Daily protein intake is not necessarily the same for everyone - this is how you decide how much you should aim for.

Wondering exactly how much protein to eat each day? The recommended dietary supplement, which is the minimum amount you need to be healthy, is 0,8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. 46 grams for an average woman. That equates to as little as 10% of daily calories. If you are not super active, it is probably enough, and you will easily hit the target if you follow a typical western diet.

To get your personal protein intake, multiply the figure 0,8 by your weight in kilograms. (For a sedentary 75 kg woman, it would be 60 grams.) Double that if you are very active or aim for "optimal protein". Which can help you maintain muscle as you age and support weight loss.

You are very active

This means that you get at least 35 to 40 minutes of moderate exercise four or five days a week. Including strength training two or more times a week. Consider eating 1,2 to 2 grams of dietary protein per pound of body weight each day, says Nancy Rodriguez, Ph.D., professor of nutrition at the University of Connecticut. That amount is best for rebuilding muscle tissue, especially if you do many high-intensity workouts, research suggests.

You are trying to lose weight

Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, which helps you feel full and drives your body to secrete the intestinal hormone peptide YY, which reduces hunger. When you include protein to about 30-40% of your daily calories, you will eat less.

While studies are mixed on whether consuming more protein leads to weight loss, research is pretty clear that protein can help you maintain more of your lean muscle when you lose fat. A study from 2011 suggests that you increase the protein to as much as 1,8 to 2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day to ward off muscle loss when limiting calories. Cut down on refined carbohydrates to balance the extra calories from adding protein.

You are middle-aged

Eating more protein as you get older can help you maintain muscle and ward off osteoporosis, "so you can stay stronger and more functional." In a study from 2015, adults over the age of 50 who roughly doubled their intake (ate 1,5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight) were better at building and maintaining muscle after just four days, compared with control groups that eat RDA.

Doubling your intake gives you "optimal protein", a concept developed by Rodriguez and more than 40 nutritionists at a recent protein summit, the results of which were published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Optimal protein is about 15% to 25% of your daily calories, still below the level recommended by many popular high protein proteins. Over a day, it can look like 20-30 grams per meal and 12 to 15 grams per snack, a total of 90 to 105 grams daily.

With our diet, you get the right amount of protein!


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