How Much Protein Do I Need For Weight Loss (2023)

How much protein do i need for weight loss ? The precise amount of protein varies depending on your personal body weight and fitness goals. For example, if you have a goal to lose weight, the precise amount would be more than the one who wants to build lean muscle mass. To lose weight by dieting, you need to create a calorie deficit. A good way to do this is to cut back on your daily calories. You may also consider increasing your exercise level. Protein plays a role in weight loss. It reduces hunger, thereby helping you reduce calorie intake. This can prevent or slow down weight gain.

What are proteins made of?

Proteins are made up of many different amino acids linked together. There are twenty different of these amino acid building blocks commonly found in plants and animals. A typical protein is made up of 300 or more amino acids and the specific number and sequence of amino acids are unique to each protein. Rather like the alphabet, the amino acid ‘letters’ can be arranged in millions of different ways to create ‘words’ and an entire protein ‘language’. Depending on the number and sequence of amino acids, the resulting protein will fold into a specific shape. This shape is very important as it will determine the protein’s function (e.g. muscle or enzyme). Every species, including humans, has its own characteristic proteins.

Amino acids are classified as either essential or non-essential. As the name suggests, essential amino acids cannot be produced by the body and therefore must come from our diet. Whereas, non-essential amino acids can be produced by the body and therefore do not need to come from the diet.

What do proteins do for the body?

Our bodies are made up of thousands of different proteins, each with a specific function. They make up the structural components of our cells and tissues as well as manyenzymes,hormonesand the active proteins secreted fromimmune cells

These body proteins are continually being repaired and replaced throughout our lives. This process (known as ‘protein synthesis’) requires a continuous supply of amino acids. Although some amino acids can be recycled from the breakdown of old body proteins, this process is imperfect. This means we must eat dietary protein to keep up with our body’s amino acid demand.

As protein is essential forcelland tissue growth,adequate intakeof protein is particularly important during periods of rapid growth or increased demand, such aschildhood, adolescence,pregnancy, and breastfeeding.1

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Is there a difference between animal and plant-based proteins?

As we can see , both animal and plant-based foods can be rich sources of protein. But do they have the same quality?

The quality of a protein can be defined in many ways; however, all definitions relate to the distribution and proportion of essential and non-essential amino acids they contain. In general, animal-based proteins are of higher quality as they contain higher proportions of essential amino acids compared to plant-based proteins.

There is a common misconception that plant-based proteins completely lack certain essential amino acids. In fact, most plant-based proteins will contain all 20 amino acids but tend to have a limited amount of certain essential amino acids, known as their limiting amino acid(s). This means, if a small number of plant foods are consumed as the only protein sources, they are unlikely to supply enough essential amino acids to meet our requirements. For people who consume little to no animal-based foods, such asvegans or vegetarians,it is important that they consume protein from sources with complementary limiting amino acids. For example, consuming rice (limited in lysine and thiamine but high in methionine) and beans (limited in methionine, but high in lysine and thiamine) will provide complementary amino acids that can help meetessential amino acidrequirements.

Animal and plant-based proteins also differ in theirbioavailabilityand digestibility. The digestible indispensable amino acid score (DIAAS) is the recommended method for determining dietary protein digestibility and is expressed in values below or sometimes even above 100.3A DIAAS of over 100 indicates that the protein has very high digestibility and quality and is a goodcomplementprotein to those that have lower qualities. Animal-based proteins tend to have higher DIAAS scores compared to plant-based proteins (Table 2). As most people consume protein from a variety of sources the quality and digestibility of protein is not usually a concern.

Benefits of a high-protein diet

While protein is an important building block of any healthy diet, committing to a high-protein diet comes with several science-backed benefits:

1. Reduces your appetite

Protein can help you to feel fuller for longer and reduce your appetite; a key benefit of a high-protein diet.

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Your appetite is regulated by your brain, which is influenced by several satiety hormones. These tell your brain when and how much you should eat.Studiesshow that a high-protein diet increases the levels of 3 appetite-reducing hormones, whilst reducing the levels ofghrelin, a hormone that makes you feel hungry.

Protein also takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, adding to its appetite-reducing effect. Together, these factors can lead to a reduction in hunger, which can help you to eat fewer calories and lose weight.

2. Helps you to burn more calories

Protein has thehighest TEF(thermic effect of food) of all three macronutrients, which means it can help you to burn more calories.

The thermic effect of food (TEF) is the amount of energy that your body needs to digest and metabolize the food you eat. When you eat protein, 20–30% of the calories you consume are burned during digestion. This is significantly higher than carbs (5–10%) and fat (0–3%).

For perspective, if you were to 300 calories worth of protein, your body will use between 60 and 90 of them during digestion. This increased energy expenditure can help you to lose or maintain weight naturally.

3. Increases your muscle mass and strength

One of the key benefits of a high-protein diet is muscle growth. In those trying to lose weight, it can also help to promote fat loss whilst decreasing muscle loss.

When you lose weight, you’re likely to lose muscle as well as fat. This is because your body may transform muscle mass (as well as fat) into energy when you’re in a calorie deficit. But by providing your body with extra protein, you can ensure that there is enough to support both muscle health and your energy requirements.

(Video) How much PROTEIN do you need for weight loss?

In a2012 study, two groups of adults were put on a low-calorie diet. However, one included high-protein, while the other was low. At the end of the study, both groups lost a similar amount of weight, but the high-protein diet group managed to preserve significantly more lean muscle mass.

How Much Protein Do I Need For Weight Loss (1)

4. Strengthens your bones

A high-protein diet can help to strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis.

Protein makes up 50% of your bone structure, aids in calcium absorption and provides key nutrients for bone health. For this reason, high-protein diets are increasingly linked with greater bone mass and fewer fractures, when combined with adequate calcium intake.

TheBritish Association of Dieteticsstates that eating enough protein—at least 2 servings per day—can help to safeguard your bones.

5. Improves sleep

One of the lesser-known benefits of a high-protein diet is that it can help to induce and improve your sleep.

Tryptophan, an amino acid found in most protein foods, boosts the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin. Tryptophan is found in most high-protein foods, especially dairy products, poultry, eggs and peanuts.

Studiesshow that consuming a serving of protein before you go to bed is associated with better sleep quality and can help you to wake up less through the night.

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6. Promotes weight loss

Ultimately, eating a high-protein diet of 0.6 grams+ of protein per pound of body weight can be an effective weight-loss technique. Numerous factors sway heavily in protein’s favour when it comes to weight loss and maintenance, including:

  • Protein reduces the levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, which can help toreduce hunger.
  • Protein has a high thermic effect (TEF), which means you’llnaturally burn more calorieswhilst digesting your meals.
  • Protein helps you tolose body fatbutreduces muscle loss(particularly when combined with strength training).
  • Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, which means you’llfeel fuller for longerandexperience fewer food cravings.

How do I calculate my protein by calorie?

Now it’s time that we get to do a little bit of math, and find out more about how we handle our protein intake with our overall caloric intake. Let’s think about it this way:

  • Our total calories for the day are 1800.
  • The total amount of protein (in grams) for the day is 60.
  • To find the total calories from protein, we have to multiply protein grams by 4.5 (which gives us 270).
  • Then we divide protein calories by total calories – so, 270 divided by 1800 is 15% protein calories.

Because women consume fewer total calories than men, reaching 25-30% can sometimes be a bit more challenging. It is often more common that they supplement with protein powders to reach their targets, without getting too much food into their systems.

In Conclusion:Figuring out your protein per calorie is going to be so important. Therefore, you are going to want to make sure that you keep track of all the foods you are putting into your system on a given day. Keep track, do not guess when it comes to your health and your body!

Which foods are protein dense?

When we talk about protein, we want to get to the heart of the issue – with the kinds of foods that are the most protein dense for our diet. We want to focus on foods which have a higher protein per calorie ratio.

This might look a bit similar, compared to our earlier list, but let’s run through it again:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Pork
  • Seafood and shellfish
  • Eggs and egg whites
  • Soy foods
  • Protein powder

For dairy, there are only two:

(Video) How much PROTEIN do you really need? (Per Day)

  • Cottage cheese
  • Non-fat unsweetened Greek yogurt

What you might have noticed was the lack of nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, grains and other forms of dairy – where did they go? While they might be sources of protein, they are not the best sources of protein per calorie for our diets.

While beans might make for a good carb, and seeds make for a good fat, they might not always make for a good protein. So, we do not want to focus on them when we are trying to talk about the truly protein dense foods out there.

FAQs

How do I calculate how much protein I need for my weight? ›

Calculate protein requirement by weight

Dividing your weight into pounds by 20 and multiplying it by seven. You need just a little more than seven grams of protein for every 20 pounds of your body weight. Thus, for someone weighing 200 pounds, the protein requirement will be 70 grams each day.

Is 40g of protein too much? ›

Studies show higher intakes — those more than 40 grams — in one sitting are no more beneficial than the recommended 15–30 grams at one time. Don't waste your money on excessive amounts.

How much protein should a 135 pound female eat? ›

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?
Weight (lbs)Weight (kg)Protein per day (active or pregnant)
12054.570.9 g
12556.873.8 g
13059.176.8 g
13561.479.8 g
10 more rows
Jun 22, 2018

How much protein should a woman have daily to lose weight? ›

According to the previously mentioned studies, a protein intake of around 30% of calories may be optimal for weight loss. This amounts to 150 grams per day for someone on a 2,000-calorie diet.

How much protein should I eat if I weigh 200 pounds? ›

A 200-lb (91 kg) person would need 91 x 0.8, or about 73 grams of protein a day.

What is a good protein breakfast? ›

12 of the Best High Protein Breakfast Recipes
  • Mocha banana protein smoothie bowl. ...
  • Jumbo chickpea pancake. ...
  • Grain-free banana protein pancakes. ...
  • Freezer-friendly spinach feta breakfast wraps. ...
  • Breakfast BLT salad. ...
  • Chickpea scramble breakfast bowl. ...
  • Savory breakfast quinoa with eggs and smoked salmon.

What snacks are high in protein? ›

Here are 30 high protein snacks that are healthy and portable, so you can enjoy them even when you're on the go.
  • Jerky. Jerky is meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips, and dried. ...
  • Trail mix. ...
  • Turkey roll-ups. ...
  • Greek yogurt parfait. ...
  • Veggies and yogurt dip. ...
  • Tuna. ...
  • Hard-boiled eggs. ...
  • Peanut butter celery sticks.

How much protein should a 60 year old woman? ›

For women over 50, experts recommend 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of weight (1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds). If you weigh 140 pounds, for instance, you would need at least 63 grams of protein a day.

How much protein does a 70 year old woman need daily? ›

The current recommended dietary allowance for women older than 70 years is 0.36 grams for each pound of body weight or 46 grams of protein for a 130-pound woman. This amount is the same for all women 19 and older.

What foods are full of protein? ›

Protein foods
  • lean meats – beef, lamb, veal, pork, kangaroo.
  • poultry – chicken, turkey, duck, emu, goose, bush birds.
  • fish and seafood – fish, prawns, crab, lobster, mussels, oysters, scallops, clams.
  • eggs.
  • dairy products – milk, yoghurt (especially Greek yoghurt), cheese (especially cottage cheese)

Which protein is best for weight loss? ›

Whey protein has been linked to some impressive benefits, including greater weight loss, improved satiety and better body composition ( 32 , 33 ).

Can you lose weight if you eat too much protein? ›

High-protein diets may tout weight loss, but this type of weight loss may only be short-term. Excess protein consumed is usually stored as fat, while the surplus of amino acids is excreted. This can lead to weight gain over time, especially if you consume too many calories while trying to increase your protein intake.

Does protein burn fat without exercise? ›

Some examples of protein-rich foods include chicken breasts, fish, Greek yogurt, lentils, quinoa and almonds. Adding protein to your diet has been linked to weight loss, even without exercise or conscious calorie restriction.

How much protein do I need for my age? ›

How to calculate your protein requirements
Age and sexTotal RDA in grams (g) per day
9 – 13 years34.0
14 – 18 years52.0
19 – 70 years and older56.0
Females
10 more rows
Feb 23, 2021

How much protein is too much for a woman? ›

However, 20 to 40 grams is the most protein people's bodies are equipped to absorb per meal, and high-protein diets that include more than 200 grams of protein per day can severely strain the liver and even cause death.

How can I get 100g of protein a day? ›

Everyone has different protein requirements, but for most people, 100 grams per day is a good goal.
...
100 grams of animal protein
  1. Four eggs (24 grams of protein)
  2. Three beef meatballs (15 grams)
  3. Two slices (2 ounces) of turkey bacon (10 grams)
  4. 3 ounces of turkey breast (24 grams)
  5. One can of tuna (27 grams)
May 4, 2021

Which fruit has most protein? ›

Guava. Guava is one of the most protein-rich fruits around. You'll get a whopping 4.2 grams of the stuff in every cup.

Is oatmeal high in protein? ›

Oats are rich in carbs and fiber, but also higher in protein and fat than most other grains. They are very high in many vitamins and minerals.

Does protein make you poop more? ›

Does Protein Help You Poop? While a high-protein diet does make you poop more or can give you diarrhea in certain contexts, eating a lot of protein to make yourself poop isn't the solution for issues like constipation.

What does protein in the urine look like? ›

Foamy, frothy or bubbly urine.

What is a good protein snack before bed? ›

The Best High-Protein Healthy Bedtime Snacks
  • ½ Cup Roasted Chickpeas. ...
  • Cottage Cheese With Berries and Nut Butter. ...
  • ½ Cup of Edamame. ...
  • Scrambled Eggs and Whole-Grain Avocado Toast. ...
  • One Ounce of Cheese or 1/4 Cup of Roasted Nuts.
Nov 6, 2019

Is canned tuna healthy? ›

Is canned tuna fish good for you? Yes, canned tuna is a healthful food rich in protein and contains many vitamins and minerals such as B-Complex vitamins, Vitamins A and D as well as iron, selenium and phosphorus. Tuna also contains healthy omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA.

What is the best diet for a 70 year old woman? ›

Eat a wide variety of foods from the five food groups : plenty of colourful vegetables, legumes/beans; fruit; grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and high fibre varieties; lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds; milk, yoghurt, cheese or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat.

Should seniors drink protein shakes? ›

Whey Protein Shakes May Help Build Muscle Mass in Seniors. Researchers say protein shakes combined with exercises showed significant health benefits in a group of men over the age of 70. Senior citizens may want to take a tip from body builders and make whey protein shakes a regular part of their diets.

How many calories should a 55 year old woman eat to lose weight? ›

Calorie Needs

Your doctor is a good resource for determining an appropriate intake for your health status and weight-loss goals. In general, women at age 50 need 1,650 to 2,100 calories each day to maintain their weight. To lose weight, cut 500 to 1,000 calories per day, which allows you to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week.

How can I lose weight after 65? ›

The golden rules of weight loss still apply:
  1. Burn more calories than you eat or drink.
  2. Eat more veggies, fruits, whole grains, fish, beans, and low-fat or fat-free dairy; and keep meat and poultry lean.
  3. Limit empty calories, like sugars and foods with little or no nutritional value.
Apr 27, 2022

How much protein do I need after 65? ›

What's the Right Amount? Because of the factors above, research supports increasing the recommended intake of protein for older adults by up to 50 percent. That means people over age 65 should strive for 0.45 to 0.55 gram of protein per pound of body weight daily, or about 68 to 83 grams for a 150-pound person.

How can I get 60 grams of protein a day? ›

14 Easy Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake
  1. Eat your protein first. ...
  2. Snack on cheese. ...
  3. Replace cereal with eggs. ...
  4. Top your food with chopped almonds. ...
  5. Choose Greek yogurt. ...
  6. Have a protein shake for breakfast. ...
  7. Include a high protein food with every meal. ...
  8. Choose leaner, slightly larger cuts of meat.

How much protein should a 220 pound man? ›

For a 150-220 lb male, that's 105-220 grams a day.

What is protein formula? ›

Protein invariably have the general formula RCH(NH2)COOH, where C is carbon, H is hydrogen, N is nitrogen, O is oxygen, and R is a group, varying in composition and structure, called a side chain.

How much protein do I need for my age? ›

How to calculate your protein requirements
Age and sexTotal RDA in grams (g) per day
9 – 13 years34.0
14 – 18 years52.0
19 – 70 years and older56.0
Females
10 more rows
Feb 23, 2021

How much protein should a 180 pound man? ›

Common Daily Protein Recommendations

The American Dietetic Association's RDA (recommended daily allowance) for protein is 0.36g per pound of bodyweight. This means that as a bare minimum, a 180lb male only needs 65 grams of protein per day to meet his daily requirements.

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