Protein for weight loss

Was going back through the blog for the recent protein deep dive and it struck me that they kept saying the recommended grams of protein is based on kgs of body weight.

Shouldn’t it be per kg of lean body mass?

The recommended dosing is higher for people trying to lose weight but the pod kept referencing a 75 kg rider. Lots of people are heavier than that.
A 125kg person would probably find it really difficult to eat 2+ grams of protein per kg of body weight a day. That would be five 50 gram meals, which your body might not even have the capacity to process.

Am I missing something?

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I would have asked this in the live chat but I’m a teacher and not available on Thursday mornings to participate.

You’re not missing something. There a lot of debate about targets for protein on weight loss. The thinking for a higher target (2g per kg bodyweight) is that you want to preserve lean mass by giving your body as much protein as possible while you are in a deficit.

In terms of the science of this recommendation…the protein deep dive section should have the sources on that.

I’ve resumed my dieting with a higher protein target. Means I basically need roughly 40g protein per meal. I’ve noticed its been easier to stick to reduced calories because that much protein does feel very satiating.

I mean, I think its satiating. Maybe my tastebuds have been nuked because I’m drinking / eating many protein shakes :stuck_out_tongue:


Yeah my day goes much better when I get lots of fat and protein at breakfast. I basically am the typical 75 kg male cyclist, so I’m not worried about topping out my protein intake, and I’m not really trying to lose weight. Just seems to me that there’s a cap on how much protein a person can consume in a day. I know some 200 kg people who are trying to lose weight. It seems unlikely that they could eat 400 grams of protein every day.

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Its def a tricky balance.

With higher protein targets and then consuming carbs for performance on the bike, I’ve found that fat reduction becomes the main way to keep in the targets. Almost like I’m in a classic “zone diet” range.

I know strength athletes do insane amounts of protein and even they say “i’m done” after a certain level.


That is not a small person and I think you might be fully grasping the calories they were taking in to get there or the calories they would likely need to still take in to not have an excessive deficit.

Random rmr calculator spit out a 200kg 35 year old male that is 5’10 would put them at about 3500 calories… I know this isn’t exact just helping to make an example. 400 grams is 1600 calories, not even half that. Quick search on macros of an example low carb diet would put someone consuming 3500 calories a day at that 1600 is as protein.

My partner was struggling to get 60g a day during the end of her pregnancy, I can do 60g at lunch without thinking about it. At a little over 100kg I can easily get 200g of protein a day if I’m conscious of what I eat and on those days likely would still not be considered low carb.

I guess my point is as a 75kg person you are likely thinking about the volume/calories of food you consume and having a hard time picturing what someone might eat at 100+kg. Those people (we) have a lot more calories to consume in a given day and it is much easier to get them in via protein. 2g per kg might take some effort to make sure you are getting it in, but it is still going to be a similar % of ones macros.


I’m not so much imagining doubling or tripling my total food consumption. On the pod they discussed that the body can only process proteins so fast, so eating beyond that limit no longer has the desired effect.

For example they mentioned the limit on whey protein is probably about 20g per 2 hours. To hit just 200g a day for a 100kg rider, they’d have to do that 10 times a day. I know you can mix protein sources. I’m not trying to break down the exact numbers.

I’m thinking more that if I had 50kg of extra fat on my body right now, my underlying physiology wouldn’t really be different, so it seems weird that I would need to eat an extra 100g of protein since I’m not trying to nourish fat cells. And that would be difficult for my body to process. A lot of it would just get used for calories, and at that point, why consume those calories as protein? Seems we should be aiming for the most grams of protein that our bodies can synthesize. I don’t see how more fat cells would change that number.

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A can of tuna has 20 grams of protein and 100 calories. 4 egg whites is 15g protein and 80 calories. 10 shrimp have 20g protein and 120 calories. That’s 55g protein and 300 calories if you have them all together. If you’re thinking you have to eat a lot of food (or calories) to get in a lot of protein, that’s just not true.

That is not what I am thinking

Right but for what group of people? a bunch of 80kg college athletes? 60kg runner? 150kg powerlifter? Those numbers are interesting for a point of discussion of say figuring out timing of intake, but doesn’t mean this is a hard limit or even an achievable number in all people.


So you’re thinking they’d lose more weight by eating more carbs and fat and less protein? Sorry, honest question. I’m not clear what you’re getting at if you agree that it’s not hard to consume that much protein without stuffing your face.

I’m not talking about carbs or calories. I’m talking about the limits of protein synthesis.

I agree with your point that it should be based on lean body mass, which I think it is in some markers, but its harder to measure lean body mass and most people probably dont know theirs. Most people on the other hand have access to scales or have a rough idea on their weight.

I eat a lot, but yes having to eat a can of tuna, 4 egg whites and 10 shrimp is a lot of food to eat alongside whatever else you eat in a meal, and also expensive. For OP’s example, taking away one of the eggwhites for ease of math, at 2g/kg that’s 6 meals of that for a 150kg athlete or 8x for a 200kg.
And as they pointed out, why does adding 50kg of pure fat to my body increase my protein needs and my bodys ability to absorb it, let alone by 100g a day.


Yeah I figured the difficulty to weigh lean body mass has something to do with it.

A can of tuna, 4 egg whites and 10 shrimp is expensive? Not where I live. That’s less than $5.

Also, I wasn’t talking about adding it to some other meal. I could easily eat 20 peeled shrimp for a snack. That’s a quick snack with 40g protein and 200 calories. Add that to a large bowl of spinach with some couscous and chickpeas and you have a super healthy high protein lunch salad for about 500 calories. Someone who weighs 200 KG is consuming a TON of food. This would cut their calories, provide a good serving of carbs and protein, and be fairly filling to prevent unhealthy snacking. All for less than $10.

Thanks for sharing, I like that they’re using body builders since they’re deeply concerned with lean body mass and are also the group who would require the absolute maximum protein intake.

USD per meal, with the amount of meals the example person above is eating, yes.

Compared to eating more carbohydrate dominated foods that are much cheaper and more common, a few pieces of fruit, toast or cereal/oats, 20 shrimp are going to be quite expensive.

I totally agree, and I eat tons of carbs. I’m not keto in the least. I was just replying to the comment that it’s hard to eat that much protein or that it’s very expensive.

You wouldn’t. General sports nutrition recommendations are for “athletes”. If you are carrying around an extra 50kg of fat, then you probably aren’t an athlete - at least not an endurance athlete or a competitive cyclist. Maybe you are a sumo wrestler or an NFL lineman but then your body composition is outside the range of normal and you’d need a custom solution.

I understand what you are saying, but people can ride a bike far and fast without being skinny. I know quite a few people who love cycling, they ride year-round, they train for races, and they weigh over 100kg. Trackies, MTBers, CXers, Gran Fondo enthusiasts, etc.
If we’re discussing nutrient recommendations for all cyclists and not including people who weigh 100kg+ then it’s not an inclusive conversation.

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