What Protein To Eat To Lose Weight

Healthy High Protein Meal Options

How Eating More Protein Helps You Lose Weight

Protein is likely the essential macronutrient when it comes to eating a healthy diet. So whether you want to get slim, tone up, or lose weight. It is also a good idea if you choose low-carb high protein meals.

Here are some of my recommended healthy high protein meals

  • Cayenne chicken skewers with black bean salsa
  • Bavette steak with pickled golden beetroot
  • T-bone steak with smoky barbecue sauce and corn salad
  • Steak with mustard sauce and chili pumpkin mash
  • Chopped chili chicken stir fry

These are just some of my recommended low-calorie high protein meals. You can also research low-carb high protein meal plans that you can make at home.

Higher Protein Intake Keeps You Feeling Fuller Longer

One of the main reasons increasing protein aids weight loss is satiety. Cutting calories makes you hungry, which leads to falling off the wagon. Protein keeps you feeling satisfied and full longer than carbs, so youll eat less.

One study found that participants ate over 440 fewer calories per day when they increased protein to 30 percent of calorie intake . By eating more protein and increasing satiety, cravings decrease and its easier to eat fewer calories overall.

Protein Changes The Levels Of Several Weight Regulating Hormones

Your weight is actively regulated by your brain, particularly an area called the hypothalamus .

In order for your brain to determine when and how much to eat, it processes multiple different types of information.

Some of the most important signals to the brain are hormones that change in response to feeding .

A higher protein intake actually increases levels of the satiety hormones GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin, while reducing your levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin .

This leads to a major reduction in hunger and is the main reason protein helps you lose weight. It can make you eat fewer calories automatically.

Bottom Line:

Protein reduces levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, while it boosts the appetite-reducing hormones GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin. This leads to an automatic reduction in calorie intake.

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The Best Protein Foods For Weight Loss

There is a risk in simply eating more protein without really thinking about the foods. Many people just eat more meat or dairy. These foods have a place, but for weight loss and good health, supplement with protein sources that contain other nutrients and are not too high in saturated fat or calories.

What Are The Best Protein Sources

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For weight loss, feeling full is important. As most people who have attempted any kind of caloric restriction through dieting know, maintaining a negative energy deficit can sometimes lead to hunger.

To maximize satiety when you are attempting to lose weight, its best to consume protein through healthy eating, which generally means whole foods. Some of the best sources of protein are lean meats, including:

  • Free-range chicken

  • Salmon

But there are plenty of other options for vegans, vegetarians and others who don’t eat meat, including greek yogurt, cottage cheese and most varieties of nuts, lentils and beans though many of the latter group contain high levels of fat, so intake may need to be monitored for those looking to shed pounds or need to follow a low-fat diet for health reasons. Red meats also tend to be high in protein, but they can also cause health problems such as elevated blood pressure.

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Here’s Why Youre Probably Not Eating Enough Protein

The irony of the protein boom is that Americans arent actually ingesting any more of it today than they were 30 years ago.

That might be because proteins recommended daily allowance is a modest 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day, a number formulated during World War II in order to safeguard public health during a possible shortage and ensure the nutritive value of military rations.

That RDA means roughly 8 to 10 percent of your daily intake should be protein, says Heather Leidy, Ph.D., a protein researcher and associate professor in Purdue Universitys Department of Nutrition Science.

But that 8 to 10 percent is only the minimum required to prevent a protein deficiency, not what you need for protein synthesis, muscle gain, satiety, weight management, and glycemic control.

While the diets of most Americans may contain between 10 and 15 percent protein, Leidy notes, research suggests that anywhere from 20 to 30 percent would be a better health goalwith at least 30 grams of protein being the minimum threshold at mealtime.

Another way to look at it: Thats between 1.2 and 1.6 grams of protein daily for every kilogram of your target body weight. So if youre a 185-pound guy who wants to weigh 165, you should eat between 90 and 120 grams of protein per day.

Actually, it’s pretty easy.

Claim: High Protein Causes Cancer

Unfortunately, we still dont have conclusive human studies on the cause of cancer and the role of protein.

There are studies that asked people how much protein they ate over their lifetime, and then looked at how often people got cancer. The research shows a connection between protein intake and cancer rates.

But these studies are correlational studies and dont prove that protein is the cause of cancers. Plus, some researchers have gone so far to say that studies relying on subjects to recall what they ate are basically worthless because human memory is so inaccurate.

A big part of the proposed cancer and protein link comes down to confounding factors, like:

  • where you get your protein from plant or animal
  • how you cook your protein
  • what types of protein youre eating

And so on.

In other words, we cant say that any particular amount of protein causes cancer.

Verdict: Limited evidence that protein causes cancer many other confounding factors.

Lets take a deeper look: Protein and cancerA study from 2014 looked at protein and cancer risk. It was widely misinterpreted as proof that eating a lot of protein caused cancer.

First, it was actually two studies, one asking people questions and following them for years and one that fed mice a high-protein diet and implanted them with cancer.

With the human study, researchers looked at peoples self-reported protein intake and their rates of cancer over the following 18 years.

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How Many Times Should You Eat A Day To Lose Weight

A study published in a journal called Obesity revealed that consuming a higher amount of protein will not only keep your appetite under control but will also make you feel fuller.

The study also showed that moderately increasing protein consumption in 3 eating occasions and not 6, led to better appetite control, especially in the evening.

What this means for you and me is that eating 3 protein-rich meals will give you better weight loss results, instead of the famous belief that eating 6 small meals a day for weight loss.

Essential reading:

7 simple ways to lose weight fast naturally and permanently

Eating 6 small meals a day has been touted for years as the best way to lose and manage weight .

However, the conducted research showed that eating more frequently does not enhance appetite control and satiety in overweight and obese individuals during weight loss. The study found that participants failed to stick to 6 meals because this kind of eating is not reasonable or suitable for weight loss.

If Youre A Regular Person Who Just Wants To Be Healthy And Fit:

What’s the best protein bar to eat when you’re trying to lose weight?
  • If youre over 65, eat more protein.This helps slow down age-related muscle loss, which improves long-term health and quality of life.
  • If youre a plant-based eater: Plan your meals carefully.Without animal products, youll probably have to work a little harder to get enough protein. You might consider adding a plant-based protein powder to help yourself out.

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What Is The Best Type Of Protein For Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, a high-protein diet can have powerful and beneficial effects.

These include lower levels of hunger hormones and cravings, increased satiety and even a greater number of calories burned .

With many options for boosting protein intake, it can be difficult to determine the best type of protein for weight loss.

This article reviews different types of protein and how they affect weight loss.

Ways Eating Protein Can Help You Lose Weight Say Dietitians

    When you’re trying to lose weight, staying active matters. However, you could run five miles daily and never drop a pound if you don’t change your eating habits. One of the most effective ways to drop pounds is through macro-tracking, which challenges you to eat a balanced amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Often, people may discover they’ve been consuming plenty of fat and carbs, but they’re far behind on protein intake. Here’s, why eating this specific nutrient could be the missing link in your dieting plan, and for even more weight loss tips, be sure to check out our list of 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.

    Also Check: Can You Lose Weight By Only Drinking Protein Shakes

    Combine Protein With Healthy Carbs

    Another common mistake for both weight loss and muscle gain is excessively cutting carbohydrates. Contrary to what some diet plans like keto suggest, carbohydrates like grains, fruits, and vegetables are an important source of energy and great for muscle recovery. It’s best to include them alongside protein to optimize a lean physique, Clark said.

    “I hate the word ‘carb,’ it’s very tainted,” she said. “Carbohydrates digest into glucose which feeds your brain and fuels your muscles.”

    Carbohydrates are even more important for athletes, who should get about three times as much carbohydrate as protein in their diet, according to Clark.

    “If you’re a sports-active person, it behooves you to have that be the foundation of your meal,” she said.

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    How Much Protein Should I Take To Lose Weight

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    Weight loss can be hard for many, with results taking time to show and it taking a lot of determination. However, eating a protein-rich diet could help aid slimmers, with protein keeping the body fuller for longer as well as support a healthy metabolism.

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    How Much Protein Should I Eat To Build Muscle

    If youre trying to build muscle, youre going to want to eat enough protein to induce muscle repair and growth.

    Proteins are the building blocks of muscle, so youll need plenty if youre looking to build a muscular physique!

    How much?

    If youre of healthy weight, active, and wish to build muscle, aim for 0.641.09 g/lb .

    There is some evidence that a higher range might be beneficial. Not so much in gaining more muscle, but to minimize fat gain during a bulking phase.

    As we mention in our guide, 12 Tips to Gain Weight Quickly, you might put on a little fat when eating in a caloric surplus to grow muscle.

    More protein may counteract this a little.

    If youre an experienced lifter on a bulk, intakes up to 1.50 g/lb may help you minimize fat gain.

    Now of course, if you want to grow muscle, you cant just eat proteinyou also need to strength train!

    Luckily, were experts on that.

    Here are some resources to begin your training:

  • 5 Best Strength Training Workout Routines For Beginners. If you dont know where to start your strength training journey, start here. This guide will walk you through bodyweight exercises onto becoming a full gym warrior .
  • The Beginner Bodyweight Workout. If youre looking for an exercise routine that can be done ANYWHERE, look no further. Our beginner routine has jumpstarted many Rebels in their strength training. Youd be surprised how much muscle you can build with your own weight, a milk jug, and a sturdy table.
  • What About Protein Shakes

    Protein shakes or meal replacements are popular not just among people trying to gain muscle but also people who want to lose weight.

    They tend to be seen as an easy solution swap one or two meals per day with a protein shake and you will likely lose weight. But youll also lose out on many important nutrients that come with eating a whole food diet.

    Where protein shakes are good is on days when you just dont have time to eat a proper meal but youre hungry and know that the snack youll pick up from the coffee shop is less than healthy.

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    More Isn’t Necessarily Better

    It is possible to eat too much protein, if you’re getting more than 30% of your daily calories from protein. But that’s not likely to be an issue for most people, and causes only minor side effects unless you have a pre-existing kidney or liver problem.

    Heaping protein into your diet won’t supercharge your progress, however, and could backfire.

    “Extra protein in your diet doesn’t convert into extra muscle. You can eat as much protein as you want, and if you’re not doing resistance training, you won’t build muscle,” Clark said.

    And protein contains calories just like carbs and fat, so too much of it can cause you to gain body fat, which is important to keep in mind if you’re trying to lose weight or build muscle.

    Protein Payout: 1 Oz 158 Calories 9 G Protein

    high protein foods to lose weight

    Dr. Lindsey Duncan, a nutritionist who’s worked with Tony Dorsett and Reggie Bush, is a big fan of pumpkin seeds. “A handful of raw pepitas or dry roasted pumpkin seeds can give you a natural jolt to power through a workout,” he says. “They’re a good source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber, keeping you feeling full and energized longer, and contain manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc, which provide additional energy support to maximize gym time.” Throw them into salads and rice dishes or eat them raw. Looking for more delicious ways to eat pumpkin? Check out these 8 amazing ways to eat pumpkin this fall!

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    Celery With Peanut Butter

    Theres another simple way to deal with hunger pangs while dieting, without eating too many calories, and thats with celery sticks served with peanut butter .

    This snack is quick and easy to prepare. All you have to do is simply wash the celery, cut it into pieces and spread the peanut butter on the stalks.

    Complete And Incomplete Proteins

    Back in the day, scientists used to talk about complete and incomplete proteins.

    If you had a plant-based diet , you were told that you had to eat a mix of incomplete proteins at each meal in order to meet your needs.

    We now know this isnt true.

    As long as you eat a mix of different protein sources, youll get all the amino acids you need. No need for mealtime protein algebra to make sure youre getting all your amino acids.

    That being said, many plant-based sources are less protein-dense than animal sources. So if you choose not to eat animal products, youll have to work a little harder to get more protein from a wide variety of plant sources to make up the difference and meet your protein needs.

    Read Also: How To Calculate How Much Protein Intake

    Whey Protein Shake For Weight Loss

    Again sugar. Always check the sugar content per serving of any whey protein before buying. Protein on its own is quite bland so manufacturers pump sugar into whey protein supplements to make them delightful.

    You might be excited about getting 28g of protein per scoop, without realising that along with that high protein count is insane amounts of sugar. You should think twice about buying any whey protein that has 5g or more of sugar per serving.

    I am a huge fan of Whey Protein Isolate by Optimum as it contains 1-3g of sugar per serving.

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    REFERENCES

    Leidy, H. J., Tang, M., Armstrong, C. L., Martin, C. B., & Campbell, W. W. . The effects of consuming frequent, higher protein meals on appetite and satiety during weight loss in overweight/obese men. Obesity , 19, 818824. doi:10.1038/oby.2010.203

    Claim: High Protein Causes Heart Disease

    Eating only vegetables and protein to lose weight, protein ...

    Eating animal-based protein daily is associated with an increased risk of fatal coronary heart disease , whereas plant-based proteins arent linked to higher rates of heart disease.

    This suggests that where you get your protein from may matter more than how much protein you eat.

    However, just like cancer, the link between heart disease and high-protein diets is from questionnaires rather than a double-blind randomized study .

    There are many confounding factors. For one, consider the type of animal does seafood cause the same issues as red meat, for example?

    We dont yet know the whole story here.

    Verdict: Limited evidence that protein causes heart disease and the source of protein is a major confounding factor.

    Lets take a deeper look: Protein sourceA new study in the Journal of American Medical Association looks not only at protein intake, but where people got their protein from.

    More than 131,000 people were asked:

    • how much protein they ate and
    • if it came from animals or plants.

    This study took over 35 years to do .

    What they found:

    Eating more animal protein was associated with a higher risk of death if you were also doing something else that was a risk factor.

    Such as:

    • history of high blood pressure
    • low intake of whole grains, fiber, and fruits and vegetables

    Eating more plant protein was found to be associated with lower risk of early death.

    What does this mean?

    But theres more to it.

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