The Best Food Protein Sources for Weight Loss

So, is this the year you’re finally taking losing weight seriously? If you’re like me, I avoided trying to lose weight for so long because I simply didn’t know how to do it. I was hungry all the time on a calorie deficit.

That’s until I learned I should be eating more protein. Protein has been linked to increased weight loss, and this may be because it can help you feel full and satisfied for longer.

There are lots of delicious high protein foods out there. I’ll show you.

The 15 High Protein Food Sources for weight loss

We all know that one of the reasons people fail to lose weight is because of what they’re eating. But protein can increase satiety and this is what you need, especially when you’re on a low-calorie diet.

I’ve put together some of the best high protein foods for weight loss to help you on your quest. Let’s take a look.

1. Salmon

It’s well-known that salmon makes a healthy dish. But it can also make a great weight loss dish too. While it’s not as economically friendly as other fish out there, it contains a lot of nutrients and protein that may help you shed some pounds.

You’ll find a whopping 26 grams of protein in one 4-ounce fillet of salmon. While it’s quite high in calories, at 170, this is still going to provide you with a nutritious meal that’ll satisfy you at dinner time.

Plus, salmon contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to helping to tackle obesity when combined with a restricted diet.

What’s more, salmon contains iodine. This can help to keep your metabolism running at its best so that you can burn more calories.

2. Eggs

Eggs are one of the best protein foods that can also help you lose weight. You’ll find over 6 grams of protein in one egg. That’s right—just one egg. Plus, you can make it into an omelet, scramble, or poach it. Who knew a diet could be so tasty and enjoyable?

In fact, one study shows that eggs made women feel fuller throughout the day than those that ate a bagel. It may have been the protein that made them feel more satisfied which, in turn, led to them consuming fewer calories during the day.

3. Peas

Do you want to get in some extra protein for your dinner? Simple: just add some peas. This versatile and economical food is going to provide you with almost 8 grams of protein per cup, and as little as 117 calories. There are 14 grams of carbs too, for energy.

Peas also contain a high amount of vitamin C. A study found that people with adequate levels of vitamin C were able to oxidize 30 percent more fat during exercise than those with low vitamin C levels.

So, you may want to tuck into some peas to get your recommended allowance of vitamin C, which might also improve the results of your exercise regime.

4. Peanut Butter

I’ve added peanut butter to the list because it might just be the tasty treat you need to persevere with your diet. Losing weight is hard and sometimes it’s the little things that can get us through.

Peanut butter is also on the list because it delivers 7 grams of protein per tablespoon. This is a fantastic amount and might be good as a snack to keep hunger at bay between meals. In fact, a study concluded that the good unsaturated fat it contains helped the participants with weight loss.

The one thing to watch about peanut butter is the calories. It contains 180 calories per tablespoon. Of course, it’s a delicious snack, but it’s also high in calories if you’re trying to lose weight. You’ve got to be strict with yourself and limit your portions.

5. Beef

A popular food to add to meals when you’re trying to lose weight is beef. In every four ounces, there are 21 grams of protein, which is perfect for making you feel full when you’re cutting out carbohydrates.

So, you may not have to worry about those late-night snacks anymore.

Of course, there’s a concern that beef may be unhealthy for you. But studies have found that it doesn’t raise the risk of heart disease. There are also no strong links to cancer for men or women. The important advice is to avoid processed red meat and opt for grass-fed beef instead.

6. Cottage Cheese

Alright, this food might not be for everyone. Perhaps it’s best to say that cottage cheese is an acquired taste.

But there’s a reason why it’s popular diet food. Cottage cheese is high in protein and there are around 24 grams in one cup. This makes it a good snack to have or to add to your meals.

It’s also relatively low in calories, which means you can easily stick to any calorie restrictions you have.

There’s also a study that links calcium to fat burning when it’s combined with a calorie restriction. Thankfully, cottage cheese is high in calcium, which means you can benefit even more during your weight loss journey.

7. Chicken

If someone was to ask you what food you think bodybuilders eat, what would you say? I’m pretty sure you’d say chicken. Of course, there’s a good reason why they munch a lot of this stuff for lunch and dinner.

Chicken is one of the best lean sources of protein. One chicken breast contains an amazing 26 grams of protein, with virtually no carbs or fat. It’s only 142 calories too. This may help you sustain a high protein diet, which has been linked with weight loss.

8. Lentils

It’s time you got your cookbook out. You’ll want to add lentils to your meals after what I’m about to tell you.

Lentils are not only tasty food, but they’re also satisfying. This is down to their high fiber content, as well as high protein. In just one cup, you’ll find almost 18 grams of protein.

In addition, a cup of lentils will also provide you with almost 40 grams of complex carbs for energy. This is all in just 230 calories. It’s not a bad arrangement and may help you to fuel workouts and feel full throughout the day.

9. Turkey

Another fabulous source of lean protein is turkey. Poultry meat is full of vitamins and minerals to help you stay healthy, as well as a low fat and carb profile to suit your weight loss diet. I don’t know why people only think about Turkey during the holidays, it should be a staple in your diet all year round.

Of course, don’t forget about the 32.5 grams of protein in four ounces of roasted turkey breast. This is not only going to taste delicious but it’s also going to make you feel full, despite only consuming 189 calories.

10. Greek Yogurt

Let’s be honest. Not many people find losing weight easy. A lot of us cut out desserts. But being regimented with your eating habits may actually be a destructive mindset to have and is likely to jeopardize your results.

It’s all about choosing the right desserts. That’s where Greek yogurt comes in. This is going to give you as much as 19 grams of protein per pot, which is around 170 calories.

The one thing to watch when you’re trying to lose weight is the sugar content. This makes up the majority of the carbohydrates. A lot of the low-fat options are packed with unnecessary sugar. This may make you feel hungry, even though you’re not, leading to consuming more calories.

11. Quinoa

Do you enjoy pasta? Unfortunately, it might be one of the foods that you’re cutting from your diet right now. After all, it’s low in protein and only contains simple carbohydrates.

But the good news is that there’s a healthy alternative that’s packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals. It’s called quinoa.

While it might be hard to say, it’s not difficult to see why this whole grain has become a famous weight loss food.

One cup contains 8 grams of protein and 39 grams of complex carbohydrates. It’s a pretty good alternative to pasta and white rice, plus it has a delicious nutty taste and soft texture that makes it enjoyable. It may be a good alternative for vegans and vegetarians to still get the protein they need.

The best part about quinoa is that it’s a complete protein. This means that it contains all nine essential amino acids, which is going to help with energy production and muscle maintenance during weight loss.

12. Almonds

Almonds have always been associated with weight loss, and studies have shown this to be true. Certainly, there are impressive 6 grams of protein in a one-ounce serving of almonds. This could make them an ideal snack in the afternoon when you’re feeling hungry. I always make sure to carry a little bag of them as a backup if hunger strikes.

There are also 6 grams of carbohydrates, with 3.4 grams of dietary fiber. Plus, don’t forget about the 14 grams of fat when you’re calculating your macronutrients. These elements may help to keep you satisfied and feeling full until dinner.

13. Pistachios

Next, we’ve got pistachios.

These not only make a tasty snack but also deliver 6 grams of protein in one ounce. That’s around 49 kernels that you can tuck into.

A lot of people trying to lose weight worry about the calories and fat content in nuts. But pistachios are actually one of the lowest, with 156 calories per ounce. Plus, high-fat foods shouldn’t automatically be frowned upon—they can be good for you. They’re packed with antioxidants and potassium.

Not to mention, pistachios have more essential amino acids (EAA) than other nuts. EAAs are the building blocks of protein, which means you can prevent muscle loss on your weight loss journey.

14. Chia Seeds

Don’t be fooled by these tiny black seeds. They deliver a lot of goodness and are packed with protein. In one ounce, you’ll enjoy 5 grams of protein, alongside 12 grams of carbohydrates. The good news is that around 80 percent of those carbs are fiber, to leave you feeling satisfied after your meal.

The great thing about chia seeds is that you can add them to almost anything. You can sprinkle them over porridge, salad, or yogurt, and even put them into a smoothie. Their bland flavor makes them versatile.

The benefits don’t stop there. In fact, chia seeds are the best plant source of omega-3 fatty acids you’ll find, which helps with protein synthesis. This means you can still gain muscle while losing weight.

15. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts might not be everyone’s favorite, but this vegetable is a great protein source. Mix them in with some other vegetables on your plate and you may be onto a winner. My favorite way is roasted with bacon and chestnuts.

One cup delivers almost 3 grams of protein, as well as a bunch of vitamins and minerals. In just 38 calories, you’re also enjoying around 8 grams of carbohydrates to support your energy levels. With 3.3 grams of fiber, brussels sprouts can support good gut health too.


When you’re on a diet and trying to lose weight, it always seems like you’re not allowed to eat anything. You don’t want to live on salads and smoothies, and that’s why so many people quickly fall off the wagon.

Well, this list of high protein foods shows you that there are plenty of delicious things you can eat that can still benefit your diet.

From eating lean turkey and brussels sprouts like it’s Christmas, to tucking into some peanut butter as a late-night snack, you can increase your protein intake easily. This should help you to feel more satisfied with eating less when you’re on a calorie deficit.

What’s your favorite high protein food source from the list? Comment below and share your best protein recipes for losing weight, I’d love to hear them.