There is one thing that is gospel when it comes to getting healthier and losing body fat. In order to get leaner one must have a good handle on their diet and nutritional intake. What a person puts in their body is the most important factor in their body changing for better or worse. Whether a person wants to get healthier, gain more muscle, or lose body fat it will all come down to what they are eating. Because the is often times so much misinformation out, a lot of people tend to think they eat healthier than they really do. With the warmer weather being here now, lets take a look at some of the best choices for foods if a person would want to lose body fat and get leaner.
For this category we are going to look at the best meat source. If the goal is to get lean then one of the best meats for this would be white meat turkey or turkey breast. Let me specify by saying I am not referring to deli meat turkey with a lot of nitrates, sodium, and additives but rather turkey breast meat straight from the bird minus the processing. 4 oz. of turkey breast provides you with 34 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, and less than 1 gram of fat. Nutritionally beef or pork cannot compare. Even chicken that is very nutritionally sound, does not stand up to white meat turkey. 4 oz. of the same amount of chicken will give you 26 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, and 1.5 grams of fat.
Runner up: chicken
When trying to lean out you should eat more fish. Fish tends to be a much leaner protein then most meats. Even the fish that is fattier, still usually has a much higher ratio of good fats because most of those fats come from Omega 3 sources. Fish is also easily digested by the body making it a great leaning out food. The best fish to use on a diet is haddock. While most people are familiar with and use tilapia, haddock is a slightly better choice. 4 oz of tilapia and haddock are almost exactly the same except the haddock offers less fat and a higher amount of calcium and potassium. In comparison the haddock only offers 1 gram of fat as opposed to the 3 grams offered with the tilapia.
Runner up: tilapia
When it comes to “getting lean” cruciferous vegetables are your best choices. Cruciferous vegetables are plants from the cabbage family. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and brussels sprouts are some of your best choices. These veggies are very “calorie dense”. This means you can eat lots of them without taking in a lot of calories. Two cups of broccoli flowerets provide you with 4 grams of protein, 8 grams of carbs, and 0 grams of fat. Crustaceous vegetables are also very high in fiber. Fiber is very important as far as helping the body become lean. Cruciferous vegetables also contain a compound called indole- 3-carbinol. Indole- 3- carbinol has been shown to lower types of estrogen in the body. Too much estrogen in the body can lead to a variety of health problems. While this is more common in women, men can also have problems with excess estrogen. Excess estrogen has been shown to link to joint problems, inflammation, excess body fat, and a few types of cancers. The reduction of estrogen in the body can lead to less body fat storage.
Runner up: dark green leafy vegetables
Fruits are one of those foods where people always tend to think is healthier than it really is. Fruits do provide vitamins and minerals but it also provides the body with lots of sugar. It provides it in the form of fructose (fruit sugar), which can be very hard for the body to break down. Honestly I am not a big fan of fruit on a diet but if you had to choose a fruit, I would go with raspberries. Raspberries provide the body with a lot of antioxidants. 1 cup of raspberries will provide you with 64 calories, 1.5 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbs, and less than 1 gram of fat. The kicker however is in that one cup of raspberries you get 8 grams of fiber. That is a lot of fiber to help keep you fuller and leaner at the same time.
Runner up: strawberries
Best Complex Carb-
Carbohydrates are probably the food that gets the worst rep out of all nutrients. In reality its not so much the carbs that are the problem, but the person eating the carbs and the amount they are eating. Complex carbs are carbs that should be staples in EVERYONE’S diet. How many you eat should be dependent on your health goal though. Whole Wheat grains, oatmeals, quinoas, rices and sweet potatoes are all excellent choices. If you need a complex carb source, go with oatmeal. Nutritionally oatmeal packs quite the punch. One cup of cooked oats will give you less than 150 calories, 5-6 grams of protein, 25 grams of carbs, and about 2 grams of fat. Oatmeal also gives you a hearty 4 grams of fiber per cup. Complex carbs are so nutritionally packed that they provide the body with sustainable energy over a long period of time. This great for around workout time.
Runner up: sweet potato
What is the best drink while trying to get lean? Do you really have to ask? Water hands down. Besides making up most of the human body, water helps keep the metabolism in check, hydrates the body, and helps shuttle fat from the body. Water also helps remove toxins and waste products that build up when dieting from the body. The average person does not consume nearly enough water throughout the day. Aim to drink 8-12 glasses of water or more per day.
Runner up: More water (learn to drink more and more water)
Forget your fat burners. Forget your creatine. If your goal is slimming down, whey protein is your best option as far as supplemental nutrition. Protein is very important when it comes to leaning out and supplementing with whey insures that your body will be taking in adequate amounts of protein. Protein is the building block of muscle and the more muscle you have the more metabolically active you will be. This means the easier it will be for your body to burn fat by doing a lot less. The average person should aim to get .75 grams of protein per pound. If you are a hard training athlete or have very strenuous workouts then you should aim for 1 to 1.5 grams per pound. As a person leaning out, your protein intake numbers should be roughly the same.
Runner up: Branch Chained Amino Acids
“…And The Top Choice Awards Goes To”
No matter what your fitness goal is, nutrition will always be the main component. If you are looking to lean out and cut body fat then you to be more selective about your food choices. You want foods that are nutrient dense and cleanse forms of those foods. Avoid food with lots of fats, additives, sugars, and chemicals in them.