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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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                              Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                              How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                              How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                              Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                              Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                              I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                              You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                              Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                              When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                              I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                              Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                              Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                              Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                              1. The Inner Critic

                              This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                              • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                              • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                              • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                              • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                              The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                              Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                              2. The Worrier

                              This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                              The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                              3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                              This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                              This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                              The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                              4. The Sleep Depriver

                              This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                              The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                              • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                              • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                              • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                              • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                              How can you control these squatters?

                              How to Master Your Mind

                              You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                              Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                              There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                              • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                              • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                              This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                              The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                              Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                              For the Inner Critic

                              When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                              You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                              For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                              You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                              “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                              If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                              • They rile up the Worrier.
                              • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                              • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                              • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                              • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                              Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                              Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                              For the Worrier

                              Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                              Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                              You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                              • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                              • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                              • Muscles tense

                              Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                              If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                              Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                              “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                              Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                              If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                              Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                              Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                              For example:

                              If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                              “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                              Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                              “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                              Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                              For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                              Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                              The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                              • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                              • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                              • Muscles tension

                              I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                              Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                              Breathe in through your nose:

                              • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                              • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                              • Focus on your belly rising.

                              Breathe out through your nose:

                              • Feel your lungs emptying.
                              • Focus on your belly falling.
                              • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                              Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                              Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                              One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                              Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                              For the Sleep Depriver

                              (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                              I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                              Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                              1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                              2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                              When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                              From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                              For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                              If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                              You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                              • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                              • Shut down your thinking.
                              • Calm your feelings.
                              • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                              The Bottom Line

                              Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                              You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                              Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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                              Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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