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Prioritizing Protein: Unlocking Satiety & Weight Loss

healthy protein sources

👉 I want to lose weight

👉 I battle with cravings & hunger when I cut calories

👉 I just don’t have enough will power

What is one simple action that you can take to tackle these common barriers?  

💪 Include PROTEIN in every meal...let's take a deep dive into how this can help you.

Understanding Protein Sources

When I say “protein” what foods am I talking about? Protein is found in both animal and plant-based foods. Animal sources include chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, dairy, and red meat. Meanwhile, plant options include tofu, tempeh, soy milk, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and some vegetables like spinach.

The Weight Loss Power of Protein

Protein, a complex molecule, signals the stomach to slow down emptying to ensure proper breakdown of the contents of the meal. This translates into a feeling of fullness for longer after a meal, also referred to as satiety. 

Have you ever had a lunch of just salad and felt hungry soon after? Without protein, your meal quickly leaves the stomach leaving you unsatisfied and hungry. Contrast that with a salad topped with grilled chicken or beans. The protein content slows digestion, providing you with longer satiety and keeping hunger at bay until your next meal. By feeling full and satisfied, you eliminate triggers for cravings and mindless grazing, paving the way for healthy weight management.


Ultimately, the most impactful change you can make

is to set the numbers aside,

and focus on including some protein in every meal.


How much protein should I have?

First a little context - the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of protein for healthy adults is 0.8 grams/kg of body weight (about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight). For example, someone weighing 130 pounds requires around 47 grams of protein per day, while someone weighing 170 pounds needs about 62 grams. This does sound low, but remember- the RDA represents recommendations for "adequate" intake of essential nutrients for most healthy individuals. Personalized needs may vary from this number based on factors like age, activity level, and health status. 

While numbers are helpful for context, they are not terribly helpful when you are trying to make a quick decision about your lunch on a busy workday, or when cooking meals for your family, or eating out. Ultimately, the most impactful change you can make is to set the numbers aside, and focus on including some protein in every meal. You can also follow this simple rule of thumb when choosing animal proteins in a meal - include 1-2 portions the size of the round portion of your palm. For simple protein sources to add to your next meal, download my free Power Up with Protein handout.

Ellen's Tips for Adding Protein Into Meals and Snacks

Protein for Breakfast:

  • Include Greek yogurt/cottage cheese in breakfast parfaits  

  • Add pumpkin seeds or or hemp hearts to your oatmeal (about 2 tbsp)

  • Enjoy an omelet with 1 whole egg + unlimited egg whites and veggies.

Protein for Lunch:

  • Dinner leftovers over a bed of baby spinach 

  • Egg, tuna chickpea or salmon salad - add chopped veggies, hummus or mayo. Enjoy on a salad, with whole grain bread or in a wrap. 

  • Add ½-1 cup of lentils, chickpeas, edamame or your favorite beans into a salad

Prioritizing Protein for Supper:

  • Simple sheet pan meals using either chicken, tofu, fish, seafood, beans or lentils

  • Burgers/meatballs/meatloaf/stuffed peppers made with ½ ground turkey, chicken, lean ground beef, & ½ beans or lentils

  • Use chicken bone broth instead of chicken broth 

  • Add chicken/shrimp/scallop/egg/tofu vegetable stir fry

Protein for Snacks:

  • Greek yogurt or plant-based yogurt + berries 

  • ¼ cup of hummus + veggies + whole grain crackers

  • Smoothies (made with Greek yogurt , soy milk or protein powder)

Takeaways on Protein: Making a small change of intentionally adding protein to meals can be very effective for weight loss. Protein provides satiety between meals which can make a big impact in feeding your hunger, dampening your cravings, and quieting your negative self-talk , all of which will are important areas to target in the journey to successful weight loss.

I am here to help. Don't hesitate to reach out for a FREE 10 minute discovery call to learn more about how I can support you.

Resources to Check Out This Month!



Sign up for a FREE trial of my meal plans, no no credit card required. The Simple Eats plan is filled with recipes with a short list of ingredients. Perfect if you are living in an off campus apartment. Search through the library of recipes to find your top 10 favs that you can cook with your eye's shut. Perfect for those weeks when your workload is high.

*Disclaimer: Ellen Petrosino Consulting has no affiliation with any of the brands mentioned on this website.



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