A high protein diet is ideal for both weight loss and muscle growth. High protein diets not only help to suppress appetite, but your body also burns more calories digesting protein than it does carbohydrates or fat, helping you to feel fuller for longer and on fewer calories.

When trying to build muscle, a good rule of thumb is to aim to eat as many grams of protein per day as your body weight in pounds. For males over 20% body fat and females over 33% body fat, aim to eat as many grams of protein per day as your TARGET body weight in pounds or your lean body weight in pounds.

For example, a male weighing 250 pounds with a body fat percentage of 30% (i.e. 175 pounds of lean mass; 75 pounds of fat mass), would aim to eat 175g of protein per day rather than 250g of protein per day.

This can be a little more difficult to do though if you don’t eat meat. However, with a little planning and understanding as to which vegetarian foods are highest in protein per serving, you can still get an adequate amount in your daily diet.


Vegetarian Protein

Here is a list of 26 vegetarian foods that contain a high amount of protein per serving:

  • Tempeh: 1 cup = 33g
  • Seitan: 1/2 cup = 32g
  • Cottage cheese: 1 cup = 28g
  • Tofu: 1 cup = 25g
  • Greek yogurt: 1 cup = 23g
  • Soy beans: 1 cup = 21g
  • Lentils: 1 cup = 18g
  • Veggie burger: 1 patty = 16g
  • Black beans: 1 cup = 15g
  • Kidney beans: 1 cup = 13g
  • Eggs: 2 eggs = 12g
  • Chickpeas: 1 cup = 12g
  • Baked beans: 1 cup = 12g
  • Mixed nuts: 1/2 cup = 11g
  • Edamame: 1/2 cup = 10g
  • Quinoa: 1 cup = 9g
  • Soy milk: 1 cup = 8g
  • Green peas: 1 cup = 9g
  • Peanut butter: 2 tbsp = 8g
  • Hemp seeds: 2 tbsp = 7g
  • Pumpkin seeds: 2 tbsp = 6g
  • Spinach: 1 cup = 5g
  • Chia seeds: 2 tbsp = 4g
  • Flax seeds: 2 tbsp = 4g
  • Spirulina: 1 tbsp = 4g
  • Broccoli: 1 cup = 2.5g

Did I leave something off this list? Add it in the comments below!

Online Fitness Coach Brian DonovanBrian Donovan is a certified fitness and nutrition coach, and the founder of Online Fitness Coach, LLC – an online fitness program where clients get direct coaching and personally tailored training and nutrition plans. Coach Brian was voted Chicago’s “Best Personal Trainer” by Chicago Reader magazine, Best Of Chicago 2014 edition. He has been featured in magazines such as Muscle & Fitness, Chicago Reader, Voyage Chicago, and The PTDC as well various other health and fitness blogs.

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