How much protein should you eat to help lose weight?

If crash diets and trendy weight loss tricks aren’t helping you lose weight, the answer might be in your protein intake.

There’s one thing that most personal trainers, nutritionist and dietitians agree on: Losing fat depends a lot on your protein intake. So, how much protein should you eat in order to lose weight? Well, there’s a calculator for that.

Unlike the BMI calculator, which is both outdated and misleading, protein intake is calculated based on your specific body type and lifestyle. The National Institutes of Health recommends consuming .36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. However, if you’re working out or have a physically demanding job, that number can double.

Getting the right sort of protein

“In your quest for weight loss, I recommend limiting protein sources that are processed, high in saturated fats, and/or sodium laden,” Michelle Rauch, MS, RDN, and nutrition consultant for the Actors Fund Home in New Jersey, told Woman’s World.

Great sources for healthy protein include:

  • Chicken: skinless, boneless chicken breast and thighs.
  • Beef: steak, ribeye, and 20% fat hamburger and ground beef
  • Fish: salmon, cod, tuna and flounder

For vegetarians and vegans, options include tofu (either firm or silken), seitan and tempeh.

While meat and meat substitutes are a great source of protein, there are other ways to help get your protein intake up like incorporating peanut butter and protein shakes into your diet for a midday snack.

Making an appointment with a professional — either a nutritionist or dietician — can help you get on the right track and configure your proper protein intake, as well as potential adjustments to your fat and carbohydrate consumption.