How Much Protein Do I need?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how much protein you need per day, let us reiterate that in our program we do NOT count macronutrients.  No calorie counting, no daily macro goals, no food trackers. Why? Because we believe when you eat natural, whole foods in the proper serving size and listen to your body's cues it is not necessary.  We have helped hundreds of people lose weight and improve their health without exhausting counting.  

Why is protein important? Well, proteins are responsible for many functions throughout the body, including acid–base balance, energy production, cell signaling, and nutrient transport.  Protein plays a pivotal role in exercise recovery and it is involved in nearly all bodily functions. Increased protein intake can help maintain and build muscle mass when losing weight.   

Americans have been told for years that "carbs are bad and protein is good...thus more protein is even better" and "protein builds muscle".  Powders and supplements have flooded the market-and products like protein pancakes and protein cookies line the shelves. Because of this drumbeat of protein-forward marketing, many people are under the false assumption that they aren't getting enough.

The simple fact is, if you consume animal products it is extraordinarily difficult to become protein deficient. Most Americans - even athletes- consume twice the recommended protein in a given day, without making an effort to supplement.  Yet over 60% of Americans are actively trying to add more protein to their diet. (1). But more of a good thing isn't always better- the body can't store protein for use, so once needs are met, any extra is stored as fat. 

Calculate Your Recommended Daily Allowance  

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein is 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight. This is a general guideline, and those exercising with greater duration or intensity may wish to have more protein on training days.  But before you reach for that protein powder or order a tomahawk steak, crunch the numbers...

To get your personal RDA, simply divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 then multiply by 0.8 to get your total RDA of protein for 1 day. 

Example: 175 lb woman who does strength training for 1 hour three times a week.

RDA = 63.4g per day. If desired, this client could adjust up a bit to 75g on training days. That said, you can see in the chart below how a typical balanced Sugar Snap Shift on-plan day FAR exceeds even the 75g. A basic day without any protein supplementation is over 94g of protein.

So even if you exercise, there is no need to worry that you're not consuming enough protein- by including one appropriately sized serving of animal protein at every meal you will meet and exceed your needs. 


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published