How Much Protein Do You Really Need?
There is much debate on how much protein you need. It depends on a number of factors: your weight, your lifestyle, how much exercise you do, and your body composition. There’s one more factor to consider, especially for a lot of my clients and friends: the state of your hormones!
The right amount of protein is critical for hormone balance. Protein nourishes your adrenals (overworked from producing stress hormones), is necessary for building muscle (which increases your sensitivity to insulin), and keeps testosterone levels at the sweet spot (important for the male AND female libido).
Anyone out there concerned about chronic stress, insulin resistance or lack of sex drive?
Ah, maybe only a few of you.
HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR PROTEIN NEEDS
The more lean body mass you have the more protein you need. So you’ll need a body fat test to get a more accurate calculation. For now you can guestimate.
Here’s An Example:
Sheila weighs 125 pounds, works out 4-5 days per week and has a body fat percentage of 27%. That means her fat mass is (0.27*125) about 34 pounds. Her lean body mass is 125-34 = 91 pounds.
This is the formula I use for protein needs: 0.75 – 1.0 grams of protein/pound of lean body mass per day (more if you’re an elite athlete). The lower end is for people who are not very active. The middle of the range is for people who exercise regularly. The high end is for competitive athletes.
Sheila needs about 0.87*91 = 79 grams of protein per day.
Two eggs in the morning will give her 12 grams. Four ounces of organic chicken breast at lunch will give her 38 grams. One more serving of protein at dinner will get her to her target.
HEALTHY PROTEIN SOURCES
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I am a fan organic meats, eggs, and dairy…even if it’s the only thing you buy organic. A clean source of animal protein has the stuff you want and none of the stuff you don’t. And it tastes way better, too.
But there are a ton of other protein sources to choose from, including many from plants.
Protein from plants provide a whole different set of micronutrients than animal sources do.
So try swapping a couple of your animal protein meals with a plant-based source.
To give you some ideas of both animal-based + plant-based protein, check out my Wellness Infographics board on Pinterest. I pinned a few very helpful infographics to show you the grams per serving size of pretty much all the protein sources out there.
Leave a comment below and tell us your favorite sources of protein or share your protein-packed meals on social media using the hashtag #svwellness.
Lots of Love,