How Many Grams of Protein Per Day Should You Eat?

by OptimalBody

In today’s article I’m going to look at how much grams of protein per day you should get.  As well as looking at common signs you’re not getting enough protein, how activity levels impact protein, and the way we personally coach clients to make sure they get adequate protein into their diet that doesn’t require you having to measure out exact portions.

If you would prefer a video instead of reading you can view a video on this topic at the bottom of the article. 

How Much Grams of Protein per Day?

A lot of different factors are going to be involved in how much grams of protein per day is required in your diet.

How active you are is one of the biggest factors that impact protein requirements.

If someone’s sedentary, they’re going to need about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

For someone who’s more active, you’re going to want between 0.5 and 0.65 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

So all you have to do to figure out how many grams of protein you’d want in a day is to simply multiply your body weight by those numbers.

Later in this article I’m going to explain our approach we take with clients to make sure that they’re getting adequate protein into their diet, it’s much simpler than having to do math and calculations.

Why is Getting Enough Protein so Important?

A lot of people aren’t getting enough protein.

Some of the things protein helps with keeping up your metabolism, keeping you feeling satisfied, and building lean muscle.  

Additionally, protein is important in a lot of different functions of different neurotransmitters or hormones.

So you need to get enough protein to make sure you’re looking and feeling your best.

How Much Protein is Needed Daily to Boost Your Metabolism?

I’ve read different studies that indicate if someone’s getting between 25 to 30% of their total daily calories from protein, this helps to keep their metabolism out of to prevent people from becoming overweight and this also has been shown to help people reduce their appetite which helps with losing weight.

For example, one study looked at women who increase their protein intake to 30% of their calories.

They ended up eating 441 fewer calories per day and lost 11 pounds throughout the 12 week study. They simply just focused on adding protein to their diet (1).

By adding the protein to their diet and helped to keep them satisfied so they were naturally eating less food.

This is a big thing we focus with our clients around is trying to build meals around lean protein.

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Symptoms of Too Little Protein

So now I’m going to go through some common signs that you’re getting too little protein daily.

It’s important to note that you could be getting these symptoms for any number of different reasons.

However, if you’re getting multiple symptoms from this list you might want to look into if getting too little protein is a factor or not.

Symptoms of too Little Protein in the Diet:

  • Edema

  • Mood changes

  • Brittle nails or deep ridges in your fingernails

  • Thinning hair

  • Dry skin

  • Weakness and fatigue

  • Hunger

  • Slow healing of injuries

  • Frequently getting sick or staying sick for prolonged periods of time

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Easiest Way to Enough Protein

Finally, how do we coach clients to make sure they get enough protein?

We recommend against consistently counting how many grams of protein are needed per day.

Most people find measuring everything they’re eating incredibly tedious.

Instead we opt for a simpler method of making sure you get enough grams of protein per day without having to measuring everything out.

What we recommend clients do is get a portion sizes of lean protein based on the size of the palm of their hand.


For females we recommend getting 4-6 servings of lean protein per day.  For males we recommend they get about twice as much.

You’re going to have to obviously make individual adjustments based on your body, your activity levels, but this is a great starting point for the vast majority of people.

Getting enough grams of protein per day is very important for your health and well being.  But, we recommend you keep it incredibly simple to make sure you’re getting enough lean protein every day.

Finally, it’s important to note the importance of trying to get protein from whole food sources as much as possible.

Click here for a free weight loss program that doesn’t involve counting calories.

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