High Protein Diet for Weight Loss: Foods With Protein

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Does High Protein Diet Help You Lose Weight?

High Protein Diet For Weight Loss

One thought of our weight and the word ‘stubborn fat’ is the first one to pop in our minds. How many of you have tried to exercise with little difference to show for it? Have you ever tried to tone your body just by adopting a few simple diet changes?
This post tells you how you can shed those pounds with a high protein diet.

Proteins In The Body:

Proteins are extremely necessary to the normal functioning of the human body. They constitute the backbone of all essential components, including hormones and enzymes. They are also a vital part of body organs, particularly muscles, the growth of which burns calories and aids fat loss.

Our body breaks down the proteins and amino acids from food inside the liver, where they are converted to precursors that are supplied across all organs. 
Hence, a high protein diet is crucial to not just for basic functions, but also for cell repair and health rejuvenation as well.

Proteins In Diet:

A healthy individual can obtain the required amount of protein from a balanced diet that includes all food groups. As per the daily recommended allowance, an adult male requires 56gm of protein every day, while an adult woman needs 46gm per day. Children require around 50gm of protein a day.

It is advised that more than 10% and less than 30% of your daily calories should be obtained from protein. A diet exceeding 30% is considered a high protein diet.

How High Protein Diet Helps:

  • A high protein diet has a thinning or toning effect on your waistline. This is because protein foods have a longer lasting effect on digestion and metabolism.
  • As the food you eat takes longer to digest, you expend more calories.
  • More protein foods and lesser sugary foods reduce insulin levels in the body. This encourages the body to remove the fat.
  • Most importantly, high proteins and low carbohydrates in the body will build lean muscle, which promotes more fat burning.
  • The muscle in turn burns more calories than fat.
  • According to research, a high protein diet combined with restricted fat and carbohydrate intake decreases weight, along with benefiting the body in other ways.

High Protein Diet For Weight Loss:

Weight loss with high protein diet is surely a successful mantra. But it is not enough. What about the other food groups? Eating only a protein rich diet can be more harmful than helpful. A balanced diet is the key to effective weight loss. When we talk about a high protein diet for weight loss, one needs to keep in mind certain points.
  1. Carbohydrates and fats are also absolutely essential for the normal functioning of our body.
  2. A protein rich diet should include these food groups (carbohydrates and fats) in reduced amounts, preferably in a healthier variety.
  3. Do not starve yourself or it could lead to hypoglycemia, health complications and a resultant weight gain.
  4. A balanced diet regimen will result in genuine weight loss that will be long term, unless your food habits change back to what they were before.
  5. Good carbohydrates can be obtained from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, beans, yogurt and low-fat milk.
  6. Some of the healthy fats are sourced from nuts, nut butters, olives, seeds, avocados, fish and extra virgin olive oil.

Diet Sources Of Protein - High Protein Diet Foods

A high protein diet is an excellent method to lose weight, as it literally encourages the brain to enter a fat loss mode. Some of the best sources of protein are eggs, milk, cheese, tofu, soy, chicken, lean meat, seafood, lentils, beans, nuts and grains. Experts suggest 3-4 servings of any of these items during the day to obtain plenty of protein.

Proteins From Vegetarian Sources

Who says a diet devoid of meat does not meet high protein requirements? Meat eaters always wonder where vegetarians get their proteins from. It would be surprising to know for some that plant based proteins are healthier compared to animal based proteins. This is because animal and plant proteins are digested differently in the human body.

It is easy to obtain your daily dose of protein from exclusively vegetarian sources as long as you eat a range of food items. It is recommended that a vegetarian adult male requires 63gm of protein per day while a vegetarian adult female requires 52gm per day. Here are the high protein vegetarian diet sources.

1. Cottage Cheese

Each half cup of cottage cheese contains 13gm of proteins. It is a great non-expensive healthy food item. In addition to protein for muscles, cottage cheese contains calcium for good bones. You can combine it with vegetables or fruit to make it into a great dish. Other forms of cheese also have good amounts of protein. It is best taken in its low fat version.

2. Soy Milk

Soy milk is the perfect option for those going for non-dairy milk. The product is rich in protein at about 7gm per serving. Since vegetarians are advised to have 2-3 servings of protein a day, soy milk and other soy products will easily fulfil your daily requirements. Soy milk also provides potassium.

3. Almonds

A handful of almonds is all you need to grab 6gm of protein. They can be added to salads and other dishes for extra flavor. Almonds also provide monounsaturated fats that are good for the heart.

4. Greek Yogurt

Besides being extremely delicious, greek yogurt is packed with protein. It is a creamier version of plain yogurt with less than half its sugar and carbohydrates. A single serving gives you 15gm of protein.

5. Peanut Butter

Two spoons of peanut butter and you are set for the day with 8gm of protein. The traditional toast can be flavored with this all time favorite or the peanut butter can be added to protein shakes or smoothies. Either way, it’s a tasty vegetarian option to eat plenty of proteins.

6. Tofu And Tempeh

Tofu is a good alternative to meat. One obtains 11gm of protein from 150gm of tofu in addition to magnesium and iron. It can be added to a variety of food preparations. Tempeh, a chewier version of tofu, contains 15gm of protein in half a cup of serving. It is a healthy choice whether one is a vegetarian or not.

7. Lentils And Beans

Kidney beans, baked beans and dried black beans are particularly good sources of proteins. They offer 13-15gm of protein along with fiber. Similarly, a cup a chick peas contains 15gm of protein and is one of the best high protein vegetarian diets. Lentils, rich in iron, also pack equal quantities of protein.

8. Nuts And Seeds

Pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, chia seeds are all high in protein at up to 7gm per serving. They also provide many health benefits as long as the portions are controlled. Nuts are high in calories but otherwise nutritious.

9. Hemp

Hemp is the next best product for those allergic to soy based offerings, containing 3gm protein per serving. This plant derivative provides you with many essential amino acids that the body uses to build muscle. Hemp dairy products and hemp seeds contain fatty acids that greatly improve the immune system.

10. Whey Protein

Perhaps the most popular protein supplement, this milk based protein has many health benefits for your body. Whey breaks down incredibly fast and is rich in BCAAs or (branched-chain amino acids), which are essential in increasing your muscle mass and improving blood flow.

Whey protein is packaged by many organizations and is usually available in all sorts of flavors, like vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. The best way to ensure that you gain muscle mass is by having one glass of whey protein before and after your workout.

11. Quinoa

Known as the king of grains, quinoa is indeed a perfect protein. It has the highest percentage of protein content found in a plant source at 16 percent per volume! This means that if you eat just ¼ cup of quinoa, you get 6 gm of protein. But if you want more protein, you can add asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli and sprouted mung bean stir to your diet.

12. Whole Wheat Bread

Whole wheat bread is different from other refined breads in the way it is processed. Whole wheat bread and pasta varieties are high in proteins along with other beneficial effects on the health. They can be made a part of any meal and teamed up with other food items for good taste.

13. Casein

The other milk protein apart from whey, casein is also quite essential for muscle gain. Studies conclude that having casein shakes after your workout can help you gain more muscle than people who usually don’t have any protein supplement.

Whey protein also has other effects on the body, like reducing the appetite. This property causes a reduction in food intake when you are on whey, while casein doesn’t have any such effects. This is healthier as when you are aiming to increase body mass, you need to eat a lot. Having whey will reduce your appetite, and between casein and whey, casein is the better choice. It will provide you enough protein and calories without filling you up.

Proteins From Non-Vegetarian Sources

1. Eggs

The popular Indian adage, ‘Sunday or Monday, eat eggs every day’, is quite true. Plain egg whites or even whole eggs help you gain muscle mass and improve your strength. A Texas A&M University study concludes that consuming 2-3 eggs daily helps you double your muscle mass in three months.

2. Beef

Red meat isn’t really all that popular. It is crammed with saturated fat and cholesterol and is anything but heart-healthy. However, if you are looking for an effective high protein diet for muscle building, then beef is the ideal food for you. The demonized saturated fat and cholesterol help boost your testosterone levels, helping increasing your strength and muscle mass in the process.

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids help cure inflammation, boost immunity and also help prevent the onset of certain types of cancer. They are also quite essential for many body functions and help you gain muscle due to the presence of the most essential amino acids. You can consume nuts like camu camu, as these contain all the eight amino acids.

Oily fish like Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel and Sardines are also crammed with omega-3 fatty acids. If you are a vegetarian, you can get your dose of omega-3s from most kinds of nuts, like flaxseed and pili nuts, which are excellent sources of vegetable protein.

High Protein Diet Foods For Weight Loss

You already know that eating protein is a key when it comes to weight loss. Doing so boosts satiety and helps build flubber-frying lean muscle mass, after all. But it seems that many of us have gotten into a rut, relying on just a few primary sources of the stuff. Not only can this cause taste bud fatigue, it can also deny your body of health-boosting nutrients found in protein-rich foods you're overlooking.

  • You can try it by adding some extra protein to your meals. Give yourself a week, boosting protein gradually.
  • Remember, calories still count. You'll want to make good choices when you pick your protein.
  • If you plan to add a lot of protein to your diet, or if you have liver or kidney disease, check with your doctor first.

The Best Protein Sources

Choose protein sources that are nutrient-rich and lower in saturated and calories, such as:
  • Lean meats
  • Seafood
  • Beans
  • Soy
  • Low-fat dairy
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
    It's a good idea to change up your protein foods. For instance, you could have salmon or other fish that's rich in omega-3s, beans or lentils that give you fiber as well as protein, walnuts on your salad, or almonds on your oatmeal.

    How much protein are you getting? Here's how many grams of protein are in these foods:

    • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese: 14
    • 3 ounces tofu, firm: 13
    • 1/2 cup cooked lentils: 9
    • 2 tablespoons natural-style peanut butter or almond butter: 8
    • 1 ounce cooked lean meat, fish, skinless poultry: 7
    • 1 ounce cheese: 7
    • 1/2 cup cooked kidney beans: 7
    • 1 ounce nuts: 4-7
    • 1 large egg: 6
    • 4 ounces low-fat plain yogurt: 6
    • 4 ounces soy milk: 5
    • 4 ounces low-fat milk: 4

      Carbs and Fats

      While you're adding protein to your diet, you should also stock up on "smart carbs" such as:
      • Fruits
      • Vegetables
      • Whole grains
      • Beans and legumes (both also have protein)
      • Low-fat milk and yogurt (both have protein)
      • Also try healthy fats such as:
      • Nuts and natural-style nut butters
      • Seeds
      • Olives
      • Extra virgin olive oil and canola oil
      • Fish
      • Avocados
        To help manage your appetite, it also helps to split your daily calories into four or five smaller meals or snacks.

        27 Best-Ever Proteins For Weight Loss

        27 High Protein Diet Foods For Weight Loss
        Protein Payout
        Amount of Protein in grams
        1. Spinach
        1 cup (cooked)
        41 calories
        5 grams of protein
        2. Guava
        1 cup
        112 calories
        4.2 g protein
        3. Artichokes
        1 medium vegetable
        60 calories
        4.2 g protein
        4. Peas
        1 cup
        118 calories
        8 g protein
        RED MEAT
        5. Grass-Fed Beef
        4 oz strip steak
        133 calories
        26 g protein
        6. Bison
        4 oz
        166 calories
        23 g of protein
        7. Ostrich
        4 oz patty
        194 calories
        29 g protein
        8. Halibut
        3 oz
        77 calories
        16 g protein
        9. Wild Salmon
        3 oz
        121 calories
        17 g protein
        10. Pacific Cod
        3 oz
        70 calories
        15 g protein
        POULTRY & EGGS
        11. Turkey
        Quarter-pound turkey burger
        140 calories
        16 g protein
        12. Chicken
        3 oz. cooked breast
        142 calories
        26 g protein
        13. Eggs
        1 egg
        85 calories
        7 g protein
        14. Beans
        1/2 cup
        109-148 calories
        7-10 grams of protein
        15. Lentils
        1 cup
        230 calories
        18 g protein
        16. Peanut Butter
        2 tablespoons
        191 calories
        7 grams of protein
        17.  Sprouted Whole Grain Bread
        Two slices
        138-220 calories
        8-12 g protein
        18.  Teff
        1/4 cup
        180 calories
        7 grams of protein
        19. Triticale
        1/4 cup
        161 calories
        6 grams of protein
        20. Gruyere Cheese
        1 oz
        117 calories
        8 g protein
        21. 2% Greek Yogurt
        7 oz
        150 calories
        20 g protein
        22. 1% Organic
        8 oz
        110 calories
        8 g protein
        23. Grass-Fed Milk
        8 oz
        110 calories
        8 g protein
        NUTS & SEEDS
        24. Chia Seeds
        1 oz
        138 calories
        5 g protein
        25. Shelled Pumpkin Seeds
        1 oz
        158 calories
        9 g protein
        26. Almonds
        1 oz
        164 calories
        6 g protein
        27. Cashews
        1 oz
        157 calories
        5 g protein

        Proteins For Weight Loss:

        A diet rich in proteins keeps you feeling full. This makes you feel less hungry, keeps your sugar cravings at bay and helps you lose weight fast. This was particularly found true in obese individuals whose weight management improved due to the consumption of protein as it kept them satiated. A high protein diet allows you to lose weight without actually going hungry. This basically comprises the following steps.
        1. Eat every meal with at least one food source of protein. It could be egg, fish, chicken or cheese.
        2. This method increases your metabolism by at least 80 calories a day.
        3. Have small portions at regular intervals (2-3 or 4 meals) throughout the day. This way you reduce unhealthy thoughts about junk snack items.
        4. When selecting meat, always go for the lean, healthy variety. Meat is otherwise a storehouse of many unwanted fats.
        5. The carbohydrates you choose for meals can be selected from low-carb varieties such as spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumber, lettuce, celery and other such vegetables.
        6. Fats are best obtained from olive oil, coconut oil and butter.
        7. Avoid fructose based food stuffs and beverages.


        Eating healthy is no doubt a recipe for a healthy you. To accelerate weight loss and also to make the high protein diet help you tone your body, exercise is a must. As you begin to lose weight, which happens fast in the beginning, there will come a point when the metabolism would slow down. Exercising has multiple benefits that add to a high protein diet. It keeps the calories burn, while keeping the metabolism steady. As the fat levels in the body begin to come down, daily exercise helps in building significant muscle mass.

        Long Term High Protein Diet:

        Protein is one component that can ensure weight loss when handled the right way. However, experts have warned that long term intake of high protein – low carbohydrate diets can have adverse health effects. Anyone with liver conditions should talk to their doctor before attempting any diet changes.

        Now that you are armed with what protein can do to our midsection, a high protein diet and probably a little exercise is all that you need to melt that fat.

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