Protein is essential for both weight loss and to build muscle. But how much should you eat each day? Here’s your protein intake guideline!
How much protein to eat is a debate that people take almost as seriously as what workout to do. And with good reason! Having a protein guideline in mind for your diet is crucial for your results, no matter if you want to know how much protein to eat to lose weight, or how much to gain muscle.
Lucky for you, the answer is pretty simple, and the right amount of protein for those two goals is a lot closer than you think!
Let’s dig into how much protein you should eat!
Most people are well aware that protein is an essential micronutrient and a post-workout protein shake is often the first thing that comes to mind when people think of muscle building. But the role of protein goes far beyond its post-workout benefits.
Studies have found that higher-protein diets can help you reach your fitness goals — whether you want to lose body fat or pack on tons of muscle. But another key finding is proteins’ effect on satiety. Studies show eating more protein leads to greater feelings of fullness.
Is protein “free calories?”
Here is an excellent example of the effects sufficient protein can have on reaching your weight loss goals.
Researchers at The University of South Florida found that for women who are resistance training, consuming extra calories above maintenance in the form of protein were… basically free calories.
Free calories? Sounds crazy, right? Here’s what we mean…
The women in the study were given 500 calories above their maintenance level in the form of protein. Typically when you go over your maintenance calories for an extended time, you would start gaining a little fat, but not the ladies in this study.
Even though the women were eating 500 extra calories from protein per day, they got leaner, gained muscle, and did not gain extra body fat.
Now, this isn’t to say you can eat as much protein as you want and never gain weight. Protein still has calories, so you can no doubt eat too much. It means that while you can store protein as fat, it’s pretty unlikely. Especially if you’re controlling your overall caloric intake and exercising regularly.
The biggest takeaway — don’t skimp on protein! And that’s especially true if you’re resistance training or exercising regularly.
How much protein do I need in a day?
Use the “balanced diet” setting, and you’ll get a recommendation somewhere around 1 gram per pound of body weight per day — give or take 10-20 percent based on your goal. So it might be .8 per gram of bodyweight for one person, or 1.1-1.2 for another.
Regardless of your ideal protein number, once you know it, make it a priority to hit that goal every day. Not just every once in a while. Not just on workout days. Every single day!
This can be hard for some people. You can only choke down so many chicken breasts and egg whites — right?
That’s where protein shakes, or even high protein treats using a quality protein like Sculpt Nation PROTEIN can be a life-saver! Along with around three solid meals a day and a snack or two, having a protein shake each day can be more than sufficient to get most people to their perfect protein daily goal.
If planning all that eating out is a struggle for you, then maybe you need to let the experts help! Consider a custom diet plan created by our team of V Shred certified nutrition experts. They create plans for thousands of people every day, and we hear all the time that this is the thing that worked when nothing else would.
Going custom takes out the guesswork! Our team will tell you how much protein, carbs, and fat you need to reach your goals AND even create a custom meal plan that works with your food preferences and lifestyle!
Need more ideas of how to reach your daily protein goals? Make sure to join our Facebook Group For Women or Facebook Group For Men! Our trainer team and community members are always posting creative recipes and nutrition tips!