The ability of protein to increase calorie burning, decrease hunger and maintain muscle mass makes it seem too good to be true, and it can be. So, before you start eating eggs with a side of grilled chicken for each meal, remember that it is possible to have too much of something good. The excess protein in your body will end up stored as fat, but how do you know when you’ve crossed that line?
If you have heard that you should consume a set amount, such as the recommended daily amount for the average man and woman, 56 and 46 grams, respectively, throw that number out the window. The perfect amount of grams is different for each person depending on their weight. Luckily for you, we talked to Jim White, RD, ACSM and the owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios for answers. Once you have calculated your specific amount, visit the store with our list of the best proteins to lose weight and stock up.
Know your goal
The fact that something works for your partner or your best friend does not necessarily mean that it works for you. “To gain muscle for athletes and lose weight, the Academy of Nutrition and Diabetics recommends consuming 1.2 to 1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight,” says White. With 0.45 kilograms in one pound, that means that a 150-pound person needs about 81 – 115 grams, while someone weighing 180 pounds needs 97 – 138 grams.
Although those numbers are much higher than the amounts mentioned above, trust us. A study in the American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that those who doubled the recommended daily allowance could actually preserve and develop muscles better. Just don’t forget that the number you are using right now is far from being a permanent solution. When you begin to see weight loss results, you should continue updating your protein goals with this formula.
Make sure you eat enough
The best way to get the benefits of protein is to incorporate it into your diet over the course of a day, starting with breakfast. A study by the Institute of Food Technologists found that people who ate protein-rich breakfasts ate 200 calories less at night than those who did not. You can get 15 grams with an Oikos Greek yogurt or 6 grams with an egg. If you are sourcing other foods that are obviously high in protein, such as grilled chicken and protein shakes for lunch and dinner, but still lose your mark, don’t forget to take advantage of snack time to your advantage.