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10 Best High-Protein Foods for Weight Loss 

Nutritionist Autumn Bates reveals her top picks.

Do you need to amp up your protein intake, but aren't sure which to incorporate into your diet? Autumn Bates (@autumbates) is a Clinical Nutritionist with a Master's in Nutrition Human Performance. She is also a social media influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers, known for revealing tips on healthy eating, weight loss, and intermittent fasting. In one of her viral videos she discusses the 10 best high protein foods for weight loss. "Protein is one of the most essential tools to help you achieve a weight loss and body recomposition goal," she says, maintaining they will "help you tap the fat burning and achieve your weight loss goals."



The first protein pick of Autumn's is the "humble egg," she says, noting that one egg has 6 grams of protein. "Eggs are really great per weight loss goal because it contains both protein and fat. So I usually like to eat three eggs and pair it with a little bit of cheese to help boost the protein content a little bit more," she says. She adds that there are studies that have found that "when you eat eggs for breakfast versus some other types of breakfast foods like cereal, that the eggs help people feel more full for longer."


Gourmet salmon fillet sesoned with fresh herbs and spices grilling on a griddle in close up witb lemon wedges and copyspace

The second protein she likes is salmon. "Three ounces of cooked salmon has about 22 grams of protein, but it also is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that are an anti-inflammatory," she says. She adds that it is "really rich in selenium and selenium is required for phase two liver detox. So not only do you get a lot of protein with just a bit of salmon, you also get a lot of selenium and anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fats."

Whey Protein

Close up of women with measuring scoop of whey protein and shaker bottle, preparing protein shake.

Next up, whey protein powder. "For a long time whey protein was really just seen as the protein for athletes, but there are a lot of other health benefits to whey protein other than just being a really high protein," she explains. It is also "really high in an amino acid called cystine," which "is also required for that phase two liver detox."


Filet mignon. Grade A grass fed angus beef steak. Tenderloin, filet mignon, New York strip, bone in rib-eye grilled medium rare on outdoor grill. Classic American steakhouse entree favorite.

Next is beef. Her favorite is ground beef, "because it is so versatile and it tends to be really budget friendly. And three ounces of cooked beef has around 22 grams of protein and it's so easy to use," she says. She opts for the 85/15, which has "just a little bit more fat and helps to boost satiety from both protein and fat" and uses it in tacos,  zucchini bolognese, and zucchini lasagna.


Roasted or seared chicken breast sliced on a cutting board with herbs and spices

"Now the next is chicken and really any type of poultry, but chicken is probably one most people are using, maybe the other one being a bit of turkey as well," says Autumn. "Any cut can work because chicken tends to be more lean. It is going to be a little bit higher in protein and a little bit lower in fat. So because of that, if you really struggle with satiety, you might want to cook your chicken in a little bit extra, a butter olive oil or pair it with avocado so you can make up for that slightly lower fat and make sure that you're satisfied and prevent cravings." She notes that three ounces of cooked chicken breast offers 27-28 grams of protein. "So it is pretty packed with protein."

Full Fat Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt in a pot

Next up is full fat Greek yogurt. "I know what you're thinking: Full fat. Isn't that not good for you? But there's actually been a lot of research lately, specifically on full fat dairy products and how it can be preventative against obesity. And what the researchers are saying is that it's likely because of both the fat as well of the protein that's in Greek yogurt or other full fat dairy products. So both of those combined help you to feel really satiated," says Autumn. "So it can help to prevent cravings for foods that might work against your goals." She uses it in smoothies, makes smoothie bowls, and stirs it into chia pudding. "Just one cup of Greek yogurt will give you about 20 grams of protein."

Fermented Soy Products

Tempeh or tempeh is a typical Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans in addition to yeast or "tempeh yeast".

"One of the best options for plant-based proteins are going to be fermented soy products," Autumn claims. "Now I specifically recommend fermented soy products if you're going to use soy as a protein source because it helps to break down some of the antinutrients of soy." From "a plant-based perspective, the highest quality protein source" is tempeh. "And you can use this in a lot of similar ways that you would ground meat. Like you can chop it up and make ground Tempe tacos added into stir fry. Really, there's a lot of easy ways to use tempeh."



Next up, pork. "I actually don't talk a lot about pork on my channel mostly because I didn't grow up eating it. So I'm not used to eating it that often. But it actually is a good high quality protein source," Autumn says. "So a common cut for pork is going to be like pork tenderloin and about three ounces cooked is going to have roughly 24 grams of complete protein."

Cottage Cheese

cottage cheese in a wooden bowl

One of her "absolute favorite proteins" is cottage cheese. "It's really rich in protein. Just about one cup will have anywhere between 24 to 28 grams of protein. That's a lot with just one cup," she says, adding that it's a full fat dairy product that offers a lot of the same perks as Greek yogurt. "Just make sure that you check the ingredients and that you're not getting something that has any added sugar," she says.

Anchovies and Sardines

Grilled sardine

Last one on her list is anchovies and sardines. She notes that they are "really rich in Omega-3 fats," and that there is research finding that fish oil "can actually help to reduce abdominal fats," she says. "So not only do you get protein, which is really important for body recomposition, you also get the beneficial Omega-3 fats or the fish oil." And if you enjoyed this article, take advantage of these 15 Quick Ways to Lose Body Fat Percentage in a Week.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more