High Protein Low Calorie Food Ideas

by Tory McBroom

High protein, low calorie foods are among the best type of foods that help you lose weight.  Not only does the extra protein help fill you up, it also has a high thermogenic effect which means it burns more calories through digestion than both carbs or fat.

Couple this with the low calorie content and you have an appetite controlling food that helps you effectively reduce calories.

The perfect combination for losing weight!

As discussed in The Simple, Proven Plan For Weight Loss & Control eBook, it’s important to eat a quality protein at every meal.  However, it can be hard to come up with enough high protein low calorie foods to keep your diet fun and interesting.

With that in mind, here are a few high protein and low calorie food ideas to help you lose weight and keep you feeling full.

Low Calorie Peanut Butter – You typically wouldn’t hear the words peanut butter and low calorie used in the same sentence, but all that has changed with PB2 Low Calorie Peanut Butter! It contains a mere 45 calories per serving with a healthy dose of 5 grams of protein.  Basically, all the goodness of regular peanut butter with about 145 fewer calories per serving.  Best of all, this peanut butter comes in powdered form (just add water) so it can be sprinkled into just about any food or recipe you can imagine!

Eggs – Eggs are a great high protein, low calorie way to start your day! A large egg has 90 calories and 6 grams of protein in it.  If you’re worried about cholesterol then use egg whites instead.  Removing the yolk still gives you 3 grams of protein and only 16 calories per egg!

Greek Yogurt –  Greek Yogurt has been gaining in popularity over the last few years because of its creamy texture and high protein content.  In fact, Greek yogurt has twice as much protein as regular yogurt, up to 20 grams of protein per cup, while still having a similar amount of calories.

Lean Meats – Lean meats are great sources of protein that are low in fat and have a minimal amount of calories. A 4oz chicken breast has only 100 calories but a whopping 23 grams of protein and a 3oz serving of Bison has 120 calories and 24 grams of protein.

Whey Protein Powder – Protein powder is a convenient way to get a good helping of protein at any meal!  It’s versatile and can be used in smoothies, yogurt and a variety of recipes.  My favorite is Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein which has 24 grams of protein and 120 calories per serving.

Fish – Fish is another excellent source of protein with a minimal amount of calories. Plus, many varieties also serve up a healthy dose of omega 3’s, as well.  One can of tuna contains 190 calories and 43 grams of protein while cod fillets contain 189 calories with 40 grams of protein.

Edamame – Billed as The Wonder Veggie, Edamame is high in protein, low in carbs and calories and contains 70% less fat than peanuts. More specifically, Dry Roasted Edamame contains 130 calories and 14 grams of protein per serving.  Eat as a snack or add to your salads or trail mix.

Cottage Cheese – Cottage cheese makes a great side to your lunch or dinner and contains only 115 calories per 4oz serving with 14 grams of protein.

QuinoaQuinoa might have one of the lower protein to calorie ratios in this list, but unlike similar grains like wheat or rice, it contains a balanced set of amino acids which makes it a complete protein source! Plus, it has 11 grams of fiber to help fill you up, as well. Eden organic Quinoa contains 180 calories and 5 grams of protein per serving

Beef Jerky –  While beef jerky isn’t often associated with being a “good for you” type of food, if you find the right kind it can be a great high protein and low calorie snack!  Natural Organic Beef Jerky from Golden Valley contains only 100 calories and 11 grams of protein per serving.  But, it’s what it doesn’t have that makes it so attractive- no artificial ingredients, nitrites, preservatives, MSG,  or gluten!

Protein Chips – There are times when you just need something crunchy to snack on.  So, if you’re going to reach for a bag of chips, make it Kay’s Naturals Protein Chips.  These chips contain 9 grams of filling protein and only 110 calories per serving!

Snapeas – Another low calorie way to satisfy those crunch cravings is to snack on Snapea Crisps. They contain only 150 calories with 5 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber to help fill you up.  Plus, they are a great way to add protein and a little flavor to your salads!

Arctic Zero Low Calorie Ice Cream – You probably wouldn’t have imagined ice cream on this list, but there is one brand that fits the bill.   Arctic Zero Frozen Dessert  contains only 150 calories per pint yet has 16 grams of whey protein!  You don’t have to feel guilty about eating this dessert!

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2 comments… read them below or add one

Trish August 3, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Thanks for this list! I need to try that ice cream! :)

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Tory McBroom August 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Thanks! You have to try the Mint Chocolate Cookie flavor. Good stuff!

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