Even with the popularity of the Atkins diet dying down, I still get tons of questions from clients and patients about how much protein they need each day. For the average person, we need about 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight. If you don’t live in the metric system for a living, like myself, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2. Boom! Weight in kilograms! For example:
A 180-pound male should consume about 65 grams of protein each day.
(180/2.2 X 0.8)
If you consider yourself an athlete.... or perhaps a senior citizen, your daily protein needs may be as high as 1.2-2 g/kg body weight to maintain a healthy nitrogen balance. As far as protein and weight loss goes, a higher protein diet will not necessarily result in a smaller waistline. Although studies have failed to show a strong relationship between protein and increased satiety, I still encourage individuals to consume a combination of whole grains and protein at each meal and snack since an evenly distributed daily protein intake will result in optimal muscle health. Wondering how strong your diet is? Check out the list below for a few of my favorite protein picks.
2 Tbsp. Natural PB= 7 grams
3 oz. skinless chicken or meat= 21 grams
8 oz. skim milk= 8 grams
3 oz. tofu= 13 grams
3/4 cup quinoa= 6 grams
1 whole egg=7 grams