9 High Protein Foods

what are high protein foods for weight loss picture

Let’s cut to the chase: what are high protein foods for weight loss?

Here’s 9 of em’:

  1. Lentils
  2. Tofu
  3. Black beans
  4. Cooked Quinoa
  5. Peanut Butter
  6. Cashews
  7. Almonds
  8. Lactose Free Cheese

Here are some cartoon images of what these 9 Proteins (25g of protein each) looks like:

25 grams of protein

What are high protein foods for weight loss?

I want to get specific from a nutritional standpoint.

Are you ready? 

But instead of just giving you lists of calories, vitamins, and minerals …

I’d like to talk to you in terms of VALUE.

Value is always being spoken about here in San Jose, where I reside and work as an Overeating Disorder Coach.

So value, let’s talk about value, shall we?

The value of food is not created equal.

Said differently, not all foods are created equal.

And the point I’d like to make the most clear is this: a calorie is not just a calorie!!

You don’t lose weight fast by eating less!

You lose weight by switching to foods with more VALUE.

Value is worth more. So you don’t have to have as much.

Does this make sense at a conceptual level?

So the old equation calorie in = calorie out …

It just isn’t true!

Truth be told back when I was a Personal Trainer, I am embarrassed to admit that while I was in good shape myself, I knew very little about how to help others lose weight.

I was taught by my gym manager how to explain diets to people. He said, ‘a calorie is just a calorie’ so if you eat less calories the body will burn fat and you’ll lose weight.

Sigh. Oh. My Gosh. Looking back, that was terrible advice.

Nowadays, as a San Jose Coach focusing on helping people stop overeating, I think much differently.

That’s what many of us are told, right?

Just eat less.

But here’s why that slogan is demonstrably false:

A calorie of donut is just a calorie, right?

A calorie of a donut is then equal to the calorie of an avocado, or a nut, or fruit, correct?

Do you see the craziness of this?

A calorie of chip DOES NOT EQUAL the calorie of an avocado or nut!!!

And here’s why:

  • You experience fullness partly based on the amount of space food takes up in your belly.
  • Chip calories are condensed meaning they don’t fill you up
  • So you could have 200 calories of chips and 200 calories of avocados but feel way different afterwards. The chip would make you wayyyy less full than the avocado
  • And … nutrition.
  • A calorie of chip literally has zero nutrition.
  • And guess what. Your body craves nutrition.
  • So you can eat calories all you want … but they are empty calories (I’m sure you’ve heard of that before)

Ergo, calories are not created equal.

Lose weight fast
It’s time we shift the conversation to WHAT. Normally we talk about HOW MUCH. How much assumes a calorie is a calorie. So you just eat less, because it’s HOW MUCH. Yet HOW MUCH is deeply flawed. We need to eat nutritiously, and not focus on HOW MUCH.

So what does this mean? What does this have to do with understanding what are high protein foods for weight loss?

You have to fill yourself up with calories that have VALUE.

You can’t be eating crap that literally doesn’t fill you up.

I’m saying the calories you eat must be real. By real I mean they have to take up space and have nutrients.

Want a picture?

high protein diet
See how these foods all exist in nature? This is the key. Eat natural unprocessed foods. These foods have the most value. Why do they have the most value? Because they have the most nutrients. They have the most nutrients because they are unprocessed. Processing takes out nutrients. These nutrients will keep you full, so that you’ll ultimately lose weight.

I am going to give generic straightforward advice about high protein diet.

Eat 25-30g grams of protein 2-3x a day. At a minimum.

2x a day if you’re a girl. 3x a day if you’re a guy.

Now protein can be made more complex than this, no doubt.

But for people who are just trying to lose weight and keep it off, this is some of the best advice I can give.

Now don’t get hung up too much on the 3x a day or whether the amount of protein you get is 20 grams or 30 grams.

But you need to eat real protein.

Not that fried crap from McDonalds.

Not those burgers that come in sterile plastic bags.

I’m talking home cooked meat. Or nuts, avocados, eggs or tofu.

And to make things even more simple for you…

Here is another resource on what this actually looks like:

Here is a powerful graphic on what 30 grams of  protein looks like:

30g of high protein rich food
  • So you need about 5 eggs, including the yellows OR
  • 1 chicken breast OR
  • 7 strips of bacon
  • 1 hamburger

Let’s recap:

The bottom line is that calories are not created equal.

Foods that are unprocessed, real foods… these have value!

In particular, natural protein sources give you nutrients and takes up space.

It fills you up!!!

So …

If there ever was a ‘hack’ to lose weight in a sustainable, simple and filling way… It would be protein.

Like every meal, get protein.

For example, here’s my lunch of eggs on my instagram account.

Eggs get a bad rap. But they really are amazing. So much protein And much more!

And we have to remember, everybody is different.

What works for me, may not work for you.

But upping your intake of protein is one of the core lessons I teach people.

About the Author

Jared Levenson is a former binge eating wrestler turned Zen Buddhist Monk, Internal Family Systems counselor and nutrition wellness coach. He's helped hundreds of people through universal meal principles and internal family systems to make peace with food, stop binge eating, and find true health and wholeness.


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