When it comes to a successful weight loss plan, diet is key.
It doesn’t matter how hard you work in the gym, if you aren’t eating the right foods, in the right amounts, you’ll just not carve out that hourglass silhouette that you’re working so hard to achieve.
Meats are a great food source to support healthy fat loss.
They provide specific nutrients that can help you reach your weight loss targets. But also help to boost metabolic rate and suppress appetite too.
Here’s why a high-protein diet full of meats is great for weight loss…
The Basics of Weight Loss
When it comes to achieving a leaner, more athletic body that oozes confidence and sex appeal, it’s all down to calories.
Food contains energy. And energy can’t be created or destroyed, only transferred from one entity to the next (you might have heard this term in high school during another boring physics lesson, yawn lol).
When you eat food, your body takes the energy from it in the form of calories. It then uses this to provide your body with the nutrition it needs to. That’s everything from maintaining your heart rate and brain function, to day-to-day activity and all-out exercise.
Too many calories leads to weight gain…
From an evolutionary point of view it doesn’t make sense for your body to get rid of any excess energy it gets from food.
As far as its concerned you’re still a cave women, not really sure if and when your next meal will arrive in your lap, hunted and killed by your super-hot caveman husband.
So instead of getting rid of that valuable, lifesaving energy which it might well need during a famine, it stores it.
And it does this be converting the energy to fatty triglycerides and then storing it in your fat cells.
If you take on board more calories than your body burns each day you’ll begin to store any extra calories as fat.
Were not cave women anymore of course. We wont starve to death, and if were hungry we can literally walk across the street and grab a bite.
This means its far more easy to eat that little bit too much. And before you know it you’ve piled on a few pounds without even realizing.
…but weight loss occurs in an energy deficit
Let’s flip things around.
Too many calories will result in weight gain. But taking in less than you burn off each day will result in weight loss.
Achieving whats known in the industry as an ‘energy deficit’ forces your body to tap into its fat cell energy reserves in order to use up the calories it stored for a rainy day.
Without a deficit you’ll just never stimulate this process.
Why Is Protein Good for Weight Loss?
Protein is a macronutrient, meaning you need it in your diet in large amounts. It’s found in a variety of foods, but mostly in animal meats.
At 4 kilocalories per gram, protein is a low energy food.
But it is great for weight loss for a few reasons.
Here’s why high-protein foods such as meat help you lose weight…
Protein is the most satiating nutrient
Compared to both carbs and fats, protein helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
This is important for weight loss as it makes it easier to achieve an energy deficit without becoming too hungry to maintain it.
Has a thermogenic influence
When you eat food, your body has to use energy to break it down in the gut and then digest it. This is referred to as the thermic effect of food.
Protein has the highest thermic effect by miles, with as much as 30% of it is burned off just to digest protein-based food such as meats.
Compare this to a measly 5-10% for carbs and a pitiful 0-3% for fat and you’ll see why protein is important for weight loss.
In basic terms, protein is great for spiking your metabolic rate and burning more fat.
Maintains lean mass
When you’re deep in an energy deficit, your body will turn to fat as a back up fuel.
But if you’re not careful, a deficit will also turn to muscle tissue too – mostly because you’ve got plenty of it and its easy to break down for extra energy.
Lifting heavy weights in the gym, coupled with plenty of protein such as meats, helps to offset any muscle loss by protecting it from being broken down for energy.
Even in the elderly (who have a much higher risk of muscle loss) higher protein diets have been shown to help preserve muscle during weight loss dieting.
How much protein do you need for weight loss?
This depends on how often you work out, and also what type of exercise you take part in.
Sedentary adults can get away with as little as 0.8-1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight. But if you’re thinking of hitting an energy deficit we’d suggest taking that number as high as 2 grams per kilogram.
Maybe more if you’re also strength training.
This is presuming you’ve not got any existing medical or health concerns such as poor kidney function.
Best Meats to Lose Weight – Eat Right, Burn More Fat
When it comes to weight loss, meats are fantastic. Not only are they high in protein, they’re great for keeping your appetite at by too.
Here are our top choices…
White meats are always great for weight loss because they’re low in fat and provide optimal calories for how much protein you’re getting.
100 grams of turkey will give you a huge 30 grams of protein, with only 7 grams of fat and practically zero carbs.
It’s a real bang-for-your-buck food.
You’ll also get a nice shot of vitamin B6 and B12 – both nutrients that have been shown to boost energy and fat loss during weight loss dieting.
Is this a meat as such?
Maybe, maybe not. It’s a fish of course, but according to US policies it is a meat because it comes from an animal.
Salmon is such a great source of animal protein that we’re adding it to this list regardless.
It’s a little high in calories compared to turkey at just over 200 per 100 grams, but you’re getting a huge whack of protein at 20 grams, along with hormone-optimizing fatty acids.
The best thing about oily fish isn’t so much the protein intake though, but the high levels of vitamin D3 and other fat-soluble nutrients.
Containing a modestly impressive 520 IU of the ‘sunshine vitamin’, D3 has long been thought to boost athletic performance, recovery from hard exercise, heart health and even weight loss.
#3. Grass-Fed Beef
As a source of red meat, beef is frighteningly high in protein, with 26 grams per 100 grams. You can get your beef in the form of steaks, mince and burgers so you’ve got plenty of flexibility.
Grass-fed meats are highly nutritious and come in at a low 5 grams of fat and 380 calories for a large steak.
They also contain more CLA than grain-fed beef – a nutrient that may help support healthy weight loss.
#4. Organ Meats
Organ meats such as liver, brain and kidney are the multivitamins of the animal world. Compared to fruits and vegetables such as apples and carrots, organ meats have more:
- Vitamin A, C, E and D
- Potassium, phosphorous and pantothenic acid
When it comes to weight loss, organ meats such as liver support your quest by providing you with over 25 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Liver is also packed with all of the nutrients you need to keep healthy during a calorie deficit.
Okay, organs meats might not be for everyone. But if you can see past the taste and texture, they’re a weight loss tool for the pros.
Another popular weight loss meat, bison has half the fat that red beef does, but still hits you with a whopping 24 grams of protein.
And with such as high nutrient value, bison is a great protein source for maintaining lean mass, metabolic rate and boosting the all-so-important thermogenic effect.
It’s also high in zinc, another fantastic weight loss nutrient used by athletes to optimize performance and keep lean.
Best Meats to Lose Weight Conclusion
When it comes to losing weight diet is crucial. So, whatever meat or fish you choose, make sure you always try and enjoy it.
Remember, that losing the weight is just the first part of the battle. To keep it off you should always try and have a clean and sustainable diet that keeps you happy and you enjoy. A diet of liver and broccoli for 6 months just isn’t fun.