Weight and Resistance Training - How much protein?

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08-10-2005, 01:41 PM

I am sure this question had been asked a lot - but here I am with it again :dizzy: as I can not figure this one out.
I finally made myself logging food into FitDay :D - you might think it is easy but for me it is not - and figured out I am eating about 50 g protein a day! I read some books which state that I need about 0.75g/per kg of weight which should be around 40-50g and another calculation which states that I have to have around 100g protein per day because I am exercising every day.

So how do you figure it all out? My protein intake is about 20%/day and for the heck of it I can not make it more - I am not sure how to up it! Like eat egg whites the whole day long or what? I do not eat red meat, I do not like meat at all to tell the truth, I am not tofu fun either, I never ate eggs before (started egg whites now) - so what to do or what to do? I do not like diary - like I push myself to 1 cup max per day of yogurt or cottage cheese and that is it. I am very confused but obviously that is one of the reasons I am exercising but muscles do not show up I guess.


08-10-2005, 02:14 PM
I was going to post the very same question. I have read some things that said 1g protein/kg body weight and others that said 1g protein/lb body weight -admittedly, that one was on my protein shake package. Obviously the 2 are very different and I have also read that too much protein will impair (I think it was) liver function and cause other problems. I want to get enough to build muscle but not so much that I hurt myself. What do you experts think?

BTW, Sandy, the only things I have found to have a good enough calorie/protein ratio are egg whites, lean meats & protein shakes - I don't like skim milk so I use 1/2 cup of 1% with a scoop of 100% Whey Optimum Nutrition double chocolate flavor from GNC. About 160 cal/29g protein and it takes like choc milk if you drink it really cold. Maybe try some blended with ice/fruit if you don't like milk.

08-10-2005, 02:28 PM
Sandy I make myself some whey protein powder shakes with soy milk and strawberries. I get my whey at GNC I get a 5lb tub for 90$ and it lasts me a very long time... I know there are some cheaper ones out there but we just don't have anything in this town...

As for eggwhites, how many do you eat? I have 4-5 per meal... I try to have about 20g of protein/meal...

Hope this helps....

08-10-2005, 02:50 PM
Ilene, does that mean you aim for about 60g protein/day?

08-10-2005, 03:49 PM
We got a HUGE tub of EAS Whey Protein powder at Sam's Club for about $20. I think it's 5#. Makes great shakes. What about string cheese or cheese at all? I know you said not big on dairy, but... Ice cream? LOL oh wait!!! Beans (lentils). Protein enriched cereals (Kashi has a 13g one I think). The new EAS Coffee protein shakes(premix) are actually pretty tasty. Nuts, nut butters, etc...

I'm still messing around with the ratio too. I read last night that it should be 40% of your diet but if you eat more it'll get stored as fat eventually and less will hurt muscle growth. I can honestly say that I was avoiding protein due to cals/fat and dh got after me. Since making it a point to eat more protein, I've noticed more definition showing up.


08-10-2005, 04:15 PM
I'm not Ilene, but I'm guessing that she eats a LOT more than 60 grams of protein per day because she's a 5 - 6 small meal a day person (like I am). ;)

I aim for 20 - 25 grams per meal also and eat five meals a day, so my daily protein intake is generally between 125 and 150 grams per day. I eat this much for a few reasons - first, to support muscle growth with all the working out that I do; second, protein is what keeps me full the longest and I'm all about not being hungry :D ; and third, I'm fairly carb sensitve so try to keep carbs to 100 - 125 grams of clean carbs per day. Since I have to eat something and don't want it to be fat, it ends up being protein.

I lost my weight on a ratio of about 45% protein, 25% carbs, and 30% fat. My diet is probably a little more carb heavy now, but my body responds best around these numbers. My HDLs, LDLs, trigylcerides etc. are off the chart excellent. For me, a higher protein diet was one of the biggest changes I made that let me FINALLY lose (and keep off) the weight. :)

My protein staples are chicken and turkey breast, eggs and egg whites, cottage cheese, protein shakes, lean beef, and fish and seafood. Honestly, I can't imagine eating a meal without protein now!

08-10-2005, 08:02 PM
Thanks everybody!

I just checked that today because of protein shake I've already topped it up to 73g of protein. It was tough, I guess I have to drink more milk, eat more meat, etc. I am obviously very carb oriented - so far it is 52% of carbs and 20% fat and 28% of protein which is WAY better than it was before. I guess I have to work on it - thanks for advice, will inform you how it goes with time :)


08-10-2005, 08:54 PM
Julia -- I am for about 100-150g protein/day...

Sorry I can't post longer gotta run get DD at work :wave:

08-10-2005, 09:39 PM
Just duplicate Meg's post for me :lol:
I eat a lot of egg whites, fish (salmon, tilapia, catfish, pollack, tuna, whatever is on sale...), shellfish, turkey breast, chicken breast, lean beef, nofat cottage cheese, protein powder.

Carbs just make me hungrier and make me want more carbs.

I eat bath tubs full of greens including broccoli, spinach, cabbage and green beans. I consider green vegies "free food".

I never saw much muscle growth until I got my protein ratio up to at least 40%, and with the correct ratios can sustain growth even on a low calorie diet.


08-10-2005, 10:31 PM
Ok, I'm back :D... Thank you for your patience :lol: ...

On my way to pick up DD I was thinking of my answer to this protein question, but Meg and Mel beat me to it :lol:... I also eat fish, eggwhites, whey PP, lean meats, a ton o' chicken -- my kids roll their eyes when they see chicken on the menu ''again'' ... and I eat 5-6 small meals/day. I've seen myself open a can of tuna at 10am for a quick meal or have eaten leftover chicken for breakfast as protein with oatmeal, what can I say it works and keeps me full for the next 3-4 hours.
Like Meg, I can't imagine a meal without protein I just get hungry so much sooner when I don't eat protein.

08-10-2005, 10:43 PM
the correct ratios can sustain growth even on a low calorie diet
That's exactly what I'm looking for. I'm scared to death to lose muscle. I've recently started upping my calories for just that reason in the hopes that my remaining few pounds lost will be all fat - even though it will be lots slower.

I use a program called cyber diet to track calories which gives you a weekly progress report. This is what it told me one week: "this week you have consumed 77 grams of protein {note: this is average/day}, which is 113% of your estimated needs. It seems that you have increased your protein consumption too much. Too much protein can be taxing on the kidneys and can lead to the excretion of calcium, a mineral that is vital for the maintenance of our bones"

Anyone have any comments on that subject?

I know that my diet is way too carb heavy. I think my usual ratio is about 20% fat, 50% carb, 30% protein. I don't consciously try to avoid fat but I usually end up on the lower end for fat just because I practice my own version of volumetrics - i.e. do I want 1 oz of this fatty thing with x calories or 2 oz of this carby thing with the same calories?

Ilene - thanks for clearing that up. I eat about 5 times a day as well but only count 3 of them as meals in my head :dizzy:

08-10-2005, 11:00 PM
"this week you have consumed 77 grams of protein {note: this is average/day}, which is 113% of your estimated needs. It seems that you have increased your protein consumption too much. Too much protein can be taxing on the kidneys and can lead to the excretion of calcium, a mineral that is vital for the maintenance of our bones"I've read that before too and always wondered and worried if my diet was way too high on the protein side, but I feel so much better when I do my way. Plus I am by no means on a ''high'' protein diet like the Atkins plan, which *I* feel is way too extreme... I dunno :dunno: what to tell you, I'd like to know the answer myself....

08-11-2005, 04:56 AM
I was reading a bit about protein overdose on the net yesterday and I saw that exact same thing from a dietitian-type website food trackery thing!!

I've also read that too much protein has no effect, well apart from being stored as fat or something else that I can't remember! Probably glycogen. The dietitian food tracker website recommended 35% as an absolute max, but they also seemed to be spouting a load of rubbish about other things.

from www.pponline.co.uk

A cautionary note about overdoing your protein intake. Firstly, eating more protein than your body needs for building muscle will just mean that the extra protein is burned for energy, or converted straight into fat. Secondly, excessively high intakes (more than 20 per cent of the total energy in the diet) have been linked to various medical problems, such as increased loss of calcium from the body, kidney stones and gout

From lovely old "Aunty" BBC website. I trust this source because they are great! And I love them!

How much do I need?
Our daily protein requirement is 0.75g per kg of body weight. So a person weighing 70kg needs 52.5g (70 x 0.75) of protein each day.

If you're exercising for more than an hour a day, your daily requirement is slightly increased to 1.0-1.2g of protein per kg of body weight - that's 70-84g if you weigh 70kg.

Experts recommend a further increase for athletes: 1.2-1.4g/kg/d for endurance athletes and 1.6-1.7g/kg/d for strength athletes. However, they also state there's no advantage - both in terms of performance or muscle size - to taking more than 2g of protein per kg/d, providing carbohydrate needs are met. Extra protein isn't converted into muscle.

Link to BBC article www.bbc.co.uk/health/healthy_living/fitness/energy_protein.shtml

So I guess really, what they're saying is.. IT DEPENDS! :chin: could've worked that one out! :rofl:

08-11-2005, 08:00 AM
Okay - according to Mistress Krista on stumptuous.com

0.7-0.8g of protein per lb of body weight, which means... I'm not getting enough :dz:

08-11-2005, 10:41 AM
excessively high intakes (more than 20 per cent of the total energy in the diet)
I'm with you 2F, 20%+ is excessive???

converted straight into fat
OK, so too much protein gets converted straight into fat, as opposed to...I dunno, too much fat or carbs which are converted into extra fingers & toes.

1.6-1.7g/kg would be about the same as .7-.8/lb so it sounds like Krista & the BBC agree assuming that they're both considered "strength athletes." I think I'm gonna call myself an endurance athlete:lol: and aim for 80-100g/day.

08-11-2005, 01:33 PM
I've also read that excess protein consumption is hard on the kidneys and can lead to osteoporosis. However, if your body is using it, what is excess?

I've done a lot of reading, and my conclusion from it is to get enough dietary calcium (you don't need dairy, you can get it from lots of other sources) and drink water! Regardless of whether or not guzzling water aids in weightloss or is a myth, it's good for your kidneys. My husband just suffered through two weeks of on and off kidney stone attacks and it's the number one instruction that his doctor stressed: to keep your kidneys healthy, keep them busy ;)

Most bodybuilders that I know eat 40-50% protein. A very few, usually guys who can eat a lot of carbs without getting fat, eat 35%, but that's low to maintain let alone build muscle mass.


08-11-2005, 01:47 PM
Thanks for all your input! My yesterday's record at the end of the day was 38% - so I am trying hard and hopefully will figure out what to eat in order to get to 40%. Today morning I started my day (first time in my life) with protein shake and later on went for a bike ride to work. Not only did I feel FULL of energy, BUT I also did my usual ride 6 minutes faster :dizzy: than I usually do (BTW, since I started to bike in May I bike at least 3 times a week and the difference is only 2 minutes most of the time, so 6 minutes is AMAZING). And I am still not hungry - hurray!

I figured that it is going to be little steps, but eventually I will get there and try how it feels - probably I will stop beeing hungry all the time :)