Top 10 Proven Foods to Lose Fat & Build Muscle for Women

Looking to lose fat and build muscle? Read on for a women’s guide of the top ten proven foods to help you burn fat and build strong toned muscle.

Losing fat and building muscle

Woman losing fat and building muscle

Everyone has heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen,” and they are. Eating right by enjoying healthy foods and getting enough water, as well as exercise will help you shred fat and build muscle. (And yes, you can do both at the same time.)

If you want to loose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume in a day. But, cutting calories makes you lose muscle mass as well as fat. To gain lean and toned muscle, as well as burning fat you need to eat healthy foods of proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, and healthy fats.

Macros

A simple guide to Macros or Macronutrients

Macro nutrients are nutrients that make up a large part of a diet, namely carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Counting your macro-nutrients is a great way to look at the food you are consuming and focus on eating foods that can help you lose weight and gain muscle.

Carbohydrates

Let’s start with the first category, carbohydrates. Carbs include sugars, starches, and fiber, and are found in foods like grains, fruit, and vegetables. Carbohydrates are very controversial in the health world, but it is generally recommended to have 45-65% of your daily caloric intake from carbs. There is also a difference between simple carbs and complex carbs, with complex carbs typically known as the more healthy of carbs. You can read more about that in a recent Gymjunkeys article here.

Fats

The next macro nutrient is fats. Fats, like carbohydrates have healthy versions and unhealthy versions, and there is a bit of a controversy surrounding them. It is recommended to get 20-35% of your daily caloric intake from fats.

There are healthier fats known as unsaturated fats, which mainly comes from plant based oils, nuts, seeds, and avocados. On the “unhealthier” side is trans fat- which is what deep fried food is made with. Doughnuts, fries, and margarine contain high amounts of trans fat. Saturated fat is in between the other two on the healthy scale. Fats are an important macro nutrient and while eating lots of trans and saturated fats may be an impediment to your weight loss, many people find a diet high in unsaturated fats to be beneficial.

Protein

The last category in the macro nutrient department is protein. Protein, also known as the building block of life helps with a bunch of different functions in the body, and is found in animal meats, beans, dairy products, and eggs. Proteins are recommended to make up of 10-30% of your caloric intake.

As well as macro-nutrients there are vital micro-nutrients your body needs every day as well. These include vitamins and supplements.

The amount of each macro nutrient you need each day depends on a few different factors, including your age, gender, body type, health goals, how active you are, and the number of calories you burn at a resting stage.  You can see your personalized recommended intake here and there are many websites and apps that can help you track it.

Top ten proven foods to eat

1. Quinoa

Quinoa in a bowl

Quinoa is an amazing super food- containing all of the essential amino acids your body needs. It is very high in fiber, magnesium, and iron, which help build protein synthesis. It aids in weight loss and helps you feel full and satisfied.

2. Leafy Greens

Leafy green vegetables, including spinach, kale, lettuce, collards, and more are some of the best foods to help with muscle gain and weight loss because they are packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and are low calorie. They help boost your metabolism, help you feel full for a long period of time, and prevent weight gain. They also help build muscle, and muscle function and are a good source of calcium.

3. Avocados

Avocados are a wonderful healthy fat packed full of potassium and other nutrients and minerals. They are also a good source of fiber, which helps you feel satisfied after eating, and they do wonders for your weight loss and muscle building goals. Get out the guacamole becuase an avocado a day keeps the fat away.

4. Nuts

Different kinds of nuts in wooden bowls

Nuts are an amazing source of healthy fat, protein, and fiber that can help you fill up, lose weight, and control hunger cravings. They are easy to take on the go and are a perfect midday snack.

5. Lean Meats

Lean meat is a great food option that packs in the protein while being fairly low in calories. While choosing more lean meats may be better for you overall, meat can help you gain muscle and lose fat.

6. Eggs

Eggs have a high source of high quality protein, fats, and other vital nutrients that help you stay full for longer, boost your metabolism, burn fat, and build muscle.

7. Tuna

Raw Tuna fish on a cutting board

Tuna is high in omega 3’s and is an excellent source of protein, making it a low calorie perfect food for fat loss and muscle gain.

8. Yogurt

Yogurt, especially full fat unsweetened Greek yogurt, is great for losing fat. Eating yogurt with live or active bacteria cultures is also great for your gut health. Yogurt is good for controlling your appetite, losing and keeping weight off, building muscle, and promoting sleep.

9. Beans and other legumes

Beans and legumes are great low calorie high in fat burning and muscle building foods. They are high in protein and fiber and help fight off inflammation, slim down, and reduce risks of obesity or heart diseases.

10. Chia seeds

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are amazing for your health. We could write a whole article just on their benefits. They are a low carb food with a high amount of fiber and high in omega 3s, helping you lose weight and  stay full for longer.

Water

Just as important as food is to losing fat and building muscle, water is vital for your health. Drinking water has many benefits, not the least of which is fat loss. Water could even be considered a macro nutrient in the sense that your body needs a lot of it to survive. Drinking water will help you stay healthy, hydrated, full for longer, and kick start the losing fat and building muscle process.

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