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Protein Portions to Help You Feel Full and Fight Fat

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Protein is essential to your belly-blasting plan because it helps to keep you full and prevents muscle loss while losing fat mass. However, you need to take in the right amount of protein each day. Taking in too much or too little can sabotage your weight loss efforts.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Lyredmila Suvorova 2009]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Lyredmila Suvorova 2009

Except where noted, one serving size of each of the foods in the following tables equals 1 ounce of protein.

Portion Sizes of Lean Protein Choices
Food Size of a Serving
Fish
All fish, including salmon, flounder, halibut, trout, cod, tilapia, herring, grouper, swordfish, and so on 1 ounce
Canned tuna in water 1/4 cup
Canned sardines in water 2 sardines
Shellfish (clams, shrimp, crab, lobster, scallops, oysters, and so on) 1 ounce
Imitation shellfish 1 ounce
Poultry
Chicken breast, white meat, skinless 1 ounce
Turkey breast, white meat, skinless 1 ounce
Cornish hen, skinless 1 ounce
Ground turkey, 100% breast meat 1 ounce
Ground chicken, 100% breast meat 1 ounce
Pork
Tenderloin 1 ounce
Center chop loin 1 ounce
Fresh ham 1 ounce
Boiled ham 1 ounce
Canadian bacon 1 ounce
Beef (for all cuts, choose USDA Select and Choice cuts and trim all visible fat)
Flank steak 1 ounce
Round 1 ounce
Tenderloin 1 ounce
Eye of round roast or steak 1 ounce
Sirloin tip side steak 1 ounce
Top round roast and steak 1 ounce
Bottom round roast and steak 1 ounce
Top sirloin steak 1 ounce
Game
Buffalo (bison) 1 ounce
Venison 1 ounce
Ostrich 1 ounce
Goose (cooked without skin) 1 ounce
Lamb
Leg of lamb 1 ounce
Loin chops 1 ounce
Loin shoulder 1 ounce
Cheese
Fat-free or part-skim varieties with 3 grams of fat or less per ounce 1 ounce
Fat-free or part-skim cottage cheese 1/4 cup
Fat-free or part-skim ricotta cheese 1/4 cup
Parmesan cheese 2 tablespoons
Other
Legumes/lentils (equals 1 protein and 1 starch serving) 1/2 cup
Eggs 1 egg
Egg whites 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
Tofu 1/2 cup
Edamame 1/4 cup
Vegetable burger 1 burger (equals 2 ounces protein)
Deli meat (choose varieties with 3 grams of fat or less per serving) 1 ounce
Portion Sizes of Medium- and High-Fat Protein Choices
Food Size of a Serving
Fish
Fried fish 1 ounce
Fried shellfish 1 ounce
Sautéed fish or shellfish in oil/butter 1 ounce
Fish
Tuna canned in oil 1/4 cup
Poultry
Chicken, dark meat 1 ounce
Chicken, with skin 1 ounce
Turkey, dark meat 1 ounce
Turkey, with skin 1 ounce
Fried chicken or turkey 1 ounce
Ground chicken/turkey, dark meat 1/4 cup
Pork
Top loin 1 ounce
Chop 1 ounce
Cutlet 1 ounce
Boston butt 1 ounce
Taylor ham 1 ounce
Spare ribs 1 ounce
Ground pork 1 ounce
Pork sausage 1 ounce
Bacon 3 slices
Hot dog 1 ounce
Beef (any USDA Prime grade of meat counts as a medium/high-fat protein)
Ground beef 1/4 cup
Corned beef 1 ounce
Filet mignon 1 ounce
Porterhouse steak 1 ounce
New York strip steak 1 ounce
T-bone 1 ounce
Rib-eye 1 ounce
Prime rib 1 ounce
Short rib 1 ounce
Lamb
Rib roast 1 ounce
Ground lamb 1 ounce
Cheese
Part-skim or full-fat cheese with more than 3 grams of fat per ounce 1 ounce
Other
Sandwich meats with more than 3 grams of fat per ounce 1 ounce

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