How much protein?
The rule of thumb is at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. For example, a 100 pound person would take at least 100 grams of protein. This is a unisex rule. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman. It is still 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. You are going to use your current weight, not your goal weight! It’s that simple. Don’t worry. I will give you an easy way to measure your protein out in a minute. If you are an avid reader of this blog you already know this but I think this will still help simplify it for you.
If you are trying to add muscle and/or lose fat, you need more protein. Let me explain. One gram of protein per pound of body weight is the bare minimum. I suggest that most people start off with this amount for the first month or two and then increase it from there. If, however, you are trying to put on muscle or burn fat, you’ll need to up it to 1.25 – 1.5 grams. Once you are doing this for a while, you’ll begin to “know” your body. You’ll know how much you need and can adjust up or down to meet your goals.
Okay I can hear you now. I don’t know how nor do I want to go around measuring my protein every time I eat. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be meticulously exact. It is very easy, in fact I will show you an old bodybuilding trick and give you a chart to make it simple. 20 grams of protein is a serving. A 20 gram serving of meat is approximately the size of a deck of cards. Usually one scoop of protein powder will be approximately 20 grams of protein, but read the label. You can get that information from the protein container. In fact I use a good bit of protein powder to supplement my protein intake and I am a big fan of Labrada Nutrition. I typically start my day off with the Lean Body Whole Food Shake and then during the day have a carb watchers lean body and a ProV60. I have three whole food meals a day and at least three shakes in order to get the amount of protein I need. I have known Lee for years and he has a deep commitment to supplying the best products on the market. We will get into some tips on how to make eating interesting in a future blog.
So let’s go back to our examples. A 100 pound person would need at least 5 portions of protein during the day. 100 pounds = 100 grams of protein, divided by 20 grams of protein = 5 portions. Now just divide these serving among the meals you are eating. This 100 lb person would have one serving of protein with every meal if she was eating 5 meals a day.
Below is a simple chart that will help you. You don’t need to go crazy counting your protein intake, just use this as a guide and do the best you can. Making this easy for you will allow you to focus more time on the passions that God has put in your life.
|Body Weight||# of Servings for 1 gram/lb||# of Servings for 1.25 gram/lb||# of Servings for 1.5 gram/lb|
The above portions are based on body-weight. For many years, I told people to throw their scales away because body weight is not an accurate portrayal of your fitness level. Since muscle is heavier than fat, you could be getting in better shape, but be heavier. Now, I tell them to get out their scales but to use it as a tool. A scale is necessary to help figure out your protein requirements and to help in the measuring of progress.
I hope this clears up the confusion on how much protein you need and has given you a simply way to figure it out how much protein you are eating. Let me know if this was useful!
Question: Are you getting enough protein a day? Do you have any tips or tricks that work for you?