How to Calculate Percent of Calories From Protein in Your Diet

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A grilled chicken salad. (Image: Igor Sinkov/iStock/Getty Images)

Protein is an important part of any healthy diet. If you are on a low carb diet, a larger percentage of your calories should be coming from protein sources than if you are following a low fat diet. Calculating the percent of calories from protein in your daily diet is simple, requiring only some record keeping and basic math skills.

Step 1

Keep a daily food diary, recording everything you eat and drink. Record what you consumed, the amount you consumed, the total number of calories, and the number of calories that came from protein.

Step 2

If the nutritional information lists grams of protein rather than calories, determine the number of calories by multiplying the number of grams of protein by 4. Each gram of protein provides four calories. If a serving of food contains 6 grams of protein, it contains 24 protein calories.

Step 3

Total the number of calories you have consumed at the end of the day, along with the number of calories that came from protein.

Step 4

Plug those numbers into a percentage calculator (see Resources) or do the math manually: multiply the number of protein calories by 100, then divide that sum by the number of total calories. The result is the percentage of calories in your diet that day that came from protein. For example, if you ate a total of 2,000 calories and 700 of those calories came from protein, the resulting equation would be (700 x 100) divided by 2,000 = 35 percent of calories from protein.

Things You'll Need

  • Food journal

  • Nutritional information

  • Calculator (optional)

Tip

You can use your food diary to record other information as well, such as fat or carbohydrate content. If the food you are eating has no nutritional information listed, check the USDA National Nutrient Database (see Resources).

Warning

If you are under a doctor's care for kidney disease, check with your doctor regarding the amount of protein that is safe for you to consume.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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