15 High Protein, Low-Calorie Foods

High Protein Low-Calorie Foods

The nutrient-rich diet you consume in your foods is the perfect way to ensure good health. Consuming high-protein, low-calorie foods will help you manage your weight and aid in the growth of your muscles.

The recommended amount of protein generally ranges from 10 to 35 percent of daily calories, with a daily requirement of 0.8 grams (g) per kilogram (kg) of body weight to prevent deficiency. 

Studies suggest that eating 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram could reduce the risk of bone and muscle loss. Research suggests that healthy people can handle 2 grams of protein per kilogram or more.

Below are fifteen high-protein, low-calorie foods for weight loss to satisfy your dietary requirements without exceeding the calorie limit. 

The majority of these foods contain more than 200 calories in each serving.

How Does Protein Affect My Body?

Protein is among the three primary macronutrients you consume alongside carbohydrates and fat. These macronutrients offer additional energy or calories that our bodies need to function.

Protein is composed of smaller units known as amino acids. Twenty distinct amino acids can be combined to create proteins. 

How Does Protein Affect My Body?

Certain amino acids are deemed “essential” because the body can’t make them, so food items must supply them.

Protein is a component of every cell within the human body. 

Getting satisfying protein daily is crucial to maintaining optimal health and growth, development, and function throughout every stage and age. Protein is a structural part of all tissues and cells and is a component of enzymes, muscles, hormones, antibodies, and our immune system.

Hormones, messenger proteins, and other hormones transmit signals between cells, organs, and tissues to regulate body functions. 

Antibodies bind with viruses and other foreign invaders to defend your body.

What Makes Few Foods A Good Source Of Protein For Weight Loss?

While protein, in general, can benefit weight Loss, high protein, low-calorie foods for weight loss are more effective than others in diet. These are the foods that meet specific requirements:

What Makes Few Foods A Good Source Of Protein For Weight Loss

  • Low fat: Proteins with low fat tend to be lower in calories. Since you’ll lose weight if you consume fewer calories than you consume, eating low-fat protein foods can help you lose weight.
  • Low-calorie protein food items: These are, in essence, the same as low-fat protein food. Most of the time, proteins are low in calories since they’re not high in fat. Another way that protein-rich foods can be low in calories is if they’re low in carbs because carbohydrates are another macronutrient with high-calorie content.
  • Protein-rich: If you stick to an eating plan high in protein for weight loss, then you’d expect these foods to be rich in the protein you want.

What exactly is high-protein? According to the FDA, it’s based on the proportion of protein that is based on recommendations for daily intake (RDI) of protein that is fifty grams:

  • Protein-rich foods are good for you. They include 10 to 19% of the RDI, five to 9.5 grams of protein.
  • A great source of protein that contains 20 % or greater of the RDI of more than 10 grams of protein.

It is believed that excellent proteins tend to prove “good” or “excellent” protein sources.

Are High-Protein, Low-Calorie Foods Helpful In Losing Weight?

Losing weight is more than just eating high-protein, low-calorie foods. However, there are benefits. Foods high in protein provide more calories than many other kinds of food and can help avoid excessive eating. They can also help, particularly when combined with resistance exercise, which is linked to a stronger metabolism.

Foods that are low in calories and high in protein help people adhere to the calorie deficit necessary to lose weight.

What Are The Benefits Of High-Protein Foods?

Now that we understand the importance of protein, we’ll look into some of the health benefits that come from getting more protein:

Muscle Building

The first thing to mention is that protein ensures the muscle mass is going. It aids in building, repairing, strengthening, and maintaining muscles. Therefore, whether you’re an exercise enthusiast or a yogi just beginning to develop, a high-protein diet is your key to stronger, healthier, and dense muscles.

Muscle Building

Weight Management

It keeps you fuller longer, lessening those grumpy hunger cravings that can lead to snacking.

Weight Management

Additionally, your body requires an increased amount of energy for digestion, which helps to boost your metabolism. So the next time you’re looking for something to eat between mealtimes, opt for a high-protein snack instead of the usual. You’ll be thankful in the future.

Heart Health

High-protein, low-calorie foods, specifically those lower in saturated fats, could aid in maintaining an ideal heart. They can support the perfect blood pressure, reducing the risk of developing heart disease.

Heart Health

If you’re snacking on a protein-rich snack, know your heart is giving you an enormous, healthy thumbs-up.

Blood Sugar Balance

Protein helps maintain the stability of blood sugar levels and reduces energy lows and highs throughout the day. Consuming protein-rich foods can help stop those nagging mid-day sugar crashes. You’ll have a more consistent energy level that will allow you to tackle your day.

Blood Sugar Balance

What Are 15 High Protein, Low Calories Food?

Canned Salmon

Canned salmon can be a practical and affordable option to help you achieve the recommended amount of seafood taken two times a week, which is a number that most people fail to achieve. So, go for canned salmon! 

Canned Salmon

It’s exceptionally high in omega-3 anti-inflammatory fatty acids and is a good food source for Vitamin D. Salmon can be eaten like tuna in cans tossed with pesto, mayo, or vinaigrette. 

It can be served in a sandwich, on top of salad, or with vegetables and whole-grain crackers.


Beef is an excellent source of protein per portion. A 3-ounce portion (85 grams) of ground beef has approximately 21.3 grams of protein.

There is a wide selection of different kinds of beef to select from. 


The accurate choice is perfect for selecting lean beef whenever feasible to limit consumption of saturated fats. Restricting intake to no greater than 5-6% of the daily calories is recommended to maintain the best heart health.


Shellfish like shrimp, crab, lobster, squid, oysters, and scallops are high in protein yet are lower in calories. 


For instance, the 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of shrimp contains 22.8 grams of protein, only 119 calories, and just 2 grams of fat.

Apart from being a fantastic high-protein and low-calorie option in shellfish, it is also an excellent source of other minerals, like selenium, zinc, iron, and vitamin B12.

Skinless Turkey

The gravy-topped, skin-on turkey will be used for events, so choose a no-skin turkey for a more regular protein option. 

Skinless Turkey

Three ounces of roasted turkey breast (meat only) provides 125 calories and 25.6 grams of protein, and 60% and 63 percent of the daily requirements for Vitamins B3 and B6, respectively.

Beans And Lentils

Legumes and pulses are staples of many diets due to their affordability and tasty, high-protein, low-calorie meals that can be incorporated into many dishes.
Beans And Lentils
Lentils, Split peas, black beans, white beans, Mung beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, and soybeans can all be appropriate sources of protein from plants.

Chickpea Flour

Sure, chickpea flour is natural! If you’re unfamiliar with it, make it a part of your shopping list and give it a go. In terms of what you can make with chickpeas, it is the most delicious and straightforward flatbread. 

Chickpea Flour

It can be eaten decorated with salt, olive oil, and pepper or served with various vegetables, eggs, cheese, or anything else you like. 

It’s also great for thickening soups (and boosting protein) and smothering fish and chicken (instead of breadcrumbs). You can also use it to create healthy baked goods ranging from waffles and pancakes to brownies and cookies.


Eggs are an excellent food source of protein, nutrients, and healthy fats. One large egg contains around 6.3 grams of protein.

They also have a wide range of uses. One can cook eggs in many ways, including boiling scrambled, poached, or scrambled. Eggs can boost protein into various dishes, including stir-fried soup, sandwiches, etc.


A hard-boiled egg makes an ideal healthy snack that is high in protein.

Not every vegetarian diet includes eggs. A lacto-ovo-vegetarian food plan provides dairy products and eggs.


Tofu is a plant-based protein source made of soybeans compressed into blocks of various degrees of firmness. It is high in protein and low in calories. 

One-half cup (126 grams) of firm tofu has 21.8 grams of protein. It also contains 181 calories plus 11 grams of fat.


Remember that the bulk of the fat in tofu is healthy unsaturated fat. 

Tofu is regarded as a complete plant-based protein, which contains all the amino acids your body requires. It’s also an excellent food source of calcium, manganese, copper, and selenium.

Tofu can be prepared in many ways and is a great substitute for animal protein in many recipes.

Edamame (Soy)

Edamame, also known as soy, is a staple protein from plants. It is mainly so because it is a complete plant protein containing all the amino acids essential to maintaining the proper proportions. 

Edamame (Soy)

It is a plant-based protein rich in fiber and other important nutrients that promote better overall health. Getting sixteen grams of protein and just 140 calories per 4-ounce scoop is possible.


You might think of fish, seafood, meat, or beans as obvious protein sources, but some whole grains can also provide this essential nutrient. The key to protein is to enjoy a variety of nutrient-dense options to help you easily meet your daily needs without stress so you can nourish your body sustainably and enjoyably. 


Quinoa is a perfect option because it’s a plant-based food that includes all nine vital amino acids (a critical protein element) our body requires but cannot create. 

Try substituting quinoa for rice, or mix the two to make a delicious mix; it’s excellent as a salad ingredient or a substitute for toast with eggs.

Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats are a popular breakfast option for losing weight. They’re simple to prepare in the evening and incredibly adaptable.

 Oats are a great source of protein, fiber, and essential minerals and vitamins.

Raw oats also have resistant starch. It releases byproducts that increase the responsiveness of your cells to insulin. This can help reduce the stubborn fat that is accumulated in your midsection.

You can make a high-protein variant of overnight oats by mixing in protein powder, milk, chia seeds, whey protein, Greek yogurt, some seeds, nuts, or a small amount of nuts and butter. 

This is a simple, plant-based meal that is adaptable to your preferences.

Pumpkin Seeds

It’s unnecessary to wait until pumpkin spice latte season to indulge in delicious pumpkin seeds. This year, pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein-rich plant foods. 

Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds

One teaspoon of cooked pumpkin seeds (about 85) provides five grams of protein and fiber. You can take them as a snack or sprinkle them over salads or oatmeal. 

They’re also an excellent source of essential nutrients such as iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.


According to the USDA, Halibut is a low-fat and high-protein seafood. A 3-ounce serving contains just 1.61 grams of fat and 22.54 grams of protein. It’s also low in calories, averaging 94 calories per serving.


Halibut can be prepared in various ways, such as broiled, baked, grilled, or pan-fried.


There’s an explanation for why Paul Hogan told us to put another shrimp on the grill. Shrimp comes in fantastic high-protein, low-calorie foods.


They’re also low in fat and rich in selenium and omega-3 fatty acids—B6 and B12. In addition, they’re an equivalent amount of protein to chicken breast but less than half the calories.


If you’re looking for a portable and reliable easy-to-find snack, look at Jerky. Including protein in your diet is a fantastic option while staying within your calorie limits. One 1.5-ounce (42.5 grams) portion of beef jerky sticks offers, on average, about 14g of protein and 174 calories. 


For a healthier option, go for jerky that contains less than 300 mg sodium per serving and has a minimum of additional sugars and ingredients.

What Are The Worst Proteins For Weight Loss?

Protein foods are a great source of weight loss, but some are more beneficial than others. These protein foods may not be perfect for your diet if you’re trying to improve your health and shed weight.

Worst: Sausage

Many varieties of sausages can be loaded with saturated fat and can be highly caloric, factors that don’t benefit the weight loss department. In reality, “data also shows that consumption of ultra-processed foods, like many sausages, is linked to weight gain.”

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to sausage made from red meat, you can choose sausage made from chicken or turkey sausage or an alternative made from plant matter as a sausage feature. 

However, reading the nutrition label is essential since even these foods can contain fat, sodium, and other strange preservatives.

Protein Bars With Sugar

Simply because something is marketed as a protein-rich bar doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a healthy choice. The majority of protein bars available sold on the market are packed with extra sugar or sodium as well as fat. You’re getting protein, but there are more nutritious alternatives to snack on.

For example, a PowerBar Protein Plus Chocolate Brownie Bar is loaded with 9 grams of fat, 330 calories, and 21 grams of sugar! This means you’ll receive thirty grams of protein in the bar. But what’s the price?

Rice Protein Powder

One of the less well-known kinds of protein powder is rice protein, although some people on a vegan diet might choose this kind of powder.

Rice protein may not be desirable for weight loss because this plant-based protein is considered incomplete due to its low levels of the essential amino acid lysine. Most studies of rice protein have found minimal to no difference in muscle mass and only a tiny amount of weight loss outcome in the event of any.


High-protein, low-calorie foods can be a part of a healthy eating style. Foods and snacks high in protein may help you feel fuller longer and provide a satisfying effect. 

It is recommended that you eat protein-rich foods. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating between 10 and 35 percent of your calories from protein daily. High-protein snacks should contain around 10g or more protein.

Lean protein food sources include lean red meats, skinless fish, skinless poultry eggs, low-fat and nonfat dairy products, seeds, wild, and legumes. 

Beware of foods that contain saturated fats as well as added sugars and the ones that are heavily processed.


What Are High-Protein Breakfasts For Weight Loss?

What breakfasts are high in protein for weight loss? Here are a few high-protein breakfasts that can help you lose weight: Scrambled eggs with vegetables cooked in olive or coconut oil. Omelets, including cottage cheese with spinach (my personal preference). Stir-fried tofu with kale and dairy-free cheddar cheese.

What Is The 30g Protein Breakfast Myth?

The body can absorb only 30g of protein per meal.

According to studies, the human body can absorb an almost limitless volume of protein.

What Protein Burns Belly Fat?

What protein burns belly fat? Research suggests that a diet high in high-protein foods such as eggs, seafood, fish, legumes, nuts, meat, and dairy decreases abdominal fat, improves satiety, and improves metabolic function. Incorporating fiber-rich foods into meals is essential in reducing belly fat.

What Are Two Vegetables That Can Help Reduce Stomach Fat?

Artichokes and asparagus are excellent foods for reducing abdominal fat. They are both high in antioxidants and fiber, which help maintain the health of your gut microbiome and aid in weight loss.


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