This is a question worth asking.
How much protein do you need to eat to gain muscle, lose fat and be healthy?
As you are no doubt aware, your daily protein intake plays a crucial role in the functioning of your body. Indeed, it is possible to completely do without carbohydrates, while proteins are essential to the maintenance of our life.
Table of Contents
- Why do you need to eat protein?
- All our articles on proteins
- How much protein per day should you eat?
- Examples to make sure you understand
- Make the connection between your proteins and your calories
- Don't confuse protein with meat
- How to control your protein intake
- How Much Protein Per Day – Conclusion
Why do you need to eat protein?
Because our body does not know how to make them, when it absolutely needs them. The 8 essential amino acids from this macronutrient are, among other things, the building blocks of your muscles. They are also necessary for many vital functions.
And if you also want to lose fat, build muscle or simply improve your appearance and your physical abilities, then proteins become crucial.
However, knowing what we need is one thing, but knowing how much we need is another.
Yes, how much protein is ideal for you to achieve your goals?
Let's try to answer this question...
All our articles on proteins
Before you read on, here are all the blog posts on animal and plant-based proteins:
How much protein per day should you eat?
Of course, we will try to avoid overly complex mathematical formulas, such as this:
It's quite surprising, but the most common recommendations for those trying to improve their bodies don't vary that much. Most specialists tend towards the same results.
Their daily recommendations are between 1.5 and 3.3 g of protein per pound of body weight. But 3.3 seems a bit too high for health. Stay below 3g if possible.
This means that a 70 kg person should consume between 105 g and 210 g.
Of course, this range is a bit wide. But I will give you my recommendations to adapt it to what is best for you, according to your needs.
A small table to guide you
Recommended amount of protein per day based on your goals and habits
|Person, Situation and Goals||Ideal amount of protein per day|
|Sedentary person in good health (man or woman) who does not play sports and has no particular goal. This is what can be considered as a minimum recommended consumption to ensure proper functioning of the body.||0.8-1.2g of protein per kilogram of body weight|
|Healthy adult (male or female) who exercises regularly or tries to improve their physical appearance (lose fat, gain muscle, etc.). This is the recommended minimum in this case.||1.2-1.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight|
|WOMAN in good health whose main objective is to build muscle, to be toned, to maintain muscle mass while losing fat or to improve sports performance.||1.5 to 2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight|
|A healthy MAN whose main objective is to build muscle, to be toned, to maintain muscle mass while losing fat or to improve sports performance.||1.8 to 2.7 g of protein per kilogram of body weight|
If you're in any doubt about your needs, the old recommendation of 1.8-2g of protein per pound of bodyweight that's been used in the fitness world for decades is a good place to start. It is suitable for most people.
Examples to make sure you understand
How much protein should you consume each day?
As you understand, all you have to do is multiply your current weight by the recommended amounts in the table above.
Well understood ?
Well, here are 2 examples to illustrate:
- Imagine a 65 kg woman whose goal is to gain some muscle, tone up or lose fat while maintaining her current muscles. If you are in this case, you just need to multiply 65 by 1.5 to 2. This will give you a daily protein requirement between 97.5 and 130 g.
- Let's take the example of a man weighing 90 kg who wishes to gain muscle volume, keep his muscle volume while losing fat or simply improve his strength. It will multiply 90 by 1.8 to 2.7. He will thus obtain a protein requirement of between 162 and 243 per day.
It is good for you ?
So all you have to do is multiply your current weight by the ideal amount of protein based on your profile, and voila! You know how much protein you need to consume in the day.
Did you do the math? Perfect ! You know what to do now.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are significantly overweight, the result may be overestimated. This is due to the excessive amount of fat mass in your body. For people suffering from obesity, it is necessary to take into consideration your goal weight rather than your current weight. For example, a person weighing 150 kg whose goal is to reach 100 kg should take 100 kg as the basis for calculation.
As long as you stay within your ideal protein level, you will get the best results possible.
Now you need to know what foods and supplements will help you get there.
But before, I want to make 2 things clear. Follow me…
Make the connection between your proteins and your calories
Yes, it's all well and good to know how much protein to consume, but you still have to know what their share is in your diet.
Because if you increase the number of calories from this source, you will also have to reduce the calories from carbohydrates and fats.
The good news is that eating more protein makes you feel fuller, which normally causes you to eat less. In addition, proteins accelerate the metabolism and do not promote the production of insulin, unlike carbohydrates.
Once you know your daily caloric needs, all you have to do is subtract calories from protein. The rest is available for carbohydrates and lipids, knowing that lipids should represent about 25 to 30 % of your diet.
Example: how much protein per day for a 70 kg woman
Imagine a 70 kg woman following a program to lose fat. To lose weight, she calculated that she had to eat 1800 calories a day.
She decided to consume 2 g of protein per kg of body weight. So that's 70 X 2 = 140 g of protein per day. Knowing that a gram of protein represents 4 calories, it therefore absorbs 140 X 4 = 560 calories per day in this form. He must add his need for fat: 1800 X 25 % = 450 calories.
She now knows that the carbohydrates will represent the remaining calories, that is 1800 – 560 – 450 = 790 calories.
WARNING : It is not a question of falling into excess of calculation, and you will see later that one can greatly facilitate one's life. But, it should help you understand the calculation process. Well, if you have trouble with math, forget it 😉
Don't confuse protein with meat
Confusion is all too common. When we say “protein”, many people mean “meat”. But it's a mistake… in which I fell myself.
Of course, meat is an important source of protein in many diets, but there are many more.
Here is also a small list of some important sources of protein:
- Dried beans
- Chicken (skinless)
- Turkey (skinless)
- Fish (all kinds) and seafood
- Eggs (whole or white only)
- Nuts (all kinds)
- Protein powder (whey or vegetable)
- Milk (preferably raw)
- Greek yogurts
- Beef (lean cuts)
- Pork (lean cuts)
But there are many others. However, you can see that meat is not the only good source of protein.
How to control your protein intake
If you get it wrong, figuring out the amount of protein in your diet will quickly become overwhelming. Even indigestible. To me, it's really not worth bothering with. How to make it easy?
In my experience, you only need 2 things:
1. An application that follows you everywhere
There are Android and iOS apps to help you track what you're eating. I find that the FatSecret Calorie Counter is the best solution. It offers a large selection of pre-recorded foods and gives you calorie details, but also the breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
That way, even if you eat out, you can track your diet.
2. A simple and inexpensive method
You can also make your life easier with a very simple method that I like to use. Two American fitness specialists have developed 250 recipes, some of which are for vegetarians and vegans. All for just €19 excluding tax with the Sport Chez Soi discount.
Also, you get 53 protein smoothie recipes, food programs, and more. In short, everything you need to make your life easier. You should know that smoothies can be prepared very well with vegetable proteins if you wish it.
The advantage of these recipes is that you know the amount of calories and the distribution of nutrients from the start. No more math to do!
How Much Protein Per Day – Conclusion
As you have seen, the amount of protein you need depends on different criteria. In particular, you must take into account your sports activity, but also your weight and your goal.
However, do not forget that to lose fat, proteins are your allies.
But do not fall into the trap offered by too many unbalanced diets. They sometimes tell you to eat only protein or cut out carbs altogether.
Yet complex carbohydrates have been part of the human diet for millennia. They are therefore not the cause of our current food problems.
It is rather the food industry that has distorted everything. Think about this for a few minutes:
We shouldn't blame the food our ancestors ate for causing modern disease.
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Last updated on 2022-03-03 / Affiliate links / Some images are sourced from the Amazon Product Advertising API