What Is A Healthy Amount Of Protein To Eat Every Day For Weight Loss
Remember: Everyones different, so theres really no one-size-fits-all prescription when it comes to a healthy amount of protein for you. Protein intake really depends on your size and activity level, but there are some numbers we can look at, explains , RD, who runs MPM Nutrition in New York.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is set at .8 grams of your body weight, but that is a minimum, not necessarily optimal, Meshlaum notes. TBH, your best bet is to try and get roughly 30 percent of your calories from protein. This rounds out to be about one gram of protein per pound of body weight, Meshlaum says.
Can Too Much Protein Make You Fat
A widely held myth in the nutrition community is that eating excessive protein can ONLY result in a muscle-building frenzy. The reality is, the body has a path to convert any macro into stored fat. Each pathway is different depending on the macro, but an essential takeaway from this article is that too much protein CAN result in excess fat stores .
How Much Protein Should I Take To Gain Weight
While no one single nutrient will completely make or break your weight-gain progress, getting enough protein in your diet is key for maximizing weight gain. On top of needing extra calories to add pounds, you’ll also need more protein than the average sedentary person, especially if you’re trying to gain muscle. Your protein intake can come from high-protein foods — like meat or beans — or from protein supplements.
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Percent Of Daily Calories
Current U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines suggest that adults should consume between 10% and 35% of their total calories from protein. To get your number and track your intake, you’ll need to know how many calories you consume each day.
Once you know how many calories you consume, multiply that number by 10% and 35% to get your range. As an example, a person who consumes 2,000 calories per day would need to consume 200 to 700 calories each day from protein.
Other Circumstances That Can Increase Protein Needs
Regardless of muscle mass and physique goals, those who are physically active need more protein than those who are sedentary.
If your job is physically demanding or you walk a lot, run, swim, or do any sort of exercise, you need to eat more protein.
Endurance athletes also need significant amounts of protein about 0.50.65 grams per pound of body weight (
This can help prevent osteoporosis and sarcopenia, both of which are significant problems among older adults.
People recovering from injuries may likewise need more protein .
People who are physically active, as well as older adults and those recovering from injuries, have significantly increased protein requirements.
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How Do You Know If Youre Eating Too Much Protein
While there is no exact recommendation for what constitutes too much protein, most current research suggests keeping it to no more than 2 grams per kilogram of body weight to avoid any long term, negative side effects, Sheth says. For a 185-pound man, thats 168 grams of protein per day.
Although theres some concern about excessive protein intake causing kidney damage, no significant research studies have been able to prove this link, so its probably not something to worry about.
The biggest worry about getting too much protein isnt really about protein, but about the things you might be missing out on if youre pounding whey shakes and steaks all day.
Specifically, eating a diet thats very high in protein might mean youre not getting enough fiber, a compound found in plants that helps digestion and is important for overall health. Without adequate fiber, which the Dietary Guidelines for Americans cite as about 38 grams per day for men, you might feel constipated, experience diarrheayes, fiber helps prevent both!or feel bloated throughout the day due to poor digestion.
How To Get The Most Out Of This Weight Gain Smoothie
The best way to add this weigh gainer smoothie into your diet is to add it as your 4th or 5th meal. This way it will help you get a calorie surplus as you will still be having breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The best time to have this is between breakfast and lunch, lunch and dinner or after a workout.
Its great after a high intensity workout as it has plenty of protein to rebuild muscles, carbohydrates to replenish glycogen and contains electrolytes and sodium.
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How Many Grams Of Protein Should You Eat Per Kilogram Of Body Weight
The amount of protein you consume is important for your health. Most people should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, but this amount can change based on various factors. People who are pregnant, lactating, have certain health issues or are very active typically require more protein than average.
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Most people should consume 0.8 gram of protein per kilogram or 0.36 gram per pound of body weight, but this amount varies based on a number of factors.
Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Pregnant Women
The protein RDA for pregnant women is 1.1 g/kg. This value was estimated by adding three values:
The RDA for a healthy adult
The amount of additional body protein a pregnant woman accumulates
The amount of protein used by the developing fetus
However, as we saw previously with non-pregnant healthy adults, the RDA may not be sufficient, let alone optimal. Theres some IAAO evidence that the RDA for pregnant women should be about 1.66 g/kg during early gestation and 1.77 g/kg during late gestation . Moreover, a meta-analysis of 16 intervention studies reported that protein supplementation during pregnancy led to reduced risks for the baby:
34% lower risk of low gestational weight
32% lower risk of low birth weight
38% lower risk of stillbirth
This effect was more pronounced in undernourished women than in adequately nourished women. Importantly, these values were determined from sedentary women carrying one child, meaning that pregnant women who engage in regular physical activity or are supporting the growth of more than one child may need even higher amounts.
Also, keep in mind that we can only tell you what the studies reported we cant possibly know about your health and your pregnancy specifically. Please be sure to consult with your obstetrician/gynecologist before making any changes.
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Protein For Weight Gain
The current RDA for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day, or about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, according to the Institute of Medicine. Consuming the protein RDA can help maintain your lean muscle mass. However, to build muscle and gain weight the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends you consume 1.4 to 1.8 grams per kilogram, or about 0.64 to 0.82 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day. This means a 150-pound person should consume 96 to 123 grams of protein each day to build muscle mass and gain weight.
Excess Consumption Of Protein
It’s perfectly acceptable to increase the amount of protein you eat, but there are, of course, limits to the amount you should consume. According to the Harvard Medical School, eating 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or more could be bad for your health. Some of the negatives that can occur when consuming too much protein include:
- âHigh cholesterolâ, often associated with the consumption of too much saturated fat, which is found in animal products and other foods like coconuts
- âGastrointestinal system issuesâ, including diarrhea and constipation
- âKidney problemsâ, including kidney stones and kidney disease
- âIncreased risk of age-related diseasesâ, including heart disease and cancer
- âWeight gainâ
Consuming large amounts of protein over a short period of time likely won’t affect you in these ways. However, long-term consumption of a high-protein diet may negatively affect your health.
If you choose to consume a substantial amount of protein each day, it’s important to make sure that you still âeat a balanced diet.â In this case, that would mean choosing different types of protein, like fatty fish, eggs and plant-based proteins, as well as animal products. Consuming a variety of proteins will help increase the amount of nutrients in your diet, reduce the amount of saturated fat you’re consuming and be better for your overall health.
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Eat Meals With Fibrous Carbohydrates And Healthful Fats
Including foods rich in fibrous carbohydrates and healthful fats in every meal will help to increase the number of both calories and nutrients in the diet.
These foods provide an essential energy source to maintain a regular exercise regime, and to support muscle growth. People should use whole-food sources of carbohydrates, such as brown rice and beans, rather than refined and processed sources.
Distinguishing between healthful and unhealthful fats is vital. Healthful fats are generally monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, which occur in foods such as nuts, avocado, vegetable oils, and fish.
Unhealthful fats include saturated fats and trans fats. A healthful diet should limit saturated fats and avoid added trans fats. These types of fats are found in fried and baked foods as well as in fatty meats such as beef, pork, and lamb.
Reasons To Gain Weight
Medical reasons for being underweight include long-term illnesses like cancer and recovering from eating disorders and thyroid or hormonal disruption, says Adam Atkinson, an International Sports Science Association -certified personal trainer and founder of See You Later Leaner in Columbus, Ohio.
In my practice, I work with females with functional hypothalamic amenorrhea who want to get their hormones functioning optimally again, he says. I also get women going through pregnancy who need to have a controllable weight gain as well.
Before beginning a weight gaining regime, consult a licensed professional, adds Colleen Chiariello, a registered dietitian at Syosset Hospital in New York. Some of the concerns associated with underweight status may be related to underlying medical issues, she adds. Its recommended to get a physical with bloodwork and any additional testing to ensure the person is otherwise healthy.
In addition to learning how to gain a healthy amount of weight for medical reasons, some people may be interested in bulking up or adding muscle, which also requires weight gain, according to Chiariello. Experts note that when you gain weight, you should aim to gain lean body mass specifically.
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How Much Protein Should You Eat While Pregnant
Growing a human requires a bit more protein intake. Along with your protein needs, your body has to account for your babys nutrients too.
But, some researchers note that this amount doesnt take into account the changing needs during different pregnancy stages. Some will recommend 1.2 to 1.52 g/kg each day in early pregnancy and late pregnancy .The same goes for those exclusively breastfeeding. Research indicates that in order to maintain your own muscle mass while providing adequate nutrition to your bébés, you should aim to eat around 1.7 to 1.9 g/kg of protein per day.
Lets Go For Second Onehow Much Protein Do I Need A Day To Build Muscle
If youre trying to build muscle. Youre trying to build more muscle tone, or youre trying to build muscle in general. You want to actually take your weight and take that times one.
For example, you weigh 160 pounds and youre wanting to pack on some muscle. What that might look like if youre eating five meals a day or lets say, four meals a day, youre going to be trying to get 40 grams of protein per meal. Thats how much protein you need per day.
A very reliable guideline for protein intake is to simply consume 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day.
So, if you weigh 160 lbs, aim for 160 grams of protein. Simple as that. And if you are someone who does their measurements in kilograms, then, you know, obviously keep in mind that 1 kg is equal to 2.2 lbs. So, you can just do the calculation that way.
Thats the very precise answer for How much protein per day to gain muscle.
Again, it really depends. Is your goal for general health? If your goal is a fat-burning, 0.7 to 0.75 grams of protein. Then, if your goal is to build muscle, you need an equal amount of grams of protein a day to your bodyweight if youre going to actually build muscle.
Remember these benefits of protein. I mean, protein is so important for building lean musculature tissue. Its also very important for organ function. So, if youre really trying to heal. There are actually studies out there that if you have burns or cuts on your body that you actually need more protein intake.
What Type Of Protein Is Best For Weight Gain
One of the best types of protein for muscle growth and weight gain is whey protein and whey protein isolates, Sheth says. Whey contains all the essential amino acids and has a high biological value, meaning that your body is able to absorb and use all of the amino acids present, instead of letting some of them pass through your digestive system. Whey also digests quickly and goes down easily in a protein shake or smoothie, so its easy to consume enough.
Protein from meat, poultry, and fish is also extremely bioavailable and thus good for muscle gain.
Top Your Food With Chopped Almonds
Almonds are incredibly healthy.
Theyre high in magnesium, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, yet low in digestible carbs.
Almonds also contain 6 grams of protein in a 1-ounce serving, which makes them a better source of protein than most nuts .
And although a serving of almonds contains around 170 calories, studies have shown that your body absorbs only about 133 of those calories because some of the fat isnt digested .
So sprinkle a few tablespoons of chopped almonds over yogurt, cottage cheese, salads, or oatmeal to increase your protein intake and add a bit of flavor and crunch.
Almonds are high in several nutrients and can boost the protein content of a meal or snack.
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Can Whey Protein Reduce Food Cravings
We will get to hunger itself in a moment, but first, let’s look at food cravings. Whether it’s a late-night snack or your favorite treat, chocolate, for example, our body and our brains often crave them. By eating more protein, we can significantly reduce our cravings for unhealthy foods.
One study carried out on overweight men found that increasing protein intake reduced food cravings by 60 percent . Furthermore, the same study found a similar result in the reduction of late-night cravings.
One of the benefits of choosing protein over a carbohydrate or fat macro is that the energy required to break down and store the protein is far greater than the energy exerted to digest the other macros. A great example of this is choosing to eat twenty grams of protein. Five grams of those twenty are exhausted, breaking down the remaining protein grams. Below are the typical taxes the body charges for breaking down your macros.
- Protein – 25%
- Carbohydrates – 7.5%
- Fats – 1.5%
As you can see, the body barely burns any energy by eating fats thus, if the goal is to avoid unintentional weight gain, the best midnight snacks seem to be protein.
Your Body Needs Protein
You can get protein in a variety of forms, chicken, fish, beef, whey protein, quinoa, some vegetables. Biggest thing is that you take in the correct amount.
All of us need to consume amino acids these are the building blocks of proteins. Your muscle proteins require a variety of amino acids.
Essential amino acids are found in food. When you eat a food that contains protein, your body breaks the protein molecules in the food down into the amino acids theyre comprised of, then uses those amino acids to build its own proteins.
If you eat too few grams of protein everyday, your body can become deficient in the amino acids it needs to build and repair muscle then muscle growth becomes impaired.
Even if you dont exercise, your body needs amino acids to keep up with the normal protein needs of your body. Your body uses protein to make hair, blood, connective tissue, antibodies and enzymes.
Consuming too much protein will not make you fat. Eating a surplus of calories will make you fat.
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Which Factors Could Affect Your Calculations
You might have higher or lower protein needs for different reasons. Women typically have less lean mass than men and require less protein in general.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding have higher protein needs. Also, if youre recovering from any kind of injury, your needs may be higher as your body is in a state of repair.
If youre trying to lose weight and are currently consuming too many calories, you might have to cut back on protein intake as part of an overall lower-calorie diet.
However, keeping your percentage of calories from protein the same will help preserve your lean muscle mass and potentially promote muscle growth based on exercise.