The Greatest Sources of Lean Protein to Lose Fats



If you happen to’re trying to lose fats and get lean, getting sufficient protein is essential.


Analysis exhibits that while you need to construct extra muscle and lose fats, aggressively reducing energy or complete meals teams out of your eating regimen is a recipe for catastrophe (1). 

First, reducing too many energy is unhealthy and might stall your metabolism. It may possibly additionally result in nutrient deficiencies and muscle mass loss whereas leaving you weak, dizzy, and drained. 

Whereas we could drop extra pounds with them initially, fashionable diets that don’t match into our way of life or depart us feeling disadvantaged aren’t sustainable long-term.

What does work? Consuming extra protein.

Quite than banishing all carbs, research present that shifting your focus to prioritizing consuming extra lean wholesome protein, mixed with a balanced eating regimen and common exercise, is a greater technique for long-term weight reduction (2).

In reality, a serious purpose many people aren’t seeing the size transfer or coaching is that we’re not consuming sufficient protein. It may possibly additionally preserve us from persevering with to construct energy whereas coaching.

Mixed with a balanced, nutritious diet and common exercise, that is the best way to go.

Why Is Protein So Vital for Fats Loss and Weight Administration?

There are two main causes:

1. Protein Boosts Metabolism 

Protein helps us construct muscle. Muscle burns extra energy than fats.

So having extra muscle mass can enhance the variety of energy (power) you burn even whereas resting, which is named your basal metabolic charge (BMR).

Consuming sufficient protein together with energy and resistance coaching may also help us construct extra muscle.

How a lot muscle you placed on takes time and is determined by numerous components, together with age, gender, genetics, physique measurement, and composition. 

2. Protein Makes Us Really feel Full

Protein is extra satiating than carbs or fats. 

Once we eat protein, it triggers the physique to cut back the “starvation hormone” ghrelin and as a substitute boosts the degrees of a hormone known as peptide YY that makes you are feeling full.

So consuming loads of protein can have an effect on the quantity of meals we eat total.

The Digestion Of Protein Additionally Burns Energy

Our physique requires power to interrupt down meals into smaller, absorbable molecules our cells can use. 

We all know this course of because the thermic impact of meals.

Right here’s what’s nice about protein:

  • 20-35% of the energy within the protein we eat get burned throughout digestion!

Solely 5-15% of carbohydrate energy get burned throughout digestion, whereas fat are simply 5%.

A selection of lean protein sources on a table including beef, eggs, cottage cheese, legumes, and more with a sign that says "amino acids"

What’s Protein Precisely?

Like fat and carbohydrates, protein is a macronutrient or “macro.” These vitamins our physique makes use of within the best quantities.

Once we eat protein, the physique breaks it down into amino acids by the method of digestion. ‌

Our cells then use amino acids for a wide range of totally different vital features, together with

  • Progress and restore of tissues (like muscle)
  • Manufacturing of enzymes and hormones 
  • Manufacturing of blood.
  • Immune perform
  • Assist of wholesome hair, nails, and pores and skin.

Whereas there are over 500 amino acids in nature, the tissues of the human physique want solely about 20 to make all of the proteins it requires (3). 

9 of those amino acids are important, which implies the physique can’t make them by itself and we are able to solely get them by the meals that we eat. 

Wholesome Truth: Not consuming sufficient protein could cause muscle loss, dry pores and skin, slowed metabolism, hair loss, and brittle nails (4).

What Are the Greatest Sources of Protein For Fats Loss and Constructing Muscle?

Protein is extra satiating than fat or carbs. 

Lean sources of protein have a decrease fats and calorie content material and are finest for fats loss.

If you happen to’re hungry shortly after consuming, it’s your physique’s means of telling you it wants extra protein (5).

A selection of lean protein sources on a wooden table including salmon, beef, chicken, beans, eggs, legumes, and more.

Listed here are among the finest sources of protein for weight reduction

1. Meats (per 4-ounce serving)

The precise quantity of protein in a serving of meat can fluctuate relying on components, resembling the precise reduce of meat and the way it’s ready. 

These estimates ought to offer you a good suggestion of the protein content material of a 4-ounce serving of every sort of meat.

  • Turkey Breast = 30 grams of protein.
  • Rooster Breast = 28 grams of protein.
  • Lean Beef (filet, sirloin, or tenderloin) = 30-35 grams of protein.
  • Lean Pork (tenderloin or loin) =  22-24 grams of protein.

2. Fish (per 4-ounce serving)

Moreover being an amazing supply of protein, fatty fish like salmon and sardines are additionally wonderful sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked in research to a wide range of well being advantages (6).

  • Salmon = 25-30 grams of protein.
  • Tuna (canned, in water) = 20-25 grams of protein.
  • Cod = 20-25 grams of protein.
  • Haddock = 20-25 grams of protein.
  • Shrimp = 20-25 grams of protein.
  • Scallops = 20-25 grams of protein.
  • Halibut = 20-25 grams of protein.
  • Sardines (canned, in oil) = 20 grams of protein.

3. Eggs

Incorporating complete eggs or egg whites into your eating regimen generally is a good method to enhance your protein consumption with out consuming quite a lot of energy

Moreover protein, eggs are additionally an exquisite supply of different vitamins, resembling vitamin D, vitamin B12, and choline. 

Some research present that consuming eggs for breakfast could assist promote emotions of fullness and scale back calorie consumption later within the day (7). 

  • 1 Complete Egg, Massive (80 energy) = 6 grams of protein.
  • 1 Egg White, Massive (17 energy)  = 3.6 grams of protein
  • 1 Egg Yolk (63 energy) = 2.4 grams of protein

Eggs are additionally tremendous versatile! 

  • Use complete eggs to make omelets, and scrambled eggs or bake into muffin tins with veggies
  • Eat hard-boiled eggs as a snack, sliced into salads, or on whole-grain bread
  • Add liquid egg whites to smoothies or stir into oatmeal

If you happen to’re involved concerning the ldl cholesterol in eggs, it’s vital to notice that latest analysis means that for most individuals, dietary ldl cholesterol doesn’t have a big affect on blood levels of cholesterol or coronary heart well being (8). 

Nonetheless, when you’ve got excessive ldl cholesterol or different well being considerations, it’s all the time a good suggestion to talk together with your physician or a registered dietitian earlier than altering your eating regimen.

4. Dairy

Dairy is a good supply of protein, and there are lots of low-fat and fat-free choices obtainable that may assist you meet your protein wants whereas maintaining your calorie consumption in examine.

  • Plain Greek Yogurt (¾ cup) = 18-20 grams of protein.

Greek yogurt is a high-protein dairy model of yogurt and can be a great supply of calcium and probiotics, which might profit intestine well being.

Select low or full-fat varieties that are extra satiating than fat-free choices.

  • Cottage Cheese (½ cup) = 14-16 grams of protein. 

Cottage cheese can be a wonderful supply of calcium and different vitamins like vitamin B12.

  • Kefir (8 ounces) = 8-10 grams of proteins

Kefir is a fermented milk drink just like yogurt however has a thinner consistency. It accommodates probiotics, which assist intestine well being and immunity.

  • Cheese (1 ounce) = 6-8 grams of protein (on common)

The precise quantity of protein in a serving of cheese can fluctuate relying on the sort and model. Cheese can be a wonderful supply of calcium and different vitamins. 

If you happen to’re engaged on fats loss, eat full-fat cheese moderately because it’s excessive in energy.

  • Whey Protein & Casein Protein (30 grams)  =  20-30 grams per scoop 

Whey and casein are two sorts of proteins present in milk that you would be able to purchase as dietary supplements to assist muscle development and restoration. Add to smoothies, shakes, eggs, yogurt, and baked items to spice up their protein content material. 

Whey protein is a fast-digesting protein that’s absorbed shortly by the physique, making it preferrred for post-workout restoration. 

Casein protein is a slow-digesting protein that’s absorbed extra slowly, offering a sustained launch of amino acids. 

5. Legumes

Legumes, which embrace all beans, lentils, and peas, are a wonderful supply of plant-based protein. They’re additionally excessive in fiber, which may also help preserve you feeling full and glad.

  • Beans (½ cup) = 7-10 grams of protein

Beans of all types, together with black beans and kidney beans, are versatile and nutritious! They’re excessive in nutritional vitamins and minerals, like folate, iron, and potassium.

  • Lentils (½ cup) =  8-10 grams of protein

Lentils can be found in many sorts, resembling brown, inexperienced, and pink lentils, and are additionally a wholesome supply of iron and different vitamins.

  • Chickpeas (½ cup) = 7-8 grams of protein

Chickpeas, often known as garbanzo beans, are a great supply of fiber, nutritional vitamins, and minerals, like folate and manganese. Use in dishes like hummus and falafel. 

  • Black-eyed peas (½ cup) = 6-7 grams of protein
  • Peas (½ cup) =  4-5 grams of protein

Peas are a great supply of fiber, nutritional vitamins, and minerals, like vitamin C and vitamin Okay. Add to soups and stews.

  • Soybeans (1/2 cup) = 15-20 grams of protein
  • Edamame (1/2 cup) = 8-9 grams of protein

6. Extra Plant-Based mostly Choices for Vegetarians and Vegetarians

  • Soy milk (1 cup) = 8 grams of protein per cup
  • Pea Protein Isolate  (1 cup) = 15 and 20 grams of protein

Produced from yellow peas, this one is a good substitute for dairy-based protein dietary supplements. It’s usually added to non-dairy milk choices to spice up their protein content material.

  • Tofu (3 ounces) =  7-9 grams of protein

Tofu, often known as bean curd, is a soy-based product that’s generally used as a meat substitute. It’s a great supply of calcium and iron.

  • Tempeh (3-ounce) = 11-15 grams of protein

Tempeh is a fermented soy product that has a agency texture and a nutty taste and can be a great supply of probiotics.

  • Seitan (3 ounces) =  15-20 grams of protein

Seitan, often known as wheat meat, is a high-protein, meat-like meals constituted of wheat gluten and is a wonderful supply of iron and different vitamins.

  • Quinoa (1 cup) = 8 grams of protein

A scrumptious edible seed from South America with a grain-like texture, quinoa is an entire supply of plant protein and folate, magnesium, and fiber.

Nuts and seeds, resembling almonds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds, are additionally great sources of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and wholesome fat with round 6-8 grams of protein per 1/4 cup. 

They’re excessive in energy, so if weight reduction or upkeep is your aim, eat them moderately. 

The Advantages and Drawbacks of Completely different Protein Sources

When selecting protein sources, it’s vital to think about the advantages and downsides of various choices. 

For instance:

  • Plant-based protein sources are sometimes decrease in energy and better in fiber than animal-based choices. Not all plant-based sources present an entire vary of important amino acids. 
  • Animal-based protein sources are sometimes increased in energy and saturated fats, however are additionally sometimes extra full sources of important amino acids. 

It’s vital to decide on a wide range of protein sources to make sure that you’re getting an entire vary of vitamins and amino acids.

Suggestions for Incorporating Protein into Your Meals and Snacks

There are various simple methods to include protein into your meals and snacks. 

Listed here are some concepts to get you began:

  • Add a scoop of protein powder to your smoothie or oatmeal.
  • Prime your salad with grilled hen or shrimp and a scoop of beans.
  • Snack on a hard-boiled egg or a handful of almonds.
  • Dip uncooked veggies in hummus or Greek yogurt dip
  • Make a batch of hard-boiled eggs initially of the week for a fast and simple snack.
  • Use legumes in a wide range of dishes, resembling salads, soups, and stews. 

A plate of grilled white fish and vegetables on a plate.

How A lot Protein Do You Want Every Day?

The quantity of protein you want is determined by a wide range of components, together with your physique weight, exercise stage, and health objectives (9).  

Some specialists suggest consuming as much as 0.8-1 gram of protein per pound of physique weight per day to assist muscle development and restore.

Nonetheless, for those who’re trying to lose fats and construct lean muscle, chances are you’ll want to extend your protein consumption.

If You’re Sedentary: The really useful dietary allowance of protein for an grownup is 0.8 grams per kilogram of physique weight. 

1 pound = 2.2 kilograms

Which means an individual weighing 150 kilos (68 kilograms) ought to eat at the least 55 grams of protein per day.

If You’re Over the Age of 40: To keep away from dropping muscle mass (sarcopenia) your protein wants to extend to about 1–1.2 grams per kilogram. Or 60–80 grams per day for a 150 lb individual.

If You’re Lively: If you happen to train repeatedly, you’ll additionally want about 1.1–1.5 grams of protein per kilogram.

If You Commonly Carry Weights or Are in Coaching: Intention for 1.2–1.7 grams of protein per kilogram. 

If You’re Overweight: You should alter your weight earlier than calculating your must keep away from overestimating and consuming an excessive amount of protein. Use this online calculator.

Consuming greater than 2 grams of protein per kilogram of physique weight per day has been linked to potential well being dangers, resembling kidney injury and dehydration. (10)

Use These On-line Instruments

Use this online calculator to estimate your private day by day protein wants.

Or, obtain a food-tracking app like MyFitnessPal or MyPlate to calculate your protein necessities and assist you preserve monitor of your protein and nutrient consumption every day.

It’s also possible to see a dietitian that will help you develop a personalised plan to your objectives. 


To lose fats or preserve a wholesome physique weight, consuming extra lean protein throughout meals and snacks can increase metabolism and preserve us extra satiated, so we eat much less.

The quantity of protein we have to lose fats or preserve a wholesome weight varies from individual to individual. Age, weight and exercise ranges are all components to think about.

Seek the advice of together with your physician, healthcare supplier, or nutritionist about how a lot protein you ought to be consuming.