If you find yourself among the ranks of the “skinny fat” folks, it can be difficult to find the dieting information you want. Everyone thinks of losing weight as reducing your overall size. Truth be told, that’s the goal for most people who want to lose fat.
If you’re already thin but you want to turn around your body fat percentage, there’s not as much information available. That changes today.
One of the most important dietary changes for a skinny fat person to make is to boost protein consumption. Here’s why it’s so vital and how you can get started:
Why Do I Need Protein?
Protein and muscles go hand in hand, because your body needs enough protein to build and maintain muscle strength. Contrary to the old theories, though, “the more the better” isn’t a good strategy for protein.
Ideally, protein should make up 10-35% of your daily diet. Eating too much protein can compromise your health and it won’t help you tone up faster.
If, however, you’re among the large percentage of people who don’t get enough protein yet, it’s time for a change. In addition to giving your body the fuel to build muscle, protein contributes to fat loss.
It also makes you feel full and satisfied faster and stay satisfied longer, so it’s easier to cut calories.
Tips to Boost Protein in Your Diet
If you aren’t hitting your target percentage and you want to add more protein to your diet, here are some helpful tips:
1. Look for the Right Types of Protein
It’s not hard to find foods that have a lot of protein. Unfortunately, some of these foods are also loaded with harmful additions.
Processed meats like most deli meats, for instance, have been found to increase your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
As you look for protein-rich foods, don’t ignore those other important macro and micro nutrients.
2. Stop Shying Away from Eggs
Eggs have gotten a bad rap, but they’re one of the most protein-rich foods around and they’re much healthier than dietitians once thought.
3. Look for High-Protein Dairy but Beware of Excess Sugars
Dairy is another great source of protein. It’s also convenient for those of us with busy schedules because it’s easy to grab a yogurt and go. Dairy should be a staple for anyone looking for ways to lose fat.
Be careful, though, because some “low-fat” dairy just replaces the fat with huge amounts of sugar. Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are usually safe bets, but always read the label regardless.
4. Develop a Passion for Seafood
Seafood is a very polarizing food: some people love it and some hate it. The fact is, though, that it’s an incredibly lean source of protein as long as it’s prepared in a healthy way.
If you’ve never been much for seafood, now is the time to start. Try plenty of varieties and cooking methods to find your favorites.
5. Make Protein Shakes a Supplement, Not a Staple
Protein powders and protein shakes can be a great way to add protein to your diet. However, if that’s one of your daily protein servings, you’re passing up the opportunity to get tons of other great nutrients.
Aim to get your protein from your meals and snacks first and supplement it with a protein shake when you need to.
6. Splurge on Wild Salmon
We’re back to that seafood again. Salmon is a great source of protein, and its rich flavor makes it a great entry food for people who aren’t used to seafood.
While wild salmon is more expensive than farmed salmon, it’s worth the splurge if you can swing it because it contains more protein.
7. Don’t Cut Out Beef Entirely
Beef is another meat that’s gotten a bad name in the dietary community. It shouldn’t be a staple of your diet, but it’s such a great protein source that you should indulge in it occasionally. Just don’t overdo it (once every week or two is plenty) and look for lean cuts.
8. Expand Turkey Beyond Thanksgiving
Turkey is one of the most underestimated foods around. It typically provides the same amount of protein as chicken breast but with fewer calories and less fat.
9. Think Beyond Meats
Most people think of their meals as having a protein (the main dish) and two veggies. But why not choose sides that have higher protein, too? Beans or lentils can be a great addition to any plate.
10. Keep an Emergency Stash of Nuts
Nuts are a good source of protein as well as the healthy fats your body needs. They’re also a very filling snack. Keep a stash of the most protein-rich nuts in your car, your purse, or your desk so it’s there when you need it.
11. Choose Higher-Protein Whole Grains
Grains are another dietary category that people just assume can’t have protein. However, there are grains that will give you the carbohydrates and whole grains you need while adding protein. Quinoa, for instance, is a great substitute for rice or pasta.
A word of caution, though: steer clear of “honey roasted” or “salted” nuts if possible. These types of nuts can have more sugar and/or salt than you bargained for.
12. Get Creative
Some dieters get stuck in a rut. They make the same few dishes over and over because they know they’re “safe.”
Instead, expand your repertoire by trying one or two new recipes every week. Look specifically for protein-rich recipes or recipes that incorporate foods you want to try.
Adding Protein to Your Diet
Incorporating more protein into your diet is a great way to start building muscle and cutting down your body fat percentage. It’s only one part of the process, though.
Protein won’t make muscle magically appear, nor will it cut your calorie consumption if you don’t stop eating when you’re full. While the tips above can help you boost protein, they should encompass just one part of your lifestyle change and body makeover.
To continue on your journey to a healthier body, explore our site to learn about dieting and exercise tips for skinny fat people.