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Essential Guide to High-Protein, Low-Calorie Eating for Weight Loss

Why Protein is Crucial for You

Protein is key to your overall health, metabolism, and weight management. Since our bodies can't store protein, we need to consume it daily through our diet. When we don't consume adequate amounts of protein in our diet, we essentially shut down our ability to metabolize fat. Our available protein sources are tied to our metabolism. Weight loss v. fat loss are two different things. When we don't eat enough protein and lose weight we are losing muscle mass and thus decreasing our metabolic rate. Fact is - if you are losing weight this way you will be two times more likely to gain that weight back.

Protein and Weight Loss

Eating enough protein helps your body burn fat more efficiently. However, hitting your protein goals might seem tough at first, especially while keeping calories low. Here’s how to make it easier.

Daily Protein Needs

Your protein needs depend on factors like your weight, age, and body composition. A simple rule is to eat the same amount of protein in grams as your goal weight in pounds. For instance, if your goal weight is 140 pounds, aim for 140 grams of protein daily, divided into three or four meals.

Balancing Protein and Calories

High-fat protein sources can quickly increase your caloric intake. Opt for lean protein options to stay within your calorie limits while hitting your protein goals. By no means is healthy fats bad for you. Good fats help us absorb important vitamins, give our bodies energy, and support cell growth. They keep our skin glowing, our brains sharp, and our bodies lean!  If you eat 30g of peanut butter it yields 700 calories. 30g of whole eggs is 350 cals vs. 30 g of egg whites is only 150 calories. If weight loss is your goal, then you need to stay in a caloric deficit.

Low-Calorie, High-Protein Food Options

Here’s a handy list of lean protein sources to help you stay on track:


  • Chicken Breast: 4 oz = 31g protein, 140 calories

  • Turkey Breast: 4 oz = 31g protein, 140 calories

  • Pork Loin: 4 oz = 23g protein, 130 calories

  • Lean Ground Beef (93%): 4 oz = 24g protein, 170 calories

  • Wild Caught Salmon: 4 oz = 25g protein, 150 calories

  • Shrimp: 4 oz = 24g protein, 120 calories

Dairy and Eggs

  • Egg Whites: ½ cup = 13g protein, 63 calories

  • Low-Fat Greek Yogurt: 1 cup = 22g protein, 120 calories

  • Low-Fat Cottage Cheese: ½ cup = 14g protein, 80 calories (we love the brand, Good)


  • Edamame: 4 oz = 16g protein, 140 calories

  • Tempeh: 3 oz = 18g protein, 160 calories

  • Seitan: 4 oz = 24g protein, 120 calories

  • Soy Yogurt: 1 serving = 15g protein, 120 calories


Tips for Shopping

When shopping, check nutrition labels to find high-protein, low-calorie options. Look for clean, healthy ingredients and avoid processed low-fat foods that are often packed with unhealthy additives. When reading food labels use this simple hack. Add a zero to the end of the protein count. So if the label says 10g of protein, add a zero and now its 100. If the calories per serving is higher than 100 then that food is not a good choice. You want the ratio of protein to calories to be higher. So for example, one serving of low fat Good cottage cheese has 80 calories and 14g or protein. That is 80:140 - a great choice for a high protein, low caloric serving. Now look at peanut butter. One serving has 7g of protein and yields 190 calories. So that would be 70:190. Not a good choice if you're trying to lose weight. You want the protein to be the higher number. Be sure to check the food labels before purchasing.

Join a Supportive Program

At Follaine Health our certified Health Coaches work one-on-one with our patients on plans to improve their nutrition and eating behaviors as well as physical activity habits. With these tips and food options, you can effectively manage your protein intake and maintain a healthy, balanced diet through perimenopause and the menopause years. Click here to book a free discovery call to get more information.

1 Comment

Jeanne Lammens
Jeanne Lammens
2 days ago

Thanks for the tips!


Follaine Health (Gaelic for Wellness) was born out of a desire to help real women with real health issues. 


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