How much protein should you eat?

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How much protein should you eat? Here's the easy answer — More than the RDA! The RDA 0.8g/kg is not a goal, it is a floor. In fact, scientific data suggests most people should eat twice the RDA. Here we detail a new study and show you how it relates to understanding your best protein goals.

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60 responses to “How much protein should you eat?”

  1. Thanks for explaining that the RDA is not a goal but the minimum for nutrition requirements. Appreciate the clarity.

  2. Thank you! Your site is so valuable. As I’m older, my interest in protein is different, because I have a new body. I’m going through menopause, not post, and am unclear about protein consumption to prevent sarcopenia. Also, I’m confused about cortisol and protein interactions. If we’re under long term stress, do we eat more nonplant protein or more carbs? Or both? Do we need extra, extra nonplant protein, if under stress and in meno? Because, I’m not sure if cortisol attacks our muscles, regardless if we have carbs in our system to use. I hope my questions were clear, and thanks for any help.

    • No reason to eat carbs unless you just want to, they are not required in any way. Animal protein is best, plant protein is incomplete. Look up Dr. Elizabeth Bright, she would be a great resource for your situation I think, menopause is greatly affected by thyroid function and what is good for the thyroid is good for the body.

      Cortisol causes production of sugar from the liver. Sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for bad ones, it just depends. Ben Bikman is a great resource for this topic.

    • Carbs are completely unnecessary. Thru gluconeogenesis, your liver will make all the glucose your body needs.

    • I sleep better (lower stress hormones) when I add my carbs back in. Currently I add a porridge of half steel cut oats/half buckwheat groats to my steak and or egg etc meat meal, plus butter, macadamia nuts, lamb suet – to get my calories in. Tend to eat in 6-8 hr window, but think 8-9 would help my goals…

      (Am wanting health, weight Gain, and quality sleep – which ketosis does not provide me. )

    • (I suffer from overproduction of cortisol as well . . . sure wish science would nail female human hormone optimization w/replacement where necessary. Ridiculous how neglected we’ve been…)

    • @Eugenie Breida Look up Nutrition by Judy and Dr. Elizabeth Bright. Both are great with female issues and not sleeping without carbs is likely a sign you are still deficient in something. Judy is fantastic at getting to root causes, that is her mantra.

  3. TLDR: 1.5g/kg bodyweight for optimal strength gain when paired with resistance training.

    IMHO talking about percent protein like they did here is potentially misleading. If you’re in a deficit eating like 1700 kcal/day 25% is 106g/day which would be 1.5g/kg for someone that is 155lbs or 70kg. Aim for a total protein gram per day target not percentages of calories.

  4. Thank you doctor. This video was precisely the info I needed this week. It gives me clearer guidelines to follow regarding proteins:fats in my own diet as well as the form of exercises I need.

  5. I take at least 1.6 g per kg of body weight. I exercise 5-6 times per week, and maintain a constant body weight. I’m 67, and my focus is keeping protein at around 25% of calorie intake, and carbs to max 10% of calorie intake. The balance is fat (65%). What about gluconeogenesis, which is a term thrown around to confuse us! Some “experts” say around 40% of protein intake is converted to carbs, others say it is demand-driven, and the conversion will take place only if the body is short on glucose. So what is it??🙃

    • First carbohydrates are used to convert into glucose for energy. After that protein is used to convert into glucose and energy. Excess protein gets stored as fat. So eating excess protein is definitely bad. Limiting carbohydrares is useful if you are diabetic or suffering from metabolic disorders or life style diseases.

  6. I am a 75 year old active male with diet controlled type 2 and had a 3x heart bypass June of 2016. My A1C is in the low 5s. I have eaten very low carb with 20 per day being maximum and many days zero for the last 5 years. I check blood glucose 4-5 times per day and have found out that 80 grams of actual protein is my limit. If over that my blood glucose will climb and stay elevated for several hours. I weigh slightly more than 70 kilos (160 lbs) and that works out to 1-1.2 grams per kilo. I use animal fat for satiety. Fats account for 70-75% of my calories (I do not count calories.

    • Excess protein is used by body to make carbs if needed and then excess to fat. So in low carb diet eating excess protein is useless.

    • @kik yet you have Shawn Baker as an anomaly to that logic. He smashes the protein and released his blood glucose results. No issues. If your not still insulin resistant your body will just digest the protein slower.

    • @johnson paul thanks for the clarification. I would suggest that the elevated blood sugar is a result of the fat intake dominating the glucose fatty-acid cycle and therefore blocking the uptake of glucose from your 20g. Our liver keeps glucose levels perfect without the dietary ingestion and there is you issue. How active are you before your meal/s is vital if still consuming carbs.

  7. I’m always confused as to how to calculate Protein needed. 1.5 g per kg of ideal weight or of current weight?

  8. How much can be consumed at one sitting? I am concerned about the amount on OMAD that leads to too much glucose production?

  9. One thing I didn’t hear mentioned, but I feel like is super relevant, is that it’s 1.5 g of protein per kilogram ➡️ of ideal body weight.

    • @Terror1Void well jeez, that’s very little protein. Bart Kay recommends 1.75 per kg ideal lean mass, which isn’t much more. Stephanie Person recommends 50-75gr/day, which falls in similar range. At 1.5, I’d be eating 65gr a day, or 7oz of steak over the course of a whole day. I know the balance should be fat (on carnivore), but my body isn’t using the fat; I tried the 65gr/day protocol, and my energy, mood, libido were tanking, my cravings went through the roof, and my skin became dry.

  10. I am carnivore/ omad fasting… even when i use to do keto/ ketovore i never count how many protain or how many bites i put in my mouth. I learn from dr. Berry Ken that as long i eat PROPER HUMAN DIET, i could eat without measuring that piece a meat.

  11. Hello, good video, I need to watch a few more times to absorb it. Please tell me, 1.5 g/kg BW/d, 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of what? current or desired body weight? My goals are all five you mentioned, wt loss being at #1. Thank you

    • A lot of research says to use “ideal body weight”, what Mark Sisson calls HSIS weight (hot stuff in swimwear).

    • 1.5g/kg of ideal body weight. Note that fat does require protein, but far less than lean mass. So, you kinda need adjust a bit for body fat. If my ideal body weight is 80kg but I weigh 30 pounds more than that, I might be looking at 130g or so (instead of 120g), because I want to support the body fat while I’m losing it.

      PS: Remember, this is all rule of thumb type stuff. There are many variables, including how insulin resistant, how active, and your age. If you were overtraining (and you shouldn’t be) you would require more protein. If you were insulin resistant, you would require more protein, and so on.

    • @Carbage Man to be clear, if I want to weigh 150 lbs, or 68 Kg, I should eat 102 g of protein? to lose wt? no carbs of course.

    • @mrscms831 If you weigh a lot more than that and need to lose fat, you may need a little more protein than that, because you need some protein to support fat. It’s better to err on the high side. If you eat too much, you may have difficulty staying in ketosis.

      Also, if you want to build muscle, you will want a minimum of 25g protein (I aim for 35g) in each meal.

      PS: Thats per Dr Gabrielle Lyon and Dr Donald Layman, and is, of course, a rule of thumb.

  12. 0.8 is perfect for me because my priority is optimal hormones. I have about 45% carbs, 35% fat, and 20% protein. I feel good, good energy and I sleep like a baby. It’s just what works for me.

    • @Contrarian It’s all about making the healthiest versions of your favorite meals while somewhat tracking according to your goals.

    • I am a 5’9” 155lb male, .8g per kilo gets me to 56g daily. Do you really think going over that would be detrimental to hormone levels? I have a hard time believing that would be enough to maintain sufficient muscle mass, especially if I plan to do anything other then sitting in a chair all day.

    • @A.D. ROSS oooo that makes much more sense! I think they were using per kilo in the video so I was confused. .8per lb actually comes close to the 1.5 per kilo they reference so it sounds like what works for you is similar to the research they sited.

  13. This was helpful, but I’m really curious if this is linear. My ideal weight for my height and frame size is 92 kg, so 138 g of protein per day based on this guideline. That seems… extreme. When I really push for more protein (supplement with whey powder, 3 eggs for lunch, etc.), I can manage to get up to 90g while eating around 1600-1800 calories. (Until recently I was probably only getting 50g / day at most, so no wonder I was having such trouble putting on muscle with resistance training.)

    • I’m a 53 year old female weighing 63kg. I eat 3000 calories a day to maintain my weight, of that, over 130g (around 20%) is protein. 0.8% is way too low and if I only ate 1600 calories I would waste away. It sounds like you’re not eating anywhere near enough food.

    • @Sportys Business I’m trying to lose about 90 pounds total, of which I’ve lost 35 by restricting carbs & calories. I’ve mainly been looking into protein due to concerns about losing lean muscle while losing the fat. (I also have a really big frame – wrist circumference of just over 8” and even when I’ve been skinny I’ve had to wear XL or XXL clothing so it would fit my shoulders and chest; I was just shocked by the amount of protein I’m supposed to be taking in and have started to ramp up to it.)

  14. Great clip. Protein is so important – one could argue, particularly so after the age of 50 to help counteract sarcopenia. I’ve been concerned about the recent trend on many keto and carnivore sites in which people are advocating reducing protein and increasing fat intake to around 80%. Not saying fat isn’t important but I think 50/50 is a better ratio.

    • @Jen Cole Picked it up by listening to Dr. Anthony Chaffee, Dr. Shawn Baker, Dr.Ken Berry, Dr.Paul Mason, Dr Paul Saladino, Dr. Lisa Wideman, prof.Bart Kay, prof, Benjamin Bikman, Amber O’Hearn, Kelly Hogan, Nutritionist Judy Choo, Elisabeth Bright, Dr. Klitz & a couple of other people in the field. Do you think they are wrong?

    • @Ham Burger Those people aren’t all saying exactly the same thing. Nor does each of them specify the fat to protein ration required. Fat is a far more concentrated source of energy than carbs. If you were getting your entire energy input from carbs, I agree that you’d probably need carbs to be 80% of your diet. When you’re getting it from fat however, you don’t need that much.

    • @Jen Cole My take is eat higher ratio of fat only to lose weight, get into medical ketosis. I have tried, not for me! I need More weight on my frame. So more protein, and even some carbs (zero processed, etc)

      Too high fat (ketosis) results in very poor sleep (n=1).

    • @Eugenie Breida Yes – upping the fat ratio is a trend currently doing the rounds of several carnivore sites. It began as a ‘fix’ for people who were complaining of weight stalls as it re-kicks weight loss. Perhaps this is partially due to plunging people into a deeper state of ketosis. However I suspect that a fair amount of that loss is coming from muscle depletion caused by the reduction of protein intake. In my opinion an 80/20 fat to protein ratio is far from optimal for people in the 50+ age group, who should be prioritising muscle gain, and eating more protein.

  15. Thanks for this video. In the last couple days of searching, I’ve found recommendations that, at my 150 lb (68 kg.) body weight, from 55 g to 200 g. I was totally lost. Appreciate the help. New subscriber.

  16. The problem with plant protein is the sheer amount of carbohydrates you have to eat to get enough protein… and then, the quality is deficient, so you have to eat more carbohydrates to get enough of all the amino acids to build those proteins. It’s so much easier to just eat some salmon and venison and eggs.

  17. Calories are heat. They really have no use in a dietary setting. And a nutritional label on a product can be up to 20% off to the bad. I think counting so-called calories which is heat not a measurement for food is a bad idea

  18. The only thing you didn’t say is that the g/kg metric is grams of whole protein per desired lean mass (according to some.) So the takeaway is if you’re struggling with obesity, you may not need quite as much as you think. Still, shooting for 1.5g per kg of total total body mass is a decent rule of thumb.

    According to Dr Gabrielle Lyon and her mentor Dr Don Layman, you need a minimum of 25g in a serving for your body to recognize the bolus of protein. I shoot for 35g minimum. (See her podcast “Food Timing: when should you have your next meal?)

  19. This is super informative! Question for you… have you ever tried a meal plan from Next Level Diet? I got one and I love it!

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