Is Steak Good For Weight Loss? Things You May Not Know 2023

Sevginur Akdas

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Dr G. Michael DiLeo, MD

is steak good for weight loss

Done right, steak is a good strategy for weight loss. But is steak good as part of a healthy diet? It is commonly debated because many people love to eat meat and believe it has enormous health benefits; some, however, think it is unhealthy and leads to many diseases.

The reality is that there is no one evil or miracle food for your weight loss journey; balance is the key.

In this article, you will find science-based meat facts and dietary tips to lose weight. Can you eat steak on a diet? Is beef or meat good for weight loss

Let’s find out if steak is one of the foods for weight loss.

Is Steak Good For Weight Loss?

  • Steak is a good protein and iron source which are essential nutrients for metabolism.
  • Steak can reduce your appetite.
  • It is better to eat steak in moderation and serve with veggies.
  • To avoid its disadvantages, avoid fried or processed meat and high-calorie sauces.

Steak Nutrition & Health Benefits

When you eat one medium portion[1] of steak, about 156 grams, you can get 287 calories with 46 grams of protein and 11 grams of total fat. That amount of protein represents an impressive 92% of the daily value recommended! Alternatively, four grams of the fat content of steak is saturated fat. Also, this size portion, e.g., beef steak, will have 126 milligrams of cholesterol.

Regarding micronutrient supply, you can see that steak is a good source of iron. It will provide 20% of the daily iron needs with a medium portion. Also, it has similar potassium and sodium daily value content.

What Does Steak Do To Your Body?

To understand what eating steak on a diet brings to your health, you must first ask, Is red meat good for health and weight loss? 

Throughout human evolution, red meat has played a significant role in the human diet. When consumed as part of a balanced and healthy diet, it provides a valuable source of high-quality protein and essential nutrients. 

The high protein red meat provides greatly impacts satiety and body weight[2] by modulating appetite and energy intake, as has been shown in several studies. For example, red meat is a rich source of bioavailable micronutrients that are essential for maintaining good health and well-being. One notable example is the haem form of iron, which is found predominantly in meat and able to be absorbed more efficiently from the diet, i.e., 20-30% compared to the non-haem iron form, at 5-15%, found mainly in plant-based iron sources. Moreover, the haem iron in red meat also helps to increase non-haem iron absorption from other foods such as cereals, vegetables, and pulses.

Not Every Red Meat Is Healthy

But here we need to pause to examine the very different effects of unprocessed and processed meat. While steak is unprocessed red meat, there are unhealthy red meat options that you need to avoid.

Red meat typically encompasses beef, pork, lamb, and game. On the other hand, processed meat generally refers to any meat that has been preserved using methods such as salting, smoking, curing, or adding chemical preservatives. Examples of processed meat include bacon, sausages, salami, and ham.

The consumption of processed meat or excessive red meat leads to many types of cancers[3] and cardiovascular diseases.[4] Therefore it is important to be aware of how much red meat you consume and avoid eating processed meat.

Why Does Steak Help You Lose Weight?

Steak will provide you with a high protein intake. It has been shown that high-protein diets[5] help weight loss and maintenance of body weight after weight loss. 

Appetite Control

is steak good for weight loss

It is also shown in a meta-analysis[6] that higher dietary protein intake results in a significant reduction in body weight compared to regular control diets. One of the main reasons for these effects of high protein intake is a reduction in appetite.[7] When you eat a high-protein meal, appetite hormone levels in your body change. Your hunger hormones decrease while your satiety hormones increase in the blood. This switch leads to reduced calorie intake and weight loss.

Energy Expenditure

is steak good for weight loss

The other part of losing weight is increasing calorie expenditure. In conjunction with exercise, high protein intake induces thermogenesis,[8] although the medical literature indicates this effect, typically, is not substantial. 

High protein consumption contributes to your muscle mass, especially if you are doing regular physical exercises. It is important for your basal metabolic rate to increase to preserve your muscle mass during a weight-loss diet. The higher your muscle mass, the more calories you burn because muscles are more metabolically active for calorie expenditure.

But you should follow the tips below for eating steak while on a weight loss diet; otherwise, you may not lose weight, or it may even lead to weight gain and an increased metabolic load for your body.

How To Eat Steak For Weight Loss

Choose Lean Cuts Of Meat

is steak good for weight loss

It is important to lower saturated fat intake by choosing lean meat such as sirloin, flank steak, or tenderloin. These have lower fat and calories than other cuts like ribeye or T-bone. 

Is ribeye steak, beef jerky, or ground beef good for weight loss? Although these include higher fat and calorie content, you may eat them as long as you consider your portion.

Control Your Portion

is steak good for weight loss

Limit the serving size to 3 ounces, which is the size of the palm of your hand. This will help you keep your calorie intake under control. 

In addition, consuming red meat or steak on certain days of the week and choosing fish or chicken on other days will be more beneficial in terms of healthy diet diversity. 

Also, remember that meat products include high protein, legumes and whole grain products, milk, and eggs provide good protein.

Avoid High-Calorie Toppings

is steak good for weight loss

Skipping the butter, creamy sauces, and dressings for meat dishes helps you reduce calorie and fat intake. You can add some flavor to your dish with herbs, spices, or citrus fruits and lemon.

Prefer Healthier Cooking Methods

is steak good for weight loss

Grilling, broiling, or roasting are healthier cooking methods than frying or pan-searing, as the latter can increase the calorie and fat content.

Eat Meat With Veggies

is steak good for weight loss

You can add some color and health to your meals by pairing your steak with a variety of vegetables. With the help of vegetables, your meal adds fiber, vitamins, and minerals to help you feel full and satisfied.

Other Foods To Eat To Lose Weight

We mentioned above that you need to limit and diversify your diet for a balanced and healthy weight loss diet. Here are other food options to include for weight loss other than steak:

Other Animal Sources of Protein

White Meats

The studies showed that different types of meat show similar effects on appetite control.[2] Researchers found no differences between appetite hormone release or hunger signaling among different types of meat consumption, such as beef, pork, or chicken.

Therefore you may prefer white meats such as poultry meats or fish to reduce the negative effects of excessive red meat consumption. 

Fish, especially, is a very special animal source of protein. It includes low saturated fat while it has a good amount of unsaturated fatty acids and omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids[9] help you to lose weight, reduce inflammation in your body and reduce the liver’s synthesis of fat and cholesterol.


Egg protein[10] is highly digestible and contains essential amino acids with the highest possible protein bioavailability. Furthermore, egg protein has been shown to decrease appetite, leading to a reduction in caloric intake and weight loss while protecting against infection, chronic diseases, and cancers.

Dairy Products

Drinking milk and eating dairy products[11] are shown to help with weight loss and improve body composition. It is an important dietary protein source to reduce the risk of obesity both in adults and children. Also, these foods may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease like stroke.

Whole Grains

A diet should contain whole grains, a great fiber source for a healthy gastrointestinal system. It is beneficial to add whole grains such as whole wheat, buckwheat, bulgur, quinoa, oats, etc.

People who consume a whole grain-rich diet[12] have lower inflammation status in the body and lower body weight compared to people consuming a refined grain diet.


Vegetables are essential for the maintenance of body health and sustainable weight loss[13] because they provide not only high fiber but also vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds.

Healthy Fats

Unsaturated fatty acids are important for speeding up metabolism. Omega-3 fatty acids[14] can shift metabolism in the direction of energy expenditure, which leads to weight loss. Also, omega-3 fatty acids help to increase the oxidation of fatty acids, which helps you to reduce mainly your body fat while you are losing weight. Flaxseed, chia seeds, almonds, and walnuts are good sources of unsaturated fatty acids.

The Bottom Line

Steak can be a healthy and beneficial food for your weight loss diet when consumed in moderation and with sensible preparation.

While it is a good source of protein and micronutrients like iron, it is important to select lean cuts of meat to avoid high saturated fat intake. Also, you must limit serving size and avoid processed meat consumption to address the higher risk of chronic diseases.

It is crucial to diversify and enrich your diet for better health. Incorporating a variety of protein sources in your diet, including legumes, whole grains, milk, and eggs, is also essential for overall nutrition and weight loss goals. 

Overall, balance is key, and it is possible to enjoy a steak while maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.

+ 14 sources

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  1. (2023). Beef steak, lean only eaten, broiled or baked nutrition facts and analysis. [online] Available at:
  2. Wyness, L. (2015). The role of red meat in the diet: nutrition and health benefits. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, [online] 75(3), pp.227–232. doi:
  3. Farvid, M.S., Sidahmed, E., Spence, N.D., Mante Angua, K., Rosner, B.A. and Barnett, J.B. (2021). Consumption of red meat and processed meat and cancer incidence: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. European Journal of Epidemiology, [online] 36(9), pp.937–951. doi:
  4. Wang, M., Ma, H., Song, Q., Zhou, T., Hu, Y., Heianza, Y., Manson, J.E. and Qi, L. (2022). Red meat consumption and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality: results from the UK Biobank study. European Journal of Nutrition, [online] 61(5), pp.2543–2553. doi:
  5. Moon, J. and Koh, G. (2020). Clinical Evidence and Mechanisms of High-Protein Diet-Induced Weight Loss. Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome, [online] 29(3), pp.166–173. doi:
  6. Hansen, T.T., Astrup, A. and Sjödin, A. (2021). Are Dietary Proteins the Key to Successful Body Weight Management? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Studies Assessing Body Weight Outcomes after Interventions with Increased Dietary Protein. Nutrients, [online] 13(9), p.3193. doi:
  7. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. (2017). Acute and Long-Term Impact of High-Protein Diets on Endocrine and Metabolic Function, Body Composition, and Exercise-Induced Adaptations. [online] Available at:
  8. Kassis, A., Godin, J.-P., Moille, S.E., Nielsen-Moennoz, C., Groulx, K., Oguey-Araymon, S., Praplan, F., Beaumont, M., Sauser, J., Monnard, I., Kapp, A.-F., Ammon-Zufferey, C., Frei, N., Guignard, L., Delodder, F. and Mace, K. (2019). Effects of protein quantity and type on diet induced thermogenesis in overweight adults: A randomized controlled trial. Clinical Nutrition, [online] 38(4), pp.1570–1580. doi:
  9. ‌Backes, J., Anzalone, D., Hilleman, D. and Catini, J. (2016). The clinical relevance of omega-3 fatty acids in the management of hypertriglyceridemia. Lipids in Health and Disease, [online] 15(1). doi:
  10. Puglisi, M.J. and Fernandez, M.L. (2022). The Health Benefits of Egg Protein. Nutrients, [online] 14(14), p.2904. doi:
  11. Thorning, T.K., Raben, A., Tholstrup, T., Soedamah-Muthu, S.S., Givens, I. and Astrup, A. (2016). Milk and dairy products: good or bad for human health? An assessment of the totality of scientific evidence. Food & Nutrition Research, [online] 60(1), p.32527. doi:
  12. Roager, H.M., Vogt, J.K., Kristensen, M., Hansen, L.B.S., Ibrügger, S., Mærkedahl, R.B., Bahl, M.I., Lind, M.V., Nielsen, R.L., Frøkiær, H., Gøbel, R.J., Landberg, R., Ross, A.B., Brix, S., Holck, J., Meyer, A.S., Sparholt, M.H., Christensen, A.F., Carvalho, V. and Hartmann, B. (2017). Whole grain-rich diet reduces body weight and systemic low-grade inflammation without inducing major changes of the gut microbiome: a randomised cross-over trial. Gut, [online] 68(1), pp.83–93. doi:
  13. Paixão, C., Dias, C.M., Jorge, R., Carraça, E.V., Yannakoulia, M., Zwaan, M., Soini, S., Hill, J.O., Teixeira, P.J. and Santos, I. (2020). Successful weight loss maintenance: A systematic review of weight control registries. Obesity Reviews, [online] 21(5). doi:
  14. Albracht-Schulte, K., Kalupahana, N.S., Ramalingam, L., Wang, S., Rahman, S.M., Robert-McComb, J. and Moustaid-Moussa, N. (2018). Omega-3 fatty acids in obesity and metabolic syndrome: a mechanistic update. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, [online] 58, pp.1–16. doi:
Sevginur Akdas

Written by:

Sevginur Akdas, RD

Medically reviewed by:

Michael DiLeo

Sevginur Akdas is a researcher, medical writer, and clinical dietitian, who is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in metabolism, chronic diseases, and clinical nutrition fields. She has many scientific articles, meta-analyses, systematic reviews, and book chapters on nutrition, chronic diseases, dietary supplements, maternal and child nutrition, molecular nutrition & functional foods topics as a part of a research team currently. Besides her academic background, she is also a professional health&medical writer since 2017.

Medically reviewed by:

Michael DiLeo

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