diet, we spoke with health experts Jeanette Kimszal, a registered dietitian, Dr. Matt Chalmers, a health and wellness expert, author, and nutrition speaker, Brenda Peralta, a registered dietitian, Allison Herries, a registered dietitian, and Heather Hanks, a registered dietitian. They pointed us to four options that are as healthy as they are delicious: Eggs, Greek yoghurt, chickenAnd salmon.
If you love a good omelette or Eggs Benedict in the morning, we’ve got some good news: Health experts agree that eggs are one of the best high-protein, metabolism-boosting foods to put on your plate every day. Kimszal explains that “protein in eggs can increase the thermic effect of food and speed up metabolism,” noting that just one egg contains 6 grams of protein. Chalmers even refers to eggs as “the best high-protein breakfast for fat loss,” saying they offer some incredible health benefits. “Whether your goal is to increase muscle mass, which also increases metabolism, or simply to burn fat, eggs should be an important part of your diet,” he says. We can certainly support that!
One of the best things about eggs is the fact that they will keep you full all day long. As Peralta explains, “studies have shown that eating eggs not only boosts your metabolism, but also boosts your satiety levels,” adding that “feeling full longer means you’re less likely to eat more throughout the day.” And if you’re wondering what’s the healthiest way to cook eggs, we asked the experts.
2. Greek Yogurt
There’s another tasty breakfast calling your name when you want to pack in the protein: Greek yogurt. Peralta points out that this filling dairy product is “low carb and high in protein,” noting that this makes it a great option for anyone looking to boost their protein intake through snacks.
She says eating one cup of this yogurt a day is a great way to go — believe it or not, that one serving provides a whopping 15-20g of protein, which Peralta says is “more than enough for a snack “. Paired with some granola, berries, chia seeds, or other nutritious toppings of your choice, this meal can do wonders for your metabolism and keep you feeling full longer.
If you want the best high-protein meat options out there, it might be time to swap out your cheeseburgers for some leaner ones, like grilled chicken. Herries explains that this meat is high in protein without the disadvantages of a lot of fat and calories. “Lean meats, including chicken, turkey, and fish, are excellent protein options,” she says, pointing out that “this is because most of the calories in lean meats come directly from protein.”
Adding some chicken to your plate is a great way to boost your protein intake while also keeping track of your weight loss goals. Herries says that “100 grams of chicken breast provides about 31 grams of protein with only 165 calories.” Nice! We’re craving a grilled chicken salad ourselves.
Speaking of lean meats, it turns out that fish is another great food to include in your diet if you want to boost your metabolism. Not only does it provide a solid amount of protein, but it’s also packed with healthy fats. Hanks says fatty fish like salmon are “an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D,” which help “reduce inflammation, regulate immune system health, and aid digestion,” all of which can help you with your journey to lose weight. In addition, lean fish such as salmon can make your hair thicker and shinier.
Hanks suggests pairing fish with veggies for the ultimate healthy meal. “Try a salmon salad with low-carb veggies for lunch to promote satiety, boost energy levels, and improve digestion,” she says, adding that “salmon also pairs well with veggies at night or an omelet in the morning.” Sounds delicious!
It comes down to
So, with the help of a lean, protein-rich diet and plenty of exercise through strength training and HIIT, you can boost your metabolism, promote weight loss and ultimately transform your body. And when it comes to the best options out there, eggs, Greek yogurt, chicken, and salmon are all tasty and healthy choices.