# Are protein calculations based on age?

I've read that seniors need about 25% more protein. When Cronometer calculates my protein intake, does it take my age into account? I'm a 67 year old female and want to be certain I'm getting enough.

• I have been really struggling to get enough protein so I researched how much I need as a 63 year old female. Most sites said about 46 grams. Cronometer says about 70! That's a big difference! Please explain how you came up with yours. Thank you.

• I'm reading a book that suggests this calculation to determine a protein target:

Body weight in lbs divided by 2.2 to convert to kg

Multiply that by body fat percentage. That's how much fat you're carrying in kg.

Subtract that number from your total body weight (kg).

This is your protein target using the general rule of thumb of 1 kg protein per kg of lean body mass.

This book also stated that seniors need approximately 25% more to prevent sarcopenia which is not part of this calculation. Using this calculation, my daily protein target is 51.73 grams. Cronometer has me set at 41 grams. If I add an additional 25% to my calculation, I should consume 65 grams, which is a lot more than Cronometer. That's why asked the question. I'm concerned that I could be at risk using Cronometer's formula if it doesn't take one's age I to account.

• Thank you very much for your response, but I am confused.. I weigh 124 lbs. 124 divided by 2.2 = 56 kilograms My body fat is 9.7 so 56 x 9.7 = 543. If I subtract 543 from 56 I get (-)487. What am I doing wrong?

• It depends on the macronutrient target settings you are using in Cronometer.

Cronometer uses Macro Ratios to distribute your energy among the macronutrients when you create an account. This includes setting 25% of your energy target to protein, so your protein target depends on your energy settings in this case.

For Fixed Values, the default protein recommendations (from the Dietary Reference Intakes) are 0.8 g/kg/d for adults or 46 g protein per day for women: https://www.nap.edu/read/10490/chapter/12#649
This target is not higher for adult women as they age.

Please note that, while Cronometer uses the Dietary Reference Intakes as the basis for the default settings, we recommend you customize your targets to meet your needs.

Karen Stark
cronometer.com
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• Never mind VeeCee. I looked through a number of other sites and the protein requirements seem to be very inconsistent. I will just try to get as much protein as I can and not worry too much about it.

• SEC...124 ÷ 2.2 = 56.37 x .097 (9.7%) = 5.47

56.37 - 5.47 = 50.9 grams daily. This is based on 1 gram per lean body mass. It looks like Cronometer uses .08 grams, hence the difference. I'm still concerned that the 41 grams they have calculated for me is low. Everything I read is senior women should get 1-1.2%

I'm also concerned that with more strenuous exercise I will need more. I'm very new to Cronometer and am still trying to understand their calculations vs. what I'm reading. I also have a call in to my doctor to get her advice.

• SEC...after reading Karen's response, your 70 gram number is, I'm guessing, because you're quite active and it's adjusting your number higher to compensate. It sounds like you're already quite fit. I am on a weight loss mission and perhaps once I lose weight and my exercise increases, my numbers will adjust as well. I've only been at this for a week. Time will tell!

At the moment, I'm having trouble getting enough fat and even making my calorie goal. I get full quickly at breakfast and almost have to force myself to eat enough for dinner. That's been my biggest challenge so far. I'm very surprised...I thought I'd be on a "starvation" diet but I don't feel the least bit deprived.

• Thanks again for your help. I muliplied by 9.7% instead of .097. I guess that was the problem. On the contrary...I am not active at all. Very unfit is more like it. I walk my dog daily for 20-40 mins but that's about it. I just never had a weight problem. Always had trouble keeping weight on. According to Cronometer I am above the limit on fats. I have IBS and have sustained myself on mostly carbohydrates (lots of sweets) for many years. I started seeing an Upper Cervical Chiropractor for daily headaches/migraines a couple months ago who drilled into me that if my diet is poor, I won't be able to hold my adjustments. He introduced me to Cronometer and I have completely turned my very poor diet around. I try to get as much protein as possible and I am feeling SOOO much better. Just got frustrated with not meeting the protein quota. I have always had a problem with filling up very quickly like you do, but now I can eat more at a time and stay fuller longer because I am not full of gas!

• I did some research, and it's very clear that no-one knows how much protein we need.They do know if you have too little for a prolonged time, you will lose muscle.

Too much protein is less likely to lead to harm than too little, so I err on the side of too much. I try never to have less than 60g a day (except when fasting), and try to keep it more like 100g+ most days.

• Good to know and good for you! Having so little protein for so many years is probably why I am so weak. There is no way I could eat 100 grams of protein in a day. I don't have that much appetite. 60 grams is doable with effort. I try to squeeze in as much as possible, adding protein powder to recipes along with nuts, seeds, lentils, cheese, meat etc.

• @jefmcg makes a good point... It's impossible to know what an individual's EXACT nutrient need is. Rather, nutrient intakes often rely on extrapolated data from population studies (this is also why we sometimes see recommendations shift as better data comes out).

With protein, there are many factors that influence our individual requirements, including age (we may become less efficient at metabolizing protein with time). In general, I'd aim for a minimum intake of 1 g per kg of healthy body weight per day. It's also important to preserve the muscle you have by regularly engaging in resistance training.

Kind regards,

Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
cronometer.com
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• From my personal experience, over the past year my weight has stayed the same, but I lost 3 lbs of fat and gained 3 lbs of muscle (measured by DXA scan (bodyspec.com) I try to get about 1.2 grams of protein per kg body weight and do consistent moderate strength training. I'm 72 so this it is important for me to avoid losing muscle.

• @Nemo

These results are absolutely fantastic, especially considering your age. I also think your protein and strength-training session is on point! Great work!

Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
cronometer.com
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• My recommendation is to consult with your PCP and be referred to a Registered Dietician for Medical Nutrition Therapy (NMT). Your Medicare insurance should cover cost. It’s your health, don’t rely on an app.

MSN, RN, CDCES

• @Hooleo As a dietitian, I really appreciate your response!

Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
cronometer.com
As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

• edited March 2023

I just signed up with Cronometer and my recommended macros look spot on, I'm 70 and workout a lot. Recommended protein 126.6g

• Thomas Delauer did an excellent piece discussing this: article here "How Much Protein do you REALLY Need? Are you in a Positive Nitrogen Balance?" https://thomasdelauer.com/how-much-protein-is-too-much-all-about-nitrogen-balance/ also includes a link to his video.

Healthline has an article on the testing involved here: "Urine Urea Nitrogen Test" https://healthline.com/health/urea-nitrogen-urine

Lastly, Withings has a new product in development U-Scan here: U-Scan Nutri Balance https://withings.com/us/en/u-scan.