High-Protein Diet for Weight Loss
Going on a high-protein diet may help you tame your hunger, which could help you lose weight.
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 fat and calories, such as:
- Lean meats
- Low-fat dairy
- 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: 14g
3 ounces tofu, firm: 9g
1/2 cup cooked lentils: 9g
2 tablespoons natural-style peanut butter (7g) or almond butter (6.7g)
3 oz skinless chicken breast: 26g
3 oz fish fillet (depending on type of fish): 17-20g
1 ounce provolone cheese: 7g
1 ounce almonds: 6g
1 large egg: 6g
4 ounces low-fat plain yogurt: 6g
4 ounces soy milk: 5g
4 ounces low-fat milk: 4gCarbs and Fats
While you’re adding protein to your diet, you should also stock up on “smart carbs” such as:
- 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
- Extra virgin olive oil and canola oil
To help manage your appetite, it also helps to split your daily calories into four or five smaller meals or snacks.
By comparison, the American HeartAssociation, the National Cholesterol Education Program, and the American Cancer Society all recommend a diet in which a smaller percentage of calories come from protein.
How Do Low-Carb Diets Work?
Normally your body burns carbohydrates for fuel. When you drastically cut carbs, the body goes into a metabolic state called ketosis, and it begins to burn its own fat for fuel.