Protein Preserves Lean Body Mass
In addition, protein has another benefit on weight loss: it helps preserve lean body mass during periods of caloric restriction.
One study compared the effect of low protein intake to high protein intake on lean body mass over a short term caloric deficit. On average, the low protein group lost about 1.6 kilograms of muscle mass while the high protein group only lost 0.3 kg of muscle mass .
Another similar study compared 0.8 g/kg per day against 1.6 g/kg per day and 2.4 g/kg per day and found that the two higher intakes spared more lean body mass than the 0.8 g/kg per day diet. They also found that there was no real benefit to 2.4 g/kg per day over 1.6 g/kg per day .
Currently, most evidence suggests that ~1.6 grams of protein per kilogram, or .73 grams of protein per pound is a recommended daily target for protein intake to spare lean body mass loss during periods of weight loss.
How Much Protein Per Day To Lose Weight
If you want to lose weight, aim for a daily protein intake between 1.6 and 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight . Athletes and heavy exercisers should consume 2.2-3.4 grams of protein per kilogram if aiming for weight loss.
My practical recommendation to people is that if you carry a BMI of over 30 or a body fat percentage above 25-30% it makes more sense to base your protein recommendations off of your goal weight.
For the correct amount of protein to gain muscle, check this resource out.
Replace Cereal With Eggs
Many breakfast foods are low in protein, including toast, bagels, and cereals.
Although oatmeal contains more protein than most cereals, it still only provides about 5 grams in a typical 1-cup serving .
On the other hand, 3 large eggs provide 19 grams of high quality protein, along with important nutrients like selenium and choline .
Whats more, several studies have shown that eating eggs for breakfast reduces appetite and keeps you full for several hours, so you end up eating fewer calories later in the day .
According to one older study, eating whole eggs can also modify the size and shape of your LDL cholesterol particles in a way that may even decrease your heart disease risk .
Replacing cereal with eggs boosts protein consumption, makes you feel more full, and helps you eat fewer calories.
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What’s A Protein Lover To Do
If you want to maintain a high protein diet, the details matter:
- Find out from your doctor if you have any health conditions that might make such a diet risky
- Get your protein from healthy sources such as low-fat dairy products, fish, nuts and beans, lean chicken and turkey avoid proteins sources that contain highly process carbohydrates and saturated fat
- Spread your protein consumption across all of your meals throughout the day
- Choose a well-balanced diet that includes lots of vegetables, fruits, and fiber the Mediterranean diet or the DASH diet are good starting points.
So When It Comes To Protein How Much Is Too Much
It’s hard to provide a specific answer since so much is still uncertain and the experts themselves don’t agree. However, for the average person it’s probably best to aim for no more than 2 gm/kg that would be about 125 grams/day for a 140-pound person. New information could change our thinking about the maximum safe amount, but until we know more about the safety, risks and benefits of high protein diets, this seems like a reasonable recommendation.
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What If You’re Not Hungry
A challenge for many older adults is that as they age, their sense of taste begins to change. In addition, a diminished sense of smell can make even favorite foods taste different or less appealing. You may not feel like eating as much as you used to, putting you at risk of not getting enough nutrients.
“Most older adults just don’t have the appetite they used to have,” Greenwood says. “This is true even for healthy, community-dwelling older people they just can’t eat the quantities they did when they were 50. As their appetite declines, there’s less room for empty calories, so they have to be careful to eat more protein than they used to even if they don’t feel like it.”
How Much Protein Does Your Body Need
0.7-8 gms of protein per kilogram of body weight
Protein serves immensely as development and growth of our body.
Our body requires a daily minimum amount of protein every day to function well and keep the muscles stronger.
In general, protein needs are dictated by age, activity level and size of the body.
We need protein for our muscles, bones, to recover wear and tear of muscle and the rest of our body. And lack of protein through daily diet affects our health and body composition.
Did you know?
Muscles, tendons, organs and skin, enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and various molecules that aid many vital functions in our body are build up by proteins mainly.
Getting enough Protein?
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How Much Protein After Exercise
After exercising, when your muscles are more sensitive to the anabolic effect of protein, take a dose in the range of your desirable minimal protein intake per meal. If youve been exercising on an empty stomach, youll be in negative protein balance, so take this dose as soon as possible. Otherwise, try to take it within a couple of hours the exact size of your window of opportunity depends on how much protein youre still digesting.
Digging Deeper: After better than before?
Is it better to eat before or after exercising?
In a 2020 crossover trial we first summarized for Examine Members, 8 healthy young men were divided into three groups.
All three groups performed a full-body strength workout in the morning. One group ate a meal 1.5 hours before, another just after, and the last waited for lunchtime.
This happened three times, with three days in between. Each time, the men switched to a different group. Thus, at the end of the trial, they had all tried all three meal times.
Blood insulin and certain modified amino acids were measured as indicators of muscle breakdown. The results? Eating a mixed-nutrient meal immediately after resistance training, rather than 1.5 hours before or not until lunchtime, resulted in the greatest suppression of muscle protein breakdown.
Whether or not this correlates with improvements in muscle growth and recovery, however, is unclear.
What Protein Actually Is
Protein is one of the three macronutrients . Unlike carbs and fat, protein is not usually a major energy source, although we definitely get some of that from itprotein provides four calories per gram. But protein is often referred to as a building block in the body because of its central role in growth and development.
Almost all animal-derived productsmeat, poultry, eggs, dairy, fishcontain a significant amount of protein, so they get labeled as protein sources when were talking about our diets and nutrition. But protein is also present in a lot of plant-based foods. Theres a good amount in beans, peas, nuts, and seeds, for instance, while vegetables and grains generally contain smaller amounts, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . Whole grains will have more protein than refined grains, though, which are missing the part of the grain that often supplies a lot of the protein content, as SELF previously reported.
Proteins are made of small units called amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids in total, which can be broken down into two main groups, per the FDA. Nine of the 20 are what are referred to as essential amino acids, meaning that the body is unable to produce them itself and so we must get them from food. The other 11 are nonessential because the body is able to synthesize them out of the essential amino acids or the normal process of breaking down proteins, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
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How Much Protein Do You Need Each Day
Current guidelines, established by the Institute of Medicine in 2002, recommend adults 19 years of age and older consume 10 to 35 percent of their daily calories from protein. That’s about 200 to 700 calories from protein for a 2,000-calorie diet. Another way to calculate how much protein you need each day is to multiply 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight. With a little math, this translates to 54 grams of protein for a 150-pound woman, or 65 grams for a 180-pound man.
Here are some examples of what 10 grams of protein looks like:
- 2 small eggs
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How Do You Calculate How Much Protein You Need A Day
Your daily protein requirements are mainly determined by factors, such as your weight, age, gender, height, and physical activity.
According to the National Academy of Medicine
- All adults must consume at least 0.8 grams of protein daily per 2.2 pounds of their body weight.
- This is the amount of protein required for a sedentary lifestyle .
- Thus, for an adult who weighs 132 pounds and has a sedentary lifestyle, their protein requirement will be equal to 48 grams of protein a day .
The requirement will fluctuate if you are an athlete, pregnant, recovering from an illness, attempting weight loss, or a teenager. Certain conditions, such as kidney disease, may require you to lower your protein intake, while others may require a high protein intake.
Calculate protein requirement by weight
Another way to calculate your minimum daily protein requirement is by:
- Dividing your weight into pounds by 20 and multiplying it by seven.
- You need just a little more than seven grams of protein for every 20 pounds of your body weight.
- Thus, for someone weighing 200 pounds, the protein requirement will be 70 grams each day.
Calculate protein requirement by calorie intake
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Vegan Protein Sources To Add To Your Diet
You are what you eat. And food, particularly protein, fuels the body. Yet, those on a vegan diet may find it challenging to get enough protein. The good news is that plenty of plant-based protein options exist, making it possible to fuel up properly without compromising your lifestyle.
As wellness begins from within, it’s essential to watch what youre putting into and on your body. That’s why it’s equally important to keep your beauty and hair care routine as clean and vegan as your diet. Read on to learn more about vegan protein sources plus, find out what products you should be using for head-to-toe wellness.
Why Do You Want To Protect Lean Mass
When cutting calories to shed pounds, you will lose a combination of fat and muscle weight. But your goal should be to lose more fat than muscle.
More lean mass means a better body composition – helping you look more toned and lean overall. Muscle is also your storage place for carbs , meaning you can process carbs and store them more efficiently, the more muscle you have – leading to less body fat storage. So when it comes to losing weight, maintaining your muscle is going to be a huge benefit.
How Much Protein Do I Need
The amount of protein that the human body requires daily is dependent on many conditions, including overall energy intake, growth of the individual, and physical activity level. It is often estimated based on body weight, as a percentage of total caloric intake , or based on age alone. 0.8g/kg of body weight is a commonly cited recommended dietary allowance . This value is the minimum recommended value to maintain basic nutritional requirements, but consuming more protein, up to a certain point, maybe beneficial, depending on the sources of the protein.
The recommended range of protein intake is between 0.8 g/kg and 1.8 g/kg of body weight, dependent on the many factors listed above. People who are highly active, or who wish to build more muscle should generally consume more protein. Some sources suggest consuming between 1.8 to 2 g/kg for those who are highly active. The amount of protein a person should consume, to date, is not an exact science, and each individual should consult a specialist, be it a dietitian, doctor, or personal trainer, to help determine their individual needs.
Recommended dietary allowance of protein, based on age
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.
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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
Muscle Protein Synthesis In Women
Do note that the majority of recommendations about protein are based on male studies, and generalised to women, a point stressed in the work of physiologist Dr. Stacy Sims.
The female hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, have different effects on muscle protein synthesis. When it comes to hormonal changes, men do not have the same peaks and troughs as women, nor do these hormones work in the same way or produce the same levels .
Intake requirements may differ depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle. Both oestrogen and progesterone are generally low during the first half of your cycle. Levels of the latter hormone generally rise in the second half though. Progesterone has a catabolic effect on protein metabolism meaning it breaks down muscle, and so you may need to up your protein intake during this period.
Similarly, a decline in oestrogen levels during menopause is linked to decreased muscle mass and bone strength, and so for this reason, post-menopausal women should eat more protein. For women over 50, The Mayo Clinic recommends 1.5 grams of protein per kg of weight.
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How Did We Calculate Your Protein Intake
Bodybuilding.com’s protein calculator starts with the Mifflin St. Jeor equation, which is considered by our nutritionists and dieticians to be the “gold standard” of calorie calculators. Here’s how it works:
Calculate basal metabolic rate , or the calories your body burns simply by being alive. For men: 10 x weight + 6.25 x height â 5 x age + 5 For women: 10 x weight + 6.25 x height â 5 x age -161
Then, this BMR count is multiplied, depending on your activity level:
Sedentary = 1.2
Does Protein Have Any Negative Health Effects
Protein has been unfairly blamed for a number of health problems.
Some people believe that a high protein diet can cause kidney damage and osteoporosis, but science does not support these claims.
Though protein restriction is helpful for people with preexisting kidney problems, theres no evidence that protein can cause kidney damage in healthy people (
Overall, theres no evidence that a reasonably high protein intake has any adverse effects in healthy people trying to optimize their health.
Protein does not have any negative effects on kidney function in healthy people, and studies show that it leads to improved bone health.
The best sources of protein are meats, fish, eggs, and dairy products, as they have all the essential amino acids that your body needs.
Some plants are fairly high in protein as well, such as quinoa, legumes, and nuts.
However, most people generally dont need to track their protein intake.
If youre healthy and trying to stay that way, simply eating quality protein sources with most of your meals, along with nutritious plant foods, should bring your intake to an optimal range.
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