Eating high protein foods is absolutely necessary if you’re trying to get rid of fat. That doesn’t mean you won’t have to exercise. You most certainly must. If you’re like most people you probably spend a lot of time in the gym or working out at home. Consistently doing cardio and dozens of crunches. Still not seeing that six pack? Don’t worry you’ve got a six pack. It’s just hiding under a layer of fat. That’s why eating foods high in protein should be high on your list. That’s why I’ve put together the ultimate protein rich foods list!
Let’s take a quick look at how protein helps in the fat burning process. But if you’d rather get right to “The Most High Protein Foods List” just scroll down!
Protein vs Fat
Protein does not burn fat. Instead it promotes fat loss because of the way your body processes protein. Basically, protein helps your body’s metabolism to speed up. See, when you eat something. Your body begins the process of digesting the food you ate.
The digestion process creates heat.
That heat gets your metabolism going and the fat burning begins. Now because it takes your body longer to break down protein, that means your body has to work even harder. The harder it works to digest the protein, the more heat it has to produce. Which means your metabolism has to speed up even more to get the job done.
Another key point I want you to remember is that your body cannot lose fat and build muscle at the same time. So what you’re really doing in the beginning is using the power of protein to help your body lose fat.
As you get stronger and keep lifting weights you will eventually start to see your muscles. When you’re lifting weights to build muscle you are actually tearing your muscle tissue. Eating protein actually helps repair that tissue so your muscles can grow. Now all that new muscle you’re building needs more calories to sustain the growth.
So now you end up burning even more calories because your new muscles are demanding more calories, and your body has to work even harder to digest food and feed your muscles at the same time. All of that activity keeps your metabolism going for an extended period of time. The result is you burn more fat.
The human body is as fascinating! Adding protein rich foods, and proper exercise can help you shed the pounds and say good bye to fat.
Now that you have an understanding of why protein is great for fat and weight loss, all you have to do is make sure you’re getting enough protein each day.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
This will depend on your level of activity. Yes there are a lot of people who go on a protein diet and lose weight without exercise. That’s not something I would recommend. Simply because exercise is good for your over all health. Your health should be your first concern always. A great looking body is the result of working out and eating well.
With that in mind, here’s a simple rule of thumb. Most experts agree that eating between 1 and 1.8 grams of protein per pound is good. Now if you’re not working out regularly, you can reduce that to 0.8 per pound of body weight.
What If You Eat Too Much Protein?
Your liver and kidney are the organs that have to work to break down protein. If you do not have liver or kidney disease, than you should be fine. If you do have a problem with either of these organs, check with your doctor first before increasing protein in your diet.
To see the best results, eat a portion of protein no larger than a deck of cards about 3 ounces at every meal. You’ll eat 5-6 meals a day. Your daily calorie count will depend on different factors including, gender, age, current weight and activity level. Also be sure to include complex carbohydrates like lots of mixed colorful vegetables. Whole grains and healthy fats from foods like nuts, seeds and olive oil for example.
Also researchers have found that eating twice as many foods high in protein will not speed up your muscle growth or fat loss. So doubly up is not necessary.
Your protein percentage should be about 30% of your total daily calories. So If for example, you’re eating 1500 calories a day, then the amount of calories coming from protein sources would 450.
The Ultimate High Protein Foods List!!!
I’ve divided this list by various food groups to make it easier for you to use. Also another important point to keep in mind when choosing and eating protein rich foods; it’s very important to pay attention to the amount of saturated fat a particular food protein has. It’s a common mistake that many people make when choosing to add more protein to their diet, they assume that high protein automatically means low fat. That’s not true. Some high protein foods are also high in bad saturated fat. That’s the kind of fat you want to avoid.
The following foods unless other wise noted have a low amount of saturated fat.
A popular source of protein and hundreds of recipes. You can’t go wrong with chicken and turkey.
- Skinless chicken breast – 4oz – 183 Calories – 30g Protein – 0 Carbs – 7g Fat
- Skinless chicken (Dark) – 4 oz – 230 Calories – 32g Protein – 0 Carbs – 5g Fat
- Skinless Turkey (White) – 4 oz – 176 Calories – 34g Protein – 0 Carbs – 3.5g Fat
- Skinless Turkey (Dark) – 4 oz – 211 Calories – 31g Protein – 0 Carbs – 8.1 g Fat
This category contains the most non vegan foods high in protein. Although some are also high in cholesterol. If you have been diagnosed with a cholesterol problem you should avoid eating the fish noted as having high cholesterol. Try other low cholesterol options like salmon instead.
For those with no known cholesterol issues, you can eat these high protein foods but do so in moderation. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re not sure, check with your doctor first.
- Salmon – 3 oz – 119 Calories – 17g Protein – 0 Carbs – 5.5g Fat
- Halibut – 3 oz – 91 Calories – 18g Protein – 0 Carbs – 3g Fat
- Tuna – 1/4 cup – 70 Calories – 18g Protein – 0 Carbs – 0g Fat
- Mackerel – 3 oz – 178 Calories – 16.1g Protein – 0 Carbs – 12g Fat
- Anchovies (packed in water) – 1 oz – 42 Calories – 6g Protein – 1.3g Fat
- Flounder – 1 127g fillet – 149 Calories – 30.7g Protein – 0 Carbs – 0.5g Fat (High Cholesterol)
- Swordfish – 1 piece 106g – 164 Calories – 26.9g Protein – 0 Carbs – 1.5g Fat (High Cholesterol)
- Cod – 1 fillet 180g – 189 Calories – 41.4g protein – 0 Carbs – 0.3g Fat (High Cholesterol)
- Herring – 1 fillet 143g – 290 Calories – 32.9g Protein – 0 Carbs – 3.7g Fat (High Cholesterol)
- Haddock – 1 fillet 150g – 168 Calories – 36.4g Protein – 0 Carbs – 0.3g Fat (High Cholesterol)
- Grouper – fillet 202g – 238 Calories – 50.2g Protein – 0 Carbs – 0.6g Fat (High Cholesterol)
- Snapper – 1 fillet 170g – 218 Calories – 44.7g Protein – 0 Carbs – 0.6g Fat (High Cholesterol)
The health risks associated with beef are pretty compelling. A recent study suggests eating red meat is extremely bad for your health. None the less I do realize not everyone feels this way. So to keep this list as balanced as possible I have included the leanest low fat cuts.
- Eye of round steak – 3 oz – 276 Calories – 49g Protein – 2.4g Fat
- Sirloin tip side steak – 3 oz -206 Calories – 39g Protein – 2g Fat
- Top sirloin – 3 oz – 319 Calories – 50.9g Protein – 4g Fat
- Bottom round steak – 3 oz – 300 Calories – 47g Protein – 3.5g Fat
- Top round steak – 3 oz – 240 Calories – 37g Protein – 3.1g Fat
- Pork loin – 3 oz – 180 Calories – 25g Protein – 0 Carbs – 2.9g Fat (High in cholesterol)
- Tenderloin- 3 oz – 103 Calories – 18g Protein – 0.3g Carbs – 1.2g Fat (High in cholesterol)
- Bison – 3 0z – 152 Calories – 21.6g Protein – 0 Carbs – 3g Fat
- Rabbit – 3 oz – 167 Calories – 24.7g Protein – 0 Carbs – 2.0g Fat
- Venison (Deer loin broiled) – 3 oz – 128 Calories – 25.7g Protein – 0 Carbs – 0.7g Fat
- Cooked Quinoa – 1/2 cup – 115 Calories – 4.1g Protein – 22 Carbs – 2g Fat
- Cooked Brown Rice – 1/2 cup – 106 Calories – 2.7g Protein – 23 Carbs – 0.7g Fat
- Regular Popcorn (Air Popped no oil) – 1 cup – 60 Calories – 2g Protein – 11 Carbs – 0.6g Fat
- Steel cut Oatmeal – 1 cup – 145 Calories – 7g Protein – 25g Carbs – 2.5g Fat
- Multi grain bread – 1 slice – 68.9 Calories – 3.5g Protein – 11.3g Carbs – 0.2g Fat
BEANS (All nutrition values calculated for cooked beans)
- Tofu – 1/2 cup – 98 Calories – 11g Protein – 2g Carbs – 6g Fat
- Lentils – 1/2 cup – 119 Calories – 9g Protein – 20g Carbs – 0.3g Fat
- Black beans – 1/2 cup – 115 Calories – 7.8g Protein – 20 Carbs – 0.4g Fat
- Kidney beans – 1/2 cup – 111 Calories – 7.2g Protein – 20.2 Carbs – 0.4g Fat
- Lima beans – 1/2 cup – 110 Calories – 7.4g Protein – 19.7 Carbs – 0.3g Fat
- Soy beans – 1/2 cup – 133 Calories – 11g Protein – 10 Carbs – 5.9g Fat
- Skim milk – 1 cup – 90 Calories – 9g Protein – 12g Carbs – 4.8g Fat
- Low fat Yogurt – 1 cup – 148 Calories – 12g Protein – 17Carbs – 3.2g Fat
- Non fat Yogurt – 1 cup – 130 Calories – 13g Protein – 16.9 Carbs – 0.4 Fat
- Cheddar cheese – 1 oz – 116 Calories – 7g Protein – 0.4 Carbs – 9.2g Fat
- Low fat Cottage Cheese – 1/2 cup – 82 Calories – 14g Protein – 3.1g Carbs – 0.7g Fat
- One large egg – 73 Calories – 6.6g Protein – 0 Carbs – 6g Fat
- Low fat Milk – 1 cup – 119 Calories – 8g Protein – 12 Carbs – 4.6g Fat
The nutritional values for shakes can vary widely. Typically from 24g and up. It depends on the brand and serving size.
VEGETARIAN PROTEIN SHAKES
- Hemp Protein
- Soy Protein
There are hundreds of protein bars available in a wide range of protein grams. When choosing a protein bar read the label carefully. You want to avoid those with a high amount of sugar. Aim for sugar below 5 grams.
NUTS & SEEDS
Delicious nuts have healthy fats and protein. Both of which vary depending on how much you eat. Just be aware that while nuts are great snack foods and great when added to meals, they are calorie dense. So be careful not to eat too many. These calories can add up very quickly.
- Raw Almonds – 1 oz about 22 whole – 169 Calories – 22g Carbs – 6.2g Protein – 1.1g Fat
- Raw Pistachios – 1 oz about 49 Kernels – 157 Calories – 7.9g Carbs – 5.8g Protein – 1.5g Fat
- Pumpkin seeds – 1 oz – 28g about 100 hulled seeds – 151 Calories – 5g Carbs – 6.0g Protein – 2.4g Fat
- Raw Macadamia nuts – 1 oz about 10- 12 kernels – 203 Calories – 4g Carbs – 2.2g Protein – 3.4g Fat
- Chia seeds – 1 oz – 137 Calories – 12.3g Carbs – 4.4g Protein – 0.9g Fat
- Walnuts – 1 cup in shell about 7 total – 183 Calories – 3.8g Carbs – 4.3g Protein – 1.7g Fat
- Raw Cashews1oz – 28g – 155 Calories – 9.2g Carbs – 5.1g Protein – 2.2g Fat
MORE HIGH PROTEIN FOODS
The protein and calories for the following will vary depending on how much you choose to add to other foods or eat alone.
- Natural peanut butter – 1 oz – 146 Calories – 7.3g Protein – 10g Carbs – 1.6g Fat
- Natural almond butter – 1 tbsp – 101 Calories – 2.4g Protein – 3.4 Carbs – 0.9g Fat
- Natural cashew butter – 1 tbsp – 93.9 Calories – 2.8g Protein – 4.4 Carbs – 1.6g Fat
- Hummus – 1 oz – 46.5 Calories – 2.2g Protein – 4.0g Carbs – 0.4g Fat
- Tempeh Cooked – 1 oz – 54 Calories – 5.1g Protein – 2.6g Carbs – 1.0g Fat
Special note for those following a vegan diet or a vegetarian diet. You can get more than enough protein from non meat sources. However, because non meat protein are NOT “complete proteins“, you should always eat at least 2-3 different non meat high protein foods at each meal. This will insure you are getting enough proteins to maintain your muscle growth. So choose one item from 2-3 different food groups below:
- Any Vegetables
- (All vegetables)
- (All Beans)
- Multi grain bread
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat pasta
- Sunflower seeds
- (See complete nut list listed above)
Now you have a detailed list of protein rich foods to choose from. You can mix and match and create a different meal everyday of the week.
Remember to include, in your weight loss meal plan, one of these high protein foods at every meal along with a complex carbohydrate (Vegetables). If you stay consistent with both your proteins and your workouts, the results will be amazing!