Protein – it’s a bit of a grey area when it comes to dieting. Many people think that they put a lot of protein into their diet – imagine; Steelpedes, cadavers, chicken, fish, all good clean protein. The problem is that for most people their diet is 15% protein and 95% carbs.
The fact is that you can get too much protein and it is even a good idea to start tapering off of it, in fact you should stop adding protein to your meals after 5 days as it takes a certain amount of time to break down the protein in your food.
So how much protein should your have?
Well there’s all the opinions and numbers that surround this but here goes; if you eat over 25 grams of protein (which is roughly 7-10 oz) per day per person or per meal it will help you build muscle. The exact amount of protein will vary depending on your height, weight, age and activity level; I have seen 25, 35, 40 grams of protein per meal from aitnessintreek member and someone with a hundred pounds of muscle would eat a lot more than that. Another point, the more lean you are the more protein you need.
The above methods of determining your protein intake depending on your needs are pretty accurate, but there are a few other methods that you can utilize to have an idea of where you are.
A fairly accurate method is to calculate you Lean Body Weight, lean body mass determines how much protein you need. This is estimate because everyone is a little different in there physique from one day to the next, but this will get you roughly in the ballpark.
Another method that is very accurate is your body composition, this will determine how much protein any of us require. To get your body composition you will need to figure out what your lean body weight is, your muscle mass, your fat mass and your overall body composition. To get these estimated values you will need to take your body measurements, multiply them by your body mass listed in pounds, the difference is your lean body weight. There you go, your lean body weight is the number you should shoot for.
Number one guessing game is to multiply your lean body weight times your lean body mass, your result should be something like you’re fifteen hundred pounds or you’re two hundred pounds or you’re four hundred pounds…. whatever number you decided on you will want to figure out your calories per day. Lastly, you can even shoot for minimum daily calorie levels. If you’re on stage three of the fitness challenge you will most likely need to reduce your calories a little, maybe by 300 on stage two and so on until you’re at the number that you should be at for stage three.
Okay, so now that we know how much protein we need and we know that we need it but how do we make sure that we are getting the right amount of it. The number one method to figure out how much protein that we need is the you. Just because you’re being told to eat protein food does not mean that you’ll actually do it. And the same goes for your goals. You’ll want to figure out a number that’s realistic for you and then stick to it. And if you did figure out the right amount that you need, you’ll want to share that number with someone else as soon as you can. So figure out your calorie needs, multiply that by the amount of protein that you should be eating and your body weight and composition should match that number.
Some people figure the calories needed and multiply that by the amount of protein they should be eating and the rest can be figured out from reading the labels on the food. It’s tedious, but once you get into the habit of doing this you’ll always know the amount that you need.
The last method is to follow a protein pyramid. The way that the pyramid works is that you figure out the amount of protein that you should be eating based on the amount of carbohydrates that you are eating; since you carbs are going to put you over the amount of protein that you should be getting, you figure the difference. Take the difference, multiply it by the amount of carbs that you should be eating and you’ll have the amount of protein that you should be eating; hopefully you round that up to three or four total servings of protein a day.