High-protein diets that are low in carbohydrates are a popular choice for people looking to lose weight. Protein is filling, which can reduce overeating and the overall amount of calories you tend to consume in general. High-protein meal plans usually include protein from animal sources, beans, eggs, and veggies.
Let’s check out some high-protein recipes for weight loss that contain lots of delicious ingredients with a minimal amounts of carbohydrates and calories, offering breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner options:
Hearty Black Bean Soup
This is a quick and easy plant-based high-protein meal that can also be made with chicken broth and dairy sour cream if you aren’t concerned with eliminating animal products, or don’t have the plant-based versions on-hand. It works as a snack, lunch, or dinner and should only take about 30 minutes or less to make. It has only 200 calories, 11 grams of protein, and 34 grams of carbohydrates per serving. This recipe serves up to six people.
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- 1 small onion (diced)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon of ground paprika
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 red bell pepper (diced)
- 4 cups or 3 cans of cooked black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 2 tomatoes (diced)
- 4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth (water can also be used)
- 1 avocado (sliced)
- 2 limes (1 juiced, 1 halved and sliced for garnish)
- 1 handful corn tortilla strips (baked from sliced corn tortillas)
- Sour cream (dairy free or regular)
1. In a soup pot over medium heat, sauté the onion, garlic, and red bell pepper in olive oil and ¼ cup of the broth for about 3-5 minutes or until slightly softened. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt at this stage, if you’re using water or a low-sodium broth. Add bits of water or broth periodically if your ingredients begin sticking to the pan.
2. Sprinkle in the cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, and a small pinch of salt evenly atop the mixed veggies, and stir around lightly while sautéing for two more minutes.
3. Add in the black beans, tomatoes, and remaining broth or water. Salt this layer as well if necessary (you can begin with three cups of broth and add in the rest later if you like a thinner soup). Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes.
4. With an immersion blender, puree about a quarter (or half if you prefer) of the soup, adding in the remaining broth for thinning, if desired.
5. Garnish with lime juice, lime wedges, avocado slices, tortilla strips, and sour cream as desired, and serve.
Pulled Pork and Pineapple Tacos
These flavorful tacos are perfect for a high-protein diet. They are light and filling, have only 313 calories, 28 grams of protein, and 37 grams of carbohydrates per 2-taco serving. You can even cut the calories in half by eating only one, because they are just that filling. This recipe serves up to 16 people and is perfect for dinner (after slow cooking the pork earlier in the day).
- 1-½ pounds of pork loin (trimmed of fat)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of ground chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1-½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 large yellow onion (sliced thin)
- 2 green bell peppers (sliced)
- 2 oranges (juiced)
- 3 limes (juiced)
- 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 32 corn tortillas
- 1 pineapple (skinned, cored, and diced)
- 1/2 red onion (diced small)
- 1 handful of cilantro (chopped)
1. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, cumin, chili powder, oregano, one teaspoon of salt, paprika, and black pepper to create a dry rub.
2. Cut the pork loin into four large pieces to prepare for cooking and shredding.
3. Coat the pork loin pieces in the dry rub mixture.
4. Prepare the slow cooker with minced garlic, onion, and bell peppers. Place the pork loin cutlets into the slow cooker. Pour in two thirds of freshly squeezed lime juice and all of the freshly squeezed orange juice. Cover and cook on high for four to six hours.
5. Strain the liquid from the slow cooker and add half of it to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisk together cornstarch and three tablespoons of water. Add the cornstarch mixture into the boiling liquid and whisk until thickened.
6. Shred the pork in the slow cooker pot. Add in your thickened sauce and mix together.
7. Mix together diced pineapple, diced red onion, cilantro, ½ teaspoon of salt, a pinch of black pepper, and leftover lime juice to make the quick and simple pineapple salsa.
8. Fill each tortilla with ¼ cup of the meat and 1-2 tablespoons of the pineapple salsa and serve.
Kale and Chicken Parmesan Caesar Salad
High protein, low carb, and heavenly! This big, hearty salad has only 394 calories, 32 grams of protein, and 8 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Add this to your weekly meal planning and prep routine to have this salad ready in minutes for lunch or dinner any day of the week.
- ¾ cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ⅓ cup of olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed or store-bought lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of tamari
- ½ teaspoon of anchovy paste
- ½ teaspoon of ground pepper
- 8 cups of chopped kale
- 3 cups of chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread parmesan on the baking sheet in four, 4-inch circles. Bake 10 minutes and set aside.
2. Place the chicken in a large saucepan and cover it with water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 14 minutes. Remove from water and shred once cool enough to touch.
3. Mince the garlic and mash with your knife to make a paste. Place it into a large bowl with olive oil, lemon juice, tamari, anchovy paste, and pepper. Add kale and massage into mixture until reduced in volume and fully coated. Toss in the chopped romaine, tomatoes, and chicken, coating as you toss around in the mixture.
4. Divide salad onto four plates or bowls and sprinkle with crispy parmesan. Serve.
High-Protein Egg, Bacon, and Avo Breakfast Wraps
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yeah, yeah – you already know that. But sometimes we skip it because it can be time consuming. Other times it’s just too hard to come up with healthy recipes that actually taste good. So, here’s a tasty, simple, quick recipe that never gets old and puts a new spin on the classic, protein-rich eggs and bacon. It’s a delightfully filling little wrap that easily travels and only takes a few minutes to prepare. It comes in at 333 calories, 5.5 grams carbohydrates, and 20 grams of protein.
- 1 large egg
- 1 chive (finely chopped)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ avocado (sliced)
- 2 pieces turkey bacon (cooked until crispy)
1. Spray a non-stick, preheated skillet with cooking spray.
2. Whisk the egg, chives, salt, and pepper together in a bowl.
3. Pour the egg mixture onto the skillet and flip once cooked fully on one side.
4. Place the cooked egg on a plate or to-go container, layer with avocado and bacon, fold into a taco or wrap. Take on-the-go or enjoy instantly.
Chia Blueberry Power Bowl
Whether you’re having this recipe for breakfast, a snack, or for lunch, you’re sure to be satisfied with this protein-packed (10 grams) Greek yogurt power bowl. It’s easy to pre-make a big batch before you go to bed so you can have first thing in the morning or take it with you to work. It has only 103 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving. This recipe makes a total of six servings and is Greek yogurt lover’s favorite!
- 2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1-½ cups milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- ¼ cup of chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons of honey
- Peanut Butter
- Chia seeds
- Lemon zest
In a large storage container mix together all of the ingredients and let sit for four hours or overnight. Scoop servings into a bowls as desired and top with garnishing ingredients (use only a teaspoon or light dab of peanut butter). Serve and enjoy!
Is a high-protein diet really the answer for weight loss?
A high-protein diet can help with weight loss in the short term, but it’s not the most ideal in the long term. Since our bodies need more carbohydrates than a strict, high-protein diet typically allows, it’s not the most suitable solution for keeping weight off forever.
Generally speaking, crash diets and fad cleanses are virtually impossible to maintain in the long run. The same goes for low-calorie methods or any other unhealthy restrictive plan. Eventually, you give up and the weight returns. For long-term weight loss, you need a holistic health program – like Noom.
At Noom, we help our members find proper balance between their food preferences, lifestyle, and nutritional needs so you can stop dieting and develop healthy habits that help you lose weight for good.