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26 High-Protein Low-Fat Foods to Help You Lose Extra Pounds

26 High-Protein Low-Fat Foods to Help You Lose Extra Pounds

Most of you may have dreamed of building a perfect body with ‘six-pack abs’ or a ‘thigh gap’. Yes, that’s my dream too.

No matter why you’re trying to get in shape, perhaps you want to become physically stronger, or you want to look better and healthier, there may be times in which it feels like exercising is useless.

An effective plan to lose weight always includes a proper diet. Here’s the simple logic: when your energy intake is greater than your energy output, you gain weight; when your energy output is greater than your energy intake, you lose weight. So without a proper diet, exercise will seem to be useless.

Why High-Protein Low-Fat Foods Are Crucial to Weight Loss

Instead of consuming fat, protein is a better option to reduce the energy intake. Protein plays a major role in building and repairing muscle. It also facilitates the fat-burning metabolism in your body and reduces your appetite so that you eat less. Science reveals another surprising fact about protein: protein itself can make you lose weight even without conscious calories restriction.[1] Wow! That’s good news. This means maybe you can lose weight by adjusting you eating habit!

Here we have an extensive list of high-protein low-fat foods for you to work on your weight-loss plan. There are some foods that you may be overlooking!

Fruit and Vegetables

1. Spinach

    Protein Power: 5 g per 1 cup serving

    Spinach does not only contain protein but also vitamins A and C, antioxidants and heart-health folate (folic acid). It is also a good source of manganese, magnesium, and iron.

    Steam your spinach instead of eating it raw. This helps retain vitamins and makes it easier for your body to absorb the calcium content. You may also add spinach to soups, or simply steam it and top with pepper, garlic, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.

    2. Sun-dried Tomatoes

    Protein Power: 6 g per 1 cup serving

    Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which can reduce your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancer, as well as decrease the risk of coronary artery disease. Compared with fresh ones, sun-dried tomatoes contain 20% more lycopene per serving.

    They are available dry or packed in oil. Sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil are softer and easier to blend into receipes. You may use them in salads, sandwiches, sauces, or use them as a pizza topping.

    3. Guava

      Protein Power: 4.2 g per 1 cup serving

      This tropical fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is also extraordinarily rich in lycopene and antioxidants that are beneficial for your skin. Without compromising your intake of proteins, vitamins and fiber, guava helps you lose weight by regulating your metabolism.

      Eat it raw. Guava, especially raw guava, has far less sugar compared to other fruits like apples, oranges, and grapes.

      4. Artichokes

      Protein Power: 4.2 g per 1 medium vegetable

      Artichokes are rich in fiber and protein, which are the two important elements for making your stomach full so that the hormone which increases your appetite is suppressed. If you want to lose weight, artichokes should be definitely on your list.

      Boil and eat the whole artichoke as a self-contained salad. You may also add some goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes to make it taste better.

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      5. Peas

        Protein Power: 8 g per 1 cup serving

        A cup of green peas contains 8 times the protein of a cup of spinach. Peas are a very good source of vitamins, manganese, and fiber. The high-level of fiber helps you to stay away from cravings for junk food.

        You may add some green peas to an omelet to boost eggs’ satiating power. If you are looking for the frozen green peas, make sure there’s no giant pea ice cube in the bag. A giant pea ice cube means the peas have been thawed previously and then refrozen, which may degrade their quality.

        Red Meat

        6. Grass-fed Beef

          Protein Power: 26 g per 4 oz serving

          Everyone knows that red meat like beef contains a rich amount of protein. But grass-fed beef does more good to you than conventional grain-fed beef. Grass-fed beef is naturally leaner and has fewer calories and fat. The omega-3 fatty acids in it also reduces the risk of heart disease.

          Grass-fed beef is more expensive than the grain-fed one. But its nutritional benefits are way greater.

          7. Ostrich

          Protein Power: 29 g per 4 oz serving

          Another kind of red meat you may want to try is ostrich meat. It has less fat than turkey or chicken but has the rich taste of beef. The choline in ostrich meat is also one of the essential nutrients for fat loss.

          Ostrich meat is easy to prepare and rich in taste. Ideally, a steak or fillet should be served medium rare. It will become dry if it is fully cooked.

          8. Pork

          Protein Power: 24 g per 4 oz serving

          Pork is another typical red meat that is rich in protein. Among all the parts of pork, you should choose to have pork tenderloin, which is believed to be the healthiest choice. It has slightly less fat than a skinless chicken breast. Science also proves that fresh lean pork helps with the reduction of your waist size, BMI, and belly fat! [2]

          Soak your pork in brine to have more tender meat by helping to break down muscle tissue. Cover and chill for 30 minutes to 2 hours then you will have the perfect texture ready!

          Sea Food

          9. Halibut

            Protein Power: 16 g per 3 oz serving

            Fishes are also rich in protein, while halibut has a relatively high-level of protein among them. The nutritional content in halibut can also influence your serotonin level, which is one of the key hormones responsible for appetite signals.

            You may go for Pacific halibut instead of Atlantic halibut. It is generally considered a more sustainable choice.

            10. Wild Salmon

            Protein Power: 17 g per 3 oz serving

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            Despite the fact that salmon contains a relatively high level of calories and fat content, salmon is one of the best food choices for your weight-loss plan. Studies show that salmon eaters have lower fasting insulin levels and a reduction in inflammation.

            Wild salmon is leaner than farmed. So go wild. You may look for salmon with the skin still intact. The skin provides you added flavor during cooking.

            11. Light Canned Tuna

              Protein Power: 16 g per 3 oz serving

              Canned light tuna is one of the best fish for weight loss as it contains protein and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). As canned light tuna is harvested from the smallest fish, the mercury level is believed to be low. So you can enjoy tuna without any worries!

              Go for water-packed tuna instead of the oil-packed one. This can save yourself some calories sourced from lackluster oils.

              12. Octopus

              Protein Power: 25 g per 3 oz serving

              Another delicious yet healthy option is octopus. Octopus is naturally low in fat, so it’s rather a health food choice. The minerals and vitamins in it are good for your health too.

              But as octopus is high in cholesterol, do not consume too much. Also, frozen octopus in fact has an advantage over fresh as the subzero process works to help tenderize the meat.

              Poultry and Eggs

              13. Turkey

                Protein Power: 16 g per 1/4 pound turkey burger

                Turkey is lean and protein-rich, which makes it a good choice for those people who prefer a healther diet yet have cravings for meat. The DHA omega-3 acids in turkey can boost your brain function, improve your mood and turn off fat genes.

                Try to prepare a delicious meal with turkey at home. Restaurants versions are often packed with fatty add-ins to increase flavor. You can also add some spices and pepper when you grill at home!

                14. Chicken

                Protein Power: 26 g per 3 oz cooked breast

                Like turkey, chicken has a low content of fat yet a high content of protein. A 3 oz cooked breast contains 26 g of protein which is more than half of the day’s recommended allowance.

                You may prepare your sandwiches and salads with some chicken meat to make them rich in taste. You should compare different brands when you buy it, as some have lower amounts of sodium.

                15. Eggs

                  Protein Power: 7 g per 1 egg

                  Everyone who wants to be muscular always goes for eggs. The biological value of an egg is a lot higher than of any other kind of food. The large amount of essential amino acids of an egg makes it extraordinarily easy to be incorporated into proteins in the body.

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                  The whites and the yolks are both beneficial to your health. So opt for the whole eggs. You may also buy the organic eggs when possible as they’re certified by the USDA and are free from antibiotics, vaccines, and hormones.

                  Beans and Legumes

                  16. Beans

                    Protein Power: 7-10 g per 1/2 cup serving

                    Beans are loaded with proteins, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can benefit your brain and muscles. As they digest very slowly, you will feel fuller longer. This helps you lose weight more efficiently.

                    You may want to buy those pre-cooked beans which are easy to use. Adding them to soups and salads or mixing them with brown rice and steamed vegetables are the possible ways for you to serve them nicely.

                    17. Lentils

                    Protein Power: 18 g per 1 cup serving

                    The high fiber content makes lentils extremely satiating. They also help to speed up fat loss and improve your cholesterol. The vital minerals in lentils will benefit you in every way.

                    You may eat them on their own or simmer them into a soup. If you want a nutritious lunch, toss them in with turkey or chicken, which gives a wonderful taste.

                    18. Peanut Butter

                      Protein Power: 7 g per 2 tablespoons serving

                      Muscle-building protein and healthy fats are the nutrients you can find in peanut butter. Study shows that peanuts can prevent cardiovascular and coronary artery disease.

                      Forget the reduced-fat versions as the healthy fat is replaced with sugar. So look for the unsalted, no sugar added varieties.

                      19. Tofu

                      Protein Power: 12 g per 3 oz serving

                      Tofu is made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. It is an ideal option for vegetarians to enjoy a high-protein diet.

                      You may prepare it in many different ways. One of the ways is to grill the tofu to create some smoky flavor

                      20. Soba Noodles

                        Protein Power: 12 g per 3 oz serving

                        The buckwheat Japanese-style noodles perhaps can be an alternative for you. Soba noodles contain more protein than most wheat-based noodles and they cook in about half the time as whole-wheat pasta.

                        You may rinse cooked soba after draining it to remove the excess starch to make the noodles taste better. You may also serve them either chilled with a dipping sauce, or in a hot broth as a noodle soup.

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                        Grains

                        21. Sprouted Whole Grain Bread

                          Protein Power: 8-12 g per 2 slices serving

                          Not all breads are perfect for your weight-loss plan as some contain a high level of carbohydrates, in other words, sugar. But this type of bread is loaded with folate-filled lentils and proteins.

                          Make a sandwich with this nutrient-dense bread. Add some avocado slices, onions, spinach, and tomatoes. This is going to be the perfect choice for your high-protein diet.

                          22. Quinoa

                          Protein Power: 8 g per 1 cup serving

                          South American quinoa contains essential amino acids and almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. The high fiber content also makes you feel fuller on a lower number of calories!

                          You may enhance the naturaly nutty flavor of quinoa by toasting it in a dry skillet or saucepan before simmering it in water.

                          Dairy

                          23. Greek Yogurt

                            Protein Power: 20 g per 7 oz serving

                            The Greek-style yogurt contains about twice as much protein as regular versions. The good bacteria in probiotics help you improve your immune system, and their most important function is to help you lose weight by ramping up your metabolism!

                            Read labels carefully to prevent buying those packed with added sugars that exceed their protein levels. Or else, you may be gaining more weight.

                            24. Milk

                            Protein Power: 8 g per 1 cup serving

                            Milk remains one of the most reliable sources of protein. Drinking milk also provides other benefits such as healthy teeth, rehydration and improved vitamin intake.

                            Milk produced from organically raised cows is richer in a range of nutrients, including body-friendly omega-3 fatty acids. So try to look for grass-fed milk instead of the conventional one.

                            Nuts and Seeds

                            25. Chia Seeds

                              Protein Power: 5 g per 1 oz serving

                              Chia seeds deliver a massive amount of nutrients with very few calories. They are loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium, which are all beneficial to your health and help you lose weight. They can also lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

                              You can eat them raw, soak them in juice, add them to porridges and puddings, or add them to baked goods. Their bland taste allows you to add them to nearly anything.

                              26. Almonds

                              Protein Power: 6 g per 1 oz serving

                              Almonds contain healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E. They can help lower blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure, and lower cholesterol levels. They also promote weight loss by reducing your hunger.

                              Eat some almonds before hitting the gym. The amino acid L-arginine can actually help you burn more fat and carbohydrates during workouts!

                              Reference

                              [1]Authority Nutrition: How Protein Can Help You Lose Weight Naturally
                              [2]Nutritional Physiology Research Centre, University of South Australia: Effects of eating fresh lean pork on cardiometabolic health parameters

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                              Sheba Leung

                              Translator. Sport lover. Traveler.

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                              How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

                              How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

                              Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

                              But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

                              Sight – Visual Stimulation

                              The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

                              1. Maximize your exposure to light.

                              Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

                              Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

                              2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

                              Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

                              Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

                              Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

                              3. Take note of your environment.

                              Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

                              By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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                              Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

                              What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

                              4. Engage in conversation.

                              Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

                              Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

                              Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

                              Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

                              5. Listen to upbeat music.

                              Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

                              Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

                              Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

                              If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

                              6. Work your nose.

                              Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

                              If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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                              Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

                              Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

                              If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

                              7. Have a good breakfast.

                              Start off with the most important meal of the day.

                              Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

                              Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

                              Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

                              20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

                              8. Drink lots of water.

                              Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

                              So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

                              How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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                              Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

                              3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

                              9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

                              Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

                              Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

                              Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

                              25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

                              Touch – Tactile Stimulation

                              Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

                              10. Splash cold water on your face.

                              Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

                              This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

                              5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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                              11. Use acupressure.

                              Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

                              Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

                              12. Get moving.

                              Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

                              And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

                              You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

                              Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

                              Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

                              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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