How Much Protein Should I Eat To Gain Weight

Protein For Weight Gain

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

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.

How Much Protein Are Most People Eating Now

Because high is a relative term, discussions about whether you should eat a high protein diet are based upon a reference point. The typical reference point is the Recommended Daily Allowance for daily protein, which is set at 0.8 grams per kilo.6 For an average 154-pound person , that equates to 56 grams of protein per day about six ounces of steak. For women, the RDA is even less, around 46 grams.

However, the RDA recommendation addresses the minimum amount required to prevent protein deficiency. The minimum to prevent protein deficiency is not the same as the recommended amount to improve health a distinction that many people misunderstand.7

American men average 88 grams of protein per day, and women average 66 grams, which equates to only 14 to 16% of total calories.8 Of those protein calories, approximately 30% come from plant sources.9

The main take-home message is that most people are likely not eating enough protein for weight loss, metabolic health, and improving lean muscle mass.

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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Determining Your Weight Gain Calorie Needs

The exact amount of calories you need to consume each day to gain muscle mass are most strongly dependent on your level of training and starting body composition. While it takes 2,500 to 2,800 additional calories to build one pound of muscle, this doesn’t necessarily mean increasing your intake by this much is automatically going to result in healthy gains.

Use this online calculator or the simple steps below to calculate your exact calorie needs for muscle gain.

Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Healthy Sedentary Adults

How Much Protein Should I Eat To Help Lose Weight

For adults, the US Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 g/kg. However, a more appropriate statistical analysis of the data used to establish the RDA suggests this number should be higher: 1.0 g/kg.

Note that, contrary to popular belief, the RDA doesnt represent an ideal intake. Instead, it represents the minimum intake needed to prevent malnutrition. Unfortunately, the RDA for protein was determined from nitrogen balance studies, which require that people eat experimental diets for weeks before measurements are taken. This provides ample time for the body to adapt to low protein intakes by down-regulating processes that are not necessary for survival but are necessary for optimal health, such as protein turnover and immune function.

An alternative method for determining protein requirements, called the Indicator Amino Acid Oxidation technique, overcomes many of the shortcomings of nitrogen balance studies. Notably, it allows for the assessment of protein requirements within 24 hours, thereby not leaving the body enough time to adapt. Studies using the IAAO method have suggested that about 1.2 g/kg is a more appropriate RDA for healthy young men, older men, and older women.

Further evidence that the current RDA for protein is not sufficient comes from a randomized controlled trial that confined healthy, sedentary adults to a metabolic ward for eight weeks. The participants were randomized into three groups:

Three types of hypercaloric diets


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How Much Protein Do You Need To Lose Fat

The only way to lose weight is to create a caloric deficit, meaning you eat fewer calories than you consume, Sauza says. Eating protein as part of a well-rounded diet can help satiate you so you eat fewer calories overall, but simply increasing your protein intake without creating a caloric deficit will not make you lose weight.

Another benefit to eating protein is that it helps your body build muscle, which can slightly increase your resting metabolism and help you burn more calories overall.

If you are trying to lose weight and are concerned about maintaining muscle mass, make sure protein comprises 10% to 20% of total daily calories, Sauza says. But, this varies depending on age, weight, and current strength training regimen.

Best Protein And Carbohydrate Foods For Weight Loss

Choosing your protein and carbohydrate sources is fairly easy. Stick to whole foods, and eschew packaged and processed foods as much as possible. Packaged foods, like many breads, chips and sweets, are often high in refined carbohydrates that have been stripped of fiber. These foods digest quickly and cause blood sugar to surge, which can lead to decreased energy and carbohydrate cravings. Instead, go for fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and whole grain breads and pasta.

Similarly, many protein foods are high in fat â primarily saturated fat, which increases your risk of heart attack and stroke, according to the American Heart Association. Red meat, bacon and fried chicken are all sources of protein, but are also high in fat and calories. Lean beef, chicken, fish, eggs, tofu and beans are all quality sources of protein on a 1,500-calorie diet.

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How Much Protein Should You Consume If You Are Trying To Gain Weight

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Many people trying to gain weight prefer to gain lean muscle mass instead of body fat. Consuming plenty of protein is important to help maximize lean muscle mass gains. Increasing calorie intake and exercising are also important components of healthy weight gain. The American Dietetic Association reports that athletes trying to gain weight should consume protein at each meal and snack.

How Much Protein Should I Eat At Once

How Much Protein Should You Eat A Day ? | Fat Loss, Muscle Gain, & Everything Else!

That said, the amino acids most closely linked to muscle protein synthesis , a process that switches on genes responsible for muscle gain are the branched chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Leucine has far and away the most research linking it to MPS.

Now, MPS is just one piece of the muscle gain puzzle: total daily calories is hugely important, as is total protein intake, ones exercise regimen, sleep, and many other factors. While these are far more important than worrying about leucine some research has found people to gain and lose the same amount of muscle and fat whether theyre eating every day or every other day, so long as their calories are in check it seems that about three grams of leucine per serving is ideal for keeping MPS maintained.

Youll get that in about 20 to 30 grams of protein from most protein dense sources, including many vegan ones like legumes and grains.

So if youre eating 150 grams of protein a day, this might sound like you should eat 5 meals with 30 grams of protein each, so a meal every three hours. Theres nothing wrong with this approach, but its worth remembering that some research has found MPS to be about the same after six hours whether you ate two small meals with 30 grams apiece or if you ate a big meal with 60 grams of protein and then nothing else for six hours.

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Make Smart Choices When Consuming Protein

As we have attempted to answer the question ‘Can too much protein make you fat?’ we have seen that protein, in moderation, is an essential and valuable macronutrient.

Bonjour, Jean-Philippe. âDietary protein: an essential nutrient for bone health.â Journal of the American College of Nutrition vol. 24,6 Suppl : 526S-36S. doi:10.1080/07315724.2005.10719501
Westerterp-Plantenga, M S et al. âHigh protein intake sustains weight maintenance after body weight loss in humans.â International journal of obesity and related metabolic disorders : journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity vol. 28,1 : 57-64. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0802461
Publishing, Harvard Health. âWhen It Comes to Protein, How Much Is Too Much?â Harvard Health, 30 Mar. 2020, Original content published in May 2018.
Team, the Healthline Editorial. âCoronary Artery Disease Risk Factors.â Healthline, Healthline Media, 17 Sept. 2018,
Bernstein, Adam M et al. âMajor dietary protein sources and risk of coronary heart disease in women.â Circulation vol. 122,9 : 876-83. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.915165

Does Too Much Protein Make You Fat

    Theres a rumor going around the gym, and it goes something like this: Eat too much protein, and itll just get converted to fat.

    As people who eat roughly our body weight in chicken breast every week, we decided to put this rumor to rest.

    Protein is insulinogenic, meaning it can stimulate an insulin response, which puts the body in storage mode, explains Jackie Buell, Ph.D., C.S.S.D., an assistant professor and sports dietitian at Ohio State University.

    So to be clear: Yes, your body can transform the calories from excess protein into fat. However, no study has conclusively shown how much protein you can eat before your body starts changing that protein to fat. In fact, we do know that the protein-to-fat-transformation threshold is fairly high, because a number of studies have researched what happens when people eat lots of protein, and none of those studies reported changes in body fat composition.

    A 2016 study in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism found that when healthy guys consumed 3.3g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for four months, they didnt gain any fat compared to when they ate a traditionally healthy diet. .

    Another widely cited study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that when healthy, resistance-trained guys upped their protein to 4.4g/kg/dthats five and a half times the recommended daily allowancetheir body fat didnt go up whatsoever over two months.

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    A Reminder: Please Be Sensible With Your Macros For Fat Loss

    If youâre turning to macro tracking to help you lose fat, itâs wise to seek support and advice from a qualified dietitian or nutritionist, says Rabess. Calorie counting and macro tracking can also be an easy way to develop an unhealthy relationship with food.

    If you start to feel anxious about the occasional Saturday takeaway or enjoying a glass of wine on a Friday it might be wise to take a step back. âFeeling the need to quantify every morsel can take the fun and joy out of food,â she says.

    Got that? Use it, but use it wisely. Health is always more than just about one metric.

    If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with an eating disorder, contact Beat, the UK-based charity that hopes to end the pain and suffering caused by eating disorders.E: , under-18s:

    We Looked At All The Studies And Spoke To Multiple Experts To Land On The Ideal Number

    How Much Protein Should I Be Eating To Gain Weight

    When it comes to building muscle and losing fat, few questions can be as confusing as that of how much protein you should consume. The FDAs suggestions for avoiding a protein deficiency are a lot lower than what the average lean, muscular person will tell you they eat. Whats the minimum and is there a maximum? We talked to multiple experts and look at a ton of research to land on the formulas used in this calculator.

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    What Weighs More Muscle Or Fat

    Because fat supplies more energy per gram than muscle and takes up more space, some may interpret this as fat weighs more than muscle. And because muscle is denser – one pound of muscle takes up 18% less space than fat, some would argue the opposite. But either notion would defy the laws of physics since one pound of anything still weighs a pound.

    Gaining muscle will not make you weigh less, but it may make you look and feel leaner overall. Muscle growth often means your weight will increase – which is why MPS requires excess calories, even if you end up looking smaller and denser in the process.

    Foods High In Protein

    There are many different combinations of food that a person can eat to meet their protein intake requirements. For many people, a large portion of protein intake comes from meat and dairy, though it is possible to get enough protein while meeting certain dietary restrictions you might have. Generally, it is easier to meet your RDA of protein by consuming meat and dairy, but an excess of either can have a negative health impact. There are plenty of plant-based protein options, but they generally contain less protein in a given serving. Ideally, a person should consume a mixture of meat, dairy, and plant-based foods in order to meet their RDA and have a balanced diet replete with nutrients.

    If possible, consuming a variety of complete proteins is recommended. A complete protein is a protein that contains a good amount of each of the nine essential amino acids required in the human diet. Examples of complete protein foods or meals include:

    Meat/Dairy examples

    • Hemp and chia seeds
    • Spirulina
    • Almonds

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    Can Too Much Protein Cause Weight Gain

    We all need to consume protein each day it is essential for life. Alongside carbohydrates and fat, it is one of the three main ‘macronutrients’ in our daily diet. Anyone who studied science in school will know that protein is one of our cells’ building blocks, supporting the biochemical functions within our bodies.

    Given its popularity for gym-goers and athletes, its importance in muscle development and tissue repair is well-known. As humans, we get our protein from a whole range of sources. Meat, dairy, beans, and nuts, and more are healthy sources of protein. Supplements like shakes are another common source of protein in our diets.

    But, can too much protein make you fat? The short answer is yes, too much of anything can make you fat. The long answer is somewhat more complicated. Generally, the reasons for weight-gains when consuming protein should consider a person’s overall diet, including the number of carbohydrates and fats consumed.

    This article examines the benefits of protein, how much protein we should be consuming, the risks of overconsumption, and the best protein sources for a healthy and balanced diet.

    Are Protein Supplements A Good Solution

    How Much Protein Do I Need to Build Muscle & Lose Weight âWhat amount should I take a day eat to cut

    Taking protein supplements is another good way of getting some protein into your system. Nevertheless, whole foods are the original sources of nutrients when it comes to a healthy diet.

    As the name implies, protein supplements are meant to supplement and can never replace the original.

    For this reason, even if protein supplements are beneficial, you should consider them as alternative sources of protein.

    Perhaps you dont have plenty of time to cook your own meals or if you follow a strict vegan diet and need to supplement your protein needs.

    You can supplement protein from:

    • Casein powders

    Here are a few tips to help you get more protein in your diet.

  • Eat lean cuts of meat with plenty of dark green and colorful vegetables.
  • Eat plenty of baked or poached fish.
  • Take scrambled eggs with spinach as breakfast.
  • Include seeds and nuts on top of a veggie side dish.
  • Consider snacking on almonds.
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    How Many Calories Should You Eat

    How many calories you need depends on factors like gender, age, weight and activity level.

    For example, a 25-year-old male athlete will need more calories than a 70-year-old woman who doesnt exercise.

    If you are trying to lose weight, you will need to create a calorie deficit by eating less than your body burns off.

    Use this calculator to determine how many calories you should eat per day.

    This calculator is based on the Mifflin-St Jeor equation, which is an accurate way to estimate calorie needs .

    Bottom Line:

    The exact amount of calories you need will depend on a number of different factors, including your gender, age, weight and activity levels. Use the calculator above to work out your daily requirement.

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    Q What Are The Cons Of Eating A High

    • Eating excess protein causes your body to go into ketosis, a metabolic state that produces unpleasant fruity-smelling chemicals called ketones. This makes your breath smell bad, and brushing or flossing dont help! You can try to counter the effect by drinking more water or chewing gum.

    Image: 123RF

    • If youre eating a high-protein and low-fibre diet, it can lead to constipation. Eating excess dairy can cause diarrhoea, especially if youre lactose intolerant. Combat issue by drinking more water and eating more fibre.
    • Eating a high-protein diet causes the body to flush out excess nitrogen thats part of amino acids, leaving you dehydrated. Kidneys have to work harder to flush out the excess nitrogen, so not drinking enough water through the day can be a problem.
    • Excess red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and other health conditions.

    Image: 123RF

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