Protein is an important part of the diet. The body uses proteins for so much. Protein is the building block of almost everything in the body; especially muscle. Getting enough protein helps you build muscle, manage your weight, and stay healthy. Knowing all of that the obvious question becomes “How much protein do you need”?
One of the great things about protein is that it’s quite simple to work out how much you want to eat generally. The following formula is how you can work out how much protein you need. For the most part most people will need 0.8-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So if you weighed 100 pounds you would need to eat between 80-150 grams of protein.
Of course this does leave you with a pretty broad range. That’s a 70 gram range. If you’re looking for a more defined range and how much protein you really need then that depends mostly on your circumstances.
If you’re an average healthy sedentary adult, as a man or woman, that doesn’t really work out or even have any fitness goals then you should eat between 0.5-0.7 grams of protein per pound in body weight. That should be enough to maintain your current weight and stay healthy.
If you’re an average healthy adult, whether male or female, that does exercise and does have some fitness related goals such as losing weight and building muscle, then you should eat between 0.8-1 grams of protein per pound of body weight. That should be enough to help you reach those goals.
If you’re a healthy adult female who wants to build muscle, get toned, and maintain muscle mass while losing fat and increasing strength you should eat between 1-1.2 grams of pound per body weight. That will be enough to help you lose weight and build muscle.
If you’re a healthy adult male who wants to build muscle, get toned, maintain muscle mass while losing fat, and boost your strength and performance then you should eat between 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
Those are much smaller ranges that should make it much easier to stick to your protein goal. If you still aren’t sure then the golden rule of them is, and always has been, 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. It’s the ultimate middle path that’s been around forever.
One of the potential pitfalls of losing weight is also losing muscle. Your body doesn’t differentiate between muscle and fat. As such it’s important that you need to maintain protein intake to maintain muscle mass. Remember that the more muscles you have the easier it is to lose weight too. You burn calories just moving your muscles and you lose weight from burning calories. So start eating more protein rich foods like skinless chicken and turkey or fish and eggs.