Protein for Weight Loss #13 of 15: Complete vs. Incomplete Proteins

In this blog post, we'll explore the distinctions between two types of proteins and how they can impact your weight loss success.

As you embark on your weight loss journey, understanding the difference between complete and incomplete proteins is crucial to ensuring your fulling your body with the right nutrients.

There are 20 different amino acids the body uses to create various proteins. Out of these 20 amino acids, 9 are considered essential, meaning they cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained through diet. The other 11 are non-essential amino acids, which the body can produce on its own.

Complete proteins contain all nine essential amino acids.  These amino acids must come from your diet, because your body can't produce them. Complete proteins help your body build and repair tissues, synthesize hormones, and support immune health.

Complete protein sources:

  • 🍗 Meat (chicken, beef, pork)
  • 🐟 Fish & seafood
  • 🥚 Eggs
  • 🥛 Dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese)
  • 🌾 Quinoa
  • 🌱 Soy (tofu, tempeh, edamame)

Incomplete Proteins

Incomplete proteins lack one or more essential amino acids. Although they don't provide the full spectrum, they contribute to overall protein intake and play a valuable role in a balanced diet.

Incomplete protein sources:

  • 🥜 Nuts & seeds
  • 🍛 Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas)
  • 🌰 Grains (rice, barley, oats)
  • 🥦 Vegetables (broccoli, spinach, kale)

So for non meat eaters, you have to combine Incomplete Proteins to gain all of the essential amino acids from your diet. knowing what amino acids are missing and what foods to combine is key to ensuring you get all your essential amino acids into your diet

Combining food sources to make up for the missing amino acids include

  • 🍚 Rice & beans
  • 🥙 Hummus & whole-grain pita
  • 🍞 Peanut butter on whole-grain toast
  • 🥣 Lentil soup with whole-grain bread


Both meat eaters and non-meat eaters can successfully lose weight by consuming a balanced diet that includes all the essential amino acids.

For non-meat eaters, some a planning and knowledge is need to combine different plant-based protein sources to ensure adequate intake of all the essential amino acids.

So by understanding the differences between complete and incomplete proteins should make it easier to plan out your meals especially for no  meat eaters to include all the various amino acids your body requires.

Stay tuned for another post where we'll discuss another great benefit of eating more protein!

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