MAAHHHH, THE PROTEIN!!! How grams of Protein should YOU eat?

When people sign up at Show Up Fitness, it’s common to ask for nutritional guidance. The facial expressions are picturesque when I succinctly reply, “Drink more water, and eat more protein.” People want a detailed nutritional map, when implementing these two suggestions for many will suffice.

The equation for most, when it comes to fat loss, is to eat less than you’ve been consuming. It really isn’t rocket science, our society makes it that way with tabloids, and recent celebrity detoxes aka hogwash. Hormones, and stress definitely play a role (for a few), but owning what were shoveling into our mouths is where it begins. By consuming more water, we begin to teach the body the difference between hunger and thirst- they have the same mechanism. For most, when we’re thirsty, we mistakenly grab a bag of chips, and scarf it down. In actuality, we’re probably hungry. For a 200lb male, he should be consuming half of his body weight; 100 ounces or roughly 13 glasses a day. We all see that bro, or toolette, carrying around a milk carton full of water. If this helps you monitor your water consumption, sobeit. Suggestion for everyone to drink a gallon of water is too cookie cutter. A 100lb female may find herself peeing herself every 15 minutes.
As for protein consumption, this suggestion can be a #gamechanger. For starters, protein takes longer to digest, therefore keeping you full, and less likely to binge throughout the day. Additionally, protein has a higher Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). In laymens terms, we burn more calories digestion protein (roughly 30% of kcals burned, compared to 6-10% for carbs and fat.) As with water, making generalized statements such as consuming your body weight in protein is hogwash. Why should a 165lb dude at 30% body fat, consume the same amount of protein as someone who’s at 10% BF? Other GDB aka Gym Douche Bags, make the improper recommendation of eating 2x your body weight. This is a common mistake due to uneducated individuals incapable of deciphering the metric system. 2.2kg does not equal 2.2 lbs. Helms ER et al.(2013) did a systematic review of dietary protein consumption concluding that 2.3-3.1g/kg FFM is optimal for fat loss (should be noted that these individuals were lean athletes.) Translation? Eat more protein to burn more fat. Problem. Many Americans, and humans for the most part, suck rhino balls at math. Let Show Up Fitness help.

How to determine YOUR daily amount of protein consumption:
1. Weight yourself to find your EXACT weight.
2. Find your Body Fat Percentage (calipers / BIA are fine. They both have a 3-5ish % error).
3. Take your weight and multiple it by the inverse of your body fat percentage. i.e. 20% body fat, means you have 80% Fat Free Mass (FFM).
4. Take your FFM in lbs and divide by 2.2 to convert INTO Kilograms (Kg). (1kg = 2.2lbs. 2.2 will NEVER CHANGE.)
5. Take your FFM in KG and multiple it by a number between 2.3 through 3.1. I suggest doing a low number (2.3), and a higher one (3.1). This will give you a range of protein. The lower number can be used for non-workout days, and the higher one for workout days.

ARE YOU SERIOUS? This is a common response we get from clients due to the “high protein number.” For people WITHOUT kidney problems, consuming larger amounts of protein is healthy . Notice the capitalized letters “WITHOUT?” For people with kidney problems, it’s not recommended to consume more than 4.0g / kg. Unless you’re seeing a doctor or dietitian, or doing dialysis, you’ll be fine eating more protein. What you’re going to find is by increasing your protein needs, you’ll fill in micronutrient deficiencies (vitamins and minerals), which will help decrease food cravings, and binge eating.

You don’t need to make up the difference immediately. Let’s take the following example:
150lb female with 25% body fat that’s currently eating 40g of protein a day:
1. 150 x .75 = 112.5
2. 112.5 / 2.2 = 51.3
3. 51.3 x 2.3 = 117g
4. 51.3 x 3.1= 158g
I would tell this client to consume roughly 120g of protein on non-workout days, and 160g on workout days. Currently, she’s eating like a high school cheerleader getting ready for prom; 40g of protein is really low. I would find out what kinds of food she likes i.e. eggs, chicken, beef, fish, cottage cheese, nuts, protein powders etc. I’d then give suggestions on pairings that will help get her closer to her numbers. It’s a learning process, so we’ll work on getting her up to 120g. For now, I’d recommend consuming four whole eggs for breakfast (roughly 30g- YES THE YELLOW IS GOOD FOR YOU, YOU WEIRDOS!), a salmon salad (4 ounces of salmon has around 25g), and then a protein shake after a workout (25g). Those three simple suggestions have go from eating 40g a day, to 120g of protein. I don’t expect people to bounce up to these numbers overnight, remember, it’s a learning process- it’ll happen overtime.

Give it a shot, and let us know how your results start pouring in. FAT POUNDS WILL START BEING DROPPED!!!