High Protein Diet Foods for Weight Loss

If you do your research, not all calories are equal. Certain ones are needed in higher content while others less needed. Also, various food items you eat, go through many metabolic processes and pathways in your body. They can have a great effect on your hormones, hunger, and the amount of calories you burn.

Among the various food item that you consume, you must never forget or avoid proteins. They play a major role in keeping your healthy and mentally fit. Unlike other nutrients that are important for your body, protein needs to be consumed everyday so that it meets your body’s requirement to be active and fresh.

Do you know the DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) of protein? It is 0.36 grams for each pound of body weight or 0.8 grams per kg. Also, there are various evidence that clearly show that by taking high protein intake will lead to weight loss and other health benefits.

Definition of Protein & Why You Must Have It?

Protein is one of the three major macro nutrients along with fat and carbs. The following roles are done by it in your body –

  • Maintenance & Repair: Do you know protein is one of the major components for your bones, muscles, hair and skin. Also, these tissues are extensively repaired as well as replaced with new proteins.
  • Hormones: Chemical messenger protein will allow your organs and cells present in your body to communicate with each other.
  • Enzymes: Keep in mind that most of the enzymes you must consume are proteins. The thousands of chemical reactions that is happening in your body is caused (driven) by them.
  • Storage & Transportation:  There are certain proteins that assist in delivering necessary molecules whenever or wherever they are required. For example, the protein haemoglobin helps in carrying oxygen to the cells present in your body. Also, proteins are made up of smaller units called amino acids.

Among the various 22 amino acids, somewhat 9 are essential. So, it means that one needs to consume them in food as your body won’t be able to make them. Most importantly, there are certain food stuffs which can bring in better protein compared to others, based on the amino acid profile.

Generally, if you check, most animal products are considered as “whole protein”. This is because they have all the required amino acids that your human body requires. And these consist of diary, eggs, meat, poultry and fish.

Unlike the animal protein, vegetable proteins won’t provide the required or necessary amounts of amino acids. However, they can be combined with other plant sources to make a complete protein. Grains, beans, legumes, nuts, soy, etc are the perfect example of the best and high protein-based foods.

Even though the quality of the protein is significant, still the key lies in the amount of protein you consume. There are various researches which clearly state that the current protein recommendations that people have might be very low and won’t make you healthy in the long run.

Effects Protein Diet Will Have on Weight Loss

Now there are various researches which clearly state that increasing your protein can be good. It can have an impressive effect on your metabolic rate, appetite, body composition and weight.

Fullness & Appetite

Now by consuming more amount of protein can assist in suppressing your appetite as well as hunger after eating. Also, protein can help in increasing the production of hormones like GLP-1 and PYY. Both of these can assist you in feeling full as well as satisfied. Plus, they can even help to lower the ghrelin levels which are often called the “hunger hormone”.

A study was conducted on 12 healthy women. In that group they consumed a good and high protein diet. They were able to experience higher levels of GLP-1, feeling of fullness and less hunger compared to the group who consumed less protein diet. Because of the effect’s protein has on appetite and being full, you might feel like going with high protein intake as it will naturally reduce the intake of food.

Another study was conducted in which 19 healthy young people could consume as much as they wanted. Here the diet consisted of 30% protein and they ended up in consuming on an average of about 441 less calories each day. This was followed by a diet that contains only 11% protein.

There is another reason on why protein is very much satisfying. It is simply related to increasing the metabolic rate which happens during digestion.

Metabolic Rate

Keep in mind that a huge amount of protein will increase the amount of calories you burn. In addition, protein digestion can help in boosting the metabolic rate by 20-35%. This is in comparison to the 5-15% increase for digesting fat or carbs.

There are multiple studies that clearly show that people consuming huge amount of proteins will end up in burning more calories for long hours even after eating food. Among the studies which were conducted on 10-20 healthy women, the consumption of high amount of protein diet on a single day end up in increasing their metabolic rate. This was even after they consume meals and twice as much as eating high carb diet for a single day.

Body Composition & Weight Loss

It might not surprise most people that proteins have the best ability to suppress appetite. It can even promote fullness and help in improving one’s metabolism that simply helps in losing weight. Various high-quality studies prove that by increasing the amount of protein intake, one can promote fat loss as well as weight.

A six-month diet study was conducted on 65 obese and overweight women. In them the high protein group lost an average of 45% more amount of fat compared to the high-carb ones. Besides that, more than 35% of women who were in the high-protein group simply lost to about 22 pounds (which is nothing but 10kgs).

Other Major Benefits of Protein

Besides the favorable ones that affect your weight, protein even assists in improving one’s health in many ways. Some of them are –

  1. Increasing Muscle Mass: There are multiple studies that show that a high intake of protein can increase one’s muscle size and strength. All this when it is combined with resistance training.
  2. Reducing Loss of Muscles While Aging: Many people lose muscles while aging. A study clearly showed that by adding or consuming protein shake can help in protecting one’s muscle health as they get older. It can be great for avoiding age-related muscle loss.
  3. Strengthening Bones: High amount of protein intake can promote good bone health. A study was shown that older women having high amount of animal protein intake experienced about 70% reduction in the risk of having hip fracture.
  4. Healing Wound: There are studies that clearly show that having high-protein diet will enhance one’s healing power. This is especially for wounds related to injury or surgery.

Protein Food Items You Might Have to Chop On


Once it was feared to be high in cholesterol, now the surprising aspect is that the whole egg is making a huge comeback. But the intake of eggs might raise the levels of bad cholesterol for some people yet they are still one of the best food to consume to lose weight. Not only they are high in proteins but even in fat.

A study was conducted on 30 overweight women. In that it was shown that consuming eggs for breakfast, rather than a bagel helped in increasing the feeling of fullness. It even made the participants consume less food for the next 36 hours. Even another eight-week study was done, which showed that eggs for breakfast lead to increasing weight loss. This was only applicable on a diet that is restricted compared to the bagels.

Furthermore, eggs are very much nutrient dense. They can assist you in getting all the required nutrients you want based on the calorie-restricted diet. You might be surprised to know that all the nutrients are easily found in the yolks.

Leafy Greens

It is good to consume leafy greens like spinach, kale, swiss chard, collards, and others. Do you know that these veggies have various properties that can be perfect for your weight loss diet? One of the major one is being low in calories and carbohydrates. Most importantly, they are simply loaded with fibers.

In addition, consuming leafy green is one of the best methods to increase the volume of your meals. That is even without increasing the calories. Various studies display that meals and diet having low energy density will end up making people consume less calories. Also, leafy greens are very nutritious and are even high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals like calcium which can help in burning fat.


Now you might get surprised to know that fatty fish like salmon is very much healthy. Not only it is satisfying but can keep you full for various hours and that too with less calories. Also, salmon is filled with high quality protein, healthy fats and other necessary nutrients.

In general fish and normal seafood have good amount of iodine. These nutrients are very much required for the proper function of the thyroid. Now this is necessary for keeping your metabolism high.

Various studies prove that most people don’t have good amount of iodine. In addition, salmon is filled with omega-3 fatty acids and they can easily help in reducing inflammation. This plays a great role in metabolic diseases and obesity. Trout, mackerel, herring, sardines and other fatty fishes are even great for your diet.

Chicken Breast and Lean Beef

For a long time, meat has been unfairly demonized. Most people have been blaming it for various health issues even though there isn’t any good evidence to back up for the negative claims. Even though processed meat is unhealthy, studies even prove that unprocessed raw meat won’t simply increase the risk of having heart diseases and diabetes.

As per various studies, it shows that red meat will only weaken the correlation with cancer among men and not the correlation in women. Also, meat is weight loss friendly food as it has a good amount of proteins. Among the various nutrients, protein is the most filling one. Also, eating a high protein diet can help in burning up to 80-100 calories each day.

Multiple studies show that by increasing the amount of protein intake, which is about 25% of your daily calories craving can be reduced to about 60%. This will reduce the need for late-night snacks by half and can lead to weight loss to somewhat about one pound each week. Now if you are low on carb diet, then you can go ahead and consume fatty meats. But you do have to be moderate and choose lean meat which might be good.

Boiled Potatoes

For some reason certain people have a great affinity over white potatoes. But what these people never realize is that they have many properties to be the perfect food. This is good for both weight loss as well as optimal health.

Most importantly, potatoes have a wide range of nutrients, which is a bit of all the things you need. In addition, they have been accounts of individuals who have been living on nothing but potatoes alone for a long period of time. Besides being high in potassium, which is the common nutrients that most people don’t get a lot, it plays a great role in controlling blood pressure.

Winding Up

It is good to have a good protein diet. Not only you end up in losing weight, but you even become more active. Plus, on the safer side, you can easily fit into your old clothes, which you really wanted to try out for. Frankly, protein filled diet is great, but you need to be cautious not to exceed the required amounts. It might lead to various other health complications.Balance.


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.

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