Skinless chicken breast is one of the healthiest meats. Many people eat it when they’re trying to lose weight and aim at shedding 1 to 2 pounds each week. However, chicken breast is a smart choice for anyone who simply wants to eat well.
Successful weight loss is gradual, not sudden. Since one pound is worth 3,500 calories, you’ll need to eat 500 to 1000 calories less each day.1 The calories you do eat also matter as not all calories are equal! Opt for high-quality, nutrient-dense foods that will help your body thrive. Chicken breast is a great place to start. Eat it in place of high-calorie foods while decreasing your overall caloric intake. You’ll slowly lose weight, thanks to these three benefits of chicken breast.
Why Eat Chicken Breast?
1. Chicken Breast Is Low In Calories
As far as meat goes, chicken breast is low in calories. It’s an excellent replacement for red meat, which tends to be energy-dense. In fact, red meat is linked to an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.2
2. Chicken Breast Is Low In Fat
Chicken breast is low in fat. But unlike store-bought low in fat foods, it doesn’t have added sugar for taste. It gets extra points if going skinless as it holds a lot of fat. One gram of fat has 9 calories. By eating low-fat meat like chicken breast, you’ll work toward cutting calories as a 3-ounce serving only has 2.69 grams! Meanwhile, a 3-ounce beef patty has 18.56 grams. So, skinless is always the way to go. By ditching the skin, you’ll ditch extra fat.
3. Chicken Breast Is High In Protein
Eating enough protein will help in controlling your weight. It increases satiety, so you’ll be less likely to overeat. This is crucial for avoiding weight gain. Of course, not all protein is equal. Red and processed meat might be high in protein, but they also come with a lot of saturated fat. Plus, a study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that people who eat more red meat gain an extra pound every four years.5 This just fuels weight gain and the associated complications.
Be mindful of what you eat with chicken breast. Skip the ranch dressing and opt for lighter sauces like lemon juice, olive oil, and vinaigrette. Hummus and guacamole will bring in more nutrients. The cooking method also matters: grilling, roasting, poaching, and baking are the healthiest techniques, but deep-frying just adds more fat.8 And don’t forget the sides. Pair chicken breast with fiber-rich foods like whole grains, veggies, and beans. Like protein, fiber will keep you full all day long.9
Food is a small part of your weight-loss journey. Each week, shoot for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise. Walking, dancing, and swimming are perfect examples.10
|↑1||Losing Weight. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑2||Protein. Harvard. T.H. Chan, School of Public Health.|
|↑3, ↑6||Basic Report: 05747, Chicken, broiler or fryers, breast, skinless, boneless, meat only, cooked, grilled. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑4, ↑7||Basic Report: 13317, Beef, ground, patties, frozen, cooked, broiled. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑5||Protein. Harvard University.|
|↑8||Don’t fry! Give Healthy Cooking Methods a Try. American Heart Association.|
|↑9||Fiber. Harvard. T.H. Chan, School of Public Health.|
|↑10||Recommendations for Physical Activity. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.|