If you’re a die hard dieter, you must have at a time wondered, “how much protein should I eat to lose weight?” You must be curious to know just how much protein you need per day for effective weight loss.
The reply can be confusing because at the grocery store you see that protein is being added to many of your favorite diet foods. You might assume that eating more protein is better. But that’s not necessarily the case. Follow these guidelines to find out how much protein you need to lose weight and how much protein per day is best to reach fitness and athletic goals.
How Much Protein Per Day to Lose Weight
Before you stack up all that protein supplements and diet-friendly high protein snack bars, be sure to know the recommended daily intake for protein
The guidelines of nutrition suggest that a healthy adult should eat 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 professionals believe that when dieters consume more foods with protein, they obtain greater weight loss results. But researchers maintained protein levels within the recommended guidelines. Three studies have found that dieters who consumed 25-30 percent of their calories from lean protein lost more body fat and substantially increased the number of calories that their bodies burned at rest.
In a study of overweight and obese women, experts evaluated dieters who consumed a high protein (30 percent), high dairy diet to a lower protein (15 percent), 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.
Recall that if you consume 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.
How Much Protein Per Day for Workout
If you workout as part of your weight loss plan, you may want to include more protein in your diet. The protein needs of athletes are higher than those of typical dieters. Dieters who workout can still use the 10-35 percent recommendation as a guideline and keep their protein intake at the higher end. Or you can calculate your protein needs using a formula.
An average dieter needs 0.4 to 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. That’s 0.8 to 1.0 grams per kilogram.
Experts recommend that heavy exercisers and athletes consume 0.5 – 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight (1.2 to 1.7 grams per kilogram) An athlete or heavy exerciser is generally someone who exercises more than 10-12 hours per week.
Should I Use a Protein Supplement?
Many protein supplements are expensive and some may contain sugars and other ingredients that you don’t need. Why waste the money and consume extra calories? You probably don’t need a protein supplement for weight loss.
If you include healthy protein foods during meals and snack, you can meet your daily protein needs. Many foods that are already in your kitchen can boost your intake. For example, do you know how much protein in an egg? Just a single large egg provides about 5 grams of protein. An egg white has about 4 grams of protein. If you combine a single egg with a few whites, you can make a diet-friendly scramble and consume 15 grams of protein or more — without too much added fat.
Either dinner time or lunch you can include a piece of lean chicken. How much protein in a chicken breast depends on how much you eat, but a single 4-ounce serving generally provides 26 grams of protein.
And there are so many other reasons to skip the supplements and include protein foods in your diet. Foods with protein are also high in other vitamins and minerals that are essential to your diet. Lean meats, dairy, and seafood contain iron, calcium, niacin, and thiamin.