When Losing Weight How Much Protein Should I Eat

Protein For Weight Loss

How Much Protein Should I Eat To Lose Weight

Before you stock up on protein supplements and diet-friendly high protein snack bars, make sure you know your recommended daily allowance for protein

Nutrition guidelines suggest that a healthy adult should consume 10-35 percent of their calories from protein.

Is more protein better? Eating too much of any nutrient isn’t a good thing, especially when you’re trying to lose weight.

Some scientists believe that when dieters consume more foods with protein, they see greater weight loss results. But researchers maintained protein levels within the recommended guidelines. Three studies have found that dieters who consumed 25% to 30% of their calories from lean protein lost more body fat and substantially increased the number of calories that their bodies burned at rest.

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
  • Moodiness
  • 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.

High Protein High Diary Diets

In one study of overweight and obese women, researchers evaluated dieters who consumed a high protein , high dairy diet to a lower protein , lower dairy diet. The high protein group lost more body fat and gained more lean muscle mass than the women who consumed the low protein diet. The low protein group lost weight, but they also lost more lean muscle mass.

Study authors suggest that this loss of lean muscle may contribute to the long-term weight gain and frustrating weight loss plateaus that plague so many dieters.

Lean muscle mass burns more calories than fat, even when the body is at rest.

When the low protein group lost lean muscle mass, they may have lost the ability to burn more calories throughout the day. On the other hand, the improved body composition of the high protein group may help them burn more calories in the short and long term.

Remember that if you eat too many calories, no matter what kind of calories they are, you will gain weight. Even though some studies suggest that weight gain from lean protein is better than weight gain from fat and carbohydrates, if weight loss is your goal, eating the right number of calories is still the key to success.

Don’t Miss: Where To Buy Urine Test Strips For Protein

If Youre A Fitness Professional / Nutrition Coach:

  • Help people understand as much as they need to understand in order to make an informed choice, with your guidance.Your clients will likely have questions. Prepare your answers in advance.
  • Refer out as needed.If you think a client might have an underlying health condition, work with their doctor to make sure they dont have kidney or liver disease that a high-protein diet should be avoided.


Dietary reference intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, and amino acids. Chapter 10 Protein and Amino Acids . 2005.National Academies Press.

Antonio J, Ellerbroek A, Silver T, Orris S, Scheiner M, Gonzalez A, Peacock CA.A high protein diet combined with a heavy resistance training program improves body composition in healthy trained men and womena follow-up investigation. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Oct 20 12:39.

Eat Sufficient Healthy Protein How Much Should I Run A Week To Lose Weight

protein chart How Much Protein Should I Consume Per Day ...

Including much more protein to your diet plan can enhance sensations of fullness, make you eat less at your following meal and also aid you shed fat (For example, a weight-loss research contrasted 2 morning meals similar in calories: one containing eggs, the other of bagels.

Individuals that had the egg breakfast lost 65% even more weight and 16% more body fat over the eight-week research period , seems sufficient to provide the benefits (Getting enough healthy protein in your diet can help advertise weight loss, partly by reducing your cravings.

You May Like: What Causes High Protein In Blood

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.

If You’re Not Losing Weight On Your High

Tons of women find that a high-protein diet is the ticket to short-term weight loss. It makes sense: Protein breaks down slower than carbs, so it helps you to feel fuller for longer. Eating enough protein helps you to lose less muscle as you shed weight, which keeps your metabolism humming. Plus, focusing on protein can automatically lead to you swapping some easy-to-overeat carbs for options such as lean meat, dairy, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

That said, there is such a thing as too much protein. People whose diets were made up of more than 20 percent proteinespecially animal proteinwere significantly more likely to gain more than 10 percent of their body weight compared to people whose diets had less than 15 percent protein, according to one large study published in 2015 in the journal Clinical Nutrition. And while plenty of other research suggests that you can go higher in protein to lose, not gain, this study was enough to make us scratch our collective heads.

I think people dont understand that protein still has calories,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat It. And, no matter how much protein you’re eating, consuming more calories per day than you burn off will always lead to weight gain, adds Emily Kyle, RD.

Recommended Reading: What Is Protein Powder Made Of

Why Do I Need Protein Intake

So as I have discussed above what is protein? now it is clear to you that proteins are made of amino acid and plays a significant role to structure the body.

Now the question arises in your mind that why do I need protein? as I said amino acid is forms protein and this is essential building blocks for every part of your body.

I suppose your body does not get enough protein resources from the food you eat, then your body tries to tries to consume protein from your muscle, so this can cause loss of tissue and strength of your body.

This can reduce the strength and stamina of your body thats why to overcome the protein deficiency you should intake protein from other resources.

How Much Protein Do You Need

How Much Protein Should I Eat?

Protein is essential for life it’s a building block of every human cell and is involved in the vital biochemical functions of the human body. It’s particularly important in growth, development, and tissue repair. Protein is one of the three major “macronutrients” .

So, consuming enough protein is required to stave off malnutrition it may also be important to preserve muscle mass and strength as we age. And, in recent years, some have advocated a higher protein diet to rev up metabolism to make it easier to lose excess weight, though success in this regard is highly variable.

  • The ideal amount of protein you should consume each day is a bit uncertain. Commonly quoted recommendations are 56 grams/day for men, 46 grams/day for women. You could get 46 grams/day of protein in 1 serving of low-fat greek yogurt, a 4 oz. serving of lean chicken breast and a bowl of cereal with skim milk.
  • A weight-based recommended daily allowance of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. For a 140-pound person, that comes to 51 grams of protein each day. . Active people especially those who are trying to build muscle mass may need more.
  • Based on percent of calories for an active adult, about 10% of calories should come from protein
  • To pay more attention to the type of protein in your diet rather than the amount for example, moderating consumption of red meat and increasing healthier protein sources, such as salmon, yogurt or beans.

Read Also: What Else Has Protein Besides Meat

Life After The Meal Plan

Your high protein diet journey probably wont end after 7 days. Were confident many of the recipes in our meal plan can become staples in your household, but we realise that you may want to shake things up and try new dishes once you have the basics down!

Weve got hundreds of delicious and healthy recipes online already. Just use the search on our main page to find your next favourite, or click the link below to browse our high protein selection.

See you in the gym!

High Protein Intake For Fat Loss

If you noticed Dr. Nelsons comment about being hypocaloric , you may be wondering if theres evidence that protein needs might change based on if youre trying to lose fat or gain muscle.

To be clear: the majority of research and the most prominent sports nutrition bodies agree that theres probably no need to exceed the daily 0.7 grams per pound, even if youre trying to lose weight.

That said, there are a couple of studies that have suggested more protein might be useful if you have a good amount of muscle mass and are trying to lose fat quickly. One, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, , found that athletes in a big calorie deficit maintained more muscle and lost more fat eating 1.1 grams of protein per pound than a group taking 0.54 grams, the absolute minimum recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Another study published in 2014 that looked specifically at bodybuilders found that they would respond best to consuming 2.3-3.1 g/kg of lean body mass per day of protein. This is among folks with under 10 percent body fat, so they were eating an upper level of about 1.3 grams per pound of bodyweight.

You May Like: Is Pure Protein Powder Good For Weight Loss

For Vegans And Vegetarians

Vegetarians can get all the essential amino acids from dairy and eggs, but vegans must meet protein needs entirely from plants. This is possible but requires a little more thought. A good general rule for getting all the essential amino acids is to balance intake of legumes, like beans, lentils, and peas, with whole grains. Together, these plant based foods provide complete proteins. Variety is especially important for plant-based eaters.

What’s A Protein Lover To Do

How Much Protein Should You Eat For Weight Loss?

If you want to maintain a high protein diet, the details matter:

  • Find out from your doctor if you have any health conditions that might make such a diet risky
  • Get your protein from healthy sources such as low-fat dairy products, fish, nuts and beans, lean chicken and turkey avoid proteins sources that contain highly process carbohydrates and saturated fat
  • Spread your protein consumption across all of your meals throughout the day
  • Choose a well-balanced diet that includes lots of vegetables, fruits, and fiber the Mediterranean diet or the DASH diet are good starting points.

Also Check: What Is The Best Protein Bar On The Market

How To Calculate Your Daily Protein Intake

Knowing protein is such an important nutrient for those looking to lose weight while maintaining or even building muscle, you may wonder exactly how much protein you should be consuming each day. The previously mentioned 0.8 grams per kilograms of bodyweight per day, which translates to about 0.36 grams of protein per pound, is a decent starting point.

However, most people who are looking to lose weight and are focused on a high protein diet will likely want to increase that ratio. An article published by Harvard Medical School last year called the 0.8 grams of protein per kilograms of bodyweight ratio modest, pointing out that following the RDA would result in only about 10% of daily calories coming from protein sources. It further suggests that consuming between 15% and 25% of your daily calories from protein sources can be beneficial to help you with muscle growth and retention.

A ratio of anywhere from 0.4 grams of protein per pound to as high as 0.7 grams per pound is typically used by professional athletes or others who engage in lots of exercise. Experiment with different ranges to see what kind of protein intake your body needs to help you feel full enough to achieve your weight loss goals.

How Much Protein You Need In Order To Lose Weight And Gain Muscle According To Dietitians

  • Dietitians recommend eating 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or 0.35 grams per pound.
  • Up your protein intake to 1.2-2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight if you want to build muscle.
  • Protein should make up at least 10% to 20% of your calories if you are looking to lose weight.
  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.

Protein is a nutrient that’s essential for maintaining and building muscle.

How much protein you need to eat each day depends on several factors, like your age, weight, and level of physical activity.

Here’s how to calculate how much protein you need and which foods contain the most.

Don’t Miss: What Are The Different Types Of Protein Powder

Who Needs More Protein In Their Diet

You need more calories for activities like biking, lifting weights, or running, but the percentage of protein remains in the same range. After age 40, you can start to lose muscle mass, a condition known as sarcopenia, and you may need more protein. If youre overweight, youll need to lower your calorie intake.

Guidelines On Daily Protein Intake

How Much Protein Should I Eat?

As said earlier, plenty of scientific research has been put on finding the best possible way that helps in weight loss, other than exercising. For this reason, nutritionists have come up with a suitable dietary protein plan that will aid in monitoring your daily intake for better results in weight loss.

First things first, you should take note of your weight to determine the amount of protein you require. The recommended amount of calories ranges between 10-35% from protein. This is in accordance with the nutrition guidelines. What you should keep in mind is that always regulate your protein intake. Consuming too much of it will not be helpful to your body. While some people think that a higher protein intake is good for the body, this can have drastic effects as well. Weight loss is also determined by the type of protein one takes.

The minimum recommended daily protein intake is 0.8 grams per kilogram of your weight. Therefore, you should work to ensure you are eating enough protein in accordance with your body weight. Taking too little of the daily recommendation will not be sufficient for muscle building, conserving lean mass, and supporting better body structure in many active individuals.

Read Also: How Much Protein Do I Really Need

Increased Protein And Weight Loss

High-protein diets can also help to support weight loss. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, which averages out to about 56 grams per day for men and 46 grams per day for women. Increasing protein consumption modestly can be part of a healthy diet.

According to an April 2015 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming 1.2 to 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is the ideal amount of dietary protein for weight loss. Diets with increased protein consumption can help preserve muscle mass while promoting fat loss. They also have other benefits, like reduced triglyceride levels, improved blood pressure and elevated satiety hormones.

When It Comes To Protein How Much Is Too Much

You’ve probably heard the claims by now: Here’s a diet that’s delicious, easy to stick with, and guaranteed to help you lose weight effortlessly. Or, perhaps it’s supposed to build muscle, protect your joints or prevent Alzheimer’s. Whatever the diet and whatever the claim, there’s a good chance that it is, indeed, too good to be true.

In recent years, high protein diets are among the most popular, whether the protein is consumed as a supplement or simply a larger than usual portion of a balanced diet .

Perhaps you’re curious about one of these diets or have already tried them did you ever wonder whether too much protein might be a problem?

You May Like: What Is The Best Protein Bar To Eat

Popular Articles

Related Articles