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How Many Grams of Protein Do I Need?

Are You Eating Enough Protein? Here's What a Dietitian Has to Say

Photographer: Maria del RioEditorial and internal use approved. OK for Native and co-branded use.Photographer: Maria del RioInternal and Editorial use approved. OK for Native and Co-Branded use.

You probably already know that protein is an important macronutrient that can help you build muscle, keep you feeling satisfied, and even help you lose weight. And while everyone's goals are different, you may still be confused as to how much protein you should actually be eating in a day. But whether you track macros or track calories, the guidelines are all about the same.

Registered dietitian and personal trainer Jim White, ACSM, told POPSUGAR that the standard dietary reference for protein intake is approximately 0.8 grams of protein per kilograms of bodyweight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, which is about 68 kilograms, you should eat about 54.4 grams of protein a day.

However, he said most registered dietitians recommend something a little higher, typically one to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. So for that 150-pound person, they should eat between 68 and 82 grams of protein a day.

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Although this is a standard reference, your target may vary depending on your goals. If you are looking to build muscle, you would want to eat a little more: 0.5 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. If you want to lose weight, you may want to eat a little less, about 0.4 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.

Your exact formula for protein may vary depending on your goals. In general, it's best to speak with a registered dietitian or your doctor to find out what works best for your needs.

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