How Much Protein Do I Need Per Day?

The cornerstone of any good nutritional plan is how much high-quality protein you eat. Wherever you are in your fitness journey, adequate protein intake will be the a critical aspect of your diet.


Your lean body mass (your weight not composed of fat) is the energy-consuming part of your body that does all the work to keep you alive - repairing the wear and tear on your body, replacing fluids and chemicals, keeping your immune system effective… the list goes on.


Supporting lean body mass is why we eat. Even when we’re trying to lose weight, we want to make sure we support and keep as much of our lean body mass as possible.


If you’re trying to build muscle, protein will help you gain it. If you’re trying to cut fat, eating enough protein will maintain your muscle as you burn it. Heck, you can even build muscle as you lose fat with sufficient protein.


The more muscles mass we have, the more calories our bodies burn even when doing nothing. It increases our rate of metabolism.


When we don’t eat enough protein and are losing weight, as much as 50% of your weight loss can be muscle. 


To ensure we maintain (or grow) muscle mass, we need a minimum 0.6g of protein for every 1g of lean body mass. This increases based on how active we are.


See this table to calculate the amount of protein you should be eating every day. For our purposes, activity can include: sports, steady-state cardio, HIIT, or resistance training

 


Activity Level

Description

Grams (g) of protein per pound (lb) of lean body mass

Sedentary

No activity

0.6g/lb

Moderately Active

20+ mins of activity 2-3 times a week

0.7g/lb

Active

30+ mins activity 3-5 times a week

0.8g/lb

Very Active

Vigorous activity 1 hour+, 5+ times a week 

0.9g/lb

Athlete

2x times per day of vigorous activity

1.0g/lb


 

However, assuming you have healthy kidneys, there is no risk to increasing that intake. In fact, it’s preferable!


You see, protein has other important qualities as well.


First and foremost, the effect on satiety is far superior to both carbs and fat. In other words, eating foods high in protein will make you feel the most full. 


Think about it - how much steak or how many protein shakes could you consume before you’re full? Compare that to a bag of potato chips. You could probably eat a full family size bag and still keep going if you wanted to. 


Protein ensures good diet compliance, since you won’t be as hungry and risk overeating.


Secondly, the TEF (Thermic Effect of Food) is much greater for protein than for both carbs and fat. This means that your body is expending more energy to digest, absorb and dispose of protein than the other macronutrients. 


It’s so significant that a researcher named Livesey proposed that protein should actually be counted as 3.2 kcal and not 4 kcal as the current guidelines state. The more protein you eat as part of your diet, the less NET calories you’re actually consuming. 


What a miracle.


Increase your protein intake easily and deliciously by eating Proteina High-Protein Cheese today.

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