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High-Protein Diet for Weight Loss

Going on a high-protein diet may help you tame your hunger, which could help you lose weight.

You can try it by adding some extra protein to your meals. Give yourself a week, boosting protein gradually. 

Remember, calories still count. You'll want to make good choices when you pick your protein.

If you plan to add a lot of protein to your diet, or if you have liver or kidney disease, check with your doctor first.

The Best Protein Sources

Choose protein sources that are nutrient-rich and lower in fat and calories, such as:

  • Lean meats
  • Seafood
  • Beans
  • Soy
  • Low-fat dairy

It's a good idea to change up your protein foods. For instance, you could have salmon or other fish that's rich in omega-3s, beans or lentils that give you fiber as well as protein, walnuts on your salad, or almonds on your oatmeal.

How much protein are you getting? Here's how many grams of protein are in these foods: 

1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese: 14

3 ounces tofu, firm: 13

1/2 cup lentils: 9

2 tablespoons peanut butter: 8

1 ounce meat, fish, poultry: 7

1 ounce cheese: 7

1/2 cup cooked kidney beans: 7

1 ounce nuts: 7

1 large egg: 6

4 ounces low-fat yogurt: 6

4 ounces soy milk: 5

4 ounces milk: 4

Carbs and Fats

While you're adding protein to your diet, you should also stock up on "smart carbs" such as:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains

Also try healthy fats such as:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Olives
  • Oils
  • Fish
  • Avocado

To help manage your appetite, it also helps to split your daily calories into four or five smaller meals or snacks.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on September 21, 2012
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