Protein is an essential part of every diet. It helps maintain and build muscle, which helps burn fat and keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Make sense to us! Now let’s take it a step further: Anti-inflammatory proteins give you an extra boost when your goal is slimming down. They’re proven fat loss fighters thanks to their ability to stop free radicals and inhibit inflammation. There are many proteins to choose form but we like these best for being delicious and versatile.
“Lean meats are a great way to get protein without excessive fat and carbohydrates,” says Alix Turoff, a New York City nutritionist and trainer. Her top pick is chicken. “It can be cooked in a multitude of ways, is more affordable than other meat sources and is available at almost every restaurant,” she says. “Unless there are specific reasons for avoiding meat (religious, moral, etc.), I do not suggest that it ever be cut out of your diet.” Stop whining that chicken is boring - just get creative in preparation. Buy a roasted bird and shred it into corn tortillas then top with spicy guacamole. Make sheet pan chicken with sweet onion, peppers, garlic cloves and fresh dill.
Nuts & Seeds
Almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews and sunflower seeds, are packed with protein (about 4 to 7 grams per ounce), fiber and heart-healthy fats. “Nuts and seeds are calorie-dense so it’s important to pay attention to portion size,” Julie Andrews, The Gourmet RD. “All nuts and seeds are great for making pesto and sauces, for blending into smoothies, adding to salads and layering on to yogurt and oatmeal.” We love snacking on a medley of nuts and seeds with a few pieces of dried fruit thrown in. But just a few: dried fruit it way high in sugar.
They sound odd but you’ll get over the name when you realize the positive health effects of pulses. “They’re plant-based proteins that fill you up, help keep you regular and even help reduce cholesterol thanks to soluble fiber,” says Rachel Swanson, a RDN at Lifespan Medicine. Pulses include dried beans, dried peas, lentils and chickpeas. Research has reported that people who eat pulses can experience significant weight loss even if they don’t stick to a diet of restricted calories. “What’s better then eating food and still being able to lose some extra lbs.?” asks Swanson.
Pay attention to these three words: wild Alaskan salmon. This is how you’re going to decrease inflammation in your body, says Stacy Goldberg, a nutritionist at savorfull. “Salmon helps you get a flatter belly because it’s high in protein and low in carbs,” she says. Replace high carb, high fat meals with salmon and you’re well on your way to getting a leaner look. If the idea of “just salmon” or dinner seems unappealing, mix it into a quinoa protein bowl or chickpea salad.