I'm getting close to the point in my progress where I want to move from losing weight to gaining muscle. From what I understand, muscle is built from protein, so I'm looking into finding good foods that are high in protein.
I guess my first question is whether increasing my protein intake be necessary, and if so, is there a specific range I should look for? I should probably check weight training websites for that info...
But I want to try to avoid the calories from fat that go with it. This leads to problems. Dairy products end up with some good protein, but are high in fat. Same with nuts.
Besides beef jerky, does anyone know any good foods that give me a protein boost without too much fat? Should I bite the bullet and buy protein powder (it seems awfully expensive, and if I don't like the taste, that will be a BIG waste of money)?
How do the Atkins people do it? Or don't they end up caring about the fat grams?
Starting Weight (02/2008): 271.8lb
Current Weight (01/08/2010): 180.2lb
Next Goal (01/31/2010): 170lb
Final Goal: 164.4lb
Protein requirements depend on whether you work out or not and how strenuous your workouts actually are. Your average desk-bound male requires just 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. But exercise can nearly double those requirements. General guidelines are between 0.5 and 0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight to build muscle mass. Protein shakes are a very good way to add protein without a lot of fat. Muscle Milk (Cookie and Cream) made with water and ice tastes like a vanilla milk shake. As you gain more muscle, your body will burn more calories even while sedentary.
Egg whites rule when it comes to low fat and high protein! They are almost 100 % protein. I make egg white omellettes in the microwave : Spray a bowl with Pam. Add chopped veggies to taste, about 1/2 cup (I like mishroom red onion and chopped red peppers). Add 3-4 egg whites. Microwave until firm, about 1-2 minutes. Very low fat and calories, high in protein and nutrition!
I had the same question in the Nutrition forum, this is very helpful, thanks! I also eat a lot of lowfat/nonfat cottage cheese with sliced cherry tomatoes, that has a lot of protein and is pretty satisfying.
Alot of it comes from your lean meats, where the fat there (while still there) isnt giong to kill you and benefit you in some other ways as well, so dont cut it out all together.
i would go for, as said before, a protein shake a few times/day. if you're looking to gain muscle, you need to eat more so your body kicks into the, "ok i have enough cal to gain muscle" mode. dont worry about the taste of it, you get used to them after a while. you can put fruit and ice and make them smoothies, but i just gulped them down with water after that got tedious. also nuts help alot too.
the extra calories will eventually be burned from the gained muscle. also do you have a working weight plan, because that will help far more than winging it?
Personally, I really enjoy eating foods that I feel fill me up quick and lasts. One power food that me and my weight lifting fiance really enjoy is lentils. We make a very hearty soup that is full of protein and fiber without any fat! I also do split pea soup with the same recipe. If you are interested let me know and I can put my full recipe up for anyone who has never made lentils before!
Also- fat free cottage cheese and greek yogurt are great options!
I usually throw a half a can of Tuna (light in water), about 3oz, into my salad each day. Besides adding taste to the salad, it's low fat, low in calories, and is high in protein. half a can of tuna has about 60 cal., 1 fat, and 13 protein
I second Greek yogurt! I was shocked when I first bought it...it has 14-15 g of protein per 6 oz. cup! Plus I like that it doesn't have the artificial sweeteners and is thicker and more satisfying than the dessert-flavored yogurts that are all over the place now. I usually eat the vanilla (110 cals); the fruit flavored ones are about 140 cals.
I also like Cabot's reduced fat cheese (you can get 50% reduced fat or 75% reduced fat). 60 cals per ounce.
I eat Special K Protein cereal as well (10 grams per serving), but it really jerks my chain that they put high fructose corn syrup in a cereal that touts itself as being great for dieters.
*Sorry, I put the angry guy in the wrong place and I can't figure out how to move him! He is supposed to be after the Special K soapbox...