This is a super common question we get asked all the time at ADO Fitness! Of course everyone is different, so everyone will require different amounts of protein. How much protein your need depends on things like gender, height, weight, activity level, and fitness goals. Are you trying to build muscle? You will need more protein compared to someone who doesn’t lift weights. Through education on nutrition and from many, many years of experience we are able to help fine tune our clients macronutrient needs to help them reach their goals, but there has to be a general guideline for protein intake, right? Well, according to the Dietary Reference Guide a person’s daily protein intake should be about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This means that a man weighing 200 lbs would need 72 grams of protein… I know what you’re thinking… “That’s it?!” This is the amount of protein needed to prevent deficiency and potentially cause damage to your body, but studies have shown that this is far from what is needed to ensure the best health. Adequate protein intake can help boost your metabolism and aide in weight loss; in fact, many studies have shown that consuming protein can increase the number of total calories you burn every day. Studies have shown that eating about 25-30% of your total daily calories in protein can help increase caloric burn by up to 100 calories per day when compared to other amount of protein. This means that a man eating 2500 calories per day should be eating about 155 – 188 grams of protein per day… this amount looks much better then the RDI recommendations, huh? 😉 Studies have shown that this amount of protein intake increases feelings of fullness, decreasing the number of overall calories someone consumes in a day. Like I mentioned above, there are many things that factor into the amount of protein you should be eating per day. Here are a few things to take into consideration when determining how much protein to eat:
- How active are you? The more physically demanding your life is, the more protein you need.
- Are you an athlete? Endurance athletes have increased protein needs from the average person.
- Are you recovering from an injury? If your body is healing, you need increased amounts of protein to give your it the energy and resources it needs to repair itself.
- Do you have any pre-existing health conditions? For example, those with kidney dysfunction should eat a lower amount of protein then the average person.
- How old are you? Originally believed to be detrimental to the health of older people, studies are now showing that the older we get the more protein we need.
If you’re having trouble getting enough protein into your diet make sure to include a source of protein in each meal and snack, always make sure to start your day with a breakfast that is high in protein, and keep a protein bar on hand for any hunger emergencies. If you need help with figuring our the best macronutrients to help you reach your goals or looking for accountability to keep you on track, send me a message and let’s talk!