If you want to shed a few pounds, you have to eat healthily and exercise regularly. Instead of trying crazy fad diets or other extreme measures, you need to focus on foods that are low in fat and calories, but high in protein. How will it help you shed the pounds? Healthy proteins burn fat for fuel, curb your appetite, and maintain lean tissue. Consuming a diet high in protein will also make your workout routines and exercise habits more effective. As you go over this helpful list of 10 of the best proteins for weight loss, keep in mind that the recommended daily allowance for protein, men should consume about 56 grams a day whereas women need around 46 grams a day.
Fish, Poultry, and Lean Meat
So this is actually three different proteins, but it is important to note that incorporating fish, poultry, and lean meat into your daily diet will give you a healthy boost of protein. Some more specific examples include turkey, salmon, tuna, and lean chicken. Once ounce can yield seven grams of protein; chicken breasts and salmon fillets usually are available in four-ounce to eight-ounce sizes. There are a plethora of ways to add fish, poultry, and lean meat into your breakfast, lunch, and dinner from chopping it for a salad, adding it to soup, or making a simple sandwich. However, steer clear of fried varieties because breaded chicken or fish are high in fat.
This classic breakfast food is one of the healthiest ways to get your protein for the day. Did you know one large egg has six grams of protein? Not only that, but it contains essential minerals including calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, zinc, selenium, and vitamins like A, E, B2, B5, B6, and B12. If you are not much of a morning person, try preparing about six or seven hard boiled eggs at the beginning of the week to save time.
To put it simply, one ounce of milk equals one gram of protein. Therefore, if you drink an 8-ounce glass every day, you will easily down eight grams of protein, too. This refreshing drink contains not only a significant amount of protein but also calcium, which is essential for healthy, strong bones. If you have a hard time drinking white milk, try eating it with a bowl of cereal or mixing it in a tasty fruit smoothie. Do you have an intolerance to cow’s milk? Soy milk has relatively the same amount of protein.
Here’s a math problem: if four ounces of low-fat yogurt yields six grams of protein then how many does a typical 6-ounce container have? Go ahead and indulge with a couple of portions of your favorite flavor. It is a healthy and delicious way to consume protein for weight loss. Greek yogurt has approximately 10 grams of protein per 100-gram serving. Did you know you can also use Greek yogurt as a healthier cooking substitute for things like heavy cream and butter? Try to avoid any yogurt varieties with candies or cookies because it will skyrocket in calories and fat.
An ounce of cheese equals seven grams of protein. Although it is an excellent source of protein, you need to eat cheese in moderation if you are trying to lose weight. It is true that one ounce of cheese yields the same protein value as one ounce of chicken. However, unlike chicken, cheeses can have 100 calories per ounce, especially your favorites such as Swiss and cheddar. Certain types of cheese are a little healthier; for example, parmesan has only 20 calories per tablespoon. Goat’s cheese and feta cheese have around 75 calories each per ounce while soft Camembert is 85 calories per ounce.
Cooked Kidney Beans
Just a half cup of cooked kidney beans is worth seven grams of protein. You might realize that this is the same as an ounce of cheese or chicken. However, cooked kidney beans are an awesome side dish that will give your meals a little variety. You can easily add one half-cup to casseroles, stews, soups, and sauces. Because they tend to pick up the flavors of other foods in the mix, picky children or veggie-adverse adults won’t even notice they are eating healthy protein. Besides protein, kidney beans are high in fiber so you can stay fuller for longer, which will help you lose weight.
Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
Can you believe that low-fat cottage cheese is packed with 14 grams of protein in just a half cup? In fact, low-fat cottage cheese yields the highest amount of protein per serving on this list. Since you opt for the low-fat variation, you do not have to worry about consuming extra, unnecessary calories. As mentioned before in regards to Greek yogurt, cottage cheese is an ideal substitute for cooking ingredients that are high in fat like butter.
Beans and lentils both belong to the legume family, but they are not the same thing. Fortunately, in this case, lentils have many of the same health benefits as beans. A half cup equals nine grams of protein. There are numerous shapes, colors, and forms of lentils available, but all are considered a high-protein superfood. Lentils are perfect for vegetarians and vegans as a non-meat protein option. They are also low in calories and high in fiber, which is ideal for healthy weight loss.
It is always better to eat a handful of nuts rather than chips. After all, one ounce of nuts yields seven grams of protein. If you prefer, you can toss some walnuts or almonds onto your salad or simply grab a handful and enjoy the salty crunchiness. Consuming nuts is healthy for any diet because they provide essential mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Two tablespoons of peanut butter has eight grams of protein. Spreading some on toast or scooping it out with apples and celery is a fast and delicious way to get your daily protein. Keep in mind, though, that you should eat peanut butter and nuts in moderation because they are high in fat.
Vegetables are naturally healthy, but how much protein do they really have? Well, it depends on what veggies you eat. Carrots, celery, and cucumbers have only two grams of protein for every half cup. However, spinach, chickpeas, and broccoli yield six grams per serving for the same portion size, which is why they are considered high-protein vegetables. If you want to increase your protein intake in the form of vegetables, make sure you eat large portions of the right type.