Diets like the Paleo diet, Atkins, and The Zone have been used by countless people to lose weight. One thing they share in common is that they are high protein diets.
But what exactly is a high protein diet, and how exactly can it help you lose weight? Read on to find out!
What’s a High Protein Diet?
A high protein diet is one that contains a large amount of protein and minimal carbs. But how much protein constitutes a high protein diet?
According to current dietary guidelines, the average diet should supply about 10 to 35 percent of calories from protein, or about 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.
What Food is Highest in Protein?
Foods that are highest in protein include:
Chicken breasts, particularly with the skin removed, are a great lean protein source. You get all the protein, but with way less fat.
This saves you a ton of calories. For instance, ½ chicken breast provides a whopping 27.5 grams of protein at only 143 calories.
This makes them perfect for weight loss. As an added bonus, chicken breasts contain B vitamins, which you need for brain health.
Salmon is also a heavy hitter when it comes to protein. ½ a salmon fillet provides 39.2 grams of protein.
It is also an excellent source of omega-3s, which are good for your heart. Besides, it contains bone-building minerals like magnesium and phosphorus.
If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to salmon, you can’t go wrong with canned tuna.
One can of tuna provides 20.1 grams of protein. Like salmon, it is also a great source of omega-3s.
Additionally, tuna is rich in selenium, a powerful antioxidant.
Black beans are rich in plant-based protein. One cup of boiled black beans provides 15.2 grams of protein.
It also provides a ton of fiber. Additionally, it is rich in bone-building minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese.
Lentils are also rich in plant-based protein. One cup of boiled lentils provides 17.9 grams of protein.
Like black beans, they’re rich in fiber and bone-building minerals. Besides, they contain a ton of folate, which is essential for making DNA.
This grain provides a ton of protein compared to other grains. One cup of cooked quinoa provides 8.1 grams of protein.
Besides being rich in fiber, it’s also rich in bone-building minerals such as manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Chickpeas provide a lot of plant-based protein. One cup of boiled chickpeas provides 14.5 grams of protein.
Besides being rich in bone-building minerals, it is also an excellent iron source. You need iron to keep your energy levels up.
When it comes to protein, Greek yogurt is king. It contains almost double the amount of protein found in regular yogurt.
A 3.0-ounce serving contains 8.2 grams of protein. It also contains calcium, which you need for healthy bones.
Additionally, it contains probiotics, which are good for digestion.
Eggs are a pretty affordable source of protein. One hard-boiled egg contains 6.3 grams of protein.
They are also rich in selenium, a potent antioxidant. Additionally, eggs contain choline, a nutrient that many people aren’t getting enough of.
Chia seeds are quite nutritious. A 3.0-ounce serving contains 4.4 grams of protein.
It is also rich in omega-3s and bone-building minerals like phosphorus and manganese.
Why Do You Lose Weight on a High Protein Diet?
There are various reasons why you lose weight on a high protein diet. For instance, eating a high protein diet helps you build lean muscle.
And when you have more lean muscle, you’re able to burn more calories during the day, helping you lose weight.
Additionally, when you eat more protein, it helps you feel full, helping you eat less. When you eat more protein, the body uses more energy to process it than carbs or fats.
This increases your metabolism.
Can You Eat Too Much Protein?
Yes, eating too much protein can be harmful. Research shows that a high protein diet can cause renal (kidney) hypertension and damage your kidneys. Too much protein in the diet can also increase the risk of kidney stones.
Additionally, suppose most of your proteins come from animal products such as dairy products, red meats, or eggs. In that case, you’re getting a lot of saturated fats and cholesterol. This, in turn, increases your risk for heart disease.
As a result, experts recommend consuming no more than 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
High Protein Diet Menu
Ready to start a high protein diet? Here are various options to get you started:
High Protein Breakfast Power Bowl: This is a great breakfast idea if you have a sweet tooth.
It’s a bowl full of yummy goodness. The blueberries, dried cranberries, and raspberries add a ton of natural sweetness.
Meanwhile, the walnuts and sunflower seeds add some crunch. The Greek yogurt and oatmeal add creaminess and extra protein.
And it’s all topped off with some maple syrup. Your taste buds will be delighted.
Best of all, one serving provides an outstanding 34 grams of protein.
Egg Muffin Cups With Veggies: If you prefer your breakfast savory, this is the dish for you.
They’re fluffy and decadent. The egg muffin cups are packed with veggies like baby spinach, broccoli, onions, and red and green bell peppers as an added bonus.
Besides being high in protein, they’re also low in calories. So, you can have more than one and not feel guilty.
These egg cups are also great for a light lunch. Serve with a side garden salad.
Almond Butter Protein Balls: To make your diet sustainable, it’s a good idea to have a treat once in a while.
After all, life is short, right? These almond butter protein balls taste a lot like chocolate chip oatmeal cookie dough.
The coconut flakes, chocolate chips, and almond butter make them extra yummy. Best of all, these tasty treats are no-bake, which makes them pretty fuss-free. Yay!
High Protein Recipes
Check out various protein meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and incorporate them into your own menu.