We all understand, to some degree, how important adding protein to our diet is. However, how do we determine exactly how much protein we should be consuming per meal? Especially when we add a workout routine in the mix. I have spent quite a bit of time searching the web to find the answers and stumbled upon some facts and advice from certified experts.
Certified dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD, of Whole Health Nutrition, says to aim for "no more than 20 to 30 grams of protein at each meal." This is in line with the CDC's recommendation for women ages 19 to 70 to get an average of 46 grams of protein per day. But since everyone's weight and activity level matter, this handy chart should help you determine exactly how much protein you need in a day.
So why only 20 to 30 grams at each meal? If you've heard that eating more protein is better for weight loss, it's true, but Leslie says, "The body can only absorb 20 to 30 grams at one time. Eating this amount of protein is a good target per meal because that will help with satiety and be the max your body can absorb at the meal for muscle repair." This leaves room for the other nutrients your body needs. For the perfect weight-loss meal, you always want to combine your protein with carbs for sustained energy and both fiber and healthy fats to keep you feeling fuller longer.