Saturday, December 28, 2013

How Much Protein Do I Really Need?

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As a vegetarian, I get asked about protein A LOT. The good news is.... Most of us get plenty of protein! Even vegetarians. The normal average human needs 0.8 grams of protein per kilograms of body weight. Want to do some math with me? If not, skip the next few paragraphs.

Say you weigh xxx pounds. Divide that by 2.2 to get the number of kg you weigh. Okay, now multiply by 0.8 grams to get see how much protein you need. Is everyone figuring it out right now? I'm playing the Jeopardy theme song for you while we wait. 

Say you weigh 200 pounds. After I divide by 2.2, I see that I weigh 90.9 kilograms. Multiply by 0.8 grams of protein= 72.7. Great!

The average person needs about 0.8- 1 grams per kg of protein a day. If you're a exercise a ton, are an athlete, or are growing, you may need more protein, up to 1.2 grams per kg. 

If you don't like doing math or counting grams of protein, just use this method-- Fill 1/4 of your plate with a lean protein.  For example, lean ground turkey, quinoa, chicken, etc.

Tomorrow we'll talk more in depth about good sources of protein for meat eaters, vegetarians, and people on-the-go! Today I challenge you to read your food labels {or your Lose It app} and see how much protein you're really eating! Are you getting enough or too much?

*My advice today doesn't replace good old fashioned one-on-one consultation. If you have a unique condition like renal disease, this doesn't apply to you. Always talk to your Registered Dietitian or your doctor.*

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