When To Eat Protein For Weight Loss

What Does A Sample Day Of Eating A High

How to eat more protein to lose weight I High protein diet weight loss

Here’s an example of what a typical day on a high-protein diet could look like:

  • Breakfast: Two scrambled eggs with spinach and ¼ avocado
  • Mid-morning snack: Part-skim cheese stick
  • Lunch: Salad with a sprinkle of hemp hearts and 6 oz. of grilled chicken
  • Afternoon snack: Plain Greek yogurt with ½ cup of berries
  • Dinner: 6 oz. grilled salmon with roasted or sautéed veggies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Porridge

Sometimes you just have to have something sweet for breakfast and with this simple dish you can have your protein and the taste you crave, Rösser says. Mix together 1/3 cup oats cooked, 2 tablespoon natural peanut butter, 1 teaspoon dark cacao powder, and 1/2 banana. Top with yogurt or your choice of milk.

Per serving: 363 calories, 16 g protein, 20 g fat, 52 g carbs, 4 g fiber

Is It Better To Drink A Protein Shake Before A Workout Or Post

As long as you consume protein at some time around your workout, it doesnt matter if you drink your shake before or after. In fact, for a 2017 study, researchers split 21 men into two groups, giving both groups a protein shake containing 25 grams of protein. For 10 weeks, both groups completed a whole-body workout three times per week, but one group received their protein shake immediately before their workout, while the other group received it post-workout. At the end of the study, researchers found no significant differences in muscle strength or size between the groups, suggesting that it doesnt matter whether you drink a protein shake before or after training just as long as you have it within a few hours of your workout.

If you find you need a boost before exercising and not just afterward, consider taking a pre-workout supplement to ensure youre getting the most out of your workout from start to finish. Youll also want to make sure your diet includes the nine essential amino acids histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine for proper protein synthesis, tissue repair and nutrient absorption. Amino acids are the building blocks proteins, so your body needs them to build and repair itself. Branched-chain amino acids , which are leucine, isoleucine and valine, are noted for being particularly beneficial for increasing muscle growth. These can all be found in whey protein and casein protein.

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Protein Calculator: How Much Protein Do I Need

Determining how much protein to eat per day is important for any lifter, athlete, or person, period! Here’s the number to aim for to build muscle, lose weight, and support your exercise goals.


The amount of protein you need depends on a number of factors, including your weight, age, goals, and activity level. The daily minimum recommended by the National Institutes of Health is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight for a sedentary person. However, if you do intense workouts, have a physically demanding job, or both, experts say you may need moreâperhaps as much as double.

This calculator will tell you how much protein to eat each day based on your specific body and lifestyle. Dial in this nutritional priority to take control of your nutrition and nail your goals!

Here’s Exactly How Much Protein You Should Eat For Muscle Gain And Weight Loss

Protein Foods For Weight Loss ~ Diet Plans To Lose Weight

Regardless of your goal the answer is simple: 30 grams of protein at every meal.

A 180-pound guy who wants to maintain his current weight would need 100 to 130 grams, or six palm-sized portions of protein-rich foods, every day. Thats about 30 grams at each meal and an additional 10 to 20 grams in two snacks. Chicken breast is great, but so are chicken thighs, tofu, salmon, pork, shellfish, whitefish, lamb, tempeh, and much more.

And don’t forget that a heaping scoop of most protein powders will net you around 30 grams of the nutrient.

Within the larger picture of your daily diet, that means youll want to consume 30 percent of your daily 2,600 calories from protein.

And, yes, that includes plant proteins.

If you’re trying to reduce the amount of meat youre eating, you need to swap in a high-protein plant food.

Some plant foods that are high in protein: soybeans , quinoa, chickpeas, lentils, any kind of nut, peas, any kind of bean, and seitan. You can use an app to track your nutrient intake, or you can simply aim for a palm-sized portion of whatever protein youre including in your meal.

Also, be careful with snacking. Youll find some protein products on the market that contain a measly four grams per serving, along with an abundance of added sugars.

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What Are The Risks Of Too Much Protein

High-protein diets, like the Atkins, Paleo and keto diets, are popular because they help keep you feeling full. They also allow you to eat fats. However, there are also well-documented risks to following these diets for a long period.

Some of the unintended consequences of eating a high-protein diet include:

  • Bone loss, though its unclear how protein causes calcium deficiencies
  • Cancer and heart disease risks, especially from eating excess red meat
  • Constipation from not eating enough fiber
  • Diarrhea from eating too many dairy-protein and fried foods
  • Kidney damage as your body tries to eliminate excess amino acids in proteins
  • Weight gain from eating too many calories

Learn more about the nutrition services we offer at Bon Secours.

How Much Protein Do You Need

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.

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How Much Protein Do We Need

Short answer: It depends.

Lets look first at the current Recommended Daily Allowance .

The RDA for protein is 0.8 g/kg the more you weigh, the more protein you need:

  • A 150-lb person would need 68 x 0.8, or about 54 grams of protein a day.
  • A 200-lb person would need 91 x 0.8, or about 73 grams of protein a day.

That generally works out to about 10 percent of daily calories coming from protein.


RDAs were originally developed as a way to prevent malnutrition to represent the minimum amount of a nutrient we need to not die .

Youre not dead is not the same thing as Youre kicking ass.The RDA for surviving may be different than what we need to thrive.

The RDA is also a very general recommendation. It doesnt take other things into account, such as:

  • How much total energy we eat or need
  • Our carbohydrate intake
  • What activities we do
  • How eco-friendly various protein sources are

The Institute of Medicine suggests a huge range in individual protein requirements from 0.375 g/kg to 1.625 g/kg body weight .

In other words, our hypothetical 150-lb person might have protein needs ranging from 26 to 111 grams per day.

Well that narrows it down nicely, doesnt it!?

Lets take a deeper look: Amino acidsProtein in our food is made up of many different building blocks, or amino acids.

Most people focus on Recommended Daily Allowance for total protein, but they dont think about how much of each amino acid they might need.

Lets Talk Protein Shakes Micronutrients And Meal Replacement

How Eating More Protein Helps You Lose Weight

If you are using protein powders as a meal replacement, your smoothies should aim to have between 5-10 grams of fibre, 15 20 grams of protein, 40 50 grams of carbohydrates and 10-15 grams of healthy fats. It should also aim to have less than 30 grams of sugar according to resident Happy Way nutritionist Malissa Fedele. Combining all of these elements will ensure you create a smoothie that is both filling and will sustain your blood sugar levels in the hours that follow. This also requires focusing on the right ingredients such as wholesome foods, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. But before we start with the ingredients, let us help you choose the right protein powder for you.

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How Much Sugar In Cereal Is A Lot

A rule of thumb for understanding how much sugar is in your cereal is to know that four grams is equal to one teaspoon. For context, a cup of Fruity Pebbles cereal contains 12 grams of sugar, which is equal to pouring three teaspoons of sugar into a bowl.

When you think of it this way, you may be more likely to think twice before you go for those sweetened cereals.

Use this guide to rate the sugar in your cereal:

  • very low less than one gram
  • low four grams or less
  • medium up to eight grams
  • high up to 12 grams
  • very high more than 16 grams

Related: for the latest health and food news!

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.

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More Isn’t Necessarily Better

It is possible to eat too much protein, if you’re getting more than 30% of your daily calories from protein. But that’s not likely to be an issue for most people, and causes only minor side effects unless you have a pre-existing kidney or liver problem.

Heaping protein into your diet won’t supercharge your progress, however, and could backfire.

“Extra protein in your diet doesn’t convert into extra muscle. You can eat as much protein as you want, and if you’re not doing resistance training, you won’t build muscle,” Clark said.

And protein contains calories just like carbs and fat, so too much of it can cause you to gain body fat, which is important to keep in mind if you’re trying to lose weight or build muscle.

Proteins Thermic Effect Of Food Is High

When to drink protein shakes for weight loss

Thermic effect of food, or TEF, is a measurement of the calories required to metabolize food. The more energy required to break down and use food, the fewer calories that turn into fat. The TEF for protein is much higher than for carbohydrates and fat .

Think of it this way: if you eat 100 calories of protein, only 70 to 80 of them are usable and could end up stored as fat. The same number of calories in the form of carbs gives you 90 to 95 calories, and for fat, up to 97 calories.

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Whey Protein Vs Casein Protein: Which Type Of Protein Is Better To Have At Night

Both casein and whey are by-products of cheese production, but one of the significant differences between them is how quickly your body absorbs them.Your body breaks down protein into amino acids, which circulate in your bloodstream until theyre absorbed. When you consume whey, amino acid levels stay elevated in your blood for only 90 minutes. But when you consume casein, the levels of amino acids stay elevated for 4-5 hours. Like it does in cheesemaking, casein forms curds once its exposed to the acids in your stomach, which lengthens your bodys digestion and absorption processes.

If your goal is to maximize muscle growth through the night, its advised that you opt for casein protein before bed, as it provides your body with a slow, steady release of amino acids. Compared to whey protein, casein proteins slow release makes it ideal before fasting situations, such as during sleep. Your body digests and absorbs whey protein much quicker, so it serves a better purpose as a workout protein.

Why Might You Eat More Protein

Since we need protein to grow, maintain, and repair our tissues, hormones and immune system, there are times we need more protein.

The standard RDA of 0.8 g/kg is great if youre sedentary and not building or repairing your tissue.

But you may need more protein if you are:

  • physically active, either through workouts or your job
  • injured or sick
  • improve other indicators of cardiometabolic health.

Win all around.

Here are some specific scenarios that might call for more protein.

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It Can Help You Balance Hormones

If you’re struggling to see a difference on the scale, there could be many aspects at play. One of the most significantand yet, often overlookedare our hormones. When these are off-kilter, it can impact our mood and our ability to lose weight.

“An imbalance in your hormone levels can affect hunger and fat storage,” says nutritionist and celebrity chef Serena Poon. “A protein-rich diet has been shown to increase the activity of leptin, a hormone that regulates body weight, fat mass, and appetite.”

Plus, she explains high-protein meals have also been shown to suppress another hormone, ghrelin , which increases feelings of satiety.

So How Much Protein Do We Need

Eating more protein to lose weight

This study doesn’t give us carte blanche to go and eat as much protein as we want, nor does it mean that eating more protein will necessarily lead to weight loss.

For most of us, if we’re not engaged in some sort of regular resistance-training program or reducing our calorie intake, 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day meets our daily protein needs. So for a 150-pound women, this is about 55 grams of protein per day, and for a 185-pound man, about 67 grams per day.

But the truth is, as Americans, we’re already overdoing it when it comes to consuming protein. As the December 2019 paper states, according to recent NHANES data, adults are eating 1.1 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day. And as the authors point out, if you don’t fall into one of these anabolic or catabolic “stressed states,” eating more protein doesn’t prove to be beneficial.


If you are reducing calories or strength-training, eating closer to 1.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is the optimal number to aim for, per the study.

According to this recommendation, if that same 150-pound woman has reduced her calories to lose weight, she might want to aim to eat closer to 88 grams of protein per day, and the 185-pound man should shoot for 109 grams.

But just like all calories are not created equal, all grams or types of protein are not created equal either. The quality of the protein you’re eating will affect your overall health beyond weight loss.

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Claim: High Protein Causes Osteoporosis

Eating more protein without also upping your fruit and vegetable intake will increase the amount of calcium youll lose in your pee.

That finding made some people think that eating more protein will cause osteoporosis because youre losing bone calcium.

But there is no evidence that high protein causes osteoporosis.

If anything, not eating enough protein has been shown to cause bone loss. Bones arent just inert sticks of minerals a significant proportion of bone is also protein, mostly collagen-type proteins.

Like muscle, bone is an active tissue that is constantly being broken down and rebuilt. And like muscle, bone needs those Lego building blocks.

Women aged 55 to 92 who eat more protein have higher bone density. So eating more protein improves bone density in people most at risk of having osteoporosis.

Verdict: High protein diets do not cause osteoporosis, and actually may prevent osteoporosis.

High Protein Meals For Weight Loss

Most of us consume protein at dinner time. A traditional supper usually includes a meat or seafood, some starchy carbs and a few veggies. But it’s smart to eat protein for weight loss at every meal. Choose protein-rich grains at breakfast, fuel up with a three bean salad at lunch, and then add a single-serving of healthy fish at dinner time. And you should also experiment with different types of proteinfrom vegetables, dairy, legumes and more.

Use each of these guides to build healthy, balanced meals that are protein-rich but balanced with healthy fats and smart carbohydrates for energy.

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