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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

There is a lot of misinformation out there about protein. While I am not a nutritionist, I do know one thing: protein is vital for a healthy body - and lots of it. It is a building block for everything in your body. From hair and nails to bone and muscle, you need protein for so many reasons. Plus, it also helps keep you full throughout the day and boosts your metabolism. I know we all want that!

But, the question remains. How much protein do you need?

Research suggests that many of us may need more protein than we realize. The current RDA is 0.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight, but several studies have found that 1 to 1.2 g may be more protective against age-related muscle loss. Plus, according to the International Society of Sport Nutrition, exercising individuals can consume 1.4 to 2.0 g/kg/day. The more active you are, the more protein you need. Makes sense, since you need that protein to rebuild muscle.

If you are still confused, try using this formula from Caroline Apovian, MD, author of The Overnight Diet, to figure out how much protein you need to keep your metabolism up, preserve muscle and promote weight loss.

Estimate your ideal weight. "If you're a woman, start with 100 pounds for the first 5 feet in height, and add 5 pounds for every extra inch," says Dr. Apovian. "For men, it's 106 pounds for 5 feet in height, plus 6 pounds for every additional inch. However, if your ideal weight is less than 120 pounds, don't eat less than 82 g of protein daily."

Ideal Weight (in lb) ÷ 2.2 = Ideal Weight (in kg)

Ideal Weight (in kg) × 1.5 = Daily Protein Goal (in g)

So, how much protein are you currently eating? Might be time to figure it out!


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