Protein is an essential component to achieving a weight loss goal. But do you know how much protein YOU need to be eating per day? Hint: it's different than what your best friend, your husband and your coworker needs.
Let's dive into the details.
How Much Protein You Need To Eat For Weight Loss
Recent research has found protein requirements for weight loss are much higher than the standard ".8 grams per kilogram of body weight" recommended by the food pyramid and USDA dietary guidelines. In fact, the amount of protein needed to achieve a weight loss goal is likely at least double the old school recommendation. (1,2)
I've found this to be true with my clients and thousands of AENpeeps around the world following the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle guidelines. Protein is required to boost satiety, prevent sugar cravings and achieve a body recomposition goal. Too little protein can result in muscle loss and insatiable cravings for sugary treats like ice cream and candy.
And how much protein one person needs will be drastically different than another. For example, my husband needs about 30 grams extra protein per day than I do. If he were to eat the same amount of protein that I need in a day, he would quickly start to lose muscle, feel hungry and start to gain body fat. It's important to understand that our protein needs are unique and that we need to adjust our intake to our individual needs.
To help set up my clients and community members for success, we use a simple protein calculation to determine how much protein should be eaten per day to best suit their body, goals and needs. This number is based on your current body weight. However, if your current BMI is above 30, then you'll want to use your "goal" body weight for this number instead. Not sure what your BMI is? You can find a free online BMI calculator HERE.
If you measure your weight in pounds, you can use the following formula:
your current weight (in pounds) x .73
If you measure your weight in kilograms, you can use the following formula:
your current weight (in kilograms) x 1.6
This number provides you with the amount of protein you need to eat per day in grams. So for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you'll need about 110 grams of protein per day. And if you eat three meals on average per day, you'll want each of your meals to have about 35 grams of complete protein (110 grams divided by 3 meals) to achieve the total of 110 grams of protein by the end of the day.
This would look like:
breakfast: 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese (about 315 grams of cottage cheese, if measuring by weight) with 1-2 Tbsp. peanut butter and 1/2 cup fresh berries.
lunch: tuna salad using a 5 oz. can of tuna (about 130 grams, if measuring by weight), 1/2 avocado and cabbage coleslaw
dinner: 4.5 oz. beef meatballs (or around 130 grams, if measuring by weight) with homemade tomato sauce and roasted veggies
Each of the above meals provides about 35 grams of complete protein from either the cottage cheese, tuna or beef, totaling at just shy of 110 grams of protein for the entire day. You can get a visual representation of these meals with the video above or by clicking HERE.
This emphasis on high quality sources of protein at every single meal is what we use in the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle protocol, recipes and meal plans to help our community achieve their weight loss and wellness goals.
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Autumn Elle Nutrition