Three foods with big protein bang for your calorie buck

That was quite a title!

First an admission. I cannot lie to you guys. This was NOT supposed to be today’s post. But unfortunately I left my camera at a friend’s house and rather than give you a recipe with no pictures, I’d rather wait until tomorrow, when we can all revel in some good ol’ fashioned food porn!

In the meantime, let’s discuss bargain eating. (“Wuzzat?”)

Bargain eating is trying to eat foods that give you the most benefit for the amount of calories you are eating.

For us, that would be mainly protein and especially for newbies, getting the most out of things is essential.

So first, let’s talk about protein a bit. My next info series “Protein Power” is in the writing phases, but there is some basic stuff I can say about protein.

For instance, one gram of protein has four calories. And what makes a good protein source? Well we each have our own rules, but to me something is a GOOD protein source if it has one gram of protein for every ten calories (at least…remember…since 1g protein =4 calories, technically there CAN be up to 2g of protein in 10 calories. Just sayin…) and if the carbs are lower than the protein.

Keeping that in mind, here are three things that, in my estimation, give you good protein bang for your calorie buck.

String Cheese

Especially if you get it from Aldi. My Fit & Active string cheese has 60 calories, 8g protein. That’s as much as a glass of milk with 20 less calories. And I could finish a string cheese very early on. Be sure you are cleared for cheese (especially mozzarella) before trying, but this makes a great midday protein snack.

Here’s a yummy snack I make using string cheese.


Four ounces of tuna roughly equals 10g protein. Granted, many newbies can’t eat four ounces of tuna, but if you’re looking for something that can go down easy and give you good protein. Tuna is a good “go-to” food.

Here’s three things I like to do with tuna:

There’s lots more. Do a search for “tuna” in the search box in the right menu panel and see what you discover!

Cottage Cheese

You all thought I was gonna say Greek yogurt, didn’t you??? I like Greek yogurt fine although I don’t tend to eat it much anymore outside of being a sub for sour cream. Cottage cheese, however? I can’t get enough of the stuff! And if you get the low-fat kind (NOT fat free…although in a moment I’ll tell you how to deal if you accidentally buy fat free…), it’s only 10 calories more than milk…with 4 more grams of protein!!! Half a cup of cottage cheese generally has about 14g of protein and 90 calories, making it an excellent choice…and it’s easy on the pouch.

What do I like to do with cottage cheese?

  • You like cannoli? Click here.
  • You like Cadbury Cream Eggs? Click here.
  • In my latest coup, I started replacing half the cream cheese in my protein cheesecake with cottage cheese  (that I’ve run through the processor to smoooth out) Nobody knows the difference and it bumps up the protein a LOT.

Now…if you happen to get some fat free cottage cheese (you poor thing) and don’t like it, here’s what you can do. Measure out your portion of it. For every ounce of cottage cheese, add 1 heaping tablespoon of Greek yogurt (or plain yogurt). Then add your flavorings. It helps. Trust me. (No offense to all the fat free cottage cheese lovers out there…I hope I didn’t offend both of you 😉

So there you have it. Three solid choices that give you excellent bang for your protein buck. Newbies, find a way to incorporate one of these into your plan and you will be A-OK!

One comment

  1. Those recipes sound great! Thanks for sharing. I love cheese sticks, tuna, and cottage cheese. I am definitely not a fat-free cottage fan. Give me lowfat anyday. 🙂

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