Hands up if you love carbs! Who doesn’t, right? If I were to ask the same question, but about protein, how many hands do you think I’d see?
It’s pretty easy to load up on things like bread, pasta, cereal, and sweets. While your body definitely needs carbohydrates for fuel, protein is just as important.
Getting enough protein in your diet isn’t as easy as cramming in the carbs. Not only that, but knowing how much is optimal for your body can be a tough thing to figure out.
A lot of us probably don’t eat the right amount of protein. Let’s see what we can do about it!
Why Do You Even Need Protein?
Protein is necessary for your body to function at its most optimal level. You need the good stuff since it builds, maintains and repairs our body tissues and muscles.
Oh, and let’s not forget that it helps make your hair shine and your nails strong, plus it allows us to maintain a healthy body weight. That’s reason enough to pack in the protein, right?
How Much Protein Does Your Body Really Need?
For the average adult, the daily-recommended amount of protein is 0.8 grams per pound of body weight.
OK, so you didn’t come here looking for math equations, but a calculator can help you figure out roughly how much protein you should probably be eating. The USDA’s online calculator will provide you any number of calculations.
A 154 pound (70-kilogram) woman should consume roughly 56 grams of protein needed every day. What does 56 grams of protein look like?
- Chicken thigh – 28 grams
- Boiled egg – 13 grams
- Chickpeas, boiled (1 cup) – 14.5 grams
How hard can it be to scarf down a plate of chicken, eggs and chickpeas? All at once, yeah, I can see how that’d be rough. But if you start your day with a hardboiled egg and avocado toast, snack on some hummus (made from our friend the chickpea) and carrots, and cap off your evening with some grilled chicken thighs and a fresh salad it’s seriously simple to get enough protein to keep that bod where you want it to be.
Keep in mind that this estimate is the least amount that you should be eating if you are fairly sedentary and don’t want to wind up in the hospital. If you’re a little more active you’ll need a little more protein than that. The more active you are, the more protein your body will need (duh) — within limits.
After you’ve converted your body weight from pounds to kilograms (divide it by 2.2 — ahhh, more math!), multiply that number by the following:
- Not very active – 0.8
- Active or pregnant – 1.43
- Very active – 1.8
If you’re a 70-kilogram woman who’s training for a fitness competition, you’re probably going to want to stick with about 126 grams of daily protein (70 x 1.8).
Our partners over at Fix.com have shared this great infographic below to help you on your journey of eating enough daily protein. After reading, head over to their site and check out the full article, Shake Up Your Workout: Breaking Down Protein Shakes.
Based on these calculations, are you getting enough protein?
Jennifer Landis is a 27-year-old healthy living blogger who loves yoga, running, and dancing it out with her toddler! You can find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama, or by following her on Twitter: @jenniferelandis.