How much protein should I eat to lose weight?

Healthy protein sources

Protein is an important source of fuel and building blocks for your body but how much protein should you eat when you’re trying to lose weight?

Short answer: the amount of protein you should eat varies based on your body size.

Old research suggests that women should consume 46 grams of protein per day and men should consume 64 grams of protein per day. New studies say this is low for individuals trying to lose weight.

Want to learn more? Read our comprehensive guide about protein and weight loss.

The importance of protein

Our clever bodies use protein for a long list of tasks, including:

  • Forming a major component of our cells
  • Creating a basic constituent of our hair, skin and nails
  • Building and repairing muscle tissue
  • Contributing to the construction of our bones, cartilage, blood, and more

If you're on a weight loss diet, protein can play another key role: it keeps you full, with fewer calories.

How much protein should I eat per day?

For people attempting to lose weight it is recommended to eat between 1.2 and 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of weight.

More importantly, we recommend spreading the protein you eat relatively evenly between your meals. This is what we call the Protein Balance philosophy. For most, that means eating more protein at breakfast and lunch and less at dinner, with at least 25 g at each meal.

Why do I need to eat protein?

Most weight loss diets fail when people encounter issues like hunger swings, slow metabolism, food cravings, muscle loss and reducing energy intake.

What if we told you that our higher protein menu plan is designed specifically to tackle these issues? Read on!

1. Reduces appetite and energy intake

Losing weight means decreasing energy intake - but who wants to go hungry? Eating protein can help you feel satisfied and prevent feelings of hunger throughout the day, which means that you can substantially lower your energy intake without feeling hungry.

2. Metabolic boost

Has your metabolism tended to slow down on previous diets? Protein can increase the thermic affect of food, meaning your body may require more energy to burn through the food, hence keeping your metabolism firing.

3. Reduces food cravings

Are cravings part of the reason you can't lose weight? New research suggests that protein at breakfast could reduce cravings later in the day, which may benefit weight loss.

4. Increases muscle mass

A high protein diet also helps you retain muscle mass, which is key during weight loss. When you’re eating for weight loss, you mainly lose body fat, but you also lose some muscle mass. Muscles don’t just help you look good – they’re essential for supporting your joints and bones, so you want to minimise loss as much as possible. Enter protein, which helps reduce the loss of muscle mass during weight loss.  

Good vs. bad protein

Enough protein is important - but so is the quality of the protein and what you eat with it. If your main protein source is junk food, losing weight might be a challenge. Burgers and fried chicken contain lots of protein but lots of other, not so good stuff too!

For maximum effect from the protein you eat, always choose whole food sources of protein, such as:

  • Lean beef and chicken
  • White fish and tuna
  • Dairy products like milk, yoghurt and cheese
  • Eggs
  • Tofu, nuts and legumes

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet high protein meal plans

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet’s higher protein, low GI style of eating is designed to help you lose weight (without restricting any types of food), while providing you with all the nutrients your body needs to function optimally every day.

We have numerous different meal plans you can choose from and all have been created using the same higher protein, low GI philosophy which ensures you won't go hungry.

If you want to lose weight, gain muscle, ditch the food cravings and feel the best you have in years, we can help!

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