The Best Protein Sources
Choose protein sources that are nutrient-rich and lower in saturated fat and calories, such as:
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: 12.4g
3 ounces tofu, firm: 9g
1/2 cup cooked lentils: 9g
2 tablespoons natural-style peanut butter or almond butter
3 oz skinless chicken breast: 26g
3 oz fish fillet : 17-20g
1 ounce provolone cheese: 7g
1/2 cup cooked kidney beans: 7.7g
1 ounce almonds: 6g
4 ounces low-fat plain yogurt: 6g
4 ounces soy milk: 3.5g
4 ounces low-fat milk: 4g
Protein Makes You Burn More Calories
Due to the high thermic effect and several other factors, a high protein intake tends to boost metabolism.
It makes you burn more calories around the clock, including during sleep (
This effect is particularly pronounced during overfeeding, or while eating at a caloric surplus. In one study, overfeeding with a high protein diet increased calories burned by 260 per day .
A high protein intake can make you burn 80-100 more calories per day, with one study showing an increase of 260 calories during overfeeding.
Sprouted Whole Grain Bread
Soaking and sprouting whole grains, such as wheat berries, barley, etc., allows more of their protein to be easily digested. Sprouted breads, such as Ezekiel bread, may also be easier to digest than processed breads plus they provide more absorbable minerals due to having decreased antinutrient content.
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Pros Of A High Protein Diet
There are several benefits of a high protein diet.
- You’ll feel fuller longer. Including protein in your meals and snacks can help you to feel full and satisfied, which may help with portion control.
- You’ll build and maintain more muscle mass. A strong body performs better throughout daily activities, and muscles also burn more calories than fat, even at rest.
- You may be more inclined to choose healthy foods. When you plan a meal around a lean source of protein, you have less space on your plate for less healthy foods. And learning to eat different types of protein may also improve your diet. If you eat tuna, for example, you not only benefit from the fish’s protein but also the healthy fat it provides.
- May help with weight loss and maintenance: Eating a diet that includes plenty of lean protein provides several benefits when you’re trying to lose weight. High-protein diets help build and preserve muscle mass, boost your metabolism, and increase satiety.
- Boosts calorie burn: You also burn a few extra calories when you eat protein because your body has to work harder to chew and digest the food. This is known as the thermic effect of food. Keep in mind, however, that the number of extra calories burned is small so you shouldn’t create an entire weight loss program based solely on this benefit.
Best Protein Food Preserves Lean Mass
Building muscle mass is also influenced by your nutrition. Protein is the essential macronutrient for your muscle growth. It is broken down into amino acids by the body, which our body needs to make muscle.
And thanks to high protein foods to eat, there are several weight-loss benefits. High protein diets support the preservation of lean body mass, curb hunger pangs and keep you strong enough to carry on with an active and fit lifestyle.
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What Is Protein And Why Is It Important
Protein is one of the three macronutrients, along with carbs and fat.
In your body, it performs the following roles:
- Repair and maintenance: Protein is the main component of your muscles, bones, skin and hair. These tissues are continuously repaired and replaced with new protein.
- Hormones: Chemical messenger proteins allow cells and organs in your body to communicate with each other.
- Enzymes: Most enzymes are proteins, and the thousands of chemical reactions that take place throughout your body are driven by them.
- Transportation and storage: Some proteins help deliver important molecules where theyre needed. For example, the protein hemoglobin carries oxygen to your bodys cells.
Protein is made up of smaller units known as amino acids.
Of the 22 amino acids, 9 are considered essential, meaning they must be consumed in food because your body cant make them.
Importantly, some foods provide better protein than others based on their amino acid profile.
Generally speaking, animal products are considered complete protein because they contain all the essential amino acids in the optimal amounts that your body needs. These include eggs, dairy, meat, fish and poultry.
Vegetable proteins dont provide adequate amounts of every essential amino acid but can be combined with other plant sources to make complete protein. Beans, legumes, grains, soy, nuts and seeds are examples of high-protein plant foods.
Protein Is Hard To Store As Body Fat
During periods of weight loss, there are often times where more energy is consumed than expended. As such, minimizing how much of that excess energy is stored as fat is important.
The body processes the three different macronutrients in very different ways.
Leaving out a lot of jargon and mumbo jumbo, in order for protein to be stored as fat, it goes through a much different biochemical process than either carbohydrates or protein.
This process makes it much harder for protein to store as body fat.
One study found that protein is stored as body fat with roughly 66% efficiency, while carbohydrates store with 80% efficiency and fats store at 96% efficiency .
During weight loss, overeating protein results in much less stored body fat than overeating on carbohydrates or fat. If you are looking for ways to lose weight fast, consuming protein is a great option!
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The Weight Loss Basics
Did you know? As a rule of thumb, weight loss is about 75% diet and 25% exercise . So just by eating right, we can do loads already!
To lose weight you need to take in less calories than your body requires for maintaining its weight no matter whether these calories consist of protein, carbs or fat.
As simple as that. In reverse: if you eat more calories than your body requires, you gain weight.
In our meal plan youll also find a sheet to easily calculate your necessary calorie intake if you want to focus on calorie counting. But you dont have to with this meal plan. Here is why:
Now, what is the easiest way to turn around your calorie balance from gaining weight to losing weight?
Answer: Less highly processed foods, more whole foods. Thats it. We promise you, any serious weight loss diet is based on that fundamental rule.
Whats the problem with highly processed food? Most of them contain a lot of sugar, unhealthy fats and artificial ingredients. And on top of that they are low in nutrients . On the other hand whole foods are exactly the opposite.
As a rule of thumb just by replacing most highly processed food with whole foods youll automatically move into a caloric deficit. On top of that, we made sure that the daily caloric goal on the plan is roughly 1500 kcal for women and 1800 kcal for men, which means a deficit of around 500 kcal/day for most people.
How Is Protein Involved In Weight Loss
Protein is a key macronutrient that plays many important roles in the body. It helps us during muscle recovery, and contributes to the structure of our tissues and our general body’s functioning. Everyone needs some protein in their diet in order to stay healthy.
“Protein is important as a building block of the body, as it helps to maintain muscle mass,” explains Jinan Banna, nutritionist and founder of Jinan Banna . “It has many other functions in the body as well, and is important for weight loss because it helps you to feel full, therefore avoiding overeating.”
But how does protein contribute to weight loss? Well, according to a review published in Frontiers in Endocrinology , protein-heavy diets can help us to stay full for longer, use more energy, create lean muscle mass and maintain weight loss for longer periods.
In one study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , researchers found that high protein diets could lead to a higher energy expenditure and thus, more weight loss. “Our study proved that the same number of calories but from different diets can elicit different responses in energy metabolism,” the study’s co-authors, Carla Prado and Camila Pinto, said.
In other words, if you eat the same number of calories you do now but increase the amount of those calories coming from protein, you may use more energy and thus lose some weight.
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Does A Protein Diet Help With Weight Loss
7 day Protein Diet Plan for Weight Loss Does a Protein Diet Help with Weight Loss?
It is believed that high protein diets are beneficial for weight loss and are effective against obesity. Proteins have a high satiety value, and hence, they keep you full for longer.
Protein-rich foods have a lower glycemic index than carbohydrate-rich foods. GI measures the blood sugar levels after eating specific food items.
Low GI foods, such as nuts help to control blood glucose levels. They also reduce the risk of heart diseases by controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The diet plan described below has been designed for seven days, but it can be repeated several times as long as it suits you.
What About Protein Shakes
Protein shakes or meal replacements are popular not just for those trying to build muscle, but also for people who want to lose weight.
Protein shakes tend to be seen as an easy solution swap one or two meals per day with a protein shake and you will likely lose weight. But youll also lose out on many important nutrients that come with eating a whole food diet.
Where protein shakes can be beneficial is ondays when you just dont have time to eat a proper mealbut youre hungry and know that the snack youll pick up from the coffee shop is a less healthy option.
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Why High Protein For Weight Loss
For healthy weight loss, focus on high-protein foods. Why? High-protein foods are high-satiety foods the kinds that help you stay full and satisfied.
High-protein foods provide essential nutrients that you need to stay healthy. Essential nutrients are the ones your body cant make on its own, such as essential amino acids , fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. High-protein foods are on average high in all of these nutrients.
In this guide, we provide the protein percentage of foods. This percentage reflects how much protein contributes to a foods total calories, excluding calories from fiber.
How much protein should you eat?
Learn how much protein to aim for each day in this guide.Fiber calories arent included because, unlike other carbohydrates, fiber isnt broken down and absorbed by your digestive tract.
Instead, fiber passes through your system until it reaches your colon, where it is either fermented by bacteria or eliminated, depending on the fiber type. Therefore, fiber is nearly calorie-free. Think of it as a nutrient for your microbiome, or gut bacteria.
To lose weight effectively without feeling hungry, eat foods with a high protein percentage.
Q What Are The Side Effects Of Eating Excess Protein Foods For Weight Loss
- Excess protein is stored by the body as fat and surplus are excreted. If youre not watching the calories, excess protein intake can lead to weight gain over time.
- A low-fibre high-protein diet can lead to constipation. Increase water and fibre intake to aid bowel movement.
- A diet rich in dairy and processed food can lead to diarrhea. Balance your diet by increasing fibre, limiting fried foods and excess fat. Avoid dairy if youre lactose intolerant.
- Restricting carbohydrate intake while increasing protein intake puts the body into ketosis, a metabolic state which produces chemicals called ketones that give off an unpleasant odour. This can lead to bad breath, which can be managed by increasing water intake.
- Excess nitrogen in the amino acids that make up proteins causes kidneys to work harder to excrete the same and other waste products from protein metabolism. A high-protein diet can thus cause damage to kidneys with pre-existing kidney disease.
- Flushing out nitrogen and waste products can leave you dehydrated without you feeling thirsty. So be safe by ensuring youre drinking enough water throughout the day if youre eating a high-protein diet.
- High-fat protein diets can increase the risk of heart disease.
- Studies show high-protein diets can cause calcium loss and poor bone health in the long run.
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Whey Protein Can Boost Fullness Quickly
Whey is a milk-based protein. It contains all the essential amino acids and is absorbed quickly in the body .
Whey protein has been linked to some impressive benefits, including greater weight loss, improved satiety and better body composition (
Whey protein is linked to weight loss, increased satiety and improved body composition. It may be superior in its effect on satiety compared to other protein sources.
Canned Fish And Seafood
Want protein? Just a few savory forkfuls of canned fish or seafood deliver 10 grams of it. Aim for 2 ounces .
The perfect snack in so many ways. Easy to store. Relatively inexpensive if you go for tuna. Its mostly protein with virtually no carbs.
Canned fish comes cooked, so sprinkle on herbs, add a squeeze of lemon, or just dig in. Its a quick snack that you can keep stocked in your pantry.
Whether you choose firm tuna, briny sardines, or delicate lump crab, its a win on the protein front.
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Soy Protein Might Benefit Weight Loss
Soy protein is plant-based, as it is made from soybeans. Unlike many other plant-based proteins, it contains all the essential amino acids.
In addition, it contains soy isoflavones, which are naturally occurring antioxidants that may have other health benefits.
When it comes to weight loss and soy protein, the scientific evidence is mixed.
Some studies suggest that soy protein can boost weight loss. For example, postmenopausal women who regularly took soy isoflavone supplements experienced greater weight loss than those who didnt take supplements .
Another study among obese diabetic patients found that a weight loss diet including soy-based meal replacements like shakes resulted in an average of 4.4 pounds greater weight loss compared to a standard weight-loss diet .
Whats more, one study found that soy supplements may be just as effective as other protein sources for weight loss .
When obese adults were put on a weight-loss diet supplemented with either soy protein or whey and egg protein, both groups lost a similar amount of weight an average of 17.2 pounds over 12 weeks.
However, a recent review of over 40 studies looked at the effects of soy protein on weight, waist circumference and fat mass and found no real benefits of soy supplements .
Only in very specific circumstances were soy and soy isoflavones associated with a lower BMI, such as in women taking doses less than 100 mg per day and over 26 month periods.
Protein Makes You Lose Weight Even Without Conscious Calorie Restriction
Protein works on both sides of the calories in vs calories out equation. It reduces calories in and boosts calories out.
For this reason, it is not surprising to see that high-protein diets lead to weight loss, even without intentionally restricting calories, portions, fat or carbs (
In this study, the participants lost an average of 11 pounds over a period of 12 weeks. Keep in mind that they only added protein to their diet, they did not intentionally restrict anything.
Although the results arent always this dramatic, the majority of studies do show that high-protein diets lead to significant weight loss .
A higher protein intake is also associated with less belly fat, the harmful fat that builds up around the organs and causes disease .
All that being said, losing weight is not the most important factor. It is keeping it off in the long-term that really counts.
Many people can go on a diet and lose weight, but most end up gaining the weight back .
Interestingly, a higher protein intake can also help prevent weight regain. In one study, a modest increase in protein intake reduced weight regain after weight loss by 50% .
So not only can protein help you lose weight, it can also help you keep it off in the long-term .
Eating a high-protein diet can cause weight loss, even without calorie counting, portion control or carb restriction. A modest increase in protein intake can also help prevent weight regain.
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Tips To Follow A High
- Add at least one high protein source in each meal to meet your daily nutrition goals. Make it a habit to eat your proteins before carbs in every meal, as proteins are satiating and minimise sugar and insulin spikes. You can start your day with a protein-rich breakfast and thus reduce the number of calories in subsequent meals.
- Opt for protein-rich snacks like roasted nuts, peanuts, channa or seeds with fruits. Cheese or cottage cheese and yoghurt are options too. Add your favourite fruits to yoghurt with some nuts and seeds to make it extra delicious and nutritious.
- Try experimenting with meals, like combining cereals with pulses for essential amino acids or cereals with millets to optimise protein.
- Keep a food journal to track the quantity and quality of your proteins.
NOTE:You must consult a professional before starting a high-protein diet to prevent any complications. Those with underlying medical problems, especially those related to kidneys, should see a doctor
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