If you're trying to lose weight then protein is an important part of your weight loss plan. It makes the hunger pangs go away plus supplies vital nutrients to your muscles and organs. Too much of it can be harmful but in your are on a diet – especially a calorie restriction diet – then you run the risk of taking in too little.
What is the right amount of protein? Here's what Dr. Steven Pratt says in his book SuperFoods RX : "In 2002, the National Academy of Sciences published a new Dietary Reference Intake on everything from fiber to fatty acids … What does [it] translate to in everyday terms? Well, adult women need at least 46 grams of protein; adult men, 56 grams (very active and elderly people may well need more). It's very easy to achieve this protein recommendation. A woman can reach her daily goal with 3 ounces of tuna (20 grams of protein ) plus 3 ounces of turkey breast (26 grams of protein) … A few dangers in an exceptionally high protein intake: the more protein you take in, the more calcium you excrete in your urine, raising your risk for osteoporosis. "
Here is a list of 10 foods that are low in calories but have a good amount of protein:
Hard-boiled egg whites have 16 calories each and 3 grams of protein each.
Egg beaters have 60 calories per serving and 12 grams of protein
Hormel canned chicken breast in little cans has 50 calories per serving and 11 grams of protein
Albacore tuna in foil packet (expensive) has 90 calories per serving and 19 grams of protein
Fat free cheese slices (also a bit expensive, but worth it) have 30 calories per slice (3 slices almost 100 cals) and 5 grams of protein per slice (would be 15 grams of protein if 3 slices eaten)
(This one is weird, I know) A jar of baby meat sticks has just 70 to 100 calories, and there are 9 meat sticks in the jar! There are 8 grams of protein per jar.
Skim milk has 90 calories in a whole cup and 8 grams of protein (Hot or cold, mixed with sugar free Hershey's syrup-yum!)
Swiss Miss diet hot chocolate mix – only 25 calories in a whole packet! – 2 grams of protein (make it with skim milk and it's even more protein and SO good!)
Cottage cheese in half cup servings is 100 calories for 4 percent (lower fat versions have less calories) and a bit less than 12 grams of protein
Kidney beans or garbanza beans or similar – 100 calories per serving (about a third of a can) and 8 grams of protein. Beans are very healthy but need something zippy. They're great hot with raw onion on top and vinegar or ketchup.
Refried beans have 100 calories per 1/2 cup serving and 8 grams of protein.
As you can see, there are a number of low cost options for high protein mini meals that do not break the calorie budget. Incorporating small amounts of protein into your diet all throughout the day is a guaranteed way to cut down on hunger and lose weight quicker.