How Much Protein Should I Eat For Weight Loss


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Leucine Content Of Plant And Animal Proteins

How much protein do you need per day? To Build Muscle? To Lose Weight?

Reference: van Vliet et al. J Nutr. 2015

Plant proteins being lower in leucine and other EAAs helps explain why several studies have reported lower MPS from soy protein powders and beverages than from whey protein, skim milk, whole milk with cheese, and lean beef.

The quality of a protein depends on its bioavailability and EAA content. Based on both criteria, the quality of plant proteins is lower than the quality of animal proteins.

How Much Protein Per Day To Lose Weight

If you want to lose weight, aim for a daily protein intake between 1.6 and 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight . Athletes and heavy exercisers should consume 2.2-3.4 grams of protein per kilogram if aiming for weight loss.

My practical recommendation to people is that if you carry a BMI of over 30 or a body fat percentage above 25-30% it makes more sense to base your protein recommendations off of your goal weight.

For the correct amount of protein to gain muscle, check this resource out.

Best Sources Of Daily Protein

Where you get your daily protein varies depending on whether or not you eat meat and animal products, or if your diet consists of other protein sources.

Keefe says not to rely on protein powders, which are considered highly processed foods and typically have high levels of added sugars and fats. Eating too many processed foods can increase your risk of heart disease or obesity and are inflammatory for digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.

She instead recommends choosing “whole plant food sources of protein like beans, peas, lentils, nuts, soybeans, and other legumes are nutritious, packed with fiber, and have protein.”

Dietitian, Lisa Moskovitz, added that “the best sources of protein are nutrient-dense, low in saturated fat, and complete meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids.”

Some examples that meet these criteria include animal proteins, such as chicken breast, fish, eggs, and Greek yogurt, as well as plant proteins such as soy, beans, and quinoa. Here’s some healthy sources of protein and how much you get per serving:

Protein source:

Recommended Reading: Vegan High Protein Meal Plan

Should You Eat More Protein To Lose Weight A Guide

Protein is a macronutrient popular for its ability to promote healthy weight loss. However, simply eating excessive amounts of protein wont necessarily help you lose weight. Instead, it can cause weight gain, much like gaining weight from eating excess carbs or fat. For this reason, you need to estimate how many grams of protein you need a day to get the best results.

Keep reading to find how much protein you need to lose weight while not losing muscle mass.

When Is The Best Time To Consume Protein

How Much Protein Should I Eat For Fat Loss

Spread out protein consumption evenly throughout the day. On average, people tend to get most of their protein during evening meals and the least at breakfast. Some newer studies show moving some protein from supper to breakfast can help with weight management by decreasing hunger and cravings throughout the day. Of course, more research is needed before these claims can be verified.

General recommendations are to consume 1530 grams of protein at each meal. Studies show higher intakes those more than 40 grams in one sitting are no more beneficial than the recommended 1530 grams at one time. Don’t waste your money on excessive amounts.

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Who Shouldnt Be On A High

A high-protein diet isnt recommended for people with kidney disease or for those who are on dialysis. Too much protein may make it harder for your kidneys to work and do their important job of filtering waste, acids and extra water from your body. This can lead to more toxins in your body, making kidney disease worse.

High Protein Intake For Fat Loss

You may have heard the rumor around your gym 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.

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Optimal Protein Intake Guide

Your optimal daily protein intake depends on your weight, goal, and level of physical activity: from 1.21.8 g/kg if youre sedentary all the way up to 3.3 g/kg if youre trying to minimize fat gain during a bulk. You can quickly and easily calculate your optimal daily intake with our protein intake calculator.

  • Optimal Protein Intake Guide

  • How Much Protein Should You Eat Every Day

    How Much Protein Should I Eat?

    The optimal amount of protein to consume per day is somewhat controversial.

    Based on the DRI of 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, or 0.8 grams per kilogram, a 150-pound person would need about 54 grams per day.

    While this may be enough to prevent outright protein deficiency, many experts believe this is too low for optimal health, including maintaining muscle mass .

    In fact, studies have shown that older adults, in particular, require more protein than the DRI, concluding that 0.6 grams of protein per pound, or 1.3 grams per kilogram, may help prevent age-related muscle loss .

    Furthermore, diets providing up to double the DRI at 0.75 grams of protein per pound, or 1.6 grams per kilogram, have been found to boost weight and fat loss, improve body composition and protect muscle during weight loss .

    However, increasing your protein intake beyond this amount doesnt seem to provide additional benefits.

    One study showed men who consumed 0.75 grams of protein per pound, or 1.6 grams per kilogram, lost slightly more fat and had similar gains in muscle, compared to the group that consumed 1.1 grams per pound, or 2.4 grams per kilogram .

    A high-protein diet for weight loss and overall health should provide about 0.60.75 grams of protein per pound of body weight, or 1.21.6 grams per kilogram, and 2030% of your calories per day.

    For the 150-pound person, this provides a broad range of about 82110 grams of protein daily, depending on calorie intake.

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    Can You Overdo It On Protein At Breakfast

    We can overdo it on âanyâ food if eaten in excess. The same risks apply whether you’re overeating protein at breakfast or in general.

    “For an individual without kidney dysfunction, the risks of consuming an excessive amount of protein are comparable to consuming an excess of any other food: mainly weight gain or gastrointestinal discomfort,” Rosen says. “People with preexisting kidney disease should monitor their protein intake under the guidance of a registered dietitian who specializes in renal disease due to the increased stress involved with filtering and excreting nitrogen and other waste products.”

    And while it’s crucial to incorporate protein in our morning meals, it shouldn’t be added in at the expense of other macros. “Protein is only one piece of the nutrition puzzle,” Becker reminds us. “If your breakfast is solely protein you’ll miss out on energy-yielding carbohydrates, gut-friendly fiber and healthy fats , not to mention the vitamins and minerals that these foods provide.”

    Best to pair lean proteins with quality carbs and heart-healthy fats for a balanced breakfast.

    Protein For Weight Loss

    Over the years, you may have heard about high protein diets such as Atkins, Dukan, or the Zone. They all reduce carbohydrate intake and increase protein to promote weight loss. But do they work? Sometimes, and for some people.

    High protein diets are popular because they improve satiety , reduce calorie intake, and preserve lean body mass. Some studies show that diets with higher protein intake can help prevent weight regain, but there is no definitive evidence to support this claim.

    Studies show that weight loss can be achieved by following many different diets, including high protein, low carb, or low-fat diets. Most diets result in modest weight loss over six months, regardless of macronutrient levels however, the effects on weight reduction largely disappear by 12 months.

    These studies show that the most important factor for weight loss may not be how much protein, fat, or carb is in a specific diet plan. What’s more important is whether you can stick to the plan in the long term to lose weight and keep it off. Your best option is a plan that is accessible, affordable, and enjoyable for you.

    A note of caution: high protein diets aren’t right for everyone. Some studies have indicated that very high intakes of protein and fat can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and may harm the kidneys.

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    Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Athletes

    If youre physically active regularly, you need more protein daily than if you were sedentary. The American College of Sports Medicine, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Dietitians of Canada recommend 1.22.0 g/kg to optimize recovery from training and to promote the growth and maintenance of lean mass when caloric intake is sufficient. This recommendation is similar to that of the International Society of Sports Nutrition : 1.42.0 g/kg.

    Importantly, it may be better to aim for the higher end of the above ranges. According to the most comprehensive meta-analysis to date on the effects of protein supplementation on muscle mass and strength, the average amount of protein required to maximize lean mass is about 1.6 g/kg, and some people need upwards of 2.2 g/kg. Those of you interested in a comprehensive breakdown of this study will find one in NERD #34 .

    However, only 4 of the 49 included studies were conducted in people with resistance training experience . studies in athletes found different numbers: on training days, female athletes required 1.41.7 g/kg the day following a regular training session, male endurance athletes required 2.12.7 g/kg two days after their last resistance-training session, amateur male bodybuilders required 1.72.2 g/kg.

    Since higher protein intakes seem to have no negative effects in healthy people, one may want to err toward the higher amounts. For most athletes , the ISSN range will work well:

    Body weight
    191 272

    How Does This Calculator Work

    Weight Loss Tips That Work In 2022 [Proven Methods That Get Results]

    This calculator is based on training studies and meta-analyses investigating the effect of different protein intakes on body composition.

    When you eat sufficient amounts of protein, you build more muscle while minimizing fat gain. On a weight-loss diet, a high protein intake makes you lose more fat and retain more muscle mass.

    Here are the assumptions the calculator makes, including the sources:

    Note that these numbers are minimum recommendations and that nothing bad happens if you exceed them, as long as you still hit your other nutritional and caloric goals. As of yet, there is no known harmful upper limit for protein intake.

    More Reading:

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    Dietary Reference Intakes For Protein

    Dietary Reference Intakes are reference values that are quantitative estimates of nutrient intakes to be used for planning and assessing diets for healthy people.

    The Recommended Dietary Allowance falls under the DRI and refers to the average daily dietary intake deemed sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of most healthy individuals.

    But there has been debate as to whether or not the RDA protein recommendations are too low and if it provides enough protein to meet the average requirement.

    Nitrogen balance studies upon which the RDA for protein is based may underestimate protein metabolism and, consequently, the dietary guidelines.

    Newer methodologies using the indicator amino acid oxidation method show that a minimum amount of protein around 1 g/kg/d may be a more optimal protein intake than the age-old recommendations of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day or, in imperial measure, 0.36 grams per pound of body weight per day.

    The difference in daily protein intake of 0.2 g/kg/d is quite small and is unlikely to pose a safety risk in healthy adults.

    What Are Some Good Sources Of Protein

    There are a variety of different protein sources that you can include in your diet, both animal and plant-based. Some good animal-based protein sources include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products.

    Good plant-based protein sources include legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds. If you are vegan or vegetarian, it is important to eat a variety of different plant-based proteins to ensure that you are getting all the essential amino acids that your body needs.

    While it is possible to get all the protein you need from food alone, most people find it easier to meet their protein needs by including a variety of different protein sources in their diet.

    Also Check: Make Your Own Protein Bar

    How To Incorporate Protein At Breakfast

    Try these dietitian-approved ways to eat protein in the a.m.:

    • Make a veggie-packed egg scramble with veggies and a slice of whole-wheat toast on the side
    • Cook up some fried eggs and enjoy them over a bed of greens with lentils, avocado and sauerkraut
    • Make a balanced parfait or smoothie with protein-rich Greek yogurt, berries and low-sugar granola
    • Combine cottage cheese with berries and chia seeds for a trio full of protein and fiber

    How To Follow A High

    How much protein do I eat to help lose weight…

    A high-protein diet is easy to follow and can be customized according to your own food preferences and health-related goals.

    For instance, you may want to follow a low-carb, high-protein diet to keep your blood sugar under control.

    If you avoid milk products, you can follow a dairy-free diet that is rich in protein.

    Even a vegetarian diet can be high in protein if it includes eggs or dairy and plenty of legumes and other plant proteins.

    Here are a few basic guidelines for following a high-protein diet:

    • Keep a food diary: Start a food diary using an app or website that provides protein values for thousands of foods and allows you to set your own calorie and macronutrient goals.
    • Calculate protein needs: To calculate your protein needs, multiply your weight in pounds by 0.60.75 grams, or your weight in kilograms by 1.21.6 grams.
    • Eat at least 2530 grams of protein at meals: Research has shown that consuming a minimum of 25 grams of protein at meals may promote weight loss, muscle maintenance and better overall health .
    • Include both animal and plant proteins in your diet: Eating a combination of both types helps make your diet more nutritious overall.
    • Choose high-quality protein sources: Focus on fresh meats, eggs, dairy and other proteins, rather than processed meats like bacon and lunch meats.
    • Consume well-balanced meals: Balance high-protein foods with vegetables, fruits and other plant foods at every meal.

    Read Also: Protein Powder To Gain Muscle

    How Much Protein Should I Eat Every Day To Lose Weight Ask An Rd

    Although there are many different programs, trainers, and fitness brands that will claim to have a unique formula, the key to weight loss has always been the same burning more calories than you take in. As long as your daily caloric intake is is lower than the amount of calories than your body uses each day youll be able to lose weight.

    However, the specific way you lose weight depends on a few factors, including your activity level and the amount of protein you consume each day. A recommendation by the National Academy of Medicine suggests 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. This guideline is a great place to start, but you may need to adjust your protein levels depending on needs and goals.

    In this article, well go over why protein matters for weight loss, how to determine the amount of protein you should eat each day, and the role a registered dietitian can play in helping you meet your protein consumption and weight loss goals.

    What Science Says About Protein And Weight Loss

    Studies have consistently shown that higher-protein diets can be helpful for weight loss. In one study, researchers assigned participants to either a low-protein or high-protein diet for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, those in the high-protein group had lost significantly more weight than those in the low-protein group.

    In another study, researchers compared a high-protein , moderate-protein , and low-protein diet. The results showed that those in the high-protein group experienced the greatest decrease in body weight and body fat percentage. These findings suggest that getting enough protein when trying to lose weight is important.

    Most health organizations recommend that adults consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day . This would equate to 56 grams per day for a 150-pound adult. However, if youre looking to maximize weight loss, you may want to increase this number slightly.

    Read Also: What Is The Best Protein Powder For Muscle Gain

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