If you have never heard of a low-protein diet for weight loss, it’s because the idea is absurd. The parade of low-carbohydrate, low-sugar and low-fat nutrition plans are endless but protein is the exception to problematic body fuels. Eating low amounts of protein is sometimes recommended to a very limited group of individuals with metabolic disorders or specific nutritional issues. For the rest of us, protein-rich foods are the golden ticket on the road to weight loss. Protein offers several benefits, including the way your body metabolizes the nutrient. You can eat smaller amounts to satisfy your hunger, and feel full for longer than if you eat “empty calories” or other regular foods.
If you’re wondering about the best high-protein foods for weight loss, you’re in luck! Here are the best picks to keep in mind and keep on hand, as recommended by the nutrition specialists at My House Fitness.
FISH usually tops the list of healthy diet foods and we couldn’t agree more. Low-to-no saturated fats or carbohydrates, check. Great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, definitely. And, of course, plenty of protein packed into each serving. Depending on the type of fish, you’ll get the added benefits of potassium and B vitamins. Try tuna, salmon, mahi-mahi, cod, tilapia, halibut or snapper.
Go NUTS with handfuls of protein-rich crunchy snacks to give you a boost. We love almonds, pistachios, walnuts and cashews. Technically, soy nuts are not true nuts, but we’re tossing them into the mix, too.
LEAN MEAT is a pretty diverse group of high-protein sources. Keep these on your list: chicken breast, ground turkey (99% lean), turkey breast and pork tenderloin. If you’re a red meat eater, make sure to ask for lean cuts so you don’t get too much saturated fat. Aside from the protein, you’ll still get the good stuff like extra iron, B vitamins and zinc.
EGGS are a big wonder in a small, self-contained package. Grab a hard-boiled egg for on-the-go protein or toss in some veggies and cook up a quick, nutritious meal. A little bit of cheese layers on another delicious source of protein, just don’t get too heavy-handed or you will end up with extra calories and saturated fat, too.
Bonus tip: Don’t undermine your nutrition efforts by grabbing just anything with “high protein” stamped on the wrapper. It could be high in sodium or carbs, too, so it’s up to you to read the label and decide if it’s worth it. A certified nutrition counselor can help you determine the perfect levels of protein and other nutrients for your diet, as well as help come up with solid protein choices for vegetarians.