Protein is an essential nutrient that your body needs in-order to build healthy muscles and grow large animals. It is also one of the main factors that determine your waistline! So, it follows that increasing your protein intake may help you to lose weight, but how much protein do you need to lose weight? This article will tell you definitively!
The Basics Of Protein
Protein is made up of small, independently functioning molecules known as amino acids. These amino acids come in sixteen different varieties that your body can use to build healthy muscles, tissues, and organs. The four basic building blocks of protein are:
These four amino acids are known as the indispensable amino acids, which means that your body cannot function properly without them. So they are vital to the functioning of your cells and your metabolic activities. Your body cannot make these amino acids, and you must obtain them from food sources or supplements.
How Much Protein Do You Need To Lose Weight?
There is no exact science involved in determining how much protein you need to lose weight. Your body weight and your goals should govern your protein consumption. You should aim to achieve a healthy body weight, and you should eat enough protein to support your goals. Here are a few general guidelines:
- If you are underweight, you should eat more protein than usual
- If you are experiencing difficulty losing weight, you may need to increase your protein intake
- If you want to increase your muscle mass, you should eat more protein than usual
- If you are a woman, you should eat more protein than usual
- Protein is important for regulating your blood sugar, so if you have diabetes, you should eat more protein than usual
Your doctor may also prescribe a diet that is high in protein for the treatment of obesity or another medical condition. In these cases, the doctor may recommend that you increase your protein intake to a level that will support your treatment.
Protein And Your Daily Requirement
Whether you are trying to lose weight or not, you should eat protein every day. You do not need to have an excessive amount, but you should have enough to get by. The exact amount depends on your gender and weight, but you should strive for approximately 1.2-1.7g of protein per kg of body weight. Here is a table that will help you determine how much protein you need per day based on your weight:
- Under 10kg: 0.8-1.1g
- 10-19kg: 1.1-1.6g
- 20-29kg: 1.6-2.2g
- 30-39kg: 2.2-2.8g
- 40-49kg: 2.8-3.4g
- 50-59kg: 3.4-4g
- 60-69kg: 4g
- 70-79kg: 4.4-5g
- 80-89kg: 5g
- 90kg and above: 5.4g
As you can see, the amount of protein that you need increases as your weight increases. You should also note here that the suggested daily allowances for protein vary by country and are set by health experts and government agencies like the USDA and the FDA. These are just general guidelines that you can use to get started, but you should not let them dictate your diet. Your doctor or a nutritionist can advise you on how much protein is safe and right for your body.
Protein In Your Diet Will Help You Lose Weight
If you are trying to lose weight, you should include protein-rich foods in your diet. These foods provide you with essential amino acids that your body cannot make and therefore must be obtained through food. In addition to these essential amino acids, you also get a boost from the protein in these foods in providing your body with the necessary calories to support your efforts. This is because protein is highly caloric due to its high thermic value. So, if you are trying to lose weight but are struggling due to low calorie intake, adding more protein to your diet may help you to reach your goals. You should also avoid low-protein diets as they may stunt your growth and damage your health.
You do not need to be restricted to meat products when you are increasing your protein intake; you can incorporate a wider range of foods into your diet. This will greatly improve your chance of success in losing weight and maintaining a healthy body. Protein-rich foods include:
- Dairy products
You can incorporate any of these foods into your diet, but you should ensure that you are obtaining the necessary nutrients from each food. For example, eggs are a great source of protein but are also high in cholesterol. You should try to avoid eating eggs if you are hoping to reduce your cholesterol levels. The same goes for dairy products. Some people believe that eating dairy products can increase your risk of developing heart disease, so you should try to limit these foods in your diet. You should eat as much fruit as you want, but make sure that you are including the necessary fiber in your diet as well. Fiber helps to make food easier to pass through your digestive system and increases the speed at which you extract nutrients from the food that you eat. You should aim to include more vegetables in your diet than fruit, as the latter provides you with more carbohydrates and therefore more energy. In general, you should consume a diet that contains plenty of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains to obtain the necessary nutrients, as well as to support your health.
The Pros And Cons Of Eating Protein
There are several advantages to eating protein, and we have discussed a few of them above. In addition to these advantages, you should also know that eating protein can have some serious disadvantages. Here are the cons to eating protein:
- You may become deficient in certain vitamins and minerals if you do not eat enough dietary protein
- You may become sick if you eat too much protein due to its high content of certain chemicals known as Ammonia and Aspartame
- Eating too much protein can cause kidney problems
- Eating proteins raises your cholesterol levels
- Eating protein may contribute to heart disease
- You cannot lose weight on a high-protein diet
- Eating protein may promote growth of certain cancers
You should also be aware of the following disadvantages of eating protein: