High Protein Foods Can Help You Lose Weight and Build Muscle

High protein foods are currently becoming the main course of the most popular diets being followed today. Some of the more popular diets are: High-Protein Diet, the Stone Age Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, the Atkins diet, the Weight Watches Diet and the Calorie Restriction Diet, among others.

Among all these diets, the high protein diet is number one on the popularity charts. The reason behind the popularity is due to the fact that almost everyone is able to benefit from a diet high in protein and those that reduce their carbs and up their protein typically see very fast results in the terms of weight loss and muscle gain. It's not that there is any magic behind protein but that it is more filling and contains less calories than majority of the carb rich foods that people consume. Although that is the main reason there are some great things about protein that help with building muscle and burning fat

What is Protein?

High protein foods contain large amounts of the body's basic building blocks. Making up about sixteen percent of total physical body weight, our connective tissues, skin, nails, hair, muscles and internal organs are all made of protein. Protein also partially makes up important bodily chemicals such as our enzymes, neurotransmitters, DNA and hormones. Consisting of amino acid chains utilized by our physical bodies for growing, foods that are high in protein are recommended both for body builders and for athletes.

Amino acids are what make up protein. The human body cannot create all nine of the amino acids and so we consume food that contains all the amino acids in the diet. When it comes to high protein foods, animal protein has all the amino acids you need and there are some plants that contain them as well.

Protein-rich food is calculated by how many of the individual amino acids it is able to provide. Different foods contain different amounts of amino acids. Complete proteins contain all the essential amino acids like fish, beef or chicken. Proteins derived from plants lack one or more essential amino acids. Soy products are the exception to this rule as well as the seeds of the leafy Amaranth, which is consumed both in the Mediterranean and in Asia.

Protein has nitrogen which is an essential chemical for producing antibodies. Since our physical bodies prefer to hold on to nitrogen when eating high protein foods, protein is thus usually converted to carbs rather than to fat. Chemical reactions such as this take up more energy and thus help you burn calories even while you are at rest. Consuming foods high in protein every meal helps in appetite reduction.

The most protein rich foods include steak, chicken, cooked fish, pork, beans, tofu and eggs but you can also get protein from nuts and seeds including cashews, almonds, pecans, peanuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

Food high in protein is effective for people who want to lose fat and body weight. Many high protein kinds of foods are low in both saturated fat and carbohydrates.

People who gain weight usually do because of both saturated fat and undigested carbs which turn to body fat. Thus, diets rich in high protein foods will result in you taking in less saturated fat in your food as well as less carbs. To lose fat and weight, it is essential that you eat little or no saturated fat. A recent trend in healthy weight loss has been the use of intermittent fasting to reduce total calorie consumption and cleanse the body.

How much high protein foods you really need?

It really will depend on your activity level, size and age. Nutritionists utilize a standard method for estimating each individual's minimum protein requirement. The method for determining this is to multiply your weight in pounds by .37 or your weight in kilograms by .8. Bodybuilders and most athletes swear by the golden rule of 1 gram - 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.

High protein foods that are from animals tend to have a better quality than the protein derived from plants. Plant sourced protein has a tendency to contain a lower biological value compared to animal sources of protein. Combine food sources to gain a total source of protein, especially for those who are trying to build big muscles rapidly.

High protein foods break down in the stomach and are converted into amino acids. This is then absorbed by the body and utilized to repair muscles and supply nutrients.


List of High Protein Foods


Black beans 1/2 cup cooked 113  7.6 20.4  .5
Garbanzo (chickpeas) 1/2 cup cooked 134  7.3 22.5 2.1
Kidney beans 1/2 cup cooked 112  7.6 20.1  .4
Lentil beans 1/2 cup cooked 115  8.9 19.9  .4
Lima beans 1/2 cup cooked 108  7.3 19.6  .4
Navy beans 1/2 cup cooked 129  7.9 24.0  .5
Soybeans (edamame) 1/2 cup cooked 127 11.1 10.0 5.8
Tofu 1/2 cup fresh 94 10.0  2.3 5.9


Cheddar cheese 1 ounce 114   7.1   .4 9.4
Cottage cheese 1/2 cup 110 14.0 3.1 5.0
Cottage cheese, lowfat 1/2 cup   90 16.0 3.0 1.0
Egg 1 large   75   6.3 0 5.0
Milk, lowfat 1 cup 121   8.1 11.7 4.7
Milk, skim 1 cup   86   8.4 11.8   .4
Muenster cheese 1 ounce 104   6.7   .3 8.5
Swiss cheese 1 ounce 107   8.1 1.0 7.8
Yogurt, lowfat 1 cup 144 11.9 16 3.5
Yogurt, nonfat 1 cup 127 13.0 17.4   .4


Anchovies, in water 1 ounce 37  5.8 0  1.4
Halibut 3 ounces 93 17.7 0  2.0
Mackerel 3 ounces 180 15.8 0 11.8
Salmon 3 ounces 121 16.9 0 5.4
Sardines, in water 1 can 130 22.0 0 5.0
Tuna, tongol 1/4 cup 70 16.0 0 0


Oatmeal, rough cut 1 cup 145 6.0 25.2 2.4
Pancake, buckwheat 1 4" diameter 54 1.8 6.4 2.2
Pancake, whole wheat 1 4" diameter 74 3.4 8.8 3.2
Popcorn, dry 1 cup 54 1.8 10.7 .7
Rice, brown, cooked 1/2 cup 108 2.4 22.8 .8
Rye bread 1 slice 56 2.1 12 .3
Whole wheat bread 1 slice 56 2.4 11 .7


Chicken breast 4 ounces 193 29.3 0 7.6
Chicken, light meat, no skin 4 ounces 196 35.1 0 5.1
Chicken, dark meat, no skin 4 ounces 232 31.0 0 5.1
Turkey, light meat, no skin 4 ounces 178 33.9 0 3.7
Turkey, dark meat, no skin 4 ounces 212 32.4 0 8.2
gain 41 lbs of muscle in 24 weeks