Perfecting Your Protein Intake

Perfecting Your Protein Intake

Protein has been a hot topic of conversation amongst our clients for a while now, and for good reason. Protein is essential for countless functions throughout the body, but how much should you be eating? Where should you get protein from? Is too much protein dangerous for your health? And what about protein bars and shakes?

The word protein itself comes from the Greek protos meaning “first”, demonstrating it’s integral role in human health. Protein is needed for building and maintaining muscles, bone, skin and hair. It’s required to make enzymes and hormones and it’s essential for a healthy functioning immune system. Too little protein in our diet can not only compromise our health, it can leave us feeling constantly hungry, struggling to feel satisfied and craving sweet and starchy foods.

There is a lot of confusion around protein. Some women worry that increasing their protein intake whilst exercising will make them bulky. Ladies, unless you’re genetically unique or using steroids (not recommended), it won’t. In this article we’ll talk through what you need to know about protein.

If you’re working towards reaching and maintaining your ideal weight, we can help. We are a team of qualified, experienced nutritionists who specialise in weight loss. Schedule your complimentary call today to find out how we can help you. 


Every cell in the body requires protein. We need protein to build and repair tissues such as bones, muscle and cartilage. It’s needed to make enzymes and hormones, and for healthy immune system function. Maintaining adequate protein intake as we age helps preserve muscle mass and strength in older adults, helping to mitigate frailty associated with ageing.

So how much should you be eating?


Protein recommendations are worked out based on our body weight and given as grams of protein per kilogram body weight. If your goal is to lose weight, it is advisable to base this on your ideal body weight, rather than your current weight. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends consumption of 0.8g protein per kg body weight for sedentary individuals, however, this is a minimum intake recommended to prevent deficiency. Most people do better with more.

To arrive at the conclusion of what I believe is an optimal protein intake for our clients, I have taken into account a lot of scientific literature, as well as two decades of clinical experience. Using a sophisticated body composition analysis machine, I have been able to monitor many clients to ensure their protein intake was at least maintaining, if not increasing, their muscle mass which is a primary consideration when assessing optimal protein intake. I have also researched and observed the protein intakes that ensure satiety for an optimal duration of time after eating. One thing that is sure to compromise compliance to a dietary strategy when losing weight is excessive hunger.

My team and I work with calculations of between 1.2-1.5g protein per kg (ideal) body weight which I have found to be optimal. Working one to one with clients we can monitor protein intake and adjust their intake if we believe this to be necessary. 


Whilst optimal protein intake is important, unless you have a very specific body composition goal (which most of our clients do not) then you likely don’t need to worry about finessing your protein intake down to the last gram.

You can calculate your protein intake by multiplying your ideal body weight by between 1.2g – 1.5g protein. If you’re more sedentary you can lean towards the lower end, if you’re active, lean towards the upper end. 

To give an example, if you desire to be 60kgs, you should be looking to consume between 70-90g protein per day, spread across meals. This could look like 20g at breakfast from three medium eggs or a serving of protein powder in a smoothie, 25g at lunch from a salmon fillet or 28g from 150g tempeh, and 36g protein at dinner from 150g organic chicken breast. 


If you’re keen to track your protein intake to ensure you’re getting the right amount for you, the easiest way is by tracking your food intake for a couple of weeks using an app like MyFitnessPal. You can use the app to scan the food you’re eating and find out how much protein is in your meal. If you scroll to the bottom of the food diary page and click the ‘nutrition’ button, this will tell you how much protein you’ve consumed in total that day. 

I’m not suggesting that you need to meticulously track every bite of food forever more, but tracking what you eat for a couple of week can be a very enlightening experience. 

As well as using data, you can also monitor how you feel. How much protein do you need to consume to ensure you don’t end up feeling hungry again soon after eating?


Instead of loading your daily intake of protein into one big meal, space it out over the day. Having a palm sized portion at each main meal is a good start. As with most nutrients, the body can only effectively break down and use so much as once so little and often is the key.


When we think of protein, we often associate it with meat. Whilst meat is a good source of protein, it’s not the only source and it’s good to vary where you get your protein from. If you eat meat make sure that it’s organic or at least traditionally reared (grass fed with beef). Wild fish, free range / organic eggs, seafood, pulses and tofu are also good sources.

Protein is made up of amino acids, some of which the body cannot make, known as essential amnio acids. Animal proteins such as meat, fish, eggs and seafood provide all of these essential amino acids and are therefore known as ‘complete’ proteins. If you’re a meat eater, ensure you choose meat from animals raised traditionally – look out for organic, free-range and grass-fed. Fish and seafood are high quality protein souces too. Look out for the blue Marine Stewardship Council label to ensure your fish is sustainably sourced. As well as being protein-rich, eggs provide a variety of other essential nutrients, making them a nutritious breakfast choice. Choose free-range eggs.


The best soy products are those that have been fermented, such as tempeh, rather than highly processed soy products like soya milk. Nuts, lentils, beans, chickpeas and quinoa are also vegan protein sources.

Unlike animal proteins, plant protein sources typically do not contain all essential amino acids. Therefore it’s important to combine difference sources to ensure you’re getting enough. High quality protein powders can be a valuable addition to vegetarian and vegan diets in particular.


Protein shakes and bars can be a useful way of adding easy to absorb protein into our diets, particularly for vegans and vegetarians. That said, it’s important to choose good quality products. Avoid protein powders and shakes with added sugars and artificial sweeteners, flavours and colours. Discover the protein powders my team and I rate here. My favourite protein bars are from Pulsin’ – especially the Vanilla and Chocolate Chip.

Not all high protein foods are created equal though. An increase in awareness of the importance of protein has led to an increase of processed protein foods on the market. Here’s an article we put together article on the problem with some ‘high protein’ foods.

In the past there has been concern that a high protein diet is bad for our health, particularly the health of the kidneys. Too much or too little of anything isn’t good. As usual, the key here is moderation. In one review of studies, researchers analysed the evidence available on protein intake and concluded that: ‘protein restriction may be appropriate for treatment of existing kidney disease but there is no significant evidence for a negative effect of high protein intakes on kidney function in healthy persons‘.


We are a team of qualified nutritionists who specialise in weight loss. If you’re ready to overcome your weight challenges, achieve your goal weight and maintain it long term, we can help. You can use this link to book in for a complimentary call today. This is an opportunity to talk through your challenges with a member of our team and decide together whether one of our Intelligent Weight Loss programmes is right for you. Or contact us to request a copy of our brochure and we will get back to you soon.

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Sarah has worked with hundreds of clients over the past decade to help them live in a healthy body that they feel confident in.

Sarah spent a large part of her teens and 20’s as a professional dancer battling with orthorexia and an unhealthy relationship with food and her body. This created a desire to understand the human body more so she could finally cut through the confusion and end the cycle of yoyo dieting. This fuelled her passion to help other women do the same.


Sarah specialises in supporting women who are struggling to lose weight due to underlying health issues. She’s helped many women manage their weight during and after the menopause, as well as clients with thyroid disease and immune system dysfunction. Sarah loves food and sharing healthy recipes with her clients. Her aim is to ensure that clients don’t feel deprived and instead, achieve their weight loss and health goals in a positive and sustainable way.


To enquire about working with Sarah, please contact us.



Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.


Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.


Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.


To enquire about working with Ailsa, please contact us.

Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.



Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.


Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.


A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.


Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.


Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.


To enquire about working with Stéphanie, please contact us.


Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.


Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.


Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!


To enquire about working with Inna, please contact us.



Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.


After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.


Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 


To enquire about working with Ania, please contact us.

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