Protein is one of the most important aspects of a diet, but sometimes one of the most neglected. Protein is the building block of bones, cartilage, muscles, blood, and skin. If you’re a more active person, eating enough protein is even more critical. But how much protein, exactly, should we be consuming? And does eating MORE protein lead to more fat loss?
The Protein Formula
If you’re trying to build muscle and lose fat, it’s imperative to consume enough protein. Amino acids, a type of protein, help form muscles. So, how much protein should we be consuming? If a woman is aiming to lose weight and build muscle, she would need to consume 0.5 to 0.8 grams of protein per body weight each day. So, if she weighs 130 pounds, she should consume between 65-104 grams of protein a day.
Although it is essential to eat enough protein throughout the day, you shouldn’t go crazy with tracking your macros and making sure you’re hitting the exact mark. Most of us do meet these requirements, but sometimes it is easy to fall off track. Just being aware of eating enough protein throughout the day should be enough!
Common Sources of Protein for Weight Loss
Some familiar sources of protein are eggs, dairy, and meat. A common misconception is that vegetarians do not consume enough protein. However, nuts, legumes, and soy-based foods are incredibly high in protein and are all vegetarian-friendly. Even if you are a meat-eater, choosing plant-based protein options from time to time is not only better for the environment, but they help with managing weight and improving heart health.
To make sure you’re reaching a good amount of protein each day, try to have at least one source of protein with every meal. That could be eggs for breakfast, chicken for lunch, and beans for dinner! Or if you’re vegetarian/vegan, you can have nuts with your breakfast, legumes for lunch, and tofu for dinner.
There are so many options for healthy and delicious dinners that have enough protein in them already. You don’t even have to try to get more. Just make sure you’re eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and results will follow!