When Should You Increase Your Protein Intake?
Don’t know how much protein you need to consume per day? The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance), which is the min. amount you require to stay healthy, is 0.8 g per kilo of body weight per day. For an average woman it is 46 g which is as little as 10% of your everyday calories.
You can meet your daily protein needs by eating a variety of foods such as fish, nuts, seeds, beans, dairy products. Now let us come to the question of the need to increase your protein intake well above the RDA. You would need to do that only in one of the following scenarios:
1) You are way too active
This means that you are doing a minimum of 35 to 40 minutes of moderate exercise 4 to 5 days a week and that includes resistance training twice or more times a week. You need to eat 1.2 to 2 g of dietary protein per kilo of your body weight every day. That amount of protein is the best for rebuilding muscle tissue, especially if you happen to be doing a lot of high-intensity workouts.
2) You are on a weight loss spree
Protein takes a longer time to get digested than carbs. This way you will feel full and the body will secrete the hormone that brings down hunger. When protein occupies 30% of the daily calories, you will automatically eat less. When you consume more of protein, there is a decrease in appetite as well as a reduction in your cravings.
Studies are still not clear whether protein consumption aids weight loss but things are clear with the fact that eating protein helps in retaining lean muscle as you lose body fat. According to one study, increasing your protein intake to 1.8 to 2 g per kilogram of body weight every day can prevent muscle loss when restricting calories. You need to bring down the consumption of refined carbs to balance out the extra number of calories you are ingesting from the additional amount of protein.
3) You are middle-aged
As you get older, eating more of protein can be helpful. It will help in maintaining muscle and keep osteoporosis at bay. This will make you stay stronger and even more functional. In a study, adults above the age of 50 who doubled the RDA of protein, i.e. started eating 1.5 g of protein per kilo of body weight, were able to rebuild as well as retain their muscle after just 4 days of the new diet!
Vegetarian sources of protein
When you think of protein the first thing that comes to the mind is non-veg. However, the vegetarians out their need not worry as there are a plenty of vegetarian sources of protein too. Have a look for yourself!
- Chickpeas and beans
- Green peas
- Dairy products
- Soya milk
- Oats and oatmeal
- Nut and nut butters
Hope you liked to read about when you should increase your protein intake!
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