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: 14
- 3 ounces tofu, firm: 13
- 1/2 cup cooked lentils: 9
- 2 tablespoons natural-style peanut butter or almond butter: 8
- 1 ounce cooked lean meat, fish, skinless poultry: 7
- 1 ounce cheese: 7
- 1/2 cup cooked kidney beans: 7
- 1 ounce nuts: 4-7
- 1 large egg: 6
- 4 ounces low-fat plain yogurt: 6
- 4 ounces soy milk: 5
- 4 ounces low-fat milk: 4
Carbs 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.
Your body will see more benefit if you spread those grams out over the course of the day rather than loading up at one or two meals. People who balance their protein throughout the day, eating some at each meal, saw more weight loss or maintenance than those who skimped on the nutrient at certain meals, reports a new study analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.