How Much Protein Should You Eat for Weight Loss?

| Diet & Nutrition
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If you're trying to lose weight, chances are you've tried eliminating quite a bit. You might have tried cutting sugar, cutting carbs, or cutting calories, but when it comes to shedding those last few pounds, the last thing you want to skip out on is protein! If you are set on losing that muffin top, then you may want to consider boosting the amount of protein in your diet. After all, protein and weight loss go together like bread and butter.

High-protein foods like lean meats, nuts, beans and dairy products take the body longer to digest, metabolize and use. While this may seem like a bad thing, it actually means that your body expends more calories to burn through protein, and those foods tend to make you feel fuller longer. Other foods that are high in fat or refined carbohydrates may give you an instantaneous burst of energy, but will inevitably lead to that mid-afternoon crash we all dread.

Many experts are now claiming that you should actually double up on the daily protein requirements in order to lose more weight from fat. One study, which followed 32 men and 7 women over the course of 31 days, measured the effects of consuming a diet that contained either the recommended daily amount (RDA) of protein, double the RDA, or triple the RDA.

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At the conclusion of the study, each group had lost the same amount of weight (around 3 pounds). Most significantly, though, was the discovery that the people who had doubled up on their daily recommendation of protein lost more fat (about 70 percent of their total weight loss) than the other groups. For those who consumed three times the RDA, the percentage of fat loss was about 64 percent, and for those who only ate the recommended amount of protein, only around 42 percent.

So what's the difference? Fat loss (rather than just weight loss) helps the body in a variety of ways. Fat loss means that we're able to maintain and grow lean muscles, which helps burn more calories and kickstart your metabolism.

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(Photo: Minimalist Baker)

In short, consuming enough protein is an essential part of weight loss. Experts recommend eating double the recommended daily amount of protein in order to tone and tighten that waistline. All you have to do is multiply your weight by 0.36, and you will get your RDA of protein in grams. Then, be sure to double that number! For instance, a 150 pound woman should consume 150 x 0.36 grams x 2, or 108 grams of protein a day if she is trying to lose weight.

In order to make sure you're not overdoing it on calories, try cutting out some of the excess fat and refined carbs in your diet as well. Chisel it into your memory: Eat more protein for weight loss. You don't want to forget this!

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