Skinless and Boneless chicken breasts, are one of the foods most used by those who diet and workout, and for good reasons. It brings innumerable benefits that can accelerate your progress in achieving weight loss or muscle gain
Benefits of Chicken Breast
1 – One of the best sources of protein
Chicken breast is rich in complete proteins, meaning they provide all of the 9 essential amino acids that the body needs to rebuild muscle mass.
Only 3.5 Oz of raw chicken breast provide about 21g of protein, which also makes this food one of the richest sources in this macro nutrient.
2 – Source of protein with the best cost-benefit
Among all sources of protein that exist, even other meats, the chicken breast is usually the cheapest source.
The price may vary a lot depending on where you live, but it’s common to find 1 lb of skinless, boneless chicken breast being sold for $2.00.
For example: while a dozen eggs (another cheap source of protein) can cost between $2 to $3 and provide 72 g of protein (per dozen and considering you do not throw any yolks off), 1 lb of chicken breast can provide more Of 140 g of protein costing about $2.00.
3 – One of the best foods for those who want to lose fat
Even if your current goal is not to burn fat, someday you will want to, and when the time comes, the chicken breast will definitely help.
This is because chicken is a food that provides a lot of protein per serving, but at the same time provides few calories, since it has virtually no carbohydrates and fats (when skinless).
This makes it a perfect food for anyone who wants to lose fat and is reducing their calorie intake while maintaining high protein intake to preserve muscle mass.
Also consider that protein is the most hunger-killing nutrient, a vital aspect in restrictive diets.
4 – Provides other important nutrients for muscle growth
Chicken breast is not just chicken protein, the food has other nutrients that may directly or indirectly influence your progress in your goals.
Niacin: important nutrient in the conversion of protein, carbohydrate and fat into energy. A single chicken breast already provides more niacin than the health agencies recommend per day (and this is good).
Vitamin B6: Enhances the use of glycogen during heavy physical activities (like your workout).
Selenium: helps in the proper functioning of the thyroid, which in turn keeps your metabolism working properly. This is especially important for those who are on a restrictive diet for fat burning.
Iron: This nutrient is needed for oxygen to reach the muscles, especially during physical activity.
Zinc: improves the immune system and helps in the production of anabolic hormones like testosterone.
First and foremost, your chicken breast does not have to taste like styrofoam to be consumed on a diet, regardless of what your goal is.
Many people still believe that all meals on a diet for muscle building or fat burning need to be 100% politically correct, meaning without a sodium signal or any condiment that might even get the idea of being tasty.
As if anything that makes your meal delicious can brings harm that will sabotage your results. Bullshit.
Because of beliefs like these, many people associate dieting with total deprivation and, therefore, can never stand firm on any type of food plan, consequently failing to see progress.
What good is it for you to eat chicken without salt and seasoned with lemon only if in a few months you will not even be able to smell chicken without feeling nausea. Believe me, even if you love chicken, this is what happens over time.
Unless you are a professional bodybuilder who is in the weeks leading up to a show, please! Season your food using common things and using common sense, will not make any difference to your results.
This means that you can make your chicken breast using the most varied seasonings and ingredients like salt, pepper, onion, garlic, fine herbs, a little butter, etc … and this will not change your results as long as you use common sense.
An example of chicken breast recipe that looks delicious and still remains a healthy meal for your goal:
Greek Yogurt Parmesan Chicken
1.67 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1.5 tsp. grill seasoning (seasoned salt, Italian seasoning, ranch seasoning, or Cajun seasoning)
How to prepare
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place the chicken in a prepared baking dish. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Mix together the yogurt, Parmesan, garlic, lemon zest, and the seasoning you choose. Pour over the chicken and use your hands to make sure the chicken is completely coated.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
So is chicken breast mandatory on a diet?
Chicken breast, without a doubt, is the most famous food among those who follow diet and training, something that makes many people think that food NEEDS to be ingested if the goal is to change the body.
In fact, chicken breast is famous simply because it is cheap, versatile and fulfills what it promises, but it is not a mandatory food in any diet for muscle growth or fat burning.
This means that if you do not like chicken breast, you do not need to eat it for results. There are other sources of protein that will work as well as the chicken breast.