Protein 101, Part 2
The Better Life Experts | January 13, 2009

How to calculate the amount of protein one should eat daily

 

O.K. now. Put on your thinking caps, grab a pen and paper, and let’s do some math. The RDA (recommended daily allowance) set by the U.S. government recommends the following:

 

.8 grams of protein for every 1 kilogram of body weight (for non-athletes)

 

So what do I do with this information?

 

· Take your accurate weight in pounds and divide by 2.2. This answer will give you your weight in kilograms

· Take your weight in kilograms and multiply by .8 if your activity level is normal for your age and you are in fairly good health, OR

· Take your weight in kilograms and multiply by 1.2 (on an average) if you are an athlete or involved in a weight training program. This answer will give you the amount of protein you should consume daily

 

* (If you recently experienced an illness, are pregnant, or are under a lot of stress, consult with your doctor before making adjustments in your protein intake.)

 

Now, don’t throw in the towel. Let me show you how to do the math.

 

Example:

 

I am a woman who weighs 154 pounds, who goes to the gym/physical therapy 3 times a week to lift light weights, and walks the other 3 days, with 1 day off on Sunday. I am 76 years old. I had breast cancer 8 years ago (I am in remission) and I had a total knee replacement 3 years ago. I need protein in my diet. Because I’m not a weight lifter, but I am involved in a regular exercise program and consider myself to be fairly healthy, I’ll multiply my weight in kilograms by 0.8 (estimated need) to determine how much protein I should have to stay healthy and keep my immune system strong, especially during the flu season.

 

This is how I calculated my protein needs:

 

· 154 pounds divided by 2.2 = 70 kilograms

· 70 kilograms multiplied by 0.8 (my estimated need) = 56 grams of protein daily

 

Since protein contributes 4 calories per gram, I can eat about 1500 calories per day.

 

In the next bulletin we will discuss which foods contain the best proteins and you will get an example of which foods I could select to make sure I ate enough protein to meet my needs.

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