The Top 25 Best Meats for Losing Weight

When it comes to losing weight, a balanced diet is essential; meats can be a great source of protein and nutrients.

However, not all meats are created equal, and some may hinder your weight loss goals. As a registered dietitian, I have compiled a list of the top 20 best meats for losing weight and meat choices you should avoid.

Read on to discover what meats you should add to your diet and which are best left off your plate.

Is Meat Healthy?

To be considered healthy, meat should have low saturated fat and sodium levels. Additionally, it’s important to prepare it through baking, broiling, or roasting vs deep fried. Lean meats like skinless chicken breast, tilapia, and shrimp are “healthy meats.”

Other healthy meats besides lean meats are salmon, grass-fed beef, and sardines. Even though they contain dietary fat and protein, they are beneficial because they contain essential fatty acids, also known as healthy fats, such as Omega-3s.

What Are The Best Lean Meats For Weight Loss?

If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s best to choose meats that are low in saturated fat, calories, and sodium. To maximize your weight loss efforts, opt for baked, broiled, slow-cooked, or grilled meats instead of fried or battered options. Check out the Macro Food List for more ideas!

Pork & Poultry

Protein  Serving Size CalFatProCarb
Pork chops4oz/113g1434g25g0g
Pork loin roast4oz/113g1363g26g0g
Pork tenderloin 4oz/113g1233g24g0g
Turkey bacon1oz/28g352g6g0g
Turkey breast 4oz/113g1352g27g0g
Ground turkey (90% lean)4oz/113g1709g21g0g
Ground chicken (90% lean)4oz/113g1295g25g0g
Chicken breast4oz/113g1353g25g0g

Beef

Protein  Serving Size CalFatProCarb
Ground beef (95% lean)4oz/113g1556g24g0g
Ground beef (93% lean)4oz/113g1728g24g0g
Ground beef (90% lean)4oz/113g19911g23g0g
Eye of round roast4oz/113g1454g26g0g
Sirloin tip4oz/113g1748g24g0g
Top round roast4oz/113g1454g27g0g
Bottom round roast4oz/113g1476g24g0g
Top sirloin steak4oz/113g1495g26g0g
Beef liver4oz/113g1505g23g0g

Seafood

Protein  Serving Size CalFatProCarb
Cod4oz/114g94>1g20g0g
Tilapia 4oz/116g1112g23g0g
Tuna3oz/85g73>1g17g0g
Halibut4oz/114g1042g21g0g
Red snapper4oz/114g1141.5g23g0g
Flounder4oz/114g802g14g0g
Shrimp4oz/114g97>1g23g0g
Crab4oz/114g96>1g21g0g
Mahi-mahi4oz/114g97>1g21g0g

What are the health benefits of lean meats.

The primary benefit from consuming lean meat is that it provides you with a high quality source of protein. Additionally, lean proteins are high in essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins that help keep your body functioning optimally. 

What meats should be avoid durning weight loss? 

Processed Meats: Processed meats such as hot dogs, sausage, and lunch meat are high in sodium and fat, making them an unhealthy choice and can sabotage weight loss goals.

Fried Chicken: Fried chicken is high in calories and saturated fat, which negates any nutritional value that protein provides. Fried foods are not suitable for weight loss.

Fatty Cuts of Beef and Pork: These cuts contain more calories and saturated fat and should be limited or avoided.

Final Thoughts

To lose weight, it is best to choose lean meats. Chicken, turkey and fish all provide a great source of protein while also being low in fat, calories and sodium. 

Noah Quezada is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist located in Denver, Colorado. Over the course of more than a decade, he has gained extensive experience in helping clients manage their weight through in-person sessions. Noah is also the 2023 President of the Colorado Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.