Protein Needs For Weight Gain
Eating to gain weight doesn’t just require upping your calorie intake you should increase your protein intake as well. While the average sedentary person needs just 0.36 gram of protein per pound of body weight, people who strength-train — which includes those trying to gain lean weight — should eat 0.73 to 0.82 gram per pound. If you’re 135 pounds, that works out to 99 to 111 grams of protein each day if you weigh 175 pounds, it’s 128 to 144 grams.
While it’s important to meet your protein needs so that part of your weight gain comes from muscle, eating significantly more protein than you need doesn’t offer extra benefits. You can only use 0.91 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day, and extra protein can get stored as fat. So if you weigh 135 pounds, for example, there’s no added benefit to eating more than 123 grams of protein per day.
What Percentage Of Diet Should Be Protein
What amount of protein do I require? Protein should account for anything from 10 to 35 percent of your total calorie intake. Consequently, if you want 2,000 calories, you will require 200-700 calories from protein . In order to avoid deficiency in vitamin D, it is advised that an average inactive adult consume 0.8 g of vitamin D per kilogram of body weight.
How Much Protein Is Really Enough
Popular belief is that in order to build muscle you must consume up to 1.0g of protein per pound of bodyweight. That might seem high to some of you, and for others it might seem too low. So, how much protein should you eat per day to build muscle? Really, it depends.
Research shows that the average trainee looking to build muscle can benefit from getting between 0.6g to 1.1g of protein per pound of bodyweight. The exact amount thats right for you will depend on your goals, genetics, and the rest of your diet, but aiming to hit between those targets should be sufficient for most people.2
For example, a relatively fit 180lb man should aim to consume between 108g and 198g of protein daily for muscle gain.2
If you are overweight and trying to reduce your body fat, I recommend that you aim to consume your target bodyweight in grams of protein. For instance, if a 225lb man wants to reduce his bodyweight to 180lbs through proper training and nutrition, he should consume a base of 180g of protein per day.4 At the same time, lowering your carbohydrate and fat intake is extremely important as well!
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How Much Protein Should A Woman Have A Day To Gain Muscle
To increase muscle mass in conjunction with regular exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that a person eats between 1.2-1.7 g of protein per kg of body weight per day. For a 130-lb woman looking to gain muscle mass and strength, thats 71-100 g, and for a 150-lb man, thats 82-116 g.
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Can Too Much Protein Be Harmful
The short answer is yes. As with most things in life, there can be too much of a good thing and if you eat too much protein, there may be a price to pay. For example, people that eat very high protein diets have a higher risk of kidney stones. Also a high protein diet that contains lots of red meat and higher amounts of saturated fat might lead to a higher risk of heart disease and colon cancer, while another high protein diet rich in plant-based proteins may not carry similar risks.
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How Much Protein Do I Need To Build Muscle
Health and fitness subculture has a propensity to create false dichotomies, leading athletes, bodybuilders, and gym-goers alike down one of two extreme paths. It looks like protein recommendations have succumbed to this phenomenon.
According to hardcore bodybuilding magazines, you need a whopping 2+ g protein/lb body weight per day, whereas the RDA for protein is a lowly 0.36 g protein/lb body weight. Notice how polarizing those suggestions are?
Sure, 2+ g protein/lb body weight might make sense if youre taking every performance-enhancing drug under the sun, while the RDA is reasonable if you have no intention of touching a barbell anytime soon.
But for most active individuals and athletes, the answer to “How much protein should I eat?” lies near the middle of the extremes.
Based on the research mentioned earlier, active individuals who regularly train with weights should consume between 0.8-1.4 g protein/lb LBM per day to build muscle, assuming youre eating a sufficient amount of total calories.
A low-protein diet is not ideal for building muscle, but neither is a super-high-protein diet . Many bodybuilders and sports nutritionists will argue that there are no negatives to overfeeding on protein since the excess is less likely to contribute to body fat gain.
Theoretically, it makes perfect sense that overfeeding on protein generally has no negative impact on body composition.
A few plausible explanations for the findings of those studies:
How To Get Enough Protein
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?
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How Much Protein Do You Need A Day To Build Muscle
If you want to build muscle, you’ll want to adjust your protein intake based on how much protein you were eating before and how much strength training you’re doing now, says Cesar Sauza, a registered dietitian with AltaMed Health Services.
To gain muscle, you will also need to be in a caloric surplus, meaning you consume more calories than you burn. However, this should not all come from protein.
“Increased protein is associated with increased muscle strength and mass however this is not the full story because our bodies also require carbohydrates and fats to help contribute to muscle mass,” Sauza says.
To make sure you meet your goals, consult a registered dietitian to help you draw up a meal plan with the proper balance of protein, fat, and carbs.
How Much Protein Do You Need For Weight Loss And Muscle Growth
FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 — Low-carb, vegetarian, Mediterranean — whatever your diet, it’s important to get enough protein.
Although research hasn’t yet pinpointed one perfect formula, experts say that the typical “recommended” daily minimums aren’t optimal, and that it helps to factor in your weight and activity level to determine how much protein you personally need.
A good baseline for people who exercise at a moderate level is between one-half and three-quarters of a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. If you weigh 150 pounds, for example, eat between 75 and 112 grams of protein per day. To lose weight, diets with higher amounts of protein — between 90 and 150 grams a day — are effective and help keep you from losing muscle along with fat.
Since the body uses protein most effectively when you have it at regular intervals, divide your daily intake into four equal amounts for breakfast, lunch, a snack and dinner. If you work out at a high level, consider eating another 50 grams of protein before you go to bed to help with overnight muscle repair.
You might be familiar with calorie counting, but it’s also important to know how to tally your protein intake. While one ounce of chicken weighs 28 grams, it contains only about 9 grams of protein. So it takes a 3-ounce portion to deliver 27 grams of protein, or about one-quarter of the average daily need.
27-Gram Protein Portions
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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.
Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Fat Loss
First, let it be clear that, though it is possible to lose fat on a eucaloric diet by shifting your macronutrient ratios toward more protein, if you want to keep losing weight youll need to switch to a hypocaloric diet .
High protein intakes help preserve lean mass in dieters, especially lean dieters. To optimize body composition, dieting athletes should consume 1.62.4 g/kg, skewing toward the higher end of this range as they become leaner or if they increase their caloric deficit .
Later studies have argued that, to minimize lean-mass loss, dieting lean resistance-trained athletes should consume 2.33.1 g/kg . This latter recommendation has been upheld by the International Society of Sports Nutrition and by a review article on bodybuilding contest preparation.
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Using Lean Body Mass To Determine Protein Recommendations
A formative systematic review by Helms et. al contends that strength-training athletes and bodybuilders may benefit from daily protein intakes in the range of 1.0-1.4 g/lb lean body mass , especially when trying to lean out and cut body fat.
Note that LBM is what you weigh, not including body fat.
Lean Body Mass Example: a 200-lb person with 10% body fat has 180 lbs of LBM. A 250-lb person with 30% body fat has 175 lbs of LBM.
But why use lean body mass instead of total body weight?
Its simple. If the two individuals in the above example use their total body weight to calculate optimal protein intake, the obese 250-lb person will consume significantly more protein despite having less lean body mass.
Its more sensible to base your protein needs off lean body mass instead of total body weight since excess fat tissue is not metabolically demanding. People who are obese/overweight will overestimate their actual protein needs if they use total body weight as the starting parameter.
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.
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How Many Grams Of Protein Should I Eat A Day
Heads up: When we say grams, what were referring to are the grams of the macronutrient protein and *not* the foods it comes from. For example, one large egg weighs about 50 g, but only provides a little over 6 g of protein.
When it comes to the total amount of protein you need, the current international Recommended Dietary Allowance for both men and women is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight .
This means a 150-lb. person would require about 54 g of protein while a 200-lb. individual would need 72 g.
This RDA is only the minimum to avoid a protein deficiency. Certain peeps often require more protein, including:
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What Are Good Sources Of Protein On The Keto Diet
Try to stick with real foods where possible. While protein powders can be useful if youre vegetarian or vegan,we suggest going for whole foods. Enjoy meat, organ meat, fish, and seafood these are great sources of protein.
As with any food, quality matters in addition to quantity! So, buy grass-fed meat if you have access to it and can afford it. They contain more nutrients, so you can get your protein needs as well as your vitamin and mineral requirements.
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How Much Protein Do You Need
Although you may have met the recommended daily intake of protein in young adulthood and middle age, changes in appetite and food intake later in life can result in not getting enough of this macronutrient. You also may not be deriving enough value from the protein you are consuming.
General guidelines for the entire adult population once recommended consuming 0.8 g of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day . But Carol Greenwood, a specialist in geriatric nutrition at the University of Toronto, says that nutrition research suggests that people over the age of 70 should get at least 1 g/kg/day.
“For the average 50-year-old, 55 to 70 grams of protein each day is likely enough,” says Greenwood. “But new data points to the 0.8 g/kg/day standard being a bit low for people over 70, so a range of 70 to 85 grams is probably a healthier target.”
Where To Get Healthy Lean Protein
Even though you need more protein when you’re gaining weight, you’ll likely have no trouble meeting your recommended protein intakes. A single 6-ounce portion of fatty fish — like salmon or tuna — supplies 44 grams of high-quality protein, while eating 3 ounces of turkey breast increases your protein intake by 26 grams. Make a “chicken Parmesan” that’s weight-gain friendly by topping a 6-ounce chicken breast with a spoonful of tomato sauce and an ounce of Parmesan cheese, and you’ll have an entree that supplies 42 grams of protein. Cottage cheese, eggs, full-fat milk and Greek yogurt also contain high-quality protein for weight gain.
You can also meet your protein needs with plant-derived foods. A cup of edamame, for example, contains 29 grams of protein, while black and lima beans each contain 15 grams of protein per cup. Whole grains, nuts and vegetables also contain small amounts of protein. While most plant-based foods are low in at least one amino acid you need for muscle gain, eating protein from a variety of plant-based foods ensures you’ll get what you need.
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Intermediate: The Percentage Of Calories Method
Does the Palm Method feel a little too chill for you?
No biggie! You can also estimate your protein needs based on your target calorie intake. I recommend 25-30% of calories for active adults.
Heres how to do it:
Want to see that in action? Lets assume youre aiming for 1600 calories per day, with 30% of calories from protein:
1600*0.3 = 480480/4=120
Youre aiming for 120 grams of protein per day .
The primary upsides are that this approach promotes a balanced diet, and its also a bit more precise than the hand method.
But, there are a couple of downsides. First, the percentage approach assumes you are eating at an appropriate calorie level for your height, weight, age, and activity level. Eating too much will result in weight gain while eating too little could result in muscle loss.
And from a practical standpoint, the percentage method means that youll likely need to track calories and protein intake in an app like MyFitnessPal. Tracking can be very effective for weight loss, but its not for everyone. Its tedious, it can lead to food obsession, and lots of people havent mastered the basics enough to really do macros well.
That said, the percentage method is a decent option if you have some experience manipulating your calorie and nutrient intake.