Learn how much protein you need to eat daily for weight loss and weight management. A high protein diet explained by someone that has harnessed the power of eating protein to help her lose and maintain over 100 pounds. Join Sarah in the 8th post in her free extreme weight loss series as she explains just how important it is to make sure you’re getting enough protein in your daily diet.
My history with eating protein:
When I was super fat (I can say that without it being me “putting myself down”… because it’s a literal fact that I was morbidly obese and so it was a fact) I never gave my protein consumption a single thought… like not even joking, it never crossed my mind.
At that point in my life, spanning a great many years, I was nothing more than a slave to my cravings, and the binge eating that I turned to to “solve my many terrible problems” (you can read about how I overcame binge eating disorder here).
As everyone does, I remember hearing whisperings of “eat more protein” from various people throughout the years…but it wasn’t until I had a conversation with an old client (from a place I worked before I had kids)…that the importance of protein really started to sink in for me.
This particular client was the owner of multiple high-end fitness clubs (and he is a nutritionist) that he had built from the ground up, and he told me that every single time we are eating we need to make sure that we are getting enough protein.
Yep, he even said that if you are grabbing for some candy to make sure that you pair it with some protein too so that your body will process it differently…and we actually eat less of whatever it is because the protein makes us feel full faster and keeps us full for longer.
How many grams of protein do I need for weight loss?
How much protein do I need for weight loss? It’s the question that most people tend to ask when first starting out on their own personal fitness journey…and I think that there isn’t necessarily a blanket answer for every situation, because we all have different amounts of muscle, weigh different amounts, and have different levels of physical activity. We are each unique.
I will say, however, that it wasn’t until my brother told me to start making sure that I was eating 60-90 grams of protein per day that I really started to notice the biggest difference with feeling fuller for longer.
I did that (eating 60-90 grams of protein each day) for a few months, and though I didn’t lose weight at that time (this was before I started counting calories or fitness journaling), I also didn’t gain any weight…
If you struggle with your weight as hard as I used to…maintaining your weight at any size is actually progress…so I was happy, but knew that I could and should push myself to do even better.
Once I actually really started listening to my body, I realized that I needed quite a bit more protein than 60-90 grams per day because I strength train, and am VERY physically active… I just plain wasn’t getting enough protein for what my body needed…which made it nearly impossible to make any progress with losing weight, because not getting enough put me in starvation mode.
For months I played around with how many grams of protein I needed before finally settling on the number of grams that I eat each day.
So, I recommend that if you are just starting out with discovering the beautiful benefits of a high protein diet…that you start aiming for 60-90 grams of protein per day… and then slowly, over several months, go higher until you reach what feels right for your body.
The most important part of fitness is just taking the time to listen to what your body is telling you, so get listening!
Is it possible to eat too much protein?
I feel like my protein needs are much higher than they would be for most women, because I have A LOT OF MUSCLE for a female…with 132-135 lbs of lean muscle on my little 5’7 frame, it has my body needing more protein than it would need otherwise…so keep your body composition in mind as you’re deciding what your own personal protein needs are because you actually can eat too much protein.
If at some point you’re worried about consuming too much protein, do some research and figure out what you’re comfortable with…or talk to your Dr/Nutritionist and maybe they can help start getting you on track where you need to be.
Is protein good for weight loss?
Is a high protein diet good for weight loss? It sure is if you’re doing it right. Like I mentioned before, when I first started increasing my protein intake, I didn’t lose any weight…that is because I was still eating too much (too many calories in general).
When I started really buckling down and fitness journaling, and creating a calorie deficit, in addition to upping my protein intake, that is when I really started making progress in losing weight….and that is because not only does protein make you feel full for longer, but it also revs your metabolism because you burn more energy just in the digestion process than you do when you eat carbs or fats.
So, yeah upping your protein intake can definitely give you some great metabolism boosting results…but it alone won’t give you the results that you’re looking for to lose weight unless you are also making sure that you aren’t eating too much while you’re at it.
Other things you need to know when upping your daily protein intake?
Make sure that you’re eating lean proteins as often as possible, too much of the high-fat ones is not typically the best decision for ones health.
A high protein diet makes your kidneys work hard to break it all down…so you absolutely need to make sure that you are drinking enough water too while you are increasing your protein intake. From what I have read, a sign of eating too much protein is recurring kidney stones…but my personal opinion on that subject is that many of those stones are formed because of a lack of proper hydration. Make sure to flush that protein out of your kidneys by drinking lots of water. If you haven’t read my post about why you need to drink a gallon of water per day, this is the perfect time to do so because there are FAR more benefits than I am mentioning now.
Next, you need to worry about the constipating effects of a high protein diet. I have actually never had a problem with being constipated due to a high protein intake, and that is because I take a high quality probiotic every morning before I start eating (a probiotic should be the first thing that touches your stomach in the morning, I find it especially helpful when I break my daily intermittent fast).
Two other things that will help in the constipation department is making sure that you are getting enough fiber (by eating high quality, whole grain carbs…not the processed junk), as well as making sure that you’re getting enough exercise/movement… both of those things will help in keeping things flowing properly…and another added benefit to eating those high fiber, quality carbs is that they also burn more calories in the digestion process and keep you feeling fuller for longer so you’ll get even more benefits than you may have thought.
Earlier in the post I mentioned that that nutritionist that I had spoken to mentioned making sure that you’re pairing even your candy/sugary foods with a protein, and so I typically like to eat my junky carbs (yes, I eat cheesecake and candy nearly every single day and remain slim) just after a high protein-filled lunch…but if I am having a craving for something sweet when it is nowhere near a meal time, I find it helpful to drink like half of a protein shake with whatever else I am eating… for me, as long as I make sure I am getting around ten grams of protein for every 300 calories of junk I eat, that seems to be the “sweet spot” for how much protein I need to eat to keep my body happy while still indulging my sweet tooth.
I also try not to eat any junky carbs after around 3pm… that seems to help my metabolism too…so I thought that I would mention what works for me so that you can give it a try too if it sounds helpful at all.
That is pretty much all I have to share with you all today when it comes to adding a high protein diet to your fitness regimen… it is well worth giving it a shot if you haven’t yet… it is a total hunger-fighting game-changer!
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! If you found this post at all helpful, please make sure to share it with friends/family/co-workers via social media…or you could even send them the direct link via email…whichever way, I super appreciate the support! ~Sarah
Here are direct links to the posts in my free fitness series (they are continually updated as I learn and grow):
Direct links to free fitness series:
Step 2: How to understand fitness in general:
For those of you that would like another option of a “Pinnable Image” to share on Pinterest, here you go. Thanks again, so much, for the support!
*This post was originally published to this website on February 11th, 2022 and has been/will be periodically updated to improve user experience, as well as to remain current as I gain more knowledge and experience.
**Please note that I am no Dr or health professional in any way. I am just someone that has struggled with my weight, and an eating disorder, for a very long time and I finally figured out fitness so I am just sharing my personal thoughts and experience with you all.