How Much Protein Per Day To Lose Weight

How To Get Enough Protein

How much protein do you need per day? To Build Muscle? To Lose Weight?

Youve used our table or calculator to determine how much protein you need in a day, but the numbers dont look right. Lets say youre 125 pounds, of healthy weight, physically active, and trying to get even leaner. You discover that your optimal intake starts at 102 grams of protein. Isnt that too much for someone so light?

So it may seem at first blush. But lets take a step back. Lets say youre 125 pounds, of healthy weight, sedentary, and just trying to keep the same body composition. Your optimal intake starts at 68 grams of protein so 272 kcal . Not so daunting, now, is it?

Next, you decide to add physical exercise, in order to get even leaner. If you are 125 pounds and run at 7.5 mph for just ½ hour, you burn 375 kcal, compared to 41 for computer work. In other words, you burn 334 kcal more than when sitting and typing just about the least physically demanding activity.

If you took those added kilocalories solely as protein, that would make 84 grams of protein. Add 84 grams to your optimal protein intake when you dont exercise, and you get 152 grams of protein way more than your 102 grams starting target.

We can also calculate from the other direction. Youre 125 pounds and of healthy weight, going from sedentary to active in order to get even leaner: how will your protein intake change?

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.

Adequate Amounts Of Protein Is Optimal On Keto

Just because protein may create some glucose, does not mean its bad for the keto diet. Our bodies are smart enough to create just the right amount of glucose to survive via gluconeogenesis, without any complications.

Many ketogenic dieters who are experiencing negative side effects may benefit greatly from increased protein consumption.

You should never worry about eating too much protein on keto. In fact, eating too little can be more problematic.

If you arent experiencing the full health benefits of the ketogenic diet, increasing your protein intake while regularly monitoring the change in your overall body composition should help you blast through any keto plateaus youve fallen victim to.

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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.

Desirable minimal protein intake range per meal and age

Body weight

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How Much Protein Should I Take For Weight Loss

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How To Plan For Proper Protein Timing

Whether or not you should eat a morning snack depends on when you eat breakfast. If you have breakfast at 8 and have lunch at 12, you may not need the morning snack.

But if youre like me and get up at 5am to go exercise or youre waking up at 6 and eating breakfast at 7, youre most likely going to need a snack.

Protein Intake How Much Protein Should You Eat Per Day

Few nutrients are as important as protein. Not getting enough of it will affect your health and body composition.

However, opinions regarding how much protein you need vary.

Most official nutritional organizations recommend a fairly modest protein intake.

The DRI is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

This amounts to:

  • 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man
  • 46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman

This may be enough to prevent deficiency, but the amount you need depends on many factors, including your activity level, age, muscle mass, physique goals, and overall health.

This article examines the optimal amounts of protein and how lifestyle factors like weight loss, muscle building, and activity levels factor in.

Proteins are the main building blocks of your body. Theyre used to make muscles, tendons, organs, and skin, as well as enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and various molecules that serve many important functions.

Proteins consist of smaller molecules called amino acids, which link together like beads on a string. These linked amino acids form long protein chains, which then fold into complex shapes.

Your body produces some of these amino acids, but you must obtain others known as essential amino acids via your diet.

Protein is not only about quantity but also quality.

If youre eating animal products like meat, fish, eggs, or dairy every day, youre likely getting enough protein.

Protein is important when it comes to losing weight.

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How Much Protein Do You Need To Lose Weight

Hitting your weight loss goals can be hard, especially when youre not exactly sure how much protein you should be eating to get there. While training is important, nutrition is the most important factor when it comes to weight loss and protein is a critical macronutrient, in your ability to lose weight. Were going to talk about how much protein you need to lose weight at a healthy rate and get the results you want.

How Much Protein Should You Have A Day For Weight Loss

How Much Protein To Eat A Day To Build Muscle, Lose weight And Burn Fat

Protein is the one macronutrient that never gets a bad rep when it comes to losing weight. Thats because eating enough protein is shown to help weight loss.

Foods that are high in protein have a thermic effect, meaning they can boost your metabolism and increase use of energy. So increasing the percentage of protein in your diet can wind up increasing energy expenditure.

Protein is also the most satiating macronutrient, leaving you feeling full and satisfied after a meal. A small 2014 study on healthy women found that eating a high protein snack after lunch led to less afternoon hunger. And 100 fewer calories were consumed at dinner compared to those noshing on high fat and high carb snacks.Aiming to consume more than 1.2 g/kg per day has also been shown to boost fullness compared to the normal range .

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Women And Protein An Essential Guide

Reading Time: 8 minutes 39 seconds

Protein, and especially how much of it to eat, is a topic of hot debate in fitness and nutrition circles. Unfortunately, most of the discussion is geared towards men, specifically men interested in hypertrophy.

Womens nutritional and fitness needs are different. While there are indeed some tough and awesome female bodybuilders going for big muscle gains, most of your female clients will have different goals. They want to lose fat, gain muscle, and look lean.

That leaves women with a lot of questions that we trainers need to be ready to answer:

How much protein should I be eating?

Will too much protein make me bulkier or fat?

Is eating too much protein unhealthy?

Should I try protein shakes?

And so on the questions are nearly endless. While we cant answer all of them here, let us give you some of the most important information to pass on to your female clients who are confused about protein.

How Much Protein For A Fat Loss Diet For Men

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Calorie restriction and protein intake is important for men trying to reduce body fat, but maintain lean muscle mass. Consuming a high-protein diet can help prevent the loss of lean muscle mass commonly associated with weight loss, according to a study published in a 2010 edition of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Combining a high-protein diet with low-carb intake is associated with more fat loss during the first six months of dieting, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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Increase Protein For Weight Loss

A June 2017 study published in Obesity Facts found that adults who followed a high-protein diet and stuck to it lost significantly more weight than adults who just reduced their calorie intake. This suggests that if you are trying to lose weight, cutting calories alone is not as effective as cutting calories and increasing your daily protein intake.

Additionally, an August 2018 study in Frontiers in Endocrinology notes that protein may be the key to weight management because eating protein makes you feel fuller longer. It also promotes the body’s energy expenditure or calorie burn, and helps change the body composition in favor of lower fat body mass.

In general, the American College of Sports Medicine makes the following daily protein recommendations, saying that 10 to 35 percent of your daily calorie intake should come from protein. The Recommended Dietary Allowance â which refers to what healthy people need to intake on average per day to meet their nutrient requirements and is based solely on weight â says you need to eat 0.35 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

How Much Protein Should I Be Eating For Weight Loss

Pin on Dieting

Experts advise consuming between 0.5 grams and 1.0 grams of protein per pound of your body weight. That’s 70 grams to 140 grams a day for a 140-pound woman. Skew on the high end if you’re very active, and on the low end if you’re trying to lose weight. If both apply, shoot for an amount somewhere in the middlearound 130 grams.

Aim to get at least 30 of those grams at breakfast, says Donald Layman, PhD, a professor emeritus of nutrition at the University of Illinois. After fasting all night, your body is running on empty and may start drawing on muscle tissue for fuel if you don’t replenish its protein stores first thing in the a.m. Plus, studies have found that protein-rich breakfasts can help regulate your appetite all day.

But not all proteins are created equal. While nuts, whole grains, and veggies technically count, they don’t contain all nine of the amino acids your body needs in order to build lean muscle. Those that doknown as complete proteinsare typically found in animal products. Your best bets are skinless white chicken or turkey, seafood, low-fat dairy, pork tenderloin, and lean beef. All of these foods have just one to three grams of fat per 50-calorie serving.

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How Much Protein Can You Eat On The Ketogenic Diet

Everyone knows that the bulk of your calories should come from fats to successfully start burning ketones for energy while keeping carbohydrates low.

But one of the most widely debated food sources on keto is protein.

The traditional ketogenic macronutrient protocol recommends:

  • 75-80% of calories from fat
  • 20% of calories from protein
  • 5% of calories from carbohydrates

This is the most common breakdown for macros to enter ketosis. But for many people especially those who exercise frequently protein intake should make up a larger percentage of your total daily caloric allowance.

Here is a more effective way to calculate your macronutrients on keto:

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.

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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 (

31 ).

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.

Choose The Healthiest Sources Of Protein

How Much Protein Do We Need Per Day? Weight Loss & Muscle Building

Just about every type of food has protein. Some have more than others. Whether you eat meat or not, you can get enough protein from your diet.

Apart from protein, you might also want to think about what else you’re getting from protein-rich foods.

For instance, to limit saturated fat, you’d want to choose lean cuts of meat over fattier cuts. And to cut back on sodium, skip the processed meats like hot dogs and sausage.

If you’re trying to get more omega-3s, you might choose salmon, tuna, or eggs fortified with omega-3s.

If you need to get more fiber, look to beans, vegetables, nuts, and legumes.

To help lower the chance of getting heart disease, it’s a good idea to limit the amount of red meat, especially processed red meat, and eat more fish, poultry, and beans, according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. Most nutritionists agree the best approach is to choose from a variety of protein sources.

If you’re watching your weight, try including protein with every meal. It will help you feel full longer. Spreading protein evenly across your meals is also good for your muscles, which is especially important as you get older and start to lose muscle mass.

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Healthy Proteins For Weight Loss

Choosing your proteins carefully can help you lose weight successfully while staying healthy. You might think increasing proteins means simply eating more meat. However, there are many vegetarian sources of protein that you may overlook.

Healthy high protein food choices include meat and poultry like chicken and turkey breasts, lean cuts of beef and pork, and fish. Other healthy protein packed food includes eggs, legumes, and some dairy products like yogurt. Nuts and quinoa can also offer a plant based boost of protein.

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Additionally, you could consider adding protein powder to your diet for weight loss and muscle building. There are many different types of protein powder to choose from to fit your dietary needs, such as a milk-based protein powders like whey or casein protein powders or vegan protein powders like pea protein.

Claim: High Protein Causes Kidney Damage

This concern about high protein and kidneys began with a misunderstanding of why doctors tell people with poorly functioning kidneys to a eat a low-protein diet.

But theres a big difference between avoiding protein because your kidneys are already damaged and protein actively damaging healthy kidneys.

Its the difference between jogging with a broken leg and jogging with a perfectly healthy leg.

Jogging with a broken leg is a bad idea. Doctors would probably tell you not to jog if your leg is broken. But does jogging cause legs to break? No.

Thats the same thing with protein and kidneys.

Eating more protein does increase how much your kidneys have to work , just like jogging increases how much your legs have to work.

But protein hasnt been shown to cause kidney damage again, just like jogging isnt going to suddenly snap your leg like a twig.

High-protein diets do result in increased metabolic waste being excreted in the urine, though, so its particularly important to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Verdict: Theres no evidence that high protein diets cause kidney damage in healthy adults.

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