High Protein Diet for Weight Loss

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Protein is one of the most important components of a good diet and we must consume a bit of it every day.

However, increasing the daily intake significantly can help optimise weight loss and improve your figure.

One of my friends has a partner that is in his late 60s. He is in exceptionally good shape. However, he’s also a very busy person who doesn’t really have time to go to a gym regularly.

I sat down with him a few years ago to discuss his diet because I was super interested.

He narrowed it down to one specific thing – a high protein diet with a minimal amount of carbs.

I conducted a little bit of research into this concept and there are many benefits of eating a high protein diet. I’ll be covering:-

  • Benefits of a high protein diet
  • The science behind a high protein diet for weight loss
  • Foods with the highest amount of protein
  • Best high protein diet recipes
  • Side effects of a high protein diet

High Protein Diet for Weight Loss

What’s a High Protein Diet?

In case you missed it while traversing the fitness world, a high protein diet is a diet that consists of more than 30% protein and limited fat or carbohydrate intake.

How Does Protein Help You Lose Weight?

Protein is made up of over 20 amino acids. Out of these 20, 9 amino acids are considered essential to the diet as the body cannot produce these amino acids.

These amino acids can be found in animal protein like meat, fish and poultry and plant protein like beans, legumes, nuts and seeds.

The research I came across suggests consuming higher amounts of protein keeps you fuller for longer, increases your body’s metabolic rate in addition to building muscle.

Additionally, when you reduce carb consumption, your body burns fat more effectively.

Benefits of a High Protein Diet

Building Muscle

This is one of the best benefits of a high protein diet. It helps the body build muscle faster when combined with resistance training.

Because we also lose muscle as we age, a high protein diet can help prevent this.

My friend’s partner has a washboard stomach. I’ve asked him to do an interview for the site. Hopefully, he says yes.

Boosts Metabolism

Protein boosts metabolic rate leading to faster calorie burn. Studies (see below) show increasing protein intake improves metabolism via thermogenesis.

Reduces Calorie Intake

High protein foods fill you up faster and keep you fuller longer thus reducing the need to snack in between or develop unhealthy cravings. This means fewer calories consumed, which makes it easier to lose weight.

Components of a High Protein Diet

So, now that you’ve seen the benefits of eating a high protein diet, how do you go about it effectively for best results?

Opt for good quality combination of plant and animal protein like soy protein – tofu and soy burgers –  beans, nuts, fish, skinless poultry, lean beef, pork and low-fat milk, cheese and yoghurt. 

Avoid processed foods be it protein or carbs as much as possible. Good carbs include whole grains, vegetables and fruit.

What Foods Are the Highest in Protein?

Based on this, below is a compilation of foods with a high protein content:-

  • Animal protein – lean beef, chicken, pork, turkey,
  • Avocado
  • Beans – black, red and lima
  • Chickpeas
  • Dairy products – milk, cottage cheese and yoghurt
  • Fish – salmon and tuna
  • Grains – amaranth and spelt
  • Lentils
  • Vegetables – broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, watercress and asparagus
  • Quinoa
  • Soy products – tofu and tempeh
  • Seeds – hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and flax seeds
  • Nuts and nut butter – almonds and pistachios
  • Whey protein

10 High Protein Diet Recipes for Weight Loss

Below are links to some great high protein recipes to include in your diet. Recipes also include additional nutrient requirements.
Roasted Curry Salmon With Tomatoes

Roasted Curry Salmon With Tomatoes

Photo Credit: www.realsimple.com

509 calories with 43 grams of protein. Get this curry salmon recipe from Real Simple...

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Chicken, Red Pepper & Almond Traybake

Chicken, Red Pepper & Almond Traybake

Photo Credit: www.bbcgoodfood.com

442 calories and 34 grams of protein. Get this recipe from BBC Good Food...

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Miniature Omelettes with Ricotta

Miniature Omelettes with Ricotta

Photo Credit: www.bbcgoodfood.com

233 calories and 16 grams of protein. Get this recipe from BBC Good Food...

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Thai Salmon Kebabs with Sweet Chilli & Lime Dip

Thai Salmon Kebabs with Sweet Chilli & Lime Dip

Photo Credit: www.bbcgoodfood.com

291 calories and 29 grams of protein. Get this recipe from BBC Good Food...

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Watermelon and Arugula Chicken Salad

Watermelon and Arugula Chicken Salad

Photo Credit: www.myrecipes.com

238 calories and 20 grams of protein. Get this recipe from My Recipes...

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Tempeh Gyros with Tzatziki

Tempeh Gyros with Tzatziki

Photo Credit: www.cookinglight.com

333 calories and 22 grams of protein. Get this recipe from Cooking Light...

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Sausage and Spinach Spaghetti Pie

Sausage and Spinach Spaghetti Pie

Photo Credit: www.cookinglight.com

401 calories and 24 grams of protein. Get this recipe from Cooking Light...

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Turkey Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Turkey Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Photo Credit: loveandfoodforeva.com

379 calories and 41 grams of protein. Get this recipe from Love and Food For Eva...

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The Best Healthy Turkey Chili

The Best Healthy Turkey Chili

Photo Credit: www.ambitiouskitchen.com

336 calories and 31.8 grams of protein. Get this recipe at Ambitious Kitchen...

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Kale and Turkey Sausage Sautee with Parmesan

Kale and Turkey Sausage Sautee with Parmesan

Photo Credit: www.thegarlicdiaries.com

340 calories with 32 grams of protein. Get this recipe at The Garlic Diaries...

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5 Ingredient Spaghetti Squash with Pasta Sauce

5 Ingredient Spaghetti Squash with Pasta Sauce

Photo Credit: slimsanity.com

355 calories and 28 grams of protein. Get this recipe at Slim Sanity....

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If you can’t be bothered to come up with a high protein diet yourself, you can engage the service of meal planning services like eMeals and Green Chef

They can put together a special diet plan high in protein based on your preferences and nutrition goals.

I will create separate articles over the next few posts with a round up of best high protein breakfasts, lunches, dinners and desserts for weight loss.

Are There Any Side Effects to a High Protein Diet?

There are no side effects provided this is practised in moderation. High protein means a lot of protein. It doesn’t mean the only thing you consume is protein and an excessive amount at that.

It also doesn’t mean carbs are the devil or cutting out all other calorie sources.

Despite my friend’s high protein diet, the day we met, we shared a plate of fries and mini burgers between us and neither of us suddenly blew up because of it. Everything in moderation.

However, if you have any major health issues, you should speak to your primary care physician before you switch to a very specific diet.

Once you abandon a high protein diet, expect your body to return to the way it was previously unless you’re switching to some other effective weight loss diet and strategy.

Best foods for a high protein diet

References

fitfababi

Abi is all about staying in the best shape of your life without having to starve yourself to make it happen. She's been on her fitness journey since the age of 15 and doesn't plan on letting up anytime soon. Welcome to Fitness At Every Age!
fitfababi
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