This article was originally written by the Sequence clinic team (now known as WeightWatchers Clinic).

How to maximize your protein intake (with recipes!)

Published July 14, 2023 | Updated May 5, 2024

Protein is an essential nutrient, meaning you have to get some from food sources for optimal health. Protein is responsible for many important functions in our bodies such as:

  • Preserving and increasing lean muscle mass
  • Improving satiety which can help regulate our appetites
  • Maintaining proper bone and skin health

Wondering how to meet your protein needs? Learn how much protein you need here, then see the lists below for protein-rich foods and some of our favorite protein-packed recipes.

Protein-rich foods

  • Tuna or salmon: 18-20 grams in 3 oz
  • Chicken breast or turkey breast: 25 grams in 3 oz
  • Deli-sliced turkey breast: 16 grams in 3 oz
  • Turkey jerky: 12 grams in 1 oz
  • Nonfat plain Greek yogurt: 23 grams in 1 cup
  • Nonfat plain cottage cheese: 23 grams in 1 cup
  • Eggs: 13 grams in 2 large eggs
  • Chickpeas or black beans: 15 grams in 1 cup
  • Edamame in pods: 12 grams in 1 cup
  • Powdered peanut butter: 7 grams in 2 tbsp powder
  • Bone broth: 9 grams in 1 cup

Brand-name protein bars, shakes, and powders (could vary by flavor):

Easy protein-loaded recipes

Plant-protein main meals: 20+ grams of protein per serving

Simple protein-rich snacks: 10+ grams protein per serving

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