How Much Protein Do I Need To Eat Daily

Greater Appetite And Calorie Intake

How Much Protein Do You need | Basic Daily Protein requirement

Although poor appetite is one of the symptoms of severe protein deficiency, the opposite seems to be true for milder forms of deficiency.

When your protein intake is inadequate, your body attempts to restore your protein status by increasing your appetite, encouraging you to find something to eat .

But a protein deficit doesnt aimlessly drive the urge to eat, at least not for everyone. It may selectively increase peoples appetite for savory foods, which tend to be high in protein .

While this may certainly help in times of food shortage, the problem is that modern society offers unlimited access to savory, high-calorie foods.

Many of these convenience foods contain some protein. However, the amount of protein in these foods is often considerably low compared to the number of calories they provide.

As a result, poor protein intake may lead to weight gain and obesity, an idea known as the protein leverage hypothesis (

36 ).

If you are feeling hungry all the time and have difficulties keeping your calorie intake in check, try adding some lean protein to every meal.

Summary: Low protein intake may increase appetite. While a greater appetite is beneficial in times of food shortage, it may promote weight gain and obesity when food is plentiful.

Faq And Related Questions:

Will I gain muscle if I dont eat enough protein?

Its hard to give a definite answer to this question, but more likely then not, no. Protein serves as the foundation for muscles in the form of amino acids, and without a solid foundation, its hard to imagine youll receive the results you want.

Is 100 grams of protein enough to build muscle?

100 grams of protein is enough to build muscle only if you weigh anywhere between this range: 0.7g-1g of protein per pound of bodyweight. So, if you do the calculations based off your weight and find that 100g fits in this range, then yes, 100 grams of protein is enough to build muscle. However, if its not, then no, 100 grams of protein is not enough to build muscle.

Are Protien Shakes Making Me Fat

Protein shakes alone don’t make you fat, but if you drink very high-calorie shakes and don’t keep track of your total calorie intake, you will gain weight. If your goal is to lose weight, opt for low-calorie protein shakes like skim milk and fresh or frozen fruit, and avoid fatty shakes like almond butter.

Read Also: Premier Protein During Pregnancy

How Much Protein You Actually Need

We finally have a definitive answer.

Everything’s touting how much protein it has these days, but how much do you really need?

The range varies greatly, depending on how much you work out.

There’s an easy trick you can do to find out exactly how much protein you should be eating.

Between fad diets singing the praises of healthy fats, nay-saying carbs, or plugging protein, it’s hard to tell just how much of every nutrient you should be eating every day. Protein, in particular, is a conundrum for most people, because the ideal daily intake varies wildly based on your weight, activity level, and fitness goals. But now, thanks to some math and a little help from the USDA, we’ve got a definitive answer for you.

On average, the USDA recommends that men and women over 19 years old eat at least 0.37 grams per pound of body weight per day. That means, if you weigh 150 pounds, you need about 55 grams of protein. However, that’s the bare minimum requirement like for those who’d rather Netflix and chill than go for a long walk after work. Here’s how to calculate what you really need:

Why You Shouldn’t Calculate How Much Protein You Need Based On Total Calories Or Weight

How Much Protein You Need After a Workout

On a simple level, protein guidelines generally fall into one of two camps: a proportion either of how much you eat or how much you weigh. However, both are flawed if youre looking to build muscle fast.

Take only eating a specific percentage of protein. The problem is that the numbers are going to be affected in a big way by your total calorie intake. For example, 30 per cent protein on a 2000-calorie diet is very different from 30 per cent protein on a 4000-calorie diet despite the fact that the percentages are exactly the same: 150g a day compared to 300g a day.

So, calculating your protein intake relative to your weight could be better, as it stays consistent regardless of how many calories you’re packing in.

For example, if you were to eat two grams of protein per kilo of bodyweight, you’ll be fuelling yourself with the same amount of protein regardless of your total daily calorie count whether that’s 1500 or 4000. However, this system is also not without its flaws.

Read Also: Cholesterol In Protein Shakes

How To Actually Calculate Your Protein Needs

Perhaps, then, the best way to measure how much protein you need to consume daily is based on lean body mass, or everything in your body that isnt fat. This could provide a more accurate figure than focusing on just your total weight.

Of course, if youre a fitness model sitting comfortably at four per cent body fat, then theres obviously not going to be much difference whether protein intake is expressed relative to your weight or lean body mass. For the average guy, however, it’s a considerably different story. They’re likely to be carrying more weight around their midriff and have a higher body-fat percentage.

On the flipside, let’s look at an obese man who weighs 135kg. In this case, it would be unwise to base his protein intake on his total bodyweight. Using the 2g of protein per kg, he’ll be eating a whopping 270g protein on a daily basis.

Needless to say, our hypothetical overweight man definitely doesnt need to be eating the equivalent of 10 chicken breasts a day, even if he’s looking to build muscle. In fact, most research shows little benefit to consuming more than 2.2g of protein per kg of lean body mass.

Are You Eating Too Much Protein

While we want you to get enough protein in you diet, you can also have too much of a good thing, and if you eat too much protein, you may be doing more harm than good. People that eat very high protein diets have a higher risk of kidney stones, while a high protein diet that contains lots of red meat and higher amounts of saturated fat has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and colon cancer.

Sign up to the Men’s Health newsletter and kickstart your home body plan. Make positive steps to become healthier and mentally strong with all the best fitness, muscle-building and nutrition advice delivered to your inbox.

Read Also: What Else Has Protein Besides Meat

What Else Do I Need To Do To Lose Weight

As mentioned, from a scientific perspective, consuming fewer calories than you burn is the only requirement for losing weight. Functionally speaking, an adequate level of protein is important for weight loss because it can help you stay in that caloric deficit. Your diet is going to be most important aspect of your overall weight loss strategy. Other practical lifestyle choices that can help you shed pounds include:

  • Regular exercise. Adults are recommended to get between 150 and 300 minutes of exercise per week, according to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Cardiovascular exercises will use up a higher concentration of calories than other types of exercise. In addition, it is recommended to include strength training at least two days out of the week.

  • Hydration. Drinking water is important for a multitude of reasons, but its well-known to impact how full you feel. In fact, research shows that inadequate hydration is correlated with a higher body mass, even after controlling for other factors.

  • Supplementation. While whole foods are always ideal, sometimes its difficult to find the time to meal prep or meet your macro and micro nutrient needs through food alone especially if you are cooking for multiple people. Protein supplements like whey or blended plant-based protein powder or snack bars are a great option when you are on-the-go and need a quick fix to help keep you full.

Check The Table Below To See How Much Protein You Need Based On Your Weight And Level Of Activities:

How Much Protein Do I Need to Eat? How Much Protein Do I Need to Eat to Lose Weight or Gain Muscle?

Oh, and before you ask, this table works for both men and women. We usually say that men need more protein because in general men are larger. But a man and a woman who have the same weight and do the same level of activities will need about the same amount of protein a day. ¹ ²

WEIGHT x ACTIVITY LEVEL
140g180g

Now that you know what your optimal daily protein intake is, the first question is answered: How Much Protein do I Need ?

So lets look into the second one: how to reach your daily protein intake as a vegan.

Don’t Miss: Does Ebt Cover Protein Shakes

How Do I Track My Net Carbs

The simplest way to make sure you are limiting carbs enough is by using an app like Cronometer that calculates net carbs for you. In our guide to carb tracking on keto, we teach you how to configure Cronometer for keto diet success.

You can also track net carbs by calculating them yourself and adding them up throughout the day. If you need help finding the net carbs in the foods you are eating, read through this quick post.

P.S. Have a look at the Keto Academy, our foolproof 30-day keto meal planner. It has all the tools, information, and recipes needed for you to succeed.

+ The food will always fit to your macros and cooking preferences!

You’re Trying To Lose Weight

Protein takes longer to digest than carbs, helping you feel full, and also pushes your body to secrete the gut hormone peptide YY, which reduces hunger. “When you bring protein to about 30% of your daily calories, you’ll naturally eat less,” says Lauren Slayton, RD, founder of Foodtrainers, a nutrition practice in New York City, and author of The Little Book of Thin. “Protein decreases appetite and also, in my experience, helps you manage cravings.”

While studies are mixed about whether consuming more protein leads to weight loss, research is pretty clear that protein can help you retain more of your lean muscle as you lose fat. One 2011 study suggests amping up protein to as much as 1.8 to 2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day to stave off muscle loss when restricting calories. Cut back on refined carbs to balance out the extra calories from adding protein.

Also Check: Which Protein Powder Can You Buy With Food Stamps

How Much Protein Do We Need

  • Read in app

By Sophie Egan

    Q. It seems that many people who are not elite athletes are now hyper-focused on protein consumption. How much protein does the average adult need to consume daily?

    A. The recommended intake for a healthy adult is 46 grams of protein a day for women and 56 grams for men. And while protein malnutrition is a problem for millions of people around the globe, for the average adult in developed countries, we are eating far more protein than we actually need.

    Most American adults eat about 100 grams of protein per day, or roughly twice the recommended amount. Even on a vegan diet people can easily get 60 to 80 grams of protein throughout the day from foods like beans, legumes, nuts, broccoli and whole grains.

    The Hartman Group, a consumer research firm that has been conducting a study of American food culture over the past 25 years and counting, has found that nearly 60 percent of Americans are now actively trying to increase their protein intake. Many are avoiding sugar and simple carbohydrates and turning to protein-rich foods, snacks and supplements. The firm calls protein the new low-fat or the new low-carb, even the new everything when it comes to diet and energy.

    But most of us are getting more than enough protein. And few seem to be aware that there may be long-term risks of consuming too much protein, including a potential increased risk of kidney damage. To learn more, read Can You Get Too Much Protein?

    If You’re Looking To Lose Weight:

    Pin on Dieting

    Adding more protein to your diet and making it about 30 percent of your daily calories you’ll eat less. That’s because it takes longer to digest than carbs and helps you feel full for longer. So what does 30 percent look like? It translates to roughly 0.8 to 0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight or 120 to 135 grams of protein per day.

    Also Check: Can I Buy Protein Powder With Ebt

    Guidelines For Special Populations

    Many sources that suggest protein guidelines provide numbers for adult men and women. But there are certain populations that may need more or less protein to manage a medical condition or facilitate growth.

    • Pregnant and lactating people need more protein than people who are not pregnant .
    • Older adults need more protein than middle-aged adults .
    • People with liver or kidney disease need to decrease protein intake .

    Consult a doctor or dietitian to determine your ideal daily protein goal.

    Animal Proteins Are Complete But Plant Proteins Are Not

    In total, there are around 20 amino acids that the human body uses to build proteins.

    These amino acids are classified as either essential or non-essential.

    Your body can produce non-essential amino acids. However, it cannot produce essential amino acids, which need to be obtained through your diet.

    For optimal health, your body needs all the essential amino acids in the right ratios.

    Animal protein sources, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy, are similar to the protein found in your body.

    These are considered to be complete sources of protein because they contain all of the essential amino acids that your body needs to function effectively.

    On the contrary, plant protein sources, such as beans, lentils and nuts are considered to be incomplete, as they lack one or more of the essential amino acids that your body needs (

    Also Check: What Are Premier Protein Shakes Good For

    Based On Weight And Activity

    There are other ways to get a more specific protein goal that may take into account lean muscle mass and/or physical activity level.

    The average adult needs a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. One kilogram equals 2.2 pounds, so a person who weighs 165 pounds, or 75 kg, would need about 60 grams of protein per day.

    However, your protein needs may increase if you are very active. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the Dietitians of Canada suggest that athletes need more protein.

    These organizations suggest that athletes consume between 1.2 grams and 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, with endurance athletes at the lower end of this range and strength and power athletes at the higher end.

    How To Get Enough Protein

    Dr. Stephen Phinney: How much protein should you eat on a ketogenic diet?

    Now that you have an estimate of the amount of protein you need, the last question to answer is: how do I eat all this protein?

    Our #1 recommendation is to get protein from whole foods whenever possible. This will ensure you get plenty of vitamins and minerals.

    A serving of protein is about the size and thickness of your palm:

    Protein can come from any number of sources, including:

    • Meat .
    • Fish and shellfish .
    • Legumes .

    Not a meat-eater? Read our massive plant-based guide!

    However, if youre aiming for the higher ranges of protein intake you might need to supplement.

    Personally, I drink a protein shake daily to help me reach my goals.

    Some protein supplements to consider:

  • Whey protein powder, a milk byproduct widely used as a protein supplement.
  • Egg-based protein powders
  • Pea protein powder, a popular supplement in the plant-based community.
  • Check out The Ultimate Protein Shake Guide for more protein powder recommendations and recipes on how to make delicious smoothies.

    Whether through whole foods or supplements, protein should be a main part of every meal you eat. Its one of our top recommendations for being a healthy nerd.

    Calculate your protein needs, determine the proper portion sizes to reach your target, and see how you feel!

    You can always adjust up or down based on your results.

    If you need any help along the way, we got you.

    Here are three ways to continue your journey with Nerd Fitness.

    Try your free trial right here:

    Alright, I want to hear from you:

    -Steve

    Don’t Miss: Which Protein Powder Can You Buy With Food Stamps

    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.

    Optimal daily protein intake for pregnant women

    Body weight

    Popular Articles

    Related Articles