Your Daily Protein Needs
To discuss how many grams of protein per day you need, I’m going to really break things down into three categories:
- How much protein do you need on a regular basis to generally heal and for your body to regenerate?
- How much protein do you need to burn fat?
- How much protein do you need to build muscle per day?
First, in general, if you just want to have general health and longevity, consuming about 90 percent of your body weight in grams of protein per day is about what you want. Let’s say you weigh 70 kgs and you’re looking to be generally healthy, then I’d recommend having about 63 grams of protein a day in your diet.
Therefore, if you’re eating three meals a day, you’re going to be getting about 21 grams of protein per meal, and that’s going to really get you to where you need to be in terms of the amount of protein you need in your diet.
Second, let’s say you’re trying to really burn body fat fast and looking for the right fat-burning foods. Well, you need to start with a substantial amount of protein, as so many people (especially women) who hope to lose body fat actually have a protein deficiency. Thus, I recommend about 0.7 grams to 0.75 grams of protein a day overall for burning fat. Essentially, you’re going to replace some of those extra carbohydrates in your diet with more protein.
In this case, if you weigh 160 pounds, then multiply that figures by 0.75. You’ll want to then consume close to 100 to maybe 120 grams of protein a day if you’re trying to really burn fat. So if you eat four meals a day, you’ll want to get in 25 to 30 grams of protein each time.
Third, you’re either trying to build more muscle tone or simply trying to build muscle fast. In general, you want to actually take your weight and multiply that times one. Eat that many grams of protein a day. So if you weigh 160 pounds and want to pack on some muscle, then you should be trying to get 160 grams of protein a day. Over four meals, that’d be 40 grams of protein per meal.
So, to answer that original question about how many grams of protein per day you need, it really depends. Is your goal for general health? In that case, half your body weight in grams of protein. If your goal is fat burning, 0.7 to 0.75 grams of protein; if your goal is to build muscle, you need an equal amount of grams of protein a day to your body weight.