I’m a vegetarian and concerned that I may not be getting enough protein in my diet (now getting around 50 grams a day). I lift weights and do cardio 6 days a week but feel I’ve stalled and am not making new progress. Can you please confirm how much protein I need a day and provide suggestions on how to achieve that goal?

– Sara M.


Your question centers around a popular subject on Living Healthy!

  1. Can I replace chicken, seafood or turkey with tofu to get my protein? (2015)
  2. What are vegetarian things I can eat that contain a lot of protein? (2014)
  3. 5 Foods with the Most Protein (2014)
  4. Is Protein an Issue for Vegans? (2013)
  5. What are vegetarian things I can eat that contain a lot of protein? (2013)
  6. The Benefits and Basics of Going Vegetarian (2013)

How much protein you need depends on your age and weight, as well as your overall caloric intake. In general, people’s base requirements are 0.8 gm protein per kilogram body weight and at least 1.0 gm/kg if over the age of 65. To gain lean mass, the need increases to 1.2-1.6 gm/kg for resistance training. With an energy-balanced diet, protein should provide about 15% of calories. But for those that are restricting calories, a greater proportion of energy should come from protein, about 20-30%.

To reach 60-70 grams of protein, I’d suggest the following daily servings – 2 servings of beans, 4 servings of vegetables, 1-2 servings of dairy if lacto-vegetarian, 6-8 servings of grains, 1 egg if ovo-vegetarian, and any remaining energy from fruit and fat (not protein sources). If whole foods are an obstacle for whatever reason, you can always supplement with a protein powder as a last resort. Most vegetarian plant-based ones provide at least 10 grams protein per 20 grams powder.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Recommended Reading

LA Fitness Easter Hours 2021

LA Fitness Easter Hours 2021

LA Fitness will be open on Easter Sunday, April 4th 2021! Modified clubs hours are below!Easter Sunday Hours Sunday, April 4th (U.S. & Canada) Club Hours: 8AM - 4PM Regular hours will resume on Monday, except in Canada (Alberta clubs be open from 8AM to 10PM,...

5 Steps to Jump Start Your Diet – Living Healthy Podcast Ep. 47

5 Steps to Jump Start Your Diet – Living Healthy Podcast Ep. 47

Welcome to 5 Steps to Jump Start Your Diet, the 47th episode of the Living Healthy Podcast.   Today we discuss 5 Steps to Jump Start Your Diet with Registered Dietician, Debbie James.  Debbie has broken them down into the anacronym  H.A.B.I.T so they are easy to...

LA Fitness Living Healthy subscribe button

Want more? SUBSCRIBE to receive the latest Living Healthy articles right in your inbox!

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

10 + 7 =



Be the first to know about exclusive

content, deals and promotions

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This