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Top 10 List of Protein Rich Foods for Weight Loss

Updated on September 3, 2016
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Mark is a health and fitness advocate and has over 20 years experience in the field of fitness and exercise, nutrition, and well-being.

Protein is probably the number one talked about subject in the bodybuilding and weight loss industry today. Eating a high protein diet has become synonymous with most weight loss programs, and duly so. Protein is low in calories, responsible for building fat burning muscles, and contributes to burning fat more rapidly.

Build Sexy Fat Burning Muscles

There are hundreds of protein products and supplements sold at stores and online such a protein powders for quick and easy shakes to drink on the go. There are many brands of protein bars packed with protein and pre-made drinks you can buy just about anywhere.

Stock you refrigerator with plenty of protein rich foods.
Stock you refrigerator with plenty of protein rich foods.

Protein Rich Foods for Weight Loss

If you are looking for something more natural to get your daily protein intake and need some ideas, here are my top ten protein rich foods that are natural and healthy choices. I have also added a quick and easy bonus recipe to hopefully make your protein consumption easier and more enjoyable. So let’s get started.


My number one high protein food is eggs. Not only one of the most eaten foods for breakfast, but also one of the most eaten foods by athletes and bodybuilders. One large egg packs about 5 grams of protein and contains all of the essential amino acids needed to build muscle. If you are concerned about cholesterol, you can remove the yokes, or buy egg whites at your local grocery store.

Eggs can be eaten any time of the day and made in many different ways. Eggs are used in many recipes and can be cooked to make delicious omelets and scrambled eggs, or just plain old sunny side up or soft and hard boiled. If you’re working out hard and trying to achieve that perfect physique, start stocking up your refrigerator with eggs.


A great source of protein that everyone loves.
A great source of protein that everyone loves.

I’m sure most of you anticipated chicken as being my second choice. Chicken is not only high in protein, but can be bought just about anywhere and ordered in most restaurants around the world. There are literally thousands of recipes for chicken lovers. Personally, I enjoy just a plain old rotisserie style chicken; without the skin of course.

Four ounces of chicken packs approximately 35 grams of protein. A chicken breast contains about 30 grams of protein, a chicken thigh about 10 grams, the drumstick about 11 grams, and the chicken wing about 6 grams.


More high protein foods would include beef and bison. There are many forms of beef on the market today. You can buy a variety of beef cuts from steaks to ground beef or ground bison meat. Bison has a somewhat sweeter taste and lower fat content than most beef. Four ounces of either meat is approximately 35 grams of protein. You may also consider looking into pork and veal.

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High in protein and healthy fats.
High in protein and healthy fats.

Fish is another great source of protein with about the same amount of protein per ounce as poultry and meat. One added benefit of fish is its lower fat content, and the fats that are present are healthy omega fats. Unfortunately, fish is not a favorite for most due to its smell and fishy taste. If you’re looking for something less fishy, try tilapia or even salmon. Salmon may have more of an odor when raw, but when cooked the odor is much less. Otherwise, tuna is another great option and can be eaten without much prep time if any at all. Tuna is also great to take on the go and does not need refrigeration if sealed.


Most of you may only eat turkey once or twice a year for the holidays. But you don’t need to cook a whole turkey to eat turkey. Stores sell turkey steaks which can be cooked just like any other steak on the grill or in a pan. Ground turkey is also a great for making burgers or even a Sloppy Joe. Four ounces of turkey contain approximately the same amount of protein as chicken, being 35 grams.


Two alternative high protein foods for the vegetarian crowd would be Peanuts and almonds. Although a high source of protein and fiber, these little buggers are also high in calories and fats. So go gentle with these guys. Nonetheless, these are great as a spread, such as peanut butter or almond butter. One cup of peanuts equates to approximately 35 grams of protein, and a cup of almonds 20 grams of protein.

Top Benefits of Protein

Raises metabolism

Keeps you feeling full

Builds fat burning muscle

Stabilizes blood sugar


Two of my favorites in this category are oatmeal and quinoa. Oatmeal is one of the best breakfast foods to start your day. Most would not know that oatmeal has over 10 grams of protein per cup. Not only high in protein, oatmeal will also provide you with the energy you need to get you through your morning.

Quinoa, a little known secret for many, is a whole grain prepared similar to rice. Quinoa has a little over 8 grams of protein per cup and is relatively low in calories compared to nuts.


If you are into dairy, then milk and cheese should be right up your alley. One cup of 2% milk contains approximately 10 grams of protein. More dairy products high in protein would also include cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese. Fat content must be considered for those of you on a weight loss diet. Cottage cheese is a great slow release protein best taken before bed. Its slow absorption time will keep feeding your muscles with protein throughout the night.


Another great source of protein are beans. The most popular among these beans and with the highest protein content are by far the soybeans. One cup of soybeans contain approximately 28 grams of protein, whereas most other beans such as pinto, kidney, lima beans, and navy beans fall in the 15 grams of protein per cup.


This may not be one of the natural foods to consume, but it is for most of us a necessity in order to get in our daily protein limits for the day. You may not need to consume large amounts of protein if you are on a weight loss regimen, but if you are building muscle then getting 150 to 200 grams of protein or more per day is not always easy. That is where the protein shakes and bars come in handy. There are many types to choose from, including vegetarian. And the flavors are limitless.

Bonus Protein Rich Pancake Recipe

Here is my BONUS protein recipe I think you’ll love. It is easy to prepare and tastes delicious. I almost feel guilty every time I eat them. These are the healthiest ‘pancakes’ you’ll ever eat. Enjoy.

Take one cup of egg white and mix in 1 scoop of your favorite slow release casein protein powder. Mix with a whisk until thick and pour into a pan and cook as if you were making pancakes.

Closing Remarks

Losing weight and maintaining a healthy physique does not mean starving yourself or resorting to unhealthy fad diets. Eating healthy, smaller meals throughout the day and adding protein rich foods that will not only keep you feeling full longer but are also much lower in calories is a far better approach to maintaining a healthy weight.

If you enjoyed our article on protein rich foods, please feel free to give us a like or share. You may also be interested in reading “High Protein Oatmeal Recipe to Build Muscle and Lose Weight”.

Thanks for your time, stay healthy, and leave us a comment.

© 2016 John Mark


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    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 

      2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      My husband and I are on a low carb diet and we do get a lot of these proteins and it does work. We both lost some weight and the more we eat of them the less we desire the sweet things. Thanks for sharing your information.

    • profile image

      Beverly O'Neil Ryfa 

      4 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing your time and information with any tricks of gimmicks.


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