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How much protein do you really need to build muscle and what’s the optimal amount of protein to have when trying to lose weight?
There or so many different opinions on this topic and these opinions have changed over time.
For example, many bodybuilders back in the seventies and eighties believed that the higher your protein intake was, the more muscle you would build.
And right around this time, doctors were on the complete opposite side of the spectrum saying that consuming a very high protein diet would lead to major kidney damage and irreversible negative changes.
Both of these ideas have since proven to not be true.
Protein is made up of amino acids which are the building blocks to muscle however just by having more protein does not mean you’re going to build more muscle.
In fact, if you overdo it on the protein you can store it as fat just like any other macronutrient.
Since protein is the building block to our muscles we don’t want to have too low of a protein intake either because this macro is obviously necessary to synthesize new muscle tissue and repair already broken down muscle tissue.
The recommendations for protein intake vary largely depending on who you ask.
Some bodybuilders to this day believe in a very high protein intake like 1.5 or two or even three grams of protein for every pound of body weight.
These very high recommendations for your protein intake are slowly getting phased out because plenty of new research shows that it’s just not necessary to have that much protein.
And in fact, having so much protein can make you have to cut calories from carbs and fats to balance out your daily totals which could affect your hormones very negatively.
And that alone could stop you from building muscle and losing weight at the optimal rate. ….
There are also other recommendations where they say that the highest amount of protein that you should have per day is 6 grams for every pound of body weight.
Even though I think this is a totally acceptable recommendation for someone that isn’t very Physically Active I also think that this recommendation is totally unacceptable for someone that does weight training and is actively trying to burn fat or build muscle.
The whole point of weight training is to purposefully try to actually break your muscles down.
so obviously when you’re doing a proper weight training program you’ll require more protein than the average person to repair the damage that you’re doing on a weekly basis.
So with all that said the ideal recommendation for protein intake is .8 to one gram of protein per pound of body weight
and a maximum of maybe 1.2 or 1.3 grams of protein per pound if you’re incredibly physically active and you’re breaking down those muscles very frequently.
If you are incredibly lean like I’m talking about .6% body fat you may want to go with the higher protein intake per pound of weight because the majority of your weight would obviously be muscle mass in that scenario.
On the flip side if you have a lot of fat on your body then you’re probably better off with going with the .8 grams for every pound of body weight.
When you’re trying to build muscle you typically won’t need more than one gram of protein per pound of body weight.
When the goal is to build muscle even though carbs and fats are not the building blocks to your muscles they are extremely important to spare muscle tissue
and to help increase your strength to ultimately help build more muscle.
For weight loss however its a little different and you have to understand why high protein diets are so effective at helping people lose weight fast.
at the same time, you have to also understand that even though a very high protein diet is very effective for fat loss it’s not an optimal strategy to stick to very high protein diets over the long run.
So the reason why for weight loss especially for aggressive fat loss where you’re trying to lose a lot of fat fast the reason why high protein diets are so good at getting it off fast is that protein has enzymes in it that are so difficult for your body to digest that your body will use energy…AKA …calories just to digest that protein source.
Meaning anywhere from 20 to 30% of the calories from the protein source that you eat will be used in the digestion process.
So if you have let’s say 100 calories of carbs and 100 calories of protein you’re going to wind up with all the calories from the carbs but with the protein, you’re going to wind up with about 70 to 80 net calories.
This means that you could do a high-protein low-carb low-fat diet with a higher total amount of daily calories and still lose more weight faster than a diet that would be lower in protein and higher in carbs and fats.
The other benefit of protein when trying to lose weight is that protein is very filling so you won’t be as hungry when you’re cutting calories.
So you might be thinking well why don’t I just go with the very high protein diet then if I’m trying to lose weight?
Even though you can do that 4 a short period Of time to lose weight and fat faster I wouldn’t recommend sticking to a super low carb or low-fat diet for longer than 4 to 6 weeks.
And that’s because carbs and fats both effect important hormones like testosterone and estrogen and even cortisol.
So for that reason, you always want to rebalance your Macros even if you do decide to do an intense high protein cutting phase.
The balance that you want to shoot for is about 30% of your diet coming from protein and the rest of your dietary calories coming from fat and carbs.
Make sure to never drop your fat intake for the day lower than 20% for an extended period Of time.
And by the way, you can totally get shredded with a balanced macro split like thirty% protein 40% carbs and thirty% fats.
It’s just that your total calorie intake will have to be lower than having a super high protein diet. Even though you’ll have a lower caloric intake at least you won’t have to deal with the negative effects on your hormones.
Very high protein diets can work very fast and you can go that route as well but I highly recommend that you don’t do it for longer than six weeks.
Unless you’re like super carb sensitive and you’re trying to get into bodybuilder shape. That’s it guys I really hope this video has helped you guys out.
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