Signs Youre Not Eating Enough Protein
Not all women need to count grams of protein. If your client has very specific fitness goals, or really struggles to balance macros or lose weight, counting can be useful. For the rest of us it may just take greater awareness to realize if were not getting enough protein:
- Feeling unusually fatigued or weak
- Brittle or damaged hair and nails, flaky skin
- Being hungry a lot of the time
- Getting sick a lot or staying sick longer than expected
- Slow healing of wounds
- Edema, swollen feet or hands
Check out this post on the ISSA blog about protein myths to learn more about this important macronutrient and why its hard to get too much.
How Much Protein Do I Need To Lose Weight
EMMIE SATRAZEMIS, RD, CSSD August 4, 2020
When it comes to weight loss there is one macro the resigns supreme – protein! In fact, outside of calorie control, eating more protein is one of the best dietary approaches to losing body fat. However, the exact amount of protein you need is often hotly debated and can differ from one person to the next.
Heres the breakdown on this popular diet-friendly macro and expert advice on what your optimal daily protein intake should be.
How Much Protein Should I Be Eating For Weight Loss
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.
Don’t Miss: Do Special K Protein Bars Make You Gain Weight
What Kind Of Protein Do You Need
Not all protein sources are created equally lean proteins will help you with your weight-loss goals. “Remember, in order to lose weight, there needs to be a caloric deficit therefore, look for lean sources of protein that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other health-promoting nutrients.” Here are some of Miller’s recommendations for healthy sources:
- Fish and shellfish
- Pork chops that have been grilled, baked, or broiled
- Nuts and seeds are also a good source of protein and fiber just watch the serving size. Try single-serve packs for portion control.
- Beans, lentils, and other legumes, as well as lots of nonstarchy vegetables plant-based sources of protein are naturally free of saturated fat and are more environmentally friendly
What About Protein Powders And Supplements
Another way to get protein is through supplements, although whole foods should always be the main source of nutrients in a healthy diet. Supplements are just that, meant to supplement a diet. Your client may benefit from supplements if she struggles to get enough protein for various reasons: limited time to cook, not motivated to cook, or a vegan diet.
Some protein supplements you can recommend include whey or casein powders or pea, hemp, or rice protein powders for vegans. There are also more specialized supplements, like branched-chain amino acids for clients trying to restrict calories or meet very specific training goals.
Protein can be a confusing topic for your clients, especially women because most research and discussion is geared to men. Help your female clients by providing this important information about how, when, what, and how much protein to eat for health, weight maintenance, and strength and fitness.
Recommended Reading: Protein Powder Cholesterol
How Do You Adjust The Rest Of Your Diet
Increasing your protein doesn’t just mean you add more food to your diet. In order to lose weight, Miller noted, “You’ll have to adjust your fat and carbohydrate intake to ensure you stick within your daily allotment of calories. The amounts will vary based on your personal caloric needs and your protein intake.”
So how does that work? You adjust your macros. To determine this, you have to first calculate how many calories you need per day, and then determine how many calories come from protein, how many from fat, and how many from carbohydrates. “This is where food trackers and/or the assistance of a registered dietitian nutritionist can be helpful as both can speak to your individualized needs,” said Miller.
Using Miller’s example of 70-90 grams of protein per day, 80 grams of protein equals 320 calories . If your weight-loss caloric intake is around 1,600 calories, that means protein is about 20 percent of your diet. You’ll then get the other 80 percent from fat and carbohydrates, depending on how you choose to split it up for your dietary preferences.
But whatever you do, don’t eliminate fat or carbohydrates. “What you don’t want to do is eliminate any of the macronutrients that is, don’t eliminate carbohydrates or fat as your body needs all of the macronutrients for optimal health,” said Miller.
Quality As Important As Quantity
Enough protein is important – but so is the quality of the protein and what you eat with it. If your main protein source is junk food, losing weight might be a challenge. Burgers and fried chicken contain lots of protein but lots of other, not so good stuff too!
For maximum effect from the protein you eat, always choose whole food sources of protein, such as:
- Lean beef and chicken
- Dairy products like milk, yoghurt and cheese
Don’t Miss: Nature Valley Protein Bars Bodybuilding
Unhealthy Daily Amounts Of Protein
While increasing your protein content can be safe and even beneficial, don’t increase your daily amount of protein too much. According to the Harvard Medical School, 2 grams or more of protein per kilogram of body weight can be harmful. Excessive consumption of protein can result in increased:
- Cholesterol that results in a higher chance of heart disease.
- Digestive system issues, including diarrhea and constipation.
- Kidney problems, including kidney stones.
- Risk of cancer.
Too much protein can, ironically, even cause weight gain.
To make sure you’re getting the right amount of protein each day, use the United States Department of Agriculture Dietary Reference Intakes Calculator, which shows you all the nutrients you should consume each day, or another protein calculator. Many fitness apps on smartphones can also help you determine the appropriate amount of protein needed for weight loss or muscle building. Remember that the number of calories you need can change based on your level of activity each day.
How Much Protein Is Too Much
In the past, some studies concluded that high-protein diets could pose a number of health risks, such as fat gain, potential kidney damage, and even danger to bone health. However, Jose Antonio, Ph.D., says in his video “3 Myths about High Protein Diets Debunked” that all three of these threats have been discredited in more recent research.
However, this isn’t necessarily a reason to simply take a “more is better” approach, as some bodybuilders have been known to do.
“There are definitely plenty of people in the strength and bodybuilding community who push their intake well beyond 2 grams per kilogram,” explains Douglas Kalman, Ph.D. “Even if it’s not hurting anything, it may not be helping enough to justify the expense and possible stomachaches. Plus, past a certain point, each gram you’re taking in also means you’ll have less room on your plate, and in your stomach, for nutrient-rich plants and other foods.”
A simple approach is to first make sure you’re getting enough. If you hit 1 gram per pound of body weight and still feel like you could benefit from more, slowly increase it from there.
Protein Changes The Levels Of Several Weight Regulating Hormones
Your weight is actively regulated by your brain, particularly an area called the hypothalamus .
In order for your brain to determine when and how much to eat, it processes multiple different types of information.
Some of the most important signals to the brain are hormones that change in response to feeding .
A higher protein intake actually increases levels of the satiety hormones GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin, while reducing your levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin .
This leads to a major reduction in hunger and is the main reason protein helps you lose weight. It can make you eat fewer calories automatically.
Protein reduces levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, while it boosts the appetite-reducing hormones GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin. This leads to an automatic reduction in calorie intake.
What Is The Thermogenic Effect Of Protein
It takes energy to digest your food – commonly referred to as the thermic effect of food . And as it turns out, each macro requires a different amount of energy to digest.
Protein is thought to be the most thermogenic of all the macros – causing a small spike in metabolism to digest protein foods compared to fat and carbs . And it is commonly believed that eating more protein overall may lead to tiny increases in your daily metabolism and overall energy expenditure.
TEF only accounts for 10% of your total energy expenditure, but because dieting is associated with decreases in metabolism over time – due to prolonged caloric restriction and decreases in mass, this minor effect on metabolism may be worth considering .
Also Check: Special K Protein Bars Healthy
How Much Protein Should I Take To Lose Weight
The amount that we’ve advocated throughout this guide, 1.0-1.25 grams per pound of body weight per day, works just as well for weight loss as it does for weight gain. If you’re otherwise restricting your calories, it’s even more important to make sure you get enough protein!
You can use Bodybuilding.com’s calculator to estimate how much protein to consume every day, and the calorie and macronutrient calculator for added information about what your overall diet should look like.
To get maximum body-composition and appetite-management benefits, consume 20-40 grams of high-quality protein every few hours, rather than having just one or two massive meals a day.
What Should You Do
Research on how much protein is the optimal amount to eat for good health is ongoing, and is far from settled. The value of high-protein diets for weight loss or cardiovascular health, for example, remains controversial.
Before you start ramping up your daily protein intake, there are a few important things to consider. For one, dont read “get more protein” as “eat more meat.” Beef, poultry, and pork can certainly provide high-quality protein, but so can many plant foods including whole grains, beans and other legumes, nuts, and vegetables. The table below provides some healthier sources of protein.
Its also important to consider the protein “package” the fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that invariably come along with protein. Aim for protein sources low in saturated fat and processed carbohydrates and rich in many nutrients.
One more thing: If you increase protein, dietary arithmetic demands that you eat less of other things to keep your daily calorie intake steady. The switches you make can affect your nutrition, for better or for worse. For example, eating more protein instead of low-quality refined carbohydrates, like white bread and sweets, is a healthy choice though how healthy the choice is also depends on the total protein package.
Good sources of protein
Read Also: Protein Shakes Like Shakeology
Protein Is Hard To Store As Body Fat
During periods of weight loss, there are often times where more energy is consumed than expended. As such, minimizing how much of that excess energy is stored as fat is important.
The body processes the three different macronutrients in very different ways.
Leaving out a lot of jargon and mumbo jumbo, in order for protein to be stored as fat, it goes through a much different biochemical process than either carbohydrates or protein.
This process makes it much harder for protein to store as body fat.
One study found that protein is stored as body fat with roughly 66% efficiency, while carbohydrates store with 80% efficiency and fats store at 96% efficiency .
During weight loss, overeating protein results in much less stored body fat than overeating on carbohydrates or fat. If you are looking for ways to lose weight fast, consuming protein is a great option!
So How Much Do I Need
For people who are attempting to lose weight we recommend eating between 1.2 and 1.6 g of protein per kilogram of weight.
More importantly, we recommend spreading the protein you eat relatively evenly between your meals. This is what we call the Protein Balance philosophy. For most, that means eating more protein at breakfast and lunch and less at dinner, with at least 25 g at each meal.
Read Also: Shakeology Vs Protein Shake
Gold Standard Whey Is Een Ideaal Product Voor Een Vet
Dit product bevat per maatbeker 23 gram hoogwaardige wei proteïne, 3.5 gram glutamine, 5 gram BCAA’s , slechts 3 gram koolhydraten en een minimum aan vet en lactose. Gold Standard Whey is instant en mixt dus gemakkelijk op in elke vloeistof zelf wanneer je alleen een lepel gebruikt.Ja, je leest het goed als klap op de vuurpijl verschaft elke dosering Gold Standard Whey je meer dan 3500 mg Glutamine en 5000 mg BCAA’s Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey is tevens versterkt met plantaardige enzymen Plantaardige enzymen in Gold Standard Whey helpen op een natuurlijke manier om vrije aminozuren te maken uit eiwitten. Overtuig jezelf en koop nu Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey. Niet voor niets de marktleider in de U.S.A.
Nr. 1 whey proteïne wereldwijd!
- Hoogwaardige combinatie van whey eiwit isolaat, concentraat en hydrolysaat
- Bevat 24 gram eiwit per serving
- 4 gram BCAA’s en 3.5 gram Glutamine
- Versterkt met plantaardige enzymen
Protein Is Essential For Weight Management
Trying to lose or maintain weight are common goals for your female clients. Protein is a crucial part of the diet for so many reasons, but especially for women trying to lose weight. Protein keeps you full and satisfied for a longer period of time than carbohydrates because they take longer to digest.
High protein amounts at breakfast can be particularly useful. It helps to minimize cravings for snacks later in the day and helps you avoid the dreaded hangry mood.
Is your client struggling to lose weight? Read this post on four big reasons weight loss can stall to help your client over the plateau.
You May Like: Cholesterol In Protein Powder Good Or Bad
Women And Protein Counting Grams
One way to make sure you are getting enough protein is to count the grams in everything you eat. Different sources have different recommendations, but generally 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is the minimum. For women who are active or trying to lose weight, more is better.
A good general guideline is 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
For a woman who weighs 150 pounds this means eating between 80 and 136 grams of protein per day. The high end of this range is pretty extreme and only really necessary for any client doing a lot of strength training, preparing for fitness competitions, or who is a serious athlete. Experts recommend you dont stay in that upper level indefinitely.
How To Calculator Your Daily Protein Requirements
Lets say you conclude that you need 1.8g of protein per kg of body weight a day and you weigh 180 lbs. This 1.8g of protein is decided upon based on your activity levels and goals for building muscle.
To quickly convert these numbers into a daily protein requirement, follow the next two steps.
- Step 1: 180 lbs to kg | 180 / 2.2 = 81.6kg
- Step 2: 81.6kg x 1.8g = 147g of protein per day
From here, you would then make it a goal to consume at least 147g of protein a day. This is your daily baseline that you should strive to hit to work towards your goals on a daily basis.
This 147g of protein factors into your daily caloric intake, and you will then manipulate your fat and carb intake to coincide with your daily caloric total. If you can establish a daily protein requirement, it becomes easier to consider total fat and carb intake.
You May Like: Can You Lose Weight Only Drinking Protein Shakes
What Grams Of Protein Really Means
This is a very common area of misunderstanding.
In nutrition science, grams of protein refers to the number of grams of the macronutrient protein, not the number of grams of a protein-containing food like meat or eggs.
An 8-ounce serving of beef weighs 226 grams but only contains 61 grams of protein. Similarly, a large egg weighs 46 grams but only packs 6 grams of protein.
If youre at a healthy weight, dont lift weights, and dont exercise much, aiming for 0.360.6 grams per pound is a reasonable estimate.
This amounts to: