Current Issue

How much protein do you really need each day, especially if you are trying to lose weight?

Women typically need just 46 grams (g) of protein a day. They need 60 g a day if pregnant or 57 g a day if over the age of 70. For men, it’s 64 g a day, increasing to 81 g a day when over 70. However, for weight loss, when to eat protein is as important as how much to eat. Our bodies can’t store protein, so the excess will generally be converted and stored as fat.

The best approach is to spread your protein intake over the day. When attempting to trim down, it is recommended that a person should aim for 25 g per meal and 10 g for snacks. Balancing your protein intake across the day can help you lose weight by reducing food cravings and keeping your appetite in check while boosting your metabolism and energy intake. Here are the three top tips for achieving a healthy protein balance:

1. eat plenty of protein at breakfast

Generally, we don’t get enough protein at breakfast, so try to focus on adding extra protein to start the day. Here are two quick and easy plant-powered protein breakfasts that easily provide 25 g of protein:

Top whole-grain cereal with yogurt and a sprinkle of nuts. Alternatively, try baked beans and avocado on whole-grain toast with a soy drink on the side.

2. switch to healthier protein Sources

Adults often get enough protein, but it’s not always from the right foods. In fact, we get around 40 percent of our protein from discretionary foods—foods that may add variety to a person’s diet but do not provide the nutrients the human body needs, such as processed meats, fast foods, pastries, cookies, and cakes. The reason so much protein comes from these foods is not that they are high in protein but that people eat a lot of them.

Discretionary foods may contain some protein, but they often come with a lot of added sugars, salt, and saturated fats. For healthier protein options, stick mostly to whole foods and such plant food sources as legumes, peas, nuts, and seeds; soy products such as tofu, soy milk, and soy yogurt; and whole grains. That way, you’re getting your protein with a whole lot of vitamins, minerals, and protective plant phytochemicals!

3. too much of a good thing

Too much of any food or food group, even protein, produces more calories than your body requires. This will sabotage your weight loss or even cause weight gain, and regular overconsumption can also put a strain on your kidneys. So don’t overdo it.

Article courtesy of Sanitarium Health Food Company. For more information and heart-healthy recipes, visit

Health Matters: Protein and Weight Loss

by Sanitarium Health Food Company
From the September 2023 Signs