- Small Study. There were 12 to 14 people in each of the study groups – that’s small and those 12 to 14 people may not be like the rest of us!
- Short Study. The weight loss portion of the study only lasted 21 days – so we can’t say what would happen long term.
- Was it the protein? It is possible that because the people in the double protein group lost a little less weight, that the lower weight loss itself could have accounted for losing less weight as muscle.
Protein Recommendations So what is the recommended level of protein now? It is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. To change your body weight from pounds to kilograms, you divide by 2.2. So the protein needs for someone who weighs 220 pounds looks like this:
220/2.2 = 100 kilograms body weight
So, if this person wanted to lose weight, you would double that to 160 grams of protein a day. Now things get a little complicated at this point because the rest of the diet also has to be adjusted to accommodate this increase in protein. Just increasing your protein intake won’t help you lose weight. In fact, you would probably gain weight from the extra calories!
So, you have to lower your overall calorie intake to a reasonable level that will help you lose weight. Then, you have to calculate how much fat and carbohydrates fit into your diet. In this study, the researchers had the participants eat less than 30% of their calories as fat and then added the rest of the calories in as carbohydrate. The bottom line is that you may want to consult with a registered dietitian to help you devise a plan that is accurate and works for you! Getting all that extra protein may not be as easy as you think. Here’s a list of the top dietary sources:
Best Protein Sources:
1 cup skim milk: 8 grams
1 egg: 6 grams
4 ounces Greek yogurt: 12-14 grams
1 ounce of cheese: 7 grams
½ cup tofu: 10 grams
1 cup soy milk: 6 grams
½ cup pinto beans: 7 grams
Beth Kitchin PhD, RD
Assistant Professor Nutrition Sciences
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Source: Pasiakos, S. M., Cao, J. J.,Margolis, L. M., Sauter, E. R., Whigham, L. D., Mc-