Why Protein Is Important For Weight Loss
As well as being good for building strength, protein also plays an important role in losing weight. Evidence suggests that eating protein can both increase the number of calories you burn, by stimulating your metabolic rate, as well as reduce your appetite, meaning you’re less likely to put on pounds in the first place. What’s more, a study by researchers at Maastricht University reported that even a modest increase in protein, from 15% to 18% of calories, reduced the amount of fat people regained after weight loss by 50%.
The Benefits Of Protein For Weight Loss Explained
While the research cannot conclusively determine that dietary protein alone promotes weight loss or that high protein diets are the best approach to losing weight, what weve seen so far is fairly compelling.
It is becoming more apparent that higher protein intake has some serious potential benefits for dieters.
There are three main arguments for why you should consider consuming more protein when looking to shed pounds.
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.
How Much Protein A Day To Lose Weight
So how can you tell exactly how much protein do you need to maintain your muscle and lose weight?
When calorie restriction for fat loss is considered, some research suggests between 2.3 to 3.1 grams of protein/kg of fat-free body mass or 1.04 to 1.4 grams/pound of muscle is best . You can find out your muscle mass by estimating your % body fat or getting a body composition test done.
But again, this amount can vary widely from one person to the next, And of course, you have to have the muscle to begin with. So if you are looking to lose weight and do not participate in any strength training, you might want to consider adding weight lifting or at least bodyweight exercises to your weight loss plan.
Consider increasing your protein intake to 30% of your calories or roughly 1 gram per pound of body weight/day if you are looking to drop some pounds and tone up.
Protein Powders Are Just One Weight Loss Tool
When it comes to losing weight, creating a calorie deficit is what matters most.
Once you establish a calorie deficit, there are some advantages to increasing your protein intake, which protein powders can help you do.
Increasing your protein intake helps you lose weight by:
- Increasing feelings of fullness: Protein helps you stay fuller longer, which can lead you to eat less and lose weight (
- 27 ).
That said, protein powders alone wont help you lose weight. They only make dieting easier by controlling your hunger.
There are several ways that increasing your protein intake benefits weight loss. While protein powders can form part of a larger dieting plan, they wont directly help you lose weight.
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Meal And Shake Ideas To Meet Your Protein Needs
Following a high-protein diet isnt as difficult as it may seem, we promise. If youre looking for foods and other sources of protein to add into your diet to boost your protein intake, here are some of our favorite dietary proteins:
Nuts, like almonds and pistachios
Seeds, like pumpkin seeds
Lean meats like lean beef
High protein veggies, like broccoli and Brussels sprouts
Another easy way to get your protein is through drinks like a smoothie or a protein shake. Bonus: Liquids are easier to digest, so your body is able to absorb and use the protein in protein shakes and smoothies much quicker. Opt to create your drinks using a protein powder made from fast-absorbing proteins, like whey protein or pea protein, for an even speedier absorption rate.
Recommendations For Daily Protein Intake
An individuals recommended daily protein intake will vary. There are many considerations to take into account such as your sex, height, age, lean body mass and activity levels. However, despite contrary belief, consuming more protein than your body needs will not speed up the muscle-building process.
As illustrated in this study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, there is no significant impact between those who eat the recommended levels of protein compared to those who eat greater than the recommendations.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 advises that 10-35 percent of your total daily calories should be from protein. As one gram of protein is four calories, this means that for the average person on a 2,000 caloric intake, 200-700 calories should protein.
Those who should adjust their protein intake based on lifestyle include athletes and/or those who train frequently/high volume as well as older adults.
For a more specific number, to begin with, you can visit the DRI Calculator and input your details. They ask for your sex, height, weight, activity levels and age. It also takes into account pregnancy and lactation.
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What Should You Do
Research on how much protein is the optimal amount to eat for good health is ongoing, and is far from settled. The value of high-protein diets for weight loss or cardiovascular health, for example, remains controversial.
Before you start ramping up your daily protein intake, there are a few important things to consider. For one, dont read “get more protein” as “eat more meat.” Beef, poultry, and pork can certainly provide high-quality protein, but so can many plant foods including whole grains, beans and other legumes, nuts, and vegetables. The table below provides some healthier sources of protein.
Its also important to consider the protein “package” the fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that invariably come along with protein. Aim for protein sources low in saturated fat and processed carbohydrates and rich in many nutrients.
One more thing: If you increase protein, dietary arithmetic demands that you eat less of other things to keep your daily calorie intake steady. The switches you make can affect your nutrition, for better or for worse. For example, eating more protein instead of low-quality refined carbohydrates, like white bread and sweets, is a healthy choice though how healthy the choice is also depends on the total protein package.
Effects Of Overconsumption Of Protein Powder
Using protein powder as your primary macronutrient intake has several adverse side effects, and there are numerous risks to consider when using protein powder including intestinal problems. However, the most severe concern with excessive protein powder use is that you are likely developing nutritional “holes” in your diet. If negative changes in your body happen, then it shows that you’re spending too much on protein as your primary source of nutrition and aren’t getting enough of the other nutrients you need.
Keep in mind the rule of restricting protein consumption to 10 to 35 percent of total calorie intake. This guideline will assist you in incorporating various foods, such as legumes, grains, high-fiber products, and fruits and vegetables to provide a well-rounded diet. Also, pleasetake note of the pros and cons of protein powder.
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How Much Protein Per Meal
Muscle protein synthesis is the process of building new skeletal muscle tissue. When MPS chronically exceeds muscle protein breakdown , resulting in a positive net protein balance, we can expect muscle growth over the long term. Each time you eat represents an opportunity to promote muscle growth through the stimulation of MPS.
Protein-feeding studies using various doses of whey protein suggest that 0.24 g/kg/meal will maximize the MPS of the average young adult, whereas 0.40 g/kg/meal will maximize the MPS of most young adults. For older adults, these two values jump to 0.40 and 0.60 g/kg/meal.
Other Lifestyle Tweaks For Weight Gain
Weight gain isn’t just about getting enough protein. If you’re eating lots of protein but living a sedentary lifestyle, for example, you won’t gain muscle — you’ll just store the extra calories as fat. So you’ll need to strength-train regularly — around three times per week — to see results.
When it comes to your diet, you’ll also need high-quality carbs and protein. Nutritious whole grains and fruit, for example, supply carbohydrates that are stored in your muscle as glycogen. When you work out, this glycogen serves as a source of quick energy so that you can push through a tough workout. Healthy fats in your diet also provide energy so you can keep up with the active lifestyle needed for weight gain, while the veggies in your diet provide minerals and vitamins you need for a healthy metabolism, strong bones and immunity.
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How Much Protein Powder Should You Take Per Day
Protein is a necessary vitamin that can assist you in losing weight and building muscle! In this post, I’ll go through the advantages of protein for dieting and exercise. Protein can be taken before or after an exercise to increase energy or to repair muscles. So, the next time you’re looking for a strategy to optimize your success in fitness objectives, don’t overlook the importance of protein!
For some, you might be familiar with the term “protein shake,” or you might be using it already. When it comes to losing weight or adding on some lean muscle mass, protein shakes are a great way to get that necessary amount of protein. But they can be expensive and sometimes hard to find the right type of protein that fits your needs. This post will explain what these variables signify in terms of how much you should take each day.
How Much Protein Should You Have After Lifting Weights
You should be getting at least 20 grams of protein post-workout, White says, but that amount needs to be carefully monitored because it’s easy to overdo it. This limits White’s optimal protein intake to an extra 30 grams, and her body can start losing the reps she just did and store the protein as excess fat.
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How Much Protein Do You Need Per Day
As with most things in nutrition, theres no simple answer. Your ideal intake of calories and protein depends on your health, body composition, main goal, and the type, intensity, duration, and frequency of your physical activity. And even taking all this into account, youll end up with a starting number, which youll need to adjust through self-experimentation.
Tip: Calculating your caloric needs
Your height, weight, age, and level of physical activity all contribute to your caloric needs. There are many calorie calculators out there, but the NIH Body Weight Planner stands out. It has been tested and validated against real-world data and can estimate the number of calories you need to reach then maintain a specific weight.
Calorie-wise, there are only three types of diets:
Daily protein requirements are expressed in grams, either per kilogram of body weight or per pound of body weight . Ranges in the table below reflect known individual variances.
Maintenance: eucaloric diet | Muscle gain: eucaloric diet or hypercaloric diet | Fat loss: hypocaloric diet | * Grams per kilogram of body weight
Also, note that
Protein intake should be based on body weight, not on caloric intake.
Most studies have looked at dosages up to 1.5 g/kg only a few have looked at dosages as high as 2.23.3 g/kg. However, in healthy people, even those higher dosages dont seem to have negative effects.
Tip: Calculating your protein needs
Low Blood Pressure And Heart Rate
Symptoms such as feeling faint, shortness of breath, or chest pain, could be serious signs of a protein deficiency. Low protein levels can cause low blood pressure, which can lead to brain malfunctions and fainting. Low blood pressure occasionally causes shortness of breath or chest pain due to an inadequate blood supply to the heart muscle . If you experience any of these symptoms, get help from a medical professional immediately.
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How Much Protein Should I Eat A Day
Clinical nutrition recommendations suggest a protein intake of 0.6 to 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight . This would equal out to roughly 40 to 55 grams of protein a day for a 150-pound adult.
Another way to consider protein needs is by looking at macro balance. The US Dietary Guidelines suggest protein intake should make up 10% to 35% of your daily calories. And on a 2,000 calorie diet, this will equal out to 50 to 175 grams of protein a day – quite a large range!
It is important to note that the recommended daily 0.8 g kg typically skews towards the minimum amount you should be eating. And 50 grams of protein a day might not be adequate in maintaining lean mass, building muscle, and promoting better body composition in some – especially active individuals and older adults.
In reality, protein needs are not as directly related to calorie intake or total body weight as they are to the amount of lean mass you have and how much you use your muscles.
How Much Protein Should I Eat To Lose Weight
If youre looking to lose weight, eating plenty of protein will be an important part of the equation.
Why is protein important for weight loss?
Think of it this way: protein is the only macronutrient you dont store.
- Carbs are stored as muscle glycogen.
- Fat is stored as body fat.
Your body can use either as a fuel source while its in a calorie deficit.
Not so for protein.
Meaning most of the protein in your body is currently doing a job: building muscle tissue, making enzymes, strengthening bones, etc.
If you dont eat enough protein, your body will turn towards your muscles for its needs.
So if youre not careful when youre losing weight, you could lose muscle AND fat.
Obviously, from a health and physique standpoint, this is not good.
Thats why you need to eat plenty of protein and strength train when youre in a calorie deficit so you lose fat while retaining your hard-earned muscle mass.
The other important point about protein and fat loss: protein will help you stay full.
If youre trying to lose weight, keeping your hunger at bay will be critical. Luckily, studies have found that those on a high-protein diet tend to eat fewer calories overall.
If you cant seem to lose weight, start eating plenty of protein!
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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.
Should I Follow A Low
There are many ways to achieve your personal best weight. The best diet is the one you can live with for life and ultimately allows for the least restrictions and most flexibility. Our Dietitian team at our practice stands for balanced living and enjoyment of all foods and wouldnt suggest you follow any diet that severely restricts carbohydrates. Diets that severely restrict carbohydrates in time often trigger bingeing and overconsuming these foods and a poor relationship with food.
If you are overweight, reducing calories from foods containing carbohydrates, protein, or fat will create the same level of weight loss over the long run. Simply switching the same amount of calories of carb-rich food to protein-rich food will not affect your weight .
Dont be fooled by the extra initial weight loss of a low-carbohydrate diet this indicates you have essentially dehydrated yourself, since carbohydrates store fluid on the body.
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List Of Foods With Complete Proteins
If red meat is your primary source of protein, be very careful. Although red meat is considered a complete protein, it can also contain saturated fats and sodium which are considered to be unhealthy. It is proven that regularly eating red meat causes cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. The World Health Organization has even criticized red meat cooked at high temperatures for being carcinogenic.
So, how else can you get complete proteins? Well, you can combine different incomplete proteins to make up the essential amino acids you need. By eating different plant-based foods, you can still meet your daily intake of essential nutrients.