Advice For Those Who Are Underweight
Having a BMI below 18.5 is generally considered to be unhealthy.
About 1% of American men 20 or over fall in this range, while about 2.4% of American women do.
Being drastically underweight can lead to a significant increase in risk of early death as it can impair immune function and lead to osteoporosis. It can also lead to lower fertility and an increased risk of dementia.
Some people may also want to put weight on to boost their self esteem, improve their self image, and get stronger to do a better job at work or in athletic competitions. There are also significant health considerations beyond these types of motivations.
Macronutrient Calculations Are Important
The foods we eat are made up of three macros . These are carbohydrates , protein, and fat. Chicken is high in protein but has no carbs. Rice is high in carbs, but very little fat or protein.
These 3 macronutrients are from which the human body obtains energy and raw materials for growth and repair.
How Effective Are Hand Portions For Tracking Macros
Our research shows hand portions are 95 percent as accurate as carefully weighing, measuring, and tracking. With substantially less effort and time involved.
Plus, our hand portion tracking system allows you to easily adjust your intake to further optimize your results.
Ready to get started? Go ahead and enter your information into the calorie, portion, and macro calculator above, and well do the rest, providing you with a free nutrition plan customized just for you.
If you have more questions right now, or want to understand the nutrition rules we used to design this calorie, portion, and macro calculator, see the Resources section for a full breakdown.
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How Much Protein Do I Need To Build Muscle
EMMIE SATRAZEMIS, RD, CSSD August 7, 2020
Muscle is made up of mostly protein, so its no surprise that a high protein diet can help you build more of it. Exactly how much protein per day you need is debatable. Common bodybuilding advice suggests eating one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight to support muscle growth, however, the science behind this recommendation varies depending on age, fitness level, and overall body composition goals.
Based on the existing research, heres how much protein you should be eating to build muscle.
Other General Health Tips
Sleep quality is paramount. Anything that disturbs the quality of your sleep makes it harder for your muscles to repair themselves and grow.
People who smoke cigarettes typically weigh less than non-smokers & sometimes they replace the urge to eat with smoking, thus you shouldn’t smoke if you are trying to gain weight.
Drinking alcohol can both impact your sleep quality and give you many of the same types of calories that sodas do, thus alcohol should be minimized or avoided.
Many illegal hardcore drugs also suppress appetite & impact sleep quality, so they should be avoided. Even something as simple as coffee at the wrong hour can harm your sleep quality.
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What To Do With Foods That Dont Fit
Some items dont fit well into the hand-size portion system. Its not perfect. No single system is. Its meant to provide practical and actionable guidelines.
Most notably problematic are liquids.
Cows milk and non-Greek yogurt are tricky as theyre a pretty even mix of all 3 macros or can vary depending on the fat level someone chooses .
Ultimately, we suggest making that decision based on the fat or carbohydrate content of the milk or yogurt youre consuming.
Generally, consider 1 cup of whole milk products a thumb of fat. .
Anything lower in fat is generally considered a cupped hand of carbs .
A cup of anything highly sweetened is generally considered a cupped hand of carbs .
So what happens in this situation: You have a full-fat Greek yogurt or whole milk thats highly sweetened? Is it a fat or carb? Think of it this way: If its already full-fat, you know its a thumb of fat. But if a lot of sugar is also added to it, then its also a cupped hand of carbs.
The key is to pick an approach, and apply it consistently. This is probably more important than the actual classification itself.
Cookies, ice cream, chips
Again, a serving of soda doesnt really fit into a cupped hand. Instead, consider a 12-ounce can of soda as a cupped hand of carbs. Certainly, 8 ounces would be preferable from the standpoint of physical size , but 12 ounces really simplifies the size and math, as these beverages come pre-packaged this way.
How Much Protein Do I Need In A Day
The following chart reveals the recommended daily protein intake based on your age given that you are overall healthy.
It is important to note that the FDAs recommended daily values are to prevent deficiency and not based on optimal health nor specific to individuals, especially those looking to gain lean muscle or improve their body composition. The recommended daily allowance of protein varies from one person to the next.
To get your specific daily protein intake needs, get started with our simple and free protein calculator:
General Fitness Promix Protein Calculator – Best for people who go to the gym a few times per week and enjoy a variety of workout types or classes.
Experienced Lifter Promix Protein Calculator – Best for people who go to the gym 3x/week or more and have specific strength or performance goals.
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Why You Shouldn’t Calculate How Much Protein You Need Based On Total Calories Or Weight
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.
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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Leading Causes Of Being Underweight
As we age our metabolic rates slow and it is easier for most people to put on weight. Men in their 40s and 50s or women who reach menopause sometimes unexpectedly gain significant weight.
Many medical conditions can make it hard to gain weight & can lead to unhealthy weight loss in a formerly fit person. Some of the leading causes are highlighted below.
- Eating Disorders: Anorexia nevrosa and bulimia nervosa are potentially life-threatening mental disorders.
- Hyperthyroidism: An overactive thyroid can increase your metabolic rate, making it hard to keep weight on.
- Infections: Parasites, HIV/AIDS. tuberculosis & other infectious diseases can cause the body to spend much of its energy fighting off these diseases.
- Cancer: cancerous tumors can burn a significant amount of energy.
- Diabetes: While diabetes is more common in overweight people than underweight people, uncontrolled type 1 diabetes can lead to weight loss issues.
- Celiac disease: This autoimmune disease destroys villi of the small intestine when people who have it consume gluten. Most people who have this are unaware of their gluten intolerance.
If your body weight trend changes drastically without a shift in calorie consumption or exercise routine you should seek medical analysis so a doctor can ensure you do not suffer from one of the above conditions.
Different people have different reactions to major life changes. Here are a couple other examples of other things that can drive rapid weight loss or gain.
Are Protein Bars Good For You
These popular bars certainly can be good for you. They can also be little better than a candy bar. It depends on the ingredients.
Food manufacturers often create products they call “protein bars,” but which don’t offer much protein, and contain plenty of ingredients you may not want. Choose bars that provide an ample amount of high-quality protein without high amounts of calories, carbohydrates, and fats to help you lose weight, build lean tissue, and control hunger. If the bar has a very poor protein-to-carb ratio, meaning there are far more carbs than protein, you may be paying premium prices for what is basically junk food.
Pick from this list of the best bars to make sure you’re not just eating candy bars in disguise. You can also make your own! By using the right ingredients, you can rest assured that the bars you eat are good for you.
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Protein Requirement Calculator: How Much Protein Per Day
One can often hear that to build an impressive and muscular body it is enough to eat large amounts of healthy food. There is a lot of truth in this, but much better and faster results will be achieved with a balanced diet. How many calories should you consume? How much protein per day will help you achieve your goals?
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
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How Do You Determine How Much Protein You Need Per Day Use The Protein Requirement Calculator
There are several ways to precisely calculate the amount of protein needed for the body. The first one is, of course, a consultation with a qualified nutritionist, who will also prepare a balanced dietary plan. However, in many cases the cost of such a service may be too high for your personal budget.
Another way is to use ready-made formulas, which are commonly used by the mentioned dieticians or personal trainers. Unfortunately, in the case of laymen, the lack of knowledge of some basics related to the principles of proper nutrition may be an obstacle to calculating how much protein per day will be optimal.
Technological progress has made it possible to find online protein requirement calculators without any problems. They are simple and intuitive applications that allow you to quickly determine the amount of protein to meet your daily requirements. What’s more, they also allow you to take into account the already mentioned level of physical activity or the goal you want to achieve.
Research On Protein Intake
While there are various recommendations, theres a widely accepted range that has been determined for individuals who are sedentary, active, and who weight train. But theres so much conflict between experts and studies when it comes to ideal protein intake. The research is very mixed.
Some resources suggest that we eat too much protein while more recent research is in favor of higher protein intake, especially for preserving muscle gain and strength. So it can be incredibly confusing for those who want to know how much protein they should be eating.
Theres a misunderstanding not only among the public, but also somewhat in our profession about the RDA. People in general think we all eat too much protein, explained Nancy Rodriguez, a registered dietitian, and professor of nutritional science at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.
Rodriguez was part of a Protein Summit where reports were published to American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that argued Americans may be consuming too little protein. She suggests doubling the RDA and consuming 15-25% of daily calories from protein.
The minimum recommended protein allowance is 0.8 grams of protein per kg body weight per day. This is for basic physiological needs and to prevent deficiency. If you want to find your minimum RDA, multiply your body weight by 0.36 %20per%20day.” rel=”nofollow”> 6).
On average, this is roughly:
- 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man.
- 46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman.
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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.
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How Does Protein Contribute To Muscle Growth
Much of our body is made up of protein, including muscle, bones, skin, and hair. Because its function is so widespread, theres a constant turnover of proteins in our body some being broken down and some being built up .
The amount of protein we consume in our diets can influence whether were in a building or breaking down state.
Exercising causes stress on our muscles, making tiny tears or injuries in the muscle proteins that need to be repaired. Consuming more calories and protein in our diet than were breaking down provides the building blocks for our muscles to repair and gain mass over time.
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Using This Tool As A Gaining Muscle Calculator
The Gain button puts you in a 20% calorie surplus and is designed for people who are wanting to build muscle fast in conjunction with a comprehensive weight training program. It can also be used by people who are underweight.
Some people may want to use the maintenance button and then gradually increase calories from there if they want their muscle gains to be lean.
Which Formula Normal or Lean Mass?
The default formula is fine for most people. However, there are some exceptions.
1. If you are very lean the default formula may not be accurate. Use the Lean Body Mass setting. This uses a formula that factors specific body fat percentage into the equation and since muscle tissue burns many more calories than fat tissue while even at rest, it will give you a higher TDEE. This is perfect for athletic body types that want to use macro counting to gain more muscle mass.
2. If you are classified as obese and have a lot of weight to lose, the standard formula will not be accurate because the equation used, factors for an average body fat percentage. If you happen to be above average it will skew the results. Please see this article for more clarification on how to do macro counting if you are obese.
How Much Protein Powder Should I Consume
Once youve established how much protein you need on a daily basis, its also important to list the protein sources you plan to consume on a regular basis.
Protein powder is a popular source of protein for active individuals in need of a quality protein source that can be consumed quickly and nearly anywhere, but how much of our daily intake should come from supplements?
We like to recommend limiting protein supplements to account for no more than 35% of your daily protein intake. This means that supplements can account for 35% or less of your daily protein intake.
If we looked at the above example, then we would write out:
- Protein Supplementation Range: 147g x .35 = 51g
Contextually, this would mean that protein supplements could account for 51g of our daily intake. This amount is roughly two daily shakes, which would be perfect for active individuals consuming one post-workout shake and a shake as a snack or before bed to boost daily protein intake.
The amount and type of protein powder supplements you choose to consume on a daily basis should reflect your goals, lifestyle, and wants.
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