There’s no magic formula to losing weight—consume too many calories and the body will store them as fat. That said, there are ways by which you can make better food choices to help control your appetite and metabolize food more efficiently.
For example, new research indicates that making meat and poultry a part of your diet can help control appetite and enhance weight loss. These high-protein, nutrient-dense foods are satisfying, which translates into less snacking between meals.
In other research, eating enough protein, along with adequate physical activity, may also help you lose fat, not muscle, as you manage weight.
A 2009 study conducted by the University of Illinois’ Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and Penn State University’s Department of Nutritional Sciences reinforced the fact that diets with increased protein and reduced carbohydrates are effective for weight loss. Thirty-one percent of those on the high-protein diet lost a total of 10 percent or more of their body weight.
A Purdue University study confirmed these findings and found that a reduced-calorie diet with a higher amount of protein helped overweight women retain more lean body mass while losing weight compared to women who consumed the same amount of calories but ate less protein.
These findings don’t surprise Betsy Booren, Ph.D., director of scientific affairs at the American Meat Institute Foundation. “Lean meats and other sources of protein provide a significant amount of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients with relatively few calories.”
So what are some lean meat items to add to your grocery list to help subtract from your waistline?
• In the case of beef, the leanest cuts are those of “select” or “choice” grade, with the words “round” or “loin” in their names, such as eye round and top sirloin. Ninety-five percent lean ground beef is also a good choice.
• Turkey is a delicious, nutritious protein. A 3-ounce serving of boneless, skinless turkey breast contains 26 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat and 0 grams of saturated fat.
• The tenderloin is the leanest cut of pork. A 3-ounce serving contains 120 calories and 2.98 grams of total fat—as lean as a skinless chicken breast.
• Other lean cuts of pork include boneless loin roast and chops. Also, a 2-ounce serving of Canadian bacon contains only 86 calories and 3.9 grams of fat.
For more information, visit www.meatpoultrynutrition.org.