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How Much Protein Do You Need for Weight Loss and Muscle Growth?

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Low-carb, vegetarian, Mediterranean -- whatever your diet, it's important to get enough protein.

Although research hasn't yet pinpointed one perfect formula, experts say that the typical "recommended" daily minimums aren't optimal, and that it helps to factor in your weight and activity level to determine how much protein you personally need.

A good baseline for people who exercise at a moderate level is between one-half and three-quarters of a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. If you weigh 150 pounds, for example, eat between 75 and 112 grams of protein per day. To lose weight, diets with higher amounts of protein -- between 90 and 150 grams a day -- are effective and help keep you from losing muscle along with fat.

Since the body uses protein most effectively when you have it at regular intervals, divide your daily intake into four equal amounts for breakfast, lunch, a snack and dinner. If you work out at a high level, consider eating another 50 grams of protein before you go to bed to help with overnight muscle repair.

You might be familiar with calorie counting, but it's also important to know how to tally your protein intake. While one ounce of chicken weighs 28 grams, it contains only about 9 grams of protein. So it takes a 3-ounce portion to deliver 27 grams of protein, or about one-quarter of the average daily need.

27-Gram Protein Portions

  • 3 ounces of fish, turkey, chicken or lean beef
  • 7 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup cottage cheese

You can also get high-quality protein from some plant-based foods. These include tofu, whole grains, legumes and nuts -- all better options than eating extra red meat or any processed meats.

More information

The USDA has more on high-protein foods and how to choose wisely.

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=745214

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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