If you want to lose weight or burn fat one of the best things that can do is try to build muscle.
Because to build muscle, your body needs energy from somewhere to create it. In most cases, it turns to fat as its energy source.
This is why people think that fat converts into muscle. It really doesn’t. Muscle ends up replacing fat because fat is being burned to create the muscle.
If you don’t care about building muscle and just want to lose weight then that means you should focus on cutting out carbohydrates. When trying to do this many people experience fatigue and tiredness because their body is so used to having carbs as an energy source.
If your body can no longer rely on carbs for energy where can it turn? Protein of course.
When you think of protein, you either think of some strong protein powder or a meat product. Those aren’t the only ways to get your daily protein intake.
There are other sources of protein that often get overlooked. There are plenty of vegetables that are able to give you the protein you really need if you do not want to have any meat or are just looking for other ways to get the protein you need in your diet.
8 Non-Meat Protein Alternatives
Incorporating more protein in your diet doesn’t have to be an exercise in futility. You just have to get a little more creative with how you incorporate veggies into meals but that is part of the fun.
Below are 8 non-meat alternatives that will give you get the extra protein you are looking for in your diet.
These beans contain more protein than any other type of bean. They are also one of only two completely plant based proteins.
A boiled cup of soybeans contains 28.6 grams of protein. Along with the protein, they also contain essential fatty acids and insoluble fibers that will help promote digestive health. The acids will help promote cardiovascular health.
Best known for their appearances at Japanese restaurants, these have a surprising amount of protein. Don’t let their size fool you.
Edamame serves as a great snack when you are trying to avoid candy bars and cookies. Just carry around a small baggie of edamame and pop them in whenever you are feeling a little bit hungry.
Edamame contains about 22 grams of protein per cup. This makes sense since because edamame is immature soybeans that are boiled inside the pea pods.
Lentils are the best protein when it comes to legumes. They are also beneficial for you when it comes to your caloric intake.
One cup of lentils contains about 18 grams of protein and around 230 calories.
Lentils also contain a large amount of dietary fibers. Protein and relatively low calories aren’t the only benefits of this vegetable.
Not only does broccoli contain about 2 grams of protein per cup, you will also get over 100% of your daily value in vitamin C and vitamin K.
Although broccoli is looked at as mostly a side to other meat based proteins, it should be looked at as a food that can really add to your protein consumption.
Green peas contain about 9 grams of protein per cup. Like broccoli, peas have a significant amount vitamins and minerals that help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
This vegetable can be looked at as mostly a diuretic that is used frequently by fitness models prior to competitions.
When it comes to the protein side of asparagus, you can get about 2.5 grams of it out of every 100 grams of the vegetable.
If you are looking to get more potassium and antioxidants in your diet, asparagus is the way to go.
7. Pumpkin Seeds
Although most people only think about pumpkins around Halloween, their seeds provide a great source of protein. You can buy the seeds in packs similar to sunflower seeds, but be careful because they are usually loaded with sodium.
If you’re curious as to how you should eat them, it’s pretty simple. Roast them in an oven (if you are making your own) and just pop them in your mouth. Shell and all.
Just one ounce of this seed will give you over 5 grams of protein. That’s a pretty good ratio of protein-to-size.
Diets that are rich in pumpkin seeds are also associated with a lower risk of numerous amounts of cancer.
8. Mung Bean Sprouts
The name threw me off as well, you weren’t the only one.
One cup of these sprouts contains around 2.5 grams of protein. As with most plants, these don’t have just one benefit. There are many nutrients and minerals in them that help promote better physical health.
More Protein Alternatives
One of the best ways to incorporate more high-quality protein into your diet is by using protein powder. There are hundreds of different protein powders out there and Bitch A Fit has the 5 best tasting protein powders for women.
You’ll be amazed to see the changes your body goes through when incorporating more protein and less carbs. The key is being aware of what you are eating and understanding that protein is a vital component to gaining lean muscle mass and burning fat.