5 Protein Foods for Weight Loss, Dietitian Shares

Let’s be honest: Tweaking your diet can be a real pain. But choosing just the right foods to support your weight loss efforts is a necessary step in the process—especially as you age. Don’t stress, because we did the hard work for you. We here at Eat This, Not That! spoke with Lisa Young, Ph.D., RDN, the author of Finally Full, Finally Slim, a nutritionist in private practice, and a member of our Medical Expert Board, who shares five protein-packed foods for weight loss after 40.

According to Tufts Medical Center, as you grow older, gaining weight seems to be the new normal with every check-up. This is because your basal metabolic rate, which is how quickly your body utilizes energy at rest to keep your things functioning properly, slows down. Plus, you lose lean muscle mass, which is a surefire recipe to make the scale move in an unfavorable direction. With some necessary changes in your diet, you’ll be well on your way to turning that scale back around.

Why protein for weight loss, might you ask? This nutrient helps build up and preserve your body’s health, according to the Cleveland Clinic. That includes the health of your bones, muscles, and skin. In addition, protein is a key player in your diet if you want to keep up a healthy weight or shed extra pounds. So keep reading to learn all about Young’s five protein foods for weight loss, and add them to your shopping cart ASAP.

bowl of uncooked eggs

Whether you scramble them, whip them into an omelet, put them into a healthy breakfast wrap, or enjoy them hard-boiled, eggs are a stellar way to get your fill of protein.

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“Eggs are an excellent source of protein that can help in weight loss as they are filled with protein and healthy fats,” Young explains. “Studies have shown that eating eggs as a protein food can help individuals feel more satiated and feel full for a longer period of time.”

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Legumes and beans like peas, lentils, and chickpeas are great sources of protein, fiber, and healthy carbohydrates. According to WebMD, beans help keep your system moving. Plus, research reveals that overweight individuals who followed a protein-packed diet dropped more pounds by eating beans as their main source of protein.

“Beans are a very important protein food for individuals who are vegan or vegetarian,” Young adds. But regardless of whether you’re vegan or not, beans are a solid protein option to add to your diet if you want to lose weight.

pieces of seasoned salmon on cutting board, protein foods for weight loss concept

“Seafood is a great way to incorporate healthy protein in your diet,” Young tells us. “Some excellent examples are salmon, trout, and shellfish. Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which are essential to our health.”

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hands pouring jar of nuts and dried fruit

Seeds and nuts are so seamless to sprinkle additional nutrients onto your oatmeal, salad, seafood dish, or really any meal you’re working with!

“They contain such nutrients like fiber, minerals, and healthy fats, which aids in weight loss as it keeps individuals full for longer,” Young explains. “It is important to eat [them] in moderation, as too many nuts can lead to weight gain.”

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tofu squares on bowl, protein foods for weight loss

Last but not least, Young recommends eating soy products like tempeh and tofu—which are packed with protein—if you want to lose weight.

“[These foods] have been linked to a reduced appetite and [are] shown to support weight loss. It is an amazing plant protein to include in your diet,” Young says.

Alexa Mellardo

Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa

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