This week, we’ll talk about how to compute your lean body mass and how much and what kinds of protein you’ll require. Let’s get busy.When assessing your body composition, the first thing you need to know is what percentage of your total body weight is body fat. There are several ways to get your body fat percentage. Some do height/weight charts. Others use body fat calipers or expensive hydrostatic tests. I suggest going to a fitness club and requesting a body fat measurement. Once you find out what your body fat percentage is, you need to find out how much your fat weighs. This can be done with a simple formula:

total weight x %body fat = weight of fat in pounds

Once you know the weight of your body fat, you can subtract that from your total weight to get your lean body weight:

total weight - fat weight = lean body weight

As an example, we’ll take a man (LCpl Hardcharger) that weighs 200lbs with 22% body fat. Multiply his weight times his body fat percentage (200 x ..22 = 44 pounds of fat). Now take his total weight and subtract his fat pounds from that number to get his lean body weight (200 - 44 = 156 pounds lean body weight).

Now that you know how to compute your lean body weight, it’s time to find out how much protein you need to sustain and improve that beautiful muscle mass.

In order to find how much quality protein you need, you must first determine what type of lifestyle you lead. The following guidelines should help:

1. Sedentary lifestyle -- no physical activity -- .5 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass.

2. Moderately Active -- 20 to 30 minutes of exercise two to three times per week -- .6 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass.

3. Active -- physical activity in excess of 30 minutes three to five times per week -- .7 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass.

4. Very Active -- vigorous physical activity lasting an hour or more five or more times per week -- .8 grams per pound.

5. Athlete -- competitive athlete working out twice daily with heavy physical workouts for an hour or more -- .9 grams per pound.

In the case of LCpl Hardcharger, he leads an active lifestyle. So let’s compute his protein requirement. Take his lean body weight (156 lbs) and multiply that by his protein requirement (.7 grams) and that will give you his daily protein requirement (minimum). 156 x .7 = 109.2 grams of protein needed daily

LCpl Hardcharger need a minimum of 109.2 grams of protein daily to maintain or improve his lean body weight.

Now that you know how to calculate how much protein you should be eating daily, you need to know where to get that protein from. Some quality protein sources include, but are not limited to: fish, poultry, red meat, low-fat cheese (mozzarella, muenster, cottage cheese), eggs and tofu. You can also use some of the protein supplements from your local health store. An example of this is Whey protein.

It’s time to jumpstart that metabolism and the first step starts with maintaining that lean body mass. Maintaining that lean body mass starts with diet. Take this info to heart and let’s get healthy and motivated.

Well motivators, that’s the scoop this week from Semper Fitness. I hope this helps you as much as it helps me. Stay pumped, stay motivated and OO-RAH!

Semper Fidelis!