“I love lean meats like chicken and turkey. I am obsessed with fish and sushi in general. I eat a lot of veggies and hummus” -Shawn Johnson
Disclaimer: I have a handful of friends and who have decided to choose a vegetarian/ vegan lifestyle. I have several friends and family members who share a passion for animal rights and refuse to eat meat. While I respect and value their opinions, I do not follow the same belief system and lifestyle they do The following post is in no way an attack on those lifestyle choices. I am simply expressing my belief and expert opinion using the knowledge I have on the subject. I am open to discussing this topic further in person, in the comments below, or through direct messaging! Thank you for reading. End disclaimer
It’s not a secret that protein is a crucial component to a sustainable and healthy weight loss plan. Protein performs many beneficial bodily functions that I will discuss below. What becomes confusing is what kind of protein and how much is adequate for weight loss. Protein comes in many foods such as lean meats, fatty meats, grains, dairy products, meat alternatives, and even some nuts. There are so many protein options available, where do you start? If you’re a meat eater (like me), consider lean meat products.
Definition of Lean Meat: You may ask, what’s the difference? Isn’t all meat that come from animals the same? On the surface, it may seem so, but each and every meat product is unique in its own way. They are all different in taste, texture, smell, salt content, protein content, and fat content. When lean meat is mentioned, it points toward a specific group of good for you choices. Lean meats are the choices lowest in fat and most of the time in calories.
What Lean Meat Does for the Body: You may ask, what’s the big deal? What will lean meat do over my favorite meat, bacon, for me? In fact, lean meats have several advantages to you and your body. First, lean meats contain the highest ratio of protein compared to fat and calories. Because of that, people get satisfied quicker and eat less. Protein helps build muscle that burns calories faster than fat. In turn, weight loss is achieved easier. Lean meats are low in fat. This makes them lower in calories than other fatty meats. This aids in weight loss and preventing heart diseases. In fact, protein even helps heal the body efficiently. It is known as the body’s building block, after all!
Examples of Lean Meat: As I mentioned earlier, there are MANY choices in the store for meats. It’s important to choose lean meats when checking out. A serving of lean meat is typically 3 ounces at a time (or the size of the pam of your hand). Also, keep in mind that these meats become HIGH FAT meats when fried or eaten with the skin. Any cooking technique that does not use fat is okay. This list is not a comprehensive list, but the most common options:
Alternatives to Meat: If you choose not to eat meat, there are still plentyy of protien choices you can make. Non animal and vegetable proteins exist and have as much or close to the amount of protein animal meats provide. However, they are less available for your body to absorb. You may need more non meat proteins to get the same effect. Meat alternatives include:
Bottom line: Lean protein sources are important for any weight loss journey to be successful. Find what you like and stick to those lean meats. There are plenty of recipes out there to change up the protein sources you choose. As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!