demystifying protein [day three] – calculating how much you need in a day

Finding your ideal protein range is easy! Just plug your stats into the formula below.

1. Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kilograms
2. Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8 g/kg = ideal protein intake in grams

Use a lower number (i.e. 0.8) if you lead a more sedentary lifestyle. Use a higher number (between 1 and 1.8) if you are pregnant, recovering from an illness, or involved in consistent and intense weight- or endurance-training.

Example: 130 lb female who exercises regularly and strength-trains
130 lbs/2.2 = 59kg
70kg x 1.5 = 88.5g

Of course, this is just a guideline: listen to what your body tells you and adjust accordingly. Look at yesterday's post for symptoms of too much or too little protein to how your intake might be affecting you. The aim is consistent energy, stabilized blood sugar, reduced cravings, and healthy tissue growth.

Protein Suggestion
Pseudo-grains like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat (which are all technically seeds) provide a great deal of protein – they’re all made up of about 20% protein and deliver around 10 grams of protein per cup.

 Sunday's post: how is protein digested (and how should this inform our protein choices?)

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6 comments on “demystifying protein [day three] – calculating how much you need in a day
  1. I find that a well-rounded diet, as you said in yesterday’s post, gives more than enough protein. I used to follow the bodybuilder’s credo of high-volume protein and it never worked (bodybuilders have incredible flatulence—another sign of too much protein!). I find that I respond best to protein from whole food, like beans and grains, than from veggie burgers and supplements.

    • amyheight says:

      It’s great you took the time to really assess what works best for your body. There really is no one diet that works for everyone – and protein, like anything, affects us all differently based on a number of factors (including its source). A diet that combines protein from many different sources is a great way to ensure you’re getting not only enough of this macronutrient, but also the various phytochemicals,vitamins, and nutrients.

      Were you previously on a heavy animal-protein plan?

      Thanks for reading!

      • I used to eat meat. I’ve been a vegan for 16 years now (excluding a time recently when I accidentally ate a handful of ants—don’t ask, trust me! LOL). The protein I ate then (burgers, especially) was an inferior quality to the plant-based diet I have today. I agree, the quality counts!

  2. bensheath says:

    Agree quinoa is a good protein source but it isn’t quite a complete protein so won’t contain all the amino acids in a balanced form. If you’re vegetarian it is very hard but look at matching foods to get a complete protein source from numerous foods.

    • amyheight says:

      Absolutely! My week of posts will continue to focus on balanced eating – especially for those living a plant-based lifestyle – as well as combining proteins. If I haven’t mentioned it yet, it’s definitely coming up in a post in the next few.

      Thanks for reading!

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