Budget-Friendly Proteins for Weight Loss

Black Beans

Black beans cost less than steak. One study found that those on a high-fiber, bean-based diet ate 300 fewer calories per day.


Kerkenbush believes eggs are cheap, simple, and portable. They fill you up without adding many calories because they have 6 grams of protein and 70 calories each.


Avoid salted almonds. Kerkenbush recommends snacking, adding slivered almonds to salads, yogurt, oatmeal, baked chicken or fish, and ground almonds to breads and muffins.


Lentils are healthful and full since they have the highest starch, insoluble fiber, and prebiotics. Polyphenols prevent diabetes, obesity, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

Canned Tuna

Tuna cans include 70 calories and 16 grams of protein. Newgent suggests omega-3s lower blood pressure and cardiac disease. Drain low-sodium tuna.

Greek yogurt

Lauren Harris-Pincus, RD, says plain Greek yogurt has 18 grams of protein per 6-ounce serving. It provides 15% of your daily calcium and weight-loss-promoting probiotics.

Low-fat cottage cheese 

It's overlooked. Low-fat cottage cheese offers 16g protein every 1/2 cup (75g). Full-fat (4%) adds calories and saturated fat, whereas non-fat lacks flavor and satiation. Harris-Pincus recommends 1–2% fat. 


Honey-roasted, French-burnt, and candy-coated peanuts should be avoided.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds contain 8.5 grams of protein per ounce. Newgent says magnesium in pumpkin seeds "keeps your energy up and regulates blood sugar and insulin levels."


Replace rice with fast-cooking quinoa to lose weight. Newgent says this grain-like seed offers 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of satiating fiber every half-cup.

Fiber-Rich Foods