Protein Wont Make You Fat: Myth #1
How many magazines have you read where they tell you to take in X grams of protein? How many times have you see .75g of protein per lb of bodyweight or 1g maybe 1.5 for the advanced athlete or better yet 2g for the guy who really wants to grow!
All of those calculations may or may not be correct but it depends on YOU!
FACT: The #1 protein mistake people make is: They ingest more then they need.
MYTH: Any excess won't be stored as fat so it doesn't matter.
That's right a formula needs some input to make it work for you. So here's how you can quickly and easily figure out how much protein you need. Keep in mind that protein has calories. And while it's true that protein isn't as easily stored as fat there still remains the truth that your body only needs so many extra calories to grow.
Any excess just don't disappear.
It gets stored. As fat.
Ingesting 10x more then you need will not make your muscles any larger but it might add to your abdominal area in a way you wish it didn't. So figure out how much protein you need and eliminate the excess calories that can potentially just turn into fat storage.
Protein Calculation Formula:
The secret to figuring out how much protein you need is not by just taking some number you found like 30g and apply it to yourself. If everybody had the same needs we would all be the same. And we both know that just isn't true. Each person is slightly different.
Let me explain. We've all heard that a person can only digest 25-30g of protein in one sitting. B. S.!
Just think about it. Does an IFBB professional bodybuilder intake the same amount of protein as the guy who's 135 lbs just starting out? Even if there is a 200 lb weight difference?
The answer might shock you. NO
Needless to say, so many people just take some number, multiply that by their body weight and that's what they think they need a day. Tell me, if a person is 35% body fat, should they use their weight or their lean weight to figure out how much protein they need?
Simple. Lean weight. Your daily protein requirements are based on your lean body weight. And how do you figure out your lean body weight?
Use the skin fold caliper home test. Go back to Question #2.
Take your body weight in pounds
Example: 194 lbs
Find your body fat % using one of the methods in Question #2
Example: 15.7% (which is .157 for the step below)
Take your body weight in pounds and subtract the % body fat
Example: 194 lbs - (194 x .157 = 30.45 lbs of fat) = 163.54 lbs of lean body weight
Take your lean body weight and multiply by 1.14
Example: 163.54 lbs x 1.14 = 186.4g of protein a day
Divide your daily protein requirements by 5-6 meals and that is what your protein target is for each meal.
Example: 186.4/6 meals = 31.07g of protein per meal
As you will see, a person who is 286 lbs of lean body weight will require a lot more protein. And a person who is 286 lbs should not be consuming the same amount of protein if their percentage of body fat is 35%.
But why use 1.14 for protein requirements?
The RDA recommends .75g of protein. But that's been shown to be too low for active athletes.
Some sites will recommend 2.0g of protein. But that seems a bit high and your body will have trouble absorbing that not to mention you will probably have a lot of excess calories which can lead to fat gains.
1.14-1.5 is the most efficient range for most active, healthy adults. This range will help build muscle but not lead you into a high protein diet. Feel free to adjust within that range if you feel you need more protein.
Excess protein might not be bad for you but it's still excess calories and it doesn't just go away. It gets stored. So if you've ever heard that protein can't be stored as fat, that's simply not true.
Yours for Continued Success,
Marc David is a bodybuilder, writer, and author of the the e-book "The Beginner's Guide to Fitness and Bodybuilding" (BGFB): What every beginner should know but probably doesn't. The Beginner's Guide is oriented towards fitness minded men and women who are just starting or have worked out for years without results who want weight loss and to gain muscle.