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10 High-Protein Diet Tips for Weight Loss

Speed up your weight-loss efforts with a dietitian's go-to protein tips.

When it comes to losing weight and sculpting your dream body, protein is a diet staple. But what, really, is all the hype about? Well, research shows that consuming more protein than what's recommended can help you slim down. Protein also prevents the loss of lean muscle, which is crucial for calorie burning and ensuring you stay in top shape. So, if you're ready to speed up your weight-loss efforts, we have 10 of the best high-protein diet tips for weight loss you should always keep handy.

Before we dive in, let's chat a little bit more about the powerhouse that is protein. "Protein-rich foods like eggs, fish, poultry, nuts, and seeds require more energy from your body to digest them, which is also referred to as a higher thermic effect of food (TEF), so they can increase your metabolic rate," explains Laura Burak, MS, RD, founder of GetNaked® Nutrition and author of Slim Down with Smoothies. "Proteins are a double whammy when it comes to health and weight loss because they not only have a higher TEF, but they also keep you the most satiated so you stay fuller longer, which means less hunger and cravings."

When you have a handle on your blood sugar and hunger, you have more control over your calorie intake. This makes it easier to drop weight. Now, let's get into the best high-protein diet tips for weight loss!

Don't consume carbs "naked."

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When weight loss is at the top of your mind, carbs are best enjoyed with a solid source of protein. Burak encourages you never to eat carbs "naked," aka by themselves, because they're digested quicker compared to protein and won't keep you full for long.

"Make sure to pair every meal and snack with a good source of protein to stabilize blood sugar and keep you satisfied until the next meal," she says.

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Keep quick and easy protein sources on hand.

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Stock up on easy sources of protein so you always have something healthy to reach for when snack or meal time rolls around. "Think canned fish, individual cheeses, yogurts, cottage cheese, sliced deli turkey, nut and seed packs, nut butters, and edamame and crunchy chickpea snacks, to name a few," says Burak.

Hard-boil eggs each week.

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One large hard-boiled egg provides six grams of protein and will only cost you around 78 calories, making for a seamless weight-loss snack. (In addition, research shows that kicking the morning off with an egg breakfast can help support weight loss.)

Burak encourages you to hard-boil eggs every week and keep them in the fridge so you can easily grab them, and enjoy. "They're my top protein pick because there is strong research on the longest-lasting effect of eggs, especially when they are part of your first meal of the day," she says.

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Add more protein to meals that don't fill you up.

high protein snack or lunch box with cottage cheese cucumbers almonds berries hard boiled egg turkey wraps carrots and ranch
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This is a simple rule to live by: If your meals aren't satiating, add more protein! Burak recommends consuming a minimum of 20 grams of protein in each meal.

"Protein slows everything down," she explains. "It slows digestion, stabilizes blood sugar, and keeps you more satisfied. When you skip the protein, it's no wonder you're still hungry and more likely to overeat later."

Have some protein post-workout.

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Especially when you're performing a more vigorous workout with weights and resistance exercises, Burak highly recommends consuming solid protein after wrapping up. This way, you'll repair and build muscle tissue while having a handle on your hunger for the rest of the day.

RELATED: 10 Worst Protein-Packed Foods for Weight Loss

Incorporate animal protein into meals.

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During your next grocery run, stock up on animal proteins such as fish, poultry, and eggs to work into meals. "[They] tend to keep you more satisfied than plant proteins," shares Burak. "They contain more protein per ounce than plant proteins. Chicken, for example, has about seven grams of protein per ounce while tofu has about two grams per ounce."

Make sure you have a protein-packed breakfast.

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Mom wasn't lying when she told you breakfast is the most important meal of the day! A nutritious, protein-packed breakfast helps set you up for success.

"Make sure your first meal of the day includes a solid source of protein because this can make or break your blood sugar levels, which correlates to your hunger and cravings level for the rest of the day," says Burak.

Choose higher protein options.

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"Maximize your protein choices," Burak suggests. For instance, when you're in the dairy aisle, choose items that offer the most protein, such as cottage cheese and Greek yogurt. "A Greek yogurt, for example, could have double the amount of protein than a regular yogurt," Burak adds.

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Emphasize whole food forms of protein.

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Another thing to keep an eye out for at the grocery store? Whole food forms of protein.

"Focus on whole food forms of protein, like adding Greek yogurt to a smoothie, as opposed to powders and liquid proteins, as they don't tend to keep you as full and satisfied," Burak recommends. (After all, one seven-ounce container of Greek yogurt is a protein powerhouse, providing a whopping 20 grams!)

Don't overthink things.

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Whether you're preparing a full meal or baked goods, there are some super-simple ways you can increase the protein content. For instance, swap out regular flour for almond flour when whipping up a fresh loaf or batch of cookies. Burak also suggests to consider adding seeds, nuts, protein powder, or Greek yogurt to the batter.

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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