Protein intake per day — how much protein should I eat? How much protein should I have a day as a woman over 50?
Why do women over 50 need extra protein to reduce weight, combat wrinkles, grow hair and nails, and build muscle?
One of the primary reasons women over 50 struggle to lose weight is a lack of protein. Yes, you may not be eating enough!
As women get older, their bodies change in many ways, such as losing muscle mass and bone density over time. This is why women over 50 need to eat enough protein to maintain muscle mass and bone health.
Protein is essential in our daily intake to keep our bodies moving and thriving. It is responsible for maintaining healthy hair, nails, skin and muscle mass, plus premature fine lines and wrinkles at bay!
The recommended daily intake sits at roughly 0.8g per kilo of body weight. So, if you weigh 60kgs, that’s about 48g of protein needed every day to maintain healthy bodily function.
However, this number is only indicative of a sedentary adult. So taking into account daily exercise, the protein intake needed increases significantly!
How much of Protein is enough?
You’re finding it hard to get enough protein, right? How much is enough? What foods contain protein? Which protein source is the best? What protein is best for vegans? We will get to that soon.
Almost everyone agrees that protein is good for our health in many ways that have been proven. Similarly, most of us are probably getting the bare minimum in our daily intake. Our health could benefit from a slight boost, particularly if we are working out every single day.
Protein stabilizes appetite levels by keeping us filled for longer. It helps us recuperate, build muscle, and enhance our metabolism.
Protein is what’s known as a “high-thermic” food, meaning it requires more energy from our bodies to metabolise and digest. It takes the body around 30% of the calories in protein to break it down and digest it. In other words, if weight loss is your goal, eating protein will help you get there.
For instance, 100g of chicken at 165 calories need 50 calories to digest! Protein can burn 100 calories a day, according to some research.
Strong muscles, improved metabolism, and faster recovery are all good for our bodies, especially for women over 50. These are quick ways to get more protein in your diet.
While definitely not suitable for every meal, a protein shake once or twice a day will ensure you are getting a pure protein hit of at least 20g.
Best of all, there is a protein powder to suit every diet type including whey protein (dairy), plant based protein and soy!
If the taste of protein turns you off, try adding a scoop of protein to a morning smoothie with unsweetened almond milk, blueberries, and a half banana.
Consuming this at breakfast time will help stave off hunger and cravings until lunch time, keeping you (and your tummy) satisfied and on track.
Protein Intake per day: How much protein should you eat?
Including a serving of protein with each meal is a great way to boost your intake.
Studies show that including a serve of 20g – 30g of protein with each meal will help boost feelings of fullness and promote muscle mass retention.
3oz of cooked chicken breast constitutes roughly 26g of protein, so that combined with a serve of vegetables and you’re well on your way to hitting your daily nutrient intake.
To help you make healthy food choices, here is a list of protein rich foods and their rough protein portions.
Protein as a snack
Snacks can be detrimental to our weight loss goals as we usually crave high sugar, high carb foods to munch on between meals.
Replacing these regular snack foods with protein rich treats will not only help us to feel full and satisfy the snack-itch but will also help contribute to our daily protein needs.
Try scooping a tablespoon of peanut butter on celery or apple slices for a delicious and nutritious snack to keep you going until dinner time.
So, How Much Protein A Day Should A Woman Have?
The daily protein intake needed for all of us is going to differ slightly; however, using these tips as a starting point is a great way to navigate the oftentimes murky waters of protein intake.
If you are living an extremely active lifestyle, your protein needs will be higher so it’s important to focus on incorporating some of the tips above.
If you’re living a relatively sedentary lifestyle, aim to include roughly 0.8g a day for every kilo of body weight. No matter your lifestyle, protein is needed to maintain a healthy body.
Remember, if you are not losing weight on your exercise program, and you are unhappy with your progress, look at your protein intake. Then, start experimenting with taking around 30g per meal, three times per day.
Test and record your results and share your progress.