How Much Protein Should I Eat To Lose Weight?
Eating the recommended 0.75 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight per day may be sufficient… But eating more protein than this can actually help you lose weight and tone up.
How much protein should you eat?
It’s generally recommended that females eat approximately 0.75g of protein per day per kilogram of their healthy body weight. For example, if you’re at a healthy body weight of 68kg, you should aim to eat 51 grams of protein per day (68 x 0.75 = 51). Find out if you’re within a healthy body weight range.
This amount of protein might be enough to prevent protein deficiency and for those who are happy with their current body, who don’t exercise much or do strength training. But for those wanting to lose weight, and by that I mean lose fat and tone up, eating more protein than this can be beneficial.
What does protein do?
Protein plays many important roles in the body, but for the sake of keeping this post relative to fat loss and toning up, let’s just focus on protein and it’s role in fat loss.
Basically the only thing muscles can grow from is protein (and activity/exercise which requires strength, of course!). If we don’t have protein in our bodies available for our muscles to use, our muscles won’t grow. Simple as that!
Why do we want our muscles to grow?
We want our muscles to grow. We want our muscles to grow because the higher our muscle mass is, the higher our basal metabolic rate (BMR) is. A high BMR makes us burn more calories throughout the day, even while we sleep!
No you wont look big or muscular. This is a notorious worry I have from ladies all the time! Even if strength training could make you look big and muscular, it’s not going to just happen overnight. You don’t go to the gym one day, lift a few weights, and wake up all beefed up the next morning! You will see such gradual changes in your muscle mass and tone, and if at some stage you think you’re starting to look a little too strong, then back off the weights.
So how do we increase our muscle mass?
Firstly, by doing exercise that requires a fair bit of strength, for example, hill climbs, squats, body weight exercises, weight lifting etc.
But in order to get muscles growing from this strength training, we need to eat a fair amount of protein. Is the recommended 0.75g of protein per kilogram of healthy body weight enough? Studies suggest perhaps not. It’s believed that if we want to build muscle, tone up and lose fat we might benefit from consuming more protein than this.
So how much protein should I eat to lose weight?
It’s hard to say as it completely depends on your age, current body composition and desired body composition, activity levels etc.
However, studies do suggest that in order to gain muscle, daily protein intake should be around 1-2 grams of protein per kilogram of healthy body weight.
A REALLY important thing to remember:
If you increase your protein intake, remember you’ll also be increasing your calorie intake. So if you are wanting to lose fat you’ll have to reduce your calories elsewhere in your diet. I would suggest reducing calories in the form of processed carbohydrates (and as many processed foods as you can for that matter!)
So how much protein should you eat to lose weight? Aim for 1-2 grams of protein per kilogram of your healthy body weight. But reduce your carbohydrate and fat content to make up for the increase in calories from the protein.
How do I increase my protein intake?
To increase your protein intake, protein powders aren’t necessary, but they can be convenient at times. The best way to get protein is consuming meals and snacks throughout the day that include protein. Here’s a list of a few protein containing foods.