Go on, be honest:
You want to lose weight, but you don’t want to live with a severely restricted diet.
Who doesn’t like tasty food and beverages?
Well, the goods news is, there are many ways to eat healthy and shed pounds.
With high protein diet for weight loss, you can eat tasty food and still lose weight.
Here are 49 delicious foods that you can add into your eating plans, and we’ve even included many videos with over 40 high protein diet plan ideas for you to get some inspiration from.
Let’s jump right in!
How Protein Helps You Lose Weight
A study by McMaster University in Canada found that consumption of diets containing higher protein can help to increase lean body mass, while shed off body fat and weight.
Full details of this research is covered in the great video below.
This is great news, because when many people think about getting healthy and fit, they envision eating salad and running for hours on the treadmill.
It doesn’t have to be like that, as you have many options.
Recommended Read: 5 Tips to Supercharge Your Motivation throughout Weightloss Journey
High-Protein Breakfasts Help You Eat Less Later In The Day
So consider these high protein foods to start your morning:
- Eggs: One large egg contains about 6 g of protein with 78 calories. Boiled egg is very healthy, while omelette with vegetables or scrambled eggs fried in olive oil are good alternatives.
- Milk: One 8 ounce cup of whole milk contains 8 grams of protein with 149 calories.
- Oats: About 17 g of protein per 100g serving.
- Greek Yogurt: About 17 g of protein per serving.
- Whey Protein Powder: Conventionally used by many bodybuilders and athletes as a supplement to help increase muscle mass and strength, whey protein powder has been discovered to help weight loss and appetite control as well, according to various research published by US National Library of Medicine and Research Gate etc. One of the most popular whey protein powder brand is Optimum Nutrition with various flavors to choose from.
- Ezekiel Bread (Sprouted Whole-Grain Bread): Sprouting increases amino acids in the grains and made sprouted grain bread higher in protein (about 15 grams per serving) compared to whole-grain bread (about 11 grams protein per 12-grain bread serving).
- Cottage Cheese: Every 100 g of cottage cheese has 11.12 g protein with 98.47 calories.
- Mozzarella cheese: A single serving of part skim mozzarella cheese provides 7 grams of protein, 6 grams of fat, and just 86 calories.
- Tofu: Derived from soybeans, each 4-ounce serving of tofu contains about 8 g of protein and only around 2 g of carbs.
All of the 9 foods above are suitable as high protein breakfast on the go, since most of us are in a rush to get to work or sending kids to school in the morning.
You can’t go wrong with breakfast recipes for weight loss like protein-packed eggs combined with Greek yogurt and whey protein powder –
while you can always mix around the high protein food in this list to create recipes that you like!
Examples of High Protein Breakfast Recipes
Need more quick and easy high protein breakfast ideas?
Protein pancake is a very popular choice of breakfast, especially for body builders.
Check out the step by step guide here on how to make protein pancakes, and watch the demo video below to get additional inspirations.
Key Ingredients: Whey protein powder, egg whites, and oats.
You can add other stuff that you like, such as low-fat no-salt cottage cheese, banana, and so on.
Recommended Read: 12 People Share How They Lost 100+ Pounds In Healthy Ways
If you like bread toast, why not combine Ezekiel bread and the high protein avocado as breakfast?
Here are 11 Avocado toast recipes, with some of them add on other high protein foods like boiled eggs, smoked salmon, tuna, and more.
Indeed, legumes are also a valuable protein source for breakfast to help stay full for longer. Study published in the Food & Nutrition Research Journal shows people eat 13% fewer calories at lunch when they had legumes for breakfast (versus meat-based breakfast).
8 of the healthiest legumes with high protein include:
- Lentils: 100 grams of cooked lentils contains 9.02 g of protein and 116 calories.
- Chickpea: Each 100 g of chickpea has about 8.86 g of protein.
- Lima beans: Each 100 g of chickpea has about 7.8 g of protein and 115.2 Calories.
- Peas: Each 100 g of chickpea has about 5.42 g of protein and 81.02 Calories.
- White beans: A serving Size of 9 oz (252g) has 6 g proteins.
- Black beans: 15 g protein per 1 cup serving.
- Pinto beans: A 1-cup serving of boiled pinto beans contains 15 grams of protein.
- Kidney beans: 1 cup of boiled kidney beans (177 g) contains about 15 grams of protein.
You can eat the legumes together with Quinoa, which is a protein-rich and gluten-free plant food that also contains 9 essential amino acids. One cup (185 g) of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of protein with 222 calories.
Check out the quinoa + black bean meal in the video below (prepared with interesting spiralizer). This is also a great high protein brunch / lunch idea.
An alternative is Teff, which is a relatively new super grain that is rising to prominence. As an edible seed like quinoa, teff is gluten-free flour that has high protein content with about 13 g protein per 100 g serving.
The video below shows how to make teff porridge as a healthy vegan breakfast that will keep you going until lunch. This recipe also includes almond milk as other high protein ingredient.
High Protein Vegetables That Will Fill You Up Fast
Packing your diet with leafy greens can help you achieve and maintain your ideal weight, because they are loaded with fiber while low in calories and carbohydrates. Eating vegetables is a great way to increase the volume of your meals, without increasing the calories.
Here are 10 high-protein vegetables to add to your diet:
- Broccoli: 1 cup (96 grams) of chopped broccoli has 3 grams of protein, with only 31 calories.
- Cauliflower: One cup of chopped cauliflower has 27 calories and 2 g of protein.
- Brussels Sprouts: Half a cup (78 g) contains 2 grams of protein, with 28 calories.
- Boiled Sweet Potatoes: Have a reputation as a starchy carb, but sweet potato is a nutrient-dense food. One medium potato with the skin on contains about 4 g of protein. Sweet potato is indeed a very popular food among Kpop idols on strict diet.
- Edamame: 1-cup serving has 14 g of carbs, 18 g of protein and a whole lot of fiber and iron.
- Corn: Whole corn, like you eat on the cob, is considered a vegetable. 15.6 g of protein per cup.
- Asparagus: 2.2 g proteins per 100 g serving, with 20.32 calories.
- Spirulina: This blue-green algae, sometimes called a “walking” green-yellow-colored vegetable, is nature’s highest natural source of protein. Each 100 g of this superfood contains amazingly high protein content at about 57.47 g, and it has about 3 to 4 times more protein than an equal serving of beef or any other animal product.
Many people consume Spirulina in the form of supplement.
- Artichokes: Each 100 g serving has 2.89 g protein, 50.43 Calories.
- Spinach: A single cup of cooked spinach has 5 g of protein and only 41 calories.
The following video shows 4 spinach recipes to lose weight, including examples of lunch diet meals that are combined with other high protein foods in this list such as chickpeas, white beans, greek yogurt, and chicken breast.
Sprinkle These High Protein Seeds Into Your Meals
High protein seeds can be part of a weight loss diet, and they are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Their high fiber content can also help to reduce appetite and weight, according to research by University of Minnesota.
However, the caloric content of 5 high protein seeds below are significant enough to ruin a ‘weight loss’ diet if you don’t pay attention to their portion size:
- Sunflower seeds: 100 grams of sunflower seeds contain 21 grams of protein, with 584.4 calories. Sunflower seeds can be a healthy addition to salads/soups/smoothies, while it is an exceptional source of folate and vitamin E too.
- Pumpkin Seeds: Each 100 g serving contains 29.84 g proteins, with 573.9 calories.
- Flax seeds: Each 100 g serving contains 18.29 g proteins, with 533.9 calories.
- Chia seeds: This tiny seed packs more than 5 g of protein per ounce. Also high in folate, iron, magnesium, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber.
- Hemp seeds: Each 100 g serving contains 31.56 g proteins, with 585.8 calories.
Take These Delicious Nuts As Snacks – Control The Portion
Similarly, here are 5 nuts that you can eat plain as a high protein snack (instead of junk food):
- Almonds: A serving of almonds has 6 grams of protein and 162 calories.
- Peanut: Each ounce contains 7.1 g proteins, with 161 calories.
- Brazil Nut: One ounce of brazil nut contains 4 g protein and about 186 calories. Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of Selenium – an important mineral in human body for many basic functions, from reproduction to protect our body immune system .
- Pistachios: One ounce serving contains 5.7 g proteins, with about 159 calories.
- Walnuts: 1 ounce of walnuts contains 4 g protein and about 183 calories.
Another Example of High Protein Diet Recipe with Vegetables
Want more meal ideas in addition to the spinach recipes shared above?
Chef Robert Irvine revealed a tasty high protein veggies recipe in the video below.
The ‘Broccoli Orange Slaw’ contains high protein foods like Broccoli and hard-boiled egg, cooked with olive oil, and sunflower seeds sprinkled on top of it.
Delicious recipe menu for lunch or dinner!
Examples of Healthy Snack Recipes with High Protein Nuts
Watch the video below, Liezl Jayne shared many easy healthy snack ideas, including recipes with various high protein nuts and nut butter too!
Include These Fruits Into Your Diet Regime For Weight Loss
When you think of protein, fruit doesn’t usually spring to mind. But hey, fruits provide essential vitamins and minerals crucial for good health, and the fibre in fruits help weight loss too.
Here are 5 fruits that contain relatively high amounts of protein:
- Avocado: Each 100 g of serving contains 2 g proteins and 160.1 Calories.
- Guavas: 100 grams of guavas have 2.6 g protein and 68.12 calories.
- Jackfruit: Each 100 g of serving contains 1.7 g proteins with 94.9 Calories.
- Blackberries: One cup of blueberries contains 1.1 gram of protein and about 80 calories.
- Banana: Each 100g of bananas contain 1.1 g protein with 88.67 calories.
You can also pair these fruits with additional healthy protein sources, especially for smoothies.
Example of Smoothie Recipe with High Protein Sources
This is a green smoothie recipe for detox and weight loss, packed with high protein sources like avocado, banana, baby spinach, oats, chai seeds, almond butter, and spirulina (optional).
Top Choices of Meat As Main Dish In High Protein Meals
How would protein fueled eating plans miss out on meat?
- Chicken Breast: 1 skinless chicken breast contains 53 grams of proteins, with 284 calories.
- Turkey: Boneless turkey can provide about 13 g of protein per 100 g.
- Lean Beef: A 4-ounce strip steak has about 25 g of protein.
- Bison: Bison has significantly less fat and calories, and bison contains higher amounts of protein, iron and vitamin B-12 than beef, pork, and chicken. 3½ oz of roasted bison contains 28.18 grams of proteins and 141.9 calories.
- Pork: 4 oz of pork contains 24 g of protein. Not sure what cut to buy? The best and healthiest option is tenderloin.
- Wild Salmon: A 3-ounce serving has about 17 g of protein.
- Halibut: An excellent source of lean protein with about 30 g of protein in half a fillet.
- Tuna: 16 g of protein in 3 ounces of tuna.
- Pacific Cod: This low fat flaky white meat fish is a good source of protein, niacin, Vitamin B-12, and phosphorus. A 3 ounce cooked portion of cod has about 20 grams of protein, with 90 calories and one gram of fat.
- Shrimp: A 3 ounce serving contains 18 grams of protein, with only 84 calories.
Healthy High Protein Lunch / Dinner Recipe Ideas with Meat
Let’s start with these 3 fast and easy low carb high protein recipes for weight loss:
- Roasted chicken salad recipe (260 calories for 1 serving)
- Stir-fried chicken with bell peppers (260 calories for 1 serving)
- Tuna and white beans (230 calories for 1 serving)
And then we have Gordon Ramsay’s video with his top 5 fish recipes, that will give you some inspirations to come out with your own creative dish recipes with halibut, salmon, tuna, pacific cod with high protein.
Lastly, here are 7 easy steak recipes for dinner.