Who doesn't like spicy grilled chicken or piping hot chicken soup in cold weather? It seems like such a guilty pleasure that people are not sure how healthy it is and how it impacts their weight. So, is chicken good for weight loss? Read this while you plan that yummy chicken-based lunch.
Chicken is a great source of protein and does not contain much fat. It also contains B vitamins, calcium, copper, potassium, and zinc.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 100 g of chicken (cooked skinless and boneless breast meat) contains the following nutrients.
|Total fat||3.24 g|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||0.098 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.187 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||9.45 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.921 mg|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||0.0002 mg|
So we have seen that chicken has a good balance of macro- and micronutrients, but is chicken good for weight loss? Yes, chicken can be good for weight loss because of the following properties:
For losing weight, it is necessary that you are on a calorie deficit. You should aim at burning more calories than you consume. 100 g of chicken has only 158 kcal. With chicken, calories are on the lower side and thus it can be an excellent food choice for weight loss.
Chicken is a great source of protein. 100 g of chicken contains 32.1 g of protein. Protein is the single most important nutrient for weight loss. High protein intake helps in boosting your metabolism and makes your body burn more calories.
Protein also delays digestion, which helps in reducing your hunger, increasing the feeling of fullness, and thereby controlling your calorie intake. Having a diet rich in protein helps you lose weight without losing muscle because protein promotes muscle growth when paired with resistance training. Protein also helps you burn more calories at rest.
Chicken can be a great addition to your balanced diet for weight loss. If you are wondering how much chicken per day for weight loss is feasible, you can eat around 85 to 115 g of chicken (½ to ¾ cup) in a day.
Make sure you cook chicken by a healthy method and eat it in combination with vegetables, legumes, whole grains etc. to increase the fibre intake in your meals and maintain a balance of all nutrients.
Chicken is rich in protein and low in calories and fat, which makes it an ideal food to have at any time of the day. Having chicken during the day can keep you full and prevent unnecessary snacking.
Having it for dinner can help prevent hunger pangs at night and improve your sleep as it contains high levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes sleep. However, if you are eating chicken at night, keep a check on your portion size. Chicken contains a lot of protein. If there is too much protein in your diet, your body takes time and effort to digest the protein, which can disturb your sleep.
Ok, so now you know you can eat chicken for weight loss. But but but, that does not mean you can start hogging on chicken nuggets and wings! For health benefits and for successful weight loss, you have to choose chicken cooked using healthy preparation methods.
Here are a few ways you can add chicken to your weight loss diet:
Chicken soup containing chicken combined with some veggies, spices and herbs, can be a pot of wholesome meal in itself. Chicken soup is rich in protein, is light on the digestive system, and aids in weight loss. You can prepare delicious chicken soup with chicken, beans, spinach, and corn.
Chicken salad is a versatile healthy dish liked by everyone around the world. If you are struggling with how to cook chicken for weight loss, chicken salad is one of the easiest and most healthy chicken recipes for weight loss. It can be prepared by mixing cooked chicken with yoghurt, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices.
Darker cuts of chicken like the thigh and drumstick contain more calories and fats when compared to the chicken breast. Chicken breasts are good for weight loss as they contain lean muscle and are packed with protein. Season chicken breasts with olive oil, salt, and spices of your choice. Bake it in the oven and enjoy a delicious and healthy treat!
Grilled chicken can be yummy as well as healthy chicken preparation. It contains fewer calories than other chicken preparations as the fat in the chicken melts away during the preparation process. Also, minimal to no amount of cooking oil is used for grilling chicken.
Chicken is not just a feast for your tongue and aid for weight loss. It has several other health benefits too.
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