Building muscle while not gaining fat requires a delicately balanced diet. There are a lot of ways to get the protein required to achieve that goal. Protein supplements are one, and another method is through high-protein foods that have essential amino acids. Supplements aside, here are some of the best high-protein foods — and diet changes — to help you gain muscle.
Eggs and more protein for breakfast: Avoiding a high-carb breakfast like a bowl of cereal or pancakes is an easy and effective method for staying lean. Moreover, having a protein-rich breakfast (namely, eggs) can help you feel full throughout the day, according to Heather Leidy, assistant professor in the University of Missouri's Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology.
"Eating a protein-rich breakfast containing about 30 grams of protein leads to even greater satiety throughout the day and can reduce unhealthy snacking by improving appetite control," Leidy said, in an interview with Newsmax.
Omelettes are quick and easy. Check out this protein-rich recipe from Gordon Ramsay:
Cottage cheese: Because cottage cheese is a slow-digesting protein, it's perfect for someone who's looking to build muscle mass with the right foods — as such, it's the perfect snack choice. The fact that it's a versatile food you can add as part of any snack, including wraps, baked potatoes and even pizza, makes it all the better for your daily routine.
If you're out of ideas for how to add cottage cheese to your diet, the appropriately named Protein Chef has some suggestions.
Lentils: It's not the biggest muscle-builder out there, but adding lentils to your diet gives you some necessary carbs without sacrificing any of the protein gains. Just a cup of lentils adds about 18 grams of protein to your diet, in addition to a healthy amount of iron and zinc.
Most importantly, they're easy to cook and can be used in a variety of ways — you don't always have to settle for lentil soup. For instance, you can keep the Vegan Police happy and try lentils ragù bolognese.
Bison meat: You might not want to let go of the important things in life: burgers, and ... yeah, burgers. However, you don't have to cut out burgers from a healthy protein-filled diet — simply replace regular beef with bison meat for a leaner cut of meat.
Low in fat and still delicious, bison meat is a great beef burger substitute. And if you want to do it right, cooking it in a barbecue pit is a great choice.
Keeping these foods in mind will go a long way toward helping you towards your goals, while keeping fatty weight gain to a minimum. Of course, with any major changes to your diet, be sure to check with your doctor — everybody has specific nutritional needs.