Protein is one of the three macronutrients that our body needs to function optimally. Protein feeds the muscles and supplies the building blocks that allow us to preserve lean body tissue. If you are in a caloric deficit, and thus losing weight (fat tissue), it is possible to preserve lean muscle by intaking enough protein to feed the muscle while simultaneously starving fat cells.
You may be wondering how much protein your body needs in order to reach this optimal state. Typically, around 1.2-1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight supplies the muscles with adequate protein.
To get your weight in kilograms, divided your weight in pounds by 2.2. Then multiply this weight in kilograms by 1.2 and 1.6 to get the amount of protein to consume each day.
- 130 lbs / 2.2 = 59 kg
- 59 kg x 1.2 = 71g protein
- 59 kg x 1.4 = 83 g protein
- Protein range = 71-83g protein
You can also use use Strength.com’s nutritionist designed Protein Calculator to see how much protein you need on a daily basis. The calculator considers more than your weight – current training regimen, weight goal, age and more to give you a more accurate calculation. Click here to take it.
Research shows that by increasing protein consumption while decreasing carbohydrates, muscle mass can be preserved during dieting (1). This is because individuals who consume meals higher in protein will typically consume less calories due to experiencing more satiety than those who consume mainly carbohydrate-based meals (2).
To simplify: protein makes you feel fuller, leading to less calories consumed, and prioritizing muscle preservation. Carbs digest faster than proteins, as they are the body’s preferred source of energy, leading to increased feelings of hunger more often.
There are several foods that are good sources of protein. For weight loss, choose leaner sources of protein such as fish, white poultry, lean red meats and some plant-based proteins. Protein supplements with the right macro composition and ingredient make up can also be very helpful and convenient.
BuiltbyStrength’s Grass-Fed Whey Protein is an ideal option for individuals looking to increase their protein intake without compromising their other macros. It has 24G or protein per serving with only 3G carbs and 1G fat. BuiltByStrength Grass-Fed Whey is also all-natural, non-GMO, gluten-free, free of banned substances and hormones, free of artificial sweeteners and tastes great.