If you are looking at losing weight, not only should you load up on lesser number of calories, but choose healthier foods. One of the healthiest foods to shed kilos is salads. Salads make up a bowlful of nutrition-dense foods like healthy greens, sprouts, chickpeas, boiled chicken, beans, eggs, et al that ensure you are getting enough energy and essential vitamins and minerals for the day. Protein is one nutrient that you must add in your salads to up the health quotient and also speed up weight loss. When it comes to fat loss, protein is the king of nutrients; the higher the protein intake, the better it is. A high-protein salad boosts metabolism, helps reduce appetite, and tends to change several weight-regulating hormones. Let’s look at what all protein does to help lose weight.
How does protein help lose weight?
1. Protein tends to alter hunger hormones
A higher protein intake tends to increase the feeling of satiety and alter the hunger hormone ghrelin so that you do not overeat. This leads to a major reduction in hunger and is one of the main reasons protein helps you lose weight.
2. Protein burns calories
Proteins help digest and metabolise the food as they have high thermic effect as compared to carbohydrates. So the more protein you eat, the better your digestive system becomes.
3. Protein reduces appetite
Protein tends to reduce hunger and appetite and can automatically lead to reduction in calorie intake. So if you are adding protein-rich foods to your salads, be ready to stay fuller for longer.
Here are some protein-rich foods that you must definitely add to your healthy salads:
Chickpeas or chana are not only high in protein content but also fibre and potassium, both of which are great for weight loss. As they are low in saturated fats and are cholesterol free, you can regularly include them in your salads. Boil a handful of chickpeas and add them in to your salad.
Without eggs, salads are incomplete. An egg can provide a lot of high-quality protein content. An average egg contains about six to seven grams of protein. So toss a whole egg or two in your salad to lose weight, the healthy way. Make sure you are not adding fried egg or omelette on your salad, as they would contain oil or butter to which you will be adding calories, further defeating the purpose.
3. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids that cannot be made bu the body. 100 grams of chia seeds is said to contain about 17 grams of protein. Roast some chia seeds and add them to your salad to add that extra crunch.
4. Beans and legumes
Beans and legumes high in protein include soybeans, lentils, white and black beans, split peas, kidney beans, et al. Add any of these to load up on enough proteins for the day. Make sure you boil them well and add to the salads.
5. Lean meat like chicken
Chicken is one of the best sources of protein. A skinless, cooked chicken breast has about 54 grams of protein. Make sure you roast it or boil it and ensure that you have marinated it with only healthy ingredients.
6. Cottage cheese
One cup of cottage cheese may contain 28 grams of proteins. So roast some paneer and toss it on your salad. In fact, paneer has good amount of calcium and vitamin D that help keep your bones and teeth healthy.
Quinoa contains plant compounds quercetin and kaempferol that possess anti-inflammatory properties. Boil raw quinoa seeds with a dash of salt and add them into your salad.
Make sure you complementing your salads with exercises and a fit lifestyle if you want to lose weight.