High protein diets have been very popular recently, especially those that espouse the strategy of high protein and low carbs.
However, this can be a bit more difficult for vegetarians to take advantage of. The menu planning is pretty easy when the idea is meat, meat, and more meat.
Finding a solid substitute for that protein as a vegetarian is definitely going to be a little bit more of a challenge. However it is far from impossible.
The good news is that there are plenty of options when it comes to good high protein diet options for vegetarians looking to lose weight. Read on to learn more.
Eggs have proven themselves to be one of the finest diet foods in the world, and one of the healthiest overall foods, period.
In fact, it’s hard to believe there was ever any controversy over this true super food.
Absolutely loaded with vitamins, nutrients, and a heavy dose of protein, you get all your body needs with very few calories. Small eggs might only be 60 calories each and even the largest chicken eggs tend to be around 80 calories.
In addition to this, multiple studies have shown that diets with eggs tend to lead to more weight loss than diets that where participants did not eat eggs.
2: Whole Fat Yogurt
There are many types of yogurt that provide plenty of protein. Whole fat yogurt and true Greek yogurts are two examples of outstanding yogurt that offers plenty of vegetarian friendly protein.
This is a mainstay for many vegetarians anyway so they’ll be glad to hear this is a great source of protein for weight loss.
3: Peanut Butter
Who doesn’t love themselves some peanut butter? Loaded with plenty of vitamins and a lot of iron and protein, the chunky peanut butter is an especially good option.
Peanut butter is a great staple, but it is important to note that organic is better than name brand (which often adds sugar) and chunky is better than creamy when it comes to protein pack and weight loss ability.
Peanut butter is caloricly dense, so use it sparingly since over eating it may mean consuming too many calories and gaining weight.
Cheese is another great entry from the dairy side of things that is loaded with protein and can really pack a big boost to a vegetarian’s muscles.
Multiple studies have shown that dairy can help increase fat loss when added in moderation to a weight loss diet plan, making cheese an even better choice for vegetarians looking for an extra protein boost in their weight loss plan.
Some forms of cheese are better than others, but it is up to you to do the research and decide between taste and protein which you prefer.
Generally speaking, you can’t go wrong!
There are many amazing sources of protein among the nuts out there, but almonds stand out.
Packing 6 grams of protein in a single ounce, these not only provide a huge boost of protein even in small amounts but almonds have other features that make them a great weight loss food, as well.
Recent studies have shown that foods with the amino acid L-arginine actually interact with the body in a way that makes it burn more carbs and more fat during exercise and workouts.
Guess which food is loaded with them? You got it: almonds.
There aren’t many vegetarians that aren’t familiar with what quinoa brings to the table.
One of those outstanding grains that is absolutely loaded with various vitamins and minerals, many are surprised to find out this is one of those rare special plant grains that bring a lot of protein to the table, as well.
The more studies that are being done, the more good things that seem to become attached to this food making it a great choice for everyone, not just vegetarians.
7: Soy Milk
If dairy isn’t your thing, the good news is that soy milk can be a great alternative to help you get that feeling of milk, as well as the power of protein from a plant based source.
Soy milk is low in fat, free of cholesterol, and offers a solid protein option to fall back on, although men should only take soy milk in moderate amounts at most.
Beans are a staple of a variety of diets, especially high protein low carb inspired eating plans. The reason makes sense. Beans are filling, offer plenty of fiber, plenty of iron, plenty of protein.
Beans are relatively low in calories, fill up the stomach in a way that leafy greens simply do not, and give your muscles the boost you want from a solid protein infusion.
There are many different types of beans and they go well with so many vegetarian dishes making them an outstanding versatile option.
9: Cottage Cheese
Did we mention how great dairy products are as a vegetarian option for protein?
Cottage cheese offers the dietary weight loss benefits of dairy, fills the stomach, and packs a very large amount of protein in even the smallest of servings.
This is an outstanding option that goes well with many different dishes and hey, it’s not vegetarian lasagna without some cottage cheese.
Artichokes are a great hidden source of protein. Ounce for ounce they have more natural plant protein than virtually any other vegetable, making them a top choice for vegans, as well.
This delicious and tasty plant is filling, offers a very different taste from many other options, and gives that nice hidden benefit of protein that will only encourage more weight loss in a positive way.
Add in the fact they have twice as much fiber as kale to make you feel full and you are really set to rock with these.
11: Green Peas
Peas might be boring but these little green balls also pack in a lot of protein.
Great for mixing in casseroles or as a stand alone vegetable side dish, they are filling, get some color on the plate, and will help to make you feel full while giving your muscles that extra boost they need.
A must have to the vegetable list when looking at protein heavy vegetarian options!
Offering 7 grams of protein, this is one the gluten free crowd will love. Featuring a nutty flavor this gluten-free grain is loaded with amino acids, calcium, fiber, and even Vitamin C.
It’s doing a lot of heavy lifting and can easily be added into porridge or oatmeal.
Add fruit, spice it up, or even add just a touch of peanut butter to double up on that early morning protein goodness that will be good to your energy levels and your waistline!
Almonds weren’t going to be the only high protein nut to make this list.
Cashews aid weight loss by giving the body the nutrients it needs to function even in small serving sizes.
Minerals like copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium get mixed in with protein to create an outstanding diet food that fills you up, gives you fuel, and is friendly to vegetarian and vegan alike.
That’s a winner right there.
Spinach is famous for its many incredible health benefits and so it should really come as no surprise whatsoever that it ends up on this list.
One of the best leafy greens spinach isn’t just low in calories and high in fiber but in addition to adding some protein to a vegetarian diet it also holds a surprising amount of iron, which has been shown to have a positive effect in helping your body absorb more protein and use it more efficiently.
So Popeye was right. Make sure to start adding spinach whenever you can to this other options and watch that excess weight drop as you tone up!
15: Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are relatively new on the scene but there’s no denying the impact they’ve had in adding a healthy and outstanding supplement to the dietary plans of many people out there.
Chia seeds not only provide outstanding protein numbers but also omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.
Both have been shown to be heart healthy, fights inflammation and the symptoms that come with it (like weight gain) and best of all these are versatile!
Add them to salad dressing, blend them in smoothies, cook into pancakes or desserts – there are many different options to reap the full nutritional benefits these bring to the table.
Diet Programs That Can Help
If weight loss is your primary goal, then you may want to go with a program that has been proven to work.
There are a number of different diets out there with options for vegetarians, including powerhouses like Nutrisystem (read our review) and Weight Watchers. Nutrisystem even has a menu just for vegetarians, which makes them one of our top choices.
You can also find plenty of books out there that can help too, so be sure to look for options locally or even on Amazon if you prefer ordering online.
If you’re a vegetarian who is allowed dairy and eggs, you have tons of choices when it comes to finding protein-rich diet foods.
Even if you restrict some of these or even go so far as eating as much of a vegan diet as possible, enough amazing options remain on this list to help you make sure you get the high protein foods you need for some seriously good weight loss.
These 15 foods are all outstanding choices to add protein, stay full, and help move any vegetarian on a weight loss plan towards success!
Ben Corbin brings nearly 20 years of experience as a health and wellness author and writer. He holds a master’s degree, has a passion for health and fitness, and is driven to provide readers with accurate and honest diet reviews. Learn more about Ben and the DadQuarters mission at our About page.