By : Komal Thakur (B.Pharm, Diploma in Naturopathy, Specialist in Clinical Dietetics)

Bulking or leaning- The protein that will help!

The one thing that makes me absolutely happy to be on social media is knowing that all kinds of people exist. The feminists, the extremists, the racists, the optimistic, the pessimistic, the ignorant and the woke. That’s how the social media world balances itself out. The yin and the yang of it, the black and the white. I love that now there is absolutely no scope for the in-betweeners, no grey whatsoever. Everyone is so opinionated and the freedom to express it is liberating. This freedom has also led to a group of people promoting body positivity and I am totally in support of it. It’s all about health and fitness. It’s all about inclusion and this in itself is empowering.


You want to be lean or you want to gain the weight, whatever makes you feel good, as long as your good health stays in place, is the right way to be. The concept of the right kind of body, the best weight to be, is not valid anymore. However, a healthy body is something that is always going to stay in fashion, and needless to say it goes a long way. Stop being upset about how your body looks, it’s this body that is taking you places and helping you live and breathe. So let’s be thankful and try to feed it right.


Whether you want to gain or lose weight, there is always the right way to it, rather a healthier and a more sustainable way to do it. It’s not easy but it’s not really very complicated. To put it in rather simple words, it has to be a balance between proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Carbohydrates and fats are always to be limited to a healthy amount, because these can come from not so clean sources of food too. Baked products, chocolates, butters, candies, junk food, etc. are full of carbohydrates and fats. By default if someone wants to gain weight it’s assumed that it’s ok to consume all the junk possible. Protein is something that’s often dismissed.


There are some foods that have amazing amounts of protein, while having the good carbs and fats to help you lose or gain weight.


What helps you get lean?

Food sources with good amounts of proteins, which keep your metabolism good, a little bit of cardio fitness along with moderate amounts of healthy fats and good carbs.


Oats- Oats have complex carbohydrates, they are naturally gluten free and they have almost 12-15 grams of protein in 100 grams of it. Oats make you feel satiated and curb the hunger pangs, so oats are definitely a go to source when you are trying to stay lean while being healthy.


Tomatoes- Tomatoes have loads of Lycopene which is a brilliant anti-oxidant, it becomes even more active once its cooked. So you can grill up the tomatoes and add them to your everyday routine. Tomatoes also contain a good amount of vitamin C. With zero cholesterol and good amount of carbohydrates this is my fruit of choice for weight loss. Not to forget, they do have a substantial amount of protein too.


Cauliflower- While being low in calories, cauliflower has high amounts of good carbohydrates and also natural sugar. They have minimal fat and loads of vitamin C. Cauliflower again is a good source of protein especially if you are targeting weight loss. Now there are thousands of recipes available online to use cauliflower to make pizzas and cauliflower rice and what not!


What helps you gain the kilos?

Protein definitely when used along with the right kind of weight lifting exercises can help you gain healthy muscle weight. When you decide to gain weight, remember to focus on gaining muscle and not just fat. Muscle is nothing but protein, so again it becomes the favorite candidate.


Chickpeas: High in calories, high in the good fat and carbohydrates, booster shot of iron with super high amounts of protein. Chickpeas is something you should certainly add to your diet when you are trying to gain the muscle. This is the way to go. Remember to always soak the chickpeas before cooking them to avoid any gastrointestinal issues. Also soaking boosts up the iron availability, so why not!


Eggs: Moderate calories, high in good cholesterol and fat, which is easily digestible, quite a good amount of protein too. Add two eggs thrice a week to your diet and see the magic unfold. I suggest consuming the whole egg and not just egg white. However if you are suffering from high cholesterol, you can ditch the egg yolk.


Ghee or Clarified butter: Although ghee is not super high in protein content, this is the right kind of fat you need while bulking up. A spoonful a day keeps your metabolism and energy levels high and keeps your gut healthy.


Protein powders: Whether you are trying to gain or lose, adding a supplemental protein powder can prove to be beneficial. If you are trying to lose weight a protein powder like GRD Sugarfree variant can help balance out the nutrients and if you are trying to gain weight GRD can help you add to the muscle strength and maintain the immunity levels. Not to forget that both the GRD superior protein powders and the biscuits, are super yummy. Too good to be ignored!


What’s not be eaten whatsoever?

Whether you are trying to gain or lose, stay off processed sugar. Sugar is just empty calories and it will only add the excessive fat. Lay off the refined sugar and switch to healthier variants like honey, jaggery, stevia etc. Sweetened baked products like chocolates, cakes, candies, white flour, sugared energy drinks, are again a very big no. Yes they will add to your weight but that is all they will do.


A simple diet goes a long way, so do not complicate it and keep it simple. Focus on what you eat and it will do wonders to your overall fitness. Clean diet is the key to achieve your fitness goals.



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