You don’t always need to rely on a protein powder or grilled chicken breasts (again). These proteins will help you slim down while preserving lean muscle.
You already know that eating protein is key when it comes to feeling satisfied with your meals and maintaining a weight loss effort. Protein helps build flubber-frying lean muscle mass, after all. But it seems that many of us have gotten into a rut, relying on just a few primary sources of the stuff. Not only can this cause taste bud fatigue, it can also deny your body of health-boosting nutrients found in protein-rich foods you’re overlooking.
To help you break free of your oh-so-boring grilled chicken and egg routine, we’ve compiled a list of the best-ever proteins for weight loss across every food category. Whether you’re a fan of fish, can’t deny your love of dairy or stick to a meat-free meal plan, we’ve got the best options for your waistline.
Read on to get in the know and be sure to pick a few of our suggestions up next time you head to the grocery store.
Protein Payout: 1 cup (cooked), 41 calories, 5 grams of protein
Popeye’s favorite veggie is a great source of not only protein but also vitamins A and C, antioxidants and heart-healthy folate. One cup of the green superfood has nearly as much protein as a hard-boiled egg—for half the calories. Looking to get the biggest nutritional bang for your buck? Be sure to steam your spinach instead of eating it raw. This cooking method helps retain vitamins and makes it easier for the body to absorb the green’s calcium content. Add a handful to soups, omelets, pasta dishes and veggie stir-fries, or simply steam it and top with pepper, garlic, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. And don’t feel like you have to double down on the greens. Spinach is one of the 10 greens healthier for you than kale.