High Protein Snacks That Will Actually Help You Build Muscle

Today I am going to give you some ideas for 20 high protein snacks that will make your fat loss journey 1000% easier.

I’ll tell you what foods have high protein, what foods have low protein (this may shock you), and how to incorporate them into your meal plan for fat loss.

All I ask of you is this:

Grab a strong cup of coffee and a protein shake and follow along with me — no skimming around — I want you to read EVERY WORD. This is going to change the way you look at protein for good.

Ready? Cool. Let’s get it.

High Protein Snacks To Help You Burn Fat and Build Muscle

If you’re new here, my name is Jeffrey, but everyone calls me Pacman (last name).

I have spent the last 10 years trying every diet, workout plan, detox, and cleanse in the world, just trying to optimize my own personal health and fitness.

Jeff on the left was doing it all wrong:

  • Low protein
  • Focusing on “healthy foods” rather than overall calories
  • Prioritizing cardio over strength training
  • Doing intermittent fasting and cleanses constantly

What’s Jeff on the right doing?

  • High Protein
  • Calorie Deficit 
  • Walking 10k steps a day +
  • Strength Training 3-4 times a week

Don’t believe it’s that easy? Alice from Oregon joined my online coaching program 6 months ago, and completely changed her body and relationship with food, focusing on a high protein diet.

She is determined, dedicated, and when she makes up her mind to do something she doesn’t let her own busy life get in the way. She finds ways to get her protein in, even if she doesn’t have time to cook.

My friend Justin has been in my online coaching program for over a year now, and always makes sure to crush his protein goals.

Justin loves lifting heavy, cooking, and still enjoys his favorite foods (he just fits them into his calories and protein goals).

I show you success stories not to brag, but to show you that you can do it too, and I’m going to show you how.

Alternatively, if you want to see more success stories, you can check out some testimonials.

You may be wondering, why is this guy so worried about protein? Is it really that important?

Yes. It is. Here’s why:

What’s the big deal with protein?

One of the most common questions I get asked by my clients is “What are some good protein snacks?”

When you are on your fat loss journey, protein is king. As a matter of fact, If you want to get lean and have that toned look, we know from research that keeping protein high will ensure that you keep muscle while burning fat at the same time. 

However, the MOST important factor for any fat loss approach is a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit is in essence, just eating less food than your body burns. This is how fat loss works. If you want to figure out your calorie deficit, check out my free calorie calculator

Once you have your calorie deficit, the next thing to do is hit your protein target.

How much protein do I need?

There is a TON of information out there in regards to protein amounts, and it can be pretty confusing.

However, I am going to simplify this for you:

1g per pound of bodyweight.

This means if Chad weighs 200 pounds he would need 200g of protein per day.

Alternatively, if you have a higher body fat percentage, you can use 1g per pound of GOAL BODY WEIGHT.

Although eating that much protein may be new to you, it is actually easier than you think. However, we need to dispel some myths about what good sources of protein actually are.

“High Protein Snacks” that are not as protein-packed as you thought

Do a quick google search for a list of high protein snacks and you might find some confusing information.

However, before you go dipping your favorite wooden spoon into that jar of extra crunchy JIF, let me blow your mind:

Despite what you’ve been told, peanut butter is not high in protein.

High Protein Snacks

As a matter of fact, I want to give you a quick list of foods that have been deemed “protein powerhouses” that are actually not that proteinaceous if you’re trying to get that lean, toned look like your favorite IG fitness guru.

There are a lot of foods that have been labeled “high protein”, when in fact, they aren’t. Lemme explain. So, we all have heard that peanut butter is high in protein right?

Just 2 Tbsp. of peanut butter has 193 calories and only 7 grams of protein.

Compare that to PB2:

For 195 calories you are now getting 20g of protein!

On a side note, I am a huge fan of PB2 or any powdered peanut butter product like this one. The reason why they are so amazing is that they actually still give you that peanut butter flavor without the fat, making it a really decent protein source.

Foods that you may have thought were high in protein, but turn out they aren’t as protein-packed as you thought:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Almond butter
  • Hummus
  • Trail mix
  • “Energy bites”
  • Chickpeas
  • Chia pudding
  • Granola
  • Oatmeal

However, while all of these foods are absolutely delicious, most of them have less than 20% of their calories coming from protein. 

You can still include all of these foods in your meal plan for fat loss, but if you are looking for some truly high protein snacks, those aren’t them. 

Now that you know what foods aren’t that high in protein, let’s get into the real reason your here:

Super Easy High Protein Snacks

1.) Lean Deli Meat

High Protein Snacks

124 calories of sliced turkey breast has a whopping 24 grams of protein.

Next time you are at the grocery store, pick up a pound just to have an easy on- the-go snack when you are running around.

2.) Low-fat cheese

High Protein Snacks

For just 200 calories and 24g of protein, you can have 4 sticks of reduced fat mozzarella cheese.

My favorite reduced fat cheese is mozzarella. Not only is it awesome on low calorie pizza recipes, but you can wrap some turkey around a piece of reduced fat cheese for some serious protein.

There are also fat-free cheeses, but they don’t melt as good, so I usually go for the 2% varieties.

3.) Nonfat Greek Yogurt

High Protein Snacks

For 145 calories and 25g of protein, you can have 1 cup of nonfat greek yogurt.

While this stuff does not taste too great on its own, it is really great in high protein baking recipes or with some fruit and sugar free maple syrup! You can also throw some in smoothies or make some protein pudding with some chocolate protein powder.

4.) Turkey or Beef Jerky

High Protein Snacks

For just 144 calories and 27g of protein, you can have 2 ounces of reduced fat beef jerky or turkey jerky.

Jerky is a great option to bring on road trips or just to keep some in your car on days you are out and about.

5.) Protein Shakes

High Protein Snacks

For 160 calories and 30g of protein, you can have a premier protein chocolate shake.

Me and my online coaching clients usually just grab a case of these from Walmart, as they are easy to just grab and go.

Not only that, but you don’t even need to keep them refrigerated.

You can also just make your own shakes at home and save some money, I just threw this option out there for those who are looking for quick, grab and go options.

6.) PB2 with Rice Cakes

High Protein Snacks

For 200 calories 20g of protein, you can have 4 Tbsp. of PB2 mixed with some water or almond milk to turn into your very own high protein, low-fat peanut butter.

Spread that onto a couple of rice cakes and you’ve got yourself a serious high protein snack.

7.) Canned Chicken or Tuna

High Protein Snacks

For 130 calories and 25g of protein, you can have 4 oz. of canned tuna or canned chicken breast.

Mix with some lite mayo, curry powder, lemon juice, green onion and celery for a quick, low calorie curry chicken/tuna salad.

8.) Smoked Salmon

High Protein Snacks

For 166 calories and 25g of protein you can have 5 oz. of smoked salmon.

Have this on some multigrain bagels with fat free cream cheese and you will have over 30g of protein in a seriously quick and easy breakfast.

9.) Protein Bars

For 180 calories and 20g of protein, you can have almost any Quest protein bar.

I only suggested quest because that is a decent one that most people have access to.

One of my favorite protein bars is actually from Costco. It is their Kirkland chocolate chip cookie dough protein bar—you’re welcome.

Protein bars are not the best option in my opinion because they are very easy to eat quickly and will not leave you feeling very full.

You are way better off sitting down and having 4-6 ounces of lean protein than resorting to bars and processed protein products.

That being said, sometimes we are in a rush and there are just no other options. If this is the case, protein bars can be a serious help.

Did you find this article helpful?

Leave a comment down below and let me know what your favorite high-protein snack is below!

You can also apply for my online coaching program here!

4 thoughts on “High Protein Snacks That Will Actually Help You Build Muscle”

  1. LOVED this! Especially appreciate the simple & easy SMART choices….and the fact you took Chia Seeds and Goji Berries to task. [I love them both but surely they need to know their place, right?] Hilarious! Appreciate the help and focused direction.
    Rudy Hunter

  2. Just love how you cut to the chase and make it super easy to understand. Always love what you have to say. No BS no confusing messages. Thanks so much for this great article. I was definitely eating way too much on the first list and not enough on the second list.
    Thanks so much

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