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Nutrition for Men

Guys, stay smart about your health with these useful nutritional tips from Giant Eagle®.
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Men and women have different nutritional needs and body types, so it’s no surprise that one diet is not right for everyone. Until the age 10, caloric needs for boys and girls are about the same. But at puberty, boys’ caloric needs ramp up as muscle mass starts to increase. By adulthood, men have 10 to 20 percent more muscle and less body fat than women.

More Muscle Requires More Energy

Naturally, with more size and muscle mass men require more calories throughout the day than women. Your individual energy needs will depend on your height, weight, and activity level. Moderately active males, for example, should eat 2,000 to 2,800 calories per day. Whether you want to lose, gain or maintain your weight, you’ll need to balance the number of calories you eat and the amount of calories you burn according.

Find out your calorie intake level

Find out how many calories you burn with exercise

Many men equate high protein intake from meat to increased muscle mass. In reality, high levels of protein will only build large muscles if you’re exercising appropriately. To fuel your exercise programs, men need plenty of carbohydrates. So when you’re enjoying a steak, cover half your plate with whole grains and vegetables according the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) MyPlate recommendations.

How Much Protein Do You Daily?

For an adult (male or female), you can quickly estimate a range for your daily protein requirements. Divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to determine your protein range maximum. Multiply the result by 0.8 to determine your protein range minimum. These numbers provide a reliable range of your daily protein needs.

Protein Range Calculation†:

Minimum: (180 lb. 2.2)  0.8 = 65 grams
Maximum 180 lb. 2.2 = 82 grams

†The above protein range estimates may not be appropriate for pregnant and nursing women, or for individuals with chronic kidney disease, liver disease, or diabetes. Please see your physician for nutritional advice if you have these conditions.

Look at The Big Picture

If you want to lose weight, you need to watch more than your protein intake. You’ll need to eat a balanced diet and get adequate exercise to achieve the recommended Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 25 and a waist circumference of less than 40 inches. If your waist measures more than 40 inches around, it's time to shed some pounds. This fat around the waist is typically buried deep in the abdomen and increases your risk for diabetes, heart disease and dementia.

Health Tips for Health Smart Men:

  • Eat plenty fruits and vegetables daily.
  • Portion your protein and include whole grains.
  • Cook all foods to the proper temperatures.
  • Refrigerate foods promptly.
  • If you're 50 years old or older, get a screening test for colorectal (colon) cancer.
  • Maintain a BMI under 25 and a waist circumference less than 40 inches.



Below is a sample meal plan for men that provides balanced potions of protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables and dairy using products available in Giant Eagle stores. The meal plan meets the nutritional requirements based of USDA MyPlate recommendations. 

How Do Grams of Protein Relate to Portion Sizes?

Protein levels of common foods include:


Portion Size



1 large


Low-fat Milk

1 cup


Low-fat Yogurt

1 cup


Low-fat Cottage Cheese

½ cup


Lean Ground Beef

3 oz.


Chicken Breast

3 oz.


Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp.




For help on personalizing these tips, or questions on this article, e-mail our registered dietitians at nutrition@gianteagle.com

†Nutritional values are based on data from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.