Protein is just one of the few essential nutrients our body needs, and while most people take proteins randomly without knowing the exact amount their body needs – on the other hand, people who are especially into fitness and working out easily calculate their protein intake.
Knowing exactly the amount of protein your body needs is not only a way to maintain your body healthy by providing the exact amount of essentials it requires, but it’s also a great way to know how many protein bars you can eat.
In this post, you’ll find everything from the explanation of protein intake, the definition of calories known as macros, the formula to calculate your calories, and you’ll even find a few protein bars that are suitable for your necessary protein intake.
How Many Protein Bars Should You Eat?
It’s a question that most of the time is asked by people who are new to the protein bars – and that’s okay. But how many protein bars someone should eat really depends on individuals.
Everyone has a different metabolism, different body type, weight, height, and a few other additional factors that play an important role in the decision.
Approximately, a person could eat about two protein bars on a daily basis on average. However, some people could benefit from more than two protein bars, while some individuals should stick to one protein bar a day.
Not only the factors depend on the individuals, but they also depend on the protein bars as well.
Every protein bar is made with different ingredients and therefore, it offers a different amount of proteins – which is something you should also consider.
Is it Possible to Know How Much Protein Your Body Needs?
As you can see from the previous chapter of this article, it’s really hard to guess the number of protein bars you can eat and how much protein does your body needs.
A lot of people wonder whether it is possible to calculate the protein your body needs so you can give your body what it needs and make no mistakes doing it.
Calculating the amount of protein your body needs is definitely possible. However, you won’t be able to calculate only the protein intake.
Protein is one of the few macros that are taken into consideration when the calorie number is being calculated.
But once you get to the number of calories your body needs, you will be able to know exactly how much protein your body needs. In fact, you’ll be able to adjust the three main macros to the point where you are happy with the amount of protein your body needs.
Everyone knows that on average, a body requires about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. It’s a rule of thumb but it’s a pretty good one.
It All Starts With Calories
As I’ve said earlier, you can’t get the right amount of protein unless you calculate the calories (macros) first.
Once you calculate the calories, you’ll have more information than just the amount of protein your body needs. You’ll know exactly how many proteins, carbs, and fat your body needs on a daily basis.
When you have that calculated, these three essentials will give you a pretty accurate number of calories your body needs every day.
And as everyone knows, if you eat more calories than your body requires – you’ll gain weight. If you eat fewer calories than your body needs – you’ll lose weight.
It’s simple as that, and while many people follow ridiculous diets – it’s all about knowing the right amount of calories your body needs.
And what every popular diet has in common is the reduced number of calories a person needs to eat – known as a caloric deficit.
If you compare two people who have a similar body build, weight and height, they’d still require a different amount of calories on a daily basis. That’s why you should never follow someone else’s calories intake yet figure out your own.
How to Calculate the Exact Amount of Protein Your Body Needs
As I’ve said earlier, a number of calories a person needs solely depends on individuals, for many different reasons.
Therefore, before we proceed, you’ll need to know four simple things.
- Your height
- Your weight
- Your age
- Your activity level
This will help us to calculate your very own number of calories with the help of the following formula.
Before calculating the calories – we’ll calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) using the following formula. This will helps us calculate your calories more efficiently.
BMR = 66.5 + (13.75 * weight in KG) + (5.003 * height in CM) – (6.755 * age in years)
BMR = 655.1 + (9.563 * weight in KG) + (1.850 * height in CM) – (4.676 * age in years)
Now, when you input your own measures and calculate the BMR, we’re not done there.
You’ll need to multiply the calculated number with the activity multiplier from the following scale.
- Sedentary (little to no exercise) – x 1.20
- Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) – x 1.27
- Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) – x 1.55
- Very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/week) – x 1.72
- Extremely active (very hard exercise/sports and physical job) – x 1.90
As you can see from the following scale, even two people with the same measures will still require different calorie intake depending on the activity level.
And once you multiply the BMR with the multiplier from the scale above – you’ll get your average number of calories your body needs every day to maintain your weight.
Now, let’s get further to calculate the macros – especially the number of protein your body needs.
Protein should be ideally set between .8 and 1.2 grams per pound of body weight. If you’re a leaner individual, you can aim for a higher level of protein.
On the other hand, if you’re higher in the level of body fat – you can eat less protein in order to efficiently lose weight.
Therefore, to calculate your protein – simply multiply your weight with a gram of protein you’re aiming for.
Protein (in grams) = Weight in lbs X grams of protein (between 0.8 and 1.2)
For example – 160 x 1 = 160 grams of protein
Note – you can stop here once you know your protein, or you can follow the rest and calculate all micronutrients (macros) your body needs.
Then the Fat Follows
Fat should be set somewhere between 20% and 30% of your total calories.
Therefore, simply decide for the percent of the fat you’d like to take into your body (of course, we’re talking about healthy and non-saturated fat).
Note, you can choose whether you’d like to take in more carbs or fat in your body (based on your preferences) and therefore choose either 20%, 25% or 30% of your total calories.
Fat (in calories) = % of your total calories (between 20-30%) X Your Total Calories
For example – 0.25 X 2.827 would be 707 calories.
Then to calculate the fat in grams from the fat calories, simply divide the calories by 9.
For example – 707 / 9 = 79 grams of fat.
Fill the Gap With Carbs
The only macronutrient left is carbohydrate, which can easily be known after you’ve followed the formula and calculated both protein and fat.
All you need to do is take the number of protein in grams and multiply it by 4 to get the calories from protein.
You’ve previously calculated fat in calories, and all you need to do is add together protein and fat in calories.
Then, you’ll get a number of calories, which you can take away from your initial calories you’ve calculated using the BMR formula.
For example – if I got 160 grams of protein earlier, I multiply it by 4 and get 640 calories from protein. I’ve previously calculated fat to be 707 calories and when I add that together, it’s 1,347 calories.
What’s left to do is to – take away this number from your total calories.
When you’ve done that, divide the number with 4 and you’ll get the number of carbs in grams.
For example – if my total calories are 2,827 and I take away 1,347 calories, I’ll get 1,480 calories which I divide by 4 to get 370 grams of carbs.
And if you’ve done that, you’ve successfully calculated you maintain calories, you’ll be able to eat more or less (depending on your goals) in order to lose weight or gain weight.
If you always meet your calories from healthy food sources, you’ll be able to gain lean weight (and muscles) or lose weight and get a leaner body.
Advantage of Getting the Exact Amount of Protein Your Body Needs
If you eat less protein than your body needs, your body won’t be able to grow and repair cells as efficient as it usually would.
Children should especially pay attention to their protein intake since they require more protein than adults in their growth phase.
On the other hand, what happens very often is for people to eat more protein than their body requires it. While there are some myths that say that your body dismisses any extra protein is false.
On the other hand, what your body does is it actually stores the protein in a very similar way to fat, using it as energy on days when you don’t eat enough protein.
But what happens in most cases is people slowly start gaining weight due to the excess of protein. Therefore, you should always be smart about the number of protein bars you eat and the overall protein in grams you consume on a daily basis.
Therefore, getting the exact amount of protein your body needs is the only way to keep your body in balance. Taking more or less is not an option and could be related to a number of disadvantages.
Low Calorie and High Calorie Protein Bars
Whether you’re looking to gain weight and build muscles or lose weight and get a toned body – you’ll need to consume protein.
The number of protein in grams you have to consume for your body is determined by calculation we’ve shown earlier in the post. And whether you’re going to lose weight or gain weight depends on the number of calories you eat.
If you eat more calories than your maintenance calories (calories we’ve previously calculated) you will gain weight and if you eat fewer calories than your maintenance calories require – you’ll be losing weight. Simple as that.
Now, if you’re looking to lose weight and still get the same amount of protein – I’d recommend you to consume low-calorie protein bars. These bars still have the same amount of protein, yet come in low calories which is great for your needs.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to gain weight and build muscles, it might be hard to eat more calories than your body usually needs – but with the help of high-calorie protein bars, you will be able to achieve the goal.
Since I started going to the gym regularly, I went ahead with a cutting phase where I worked out and ate fewer calories than my maintenance calories requires. This helped me lose weight efficiently, and with the help of low-calorie protein bars, I managed to still get the right amount of protein.
I’ve written a post about it and even reviewed the best protein bars I found to be the most helpful. If you’re new to my website – I always go for protein bars that are transparent and list their ingredients well so you always know what you’re consuming.
Some people have to be extra cautious because of the allergies, but some people (including me) just stay careful in order to make their weight loss more efficiently.
I managed to show a great example where I used protein bars even when I was losing weight, so it’s definitely possible and I’ve even written an informative post about it so you can check it out here.
People have always complicated the number of calories and protein someone needs, and in the first two years, I didn’t know anything about the BMR formula I’ve shared in this post.
However, once I’ve figured everything out – it was very simple to lose weight (or gain weight).
Therefore, this post is your ultimate guide to figuring out the amount of protein your body needs on a daily basis, your maintenance calories, and even help you decide how many protein bars you can eat on a daily basis.
Feel free to leave a comment, ask questions, share experiences, and even ask for help!
Cover photo from Flickr by Marco Verch