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Old 09-15-2010, 08:24 PM   #1
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Default A Question for Silverlife...

Hi Silverlife,

I read the Dr. Harris link you included in a post some time ago, but I was so confused by the math, I gave up because I didn't understand it. I've tried to do the math, but am not at all sure it's correct. I understand that g/Kg/d means "grams per kilogram of weight per day."

Here's the link to the article I'm referencing:

http://www.paleonu.com/panu-weblog/2...se-weight.html

I tried to read this article again tonight, and I need some help. As I understand the article, Dr. Harris recommends eating .8 - 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Is that right?

And since I weigh 216 pounds, I weigh 97.9 (I'm using 98) kilograms. Following this logic, then I should be eating 78.4 - 98 grams of protein per day for weight loss. If I use the protein gram count in the following web site, for example, I should be able to gauge whether or not I am eating too much protein. Right?

This is probably not the best site for protein gram counts, but it's one I found quickly to use as an example.

http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/whattoeat/a/highproteinfood.htmhttp://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/whattoeat/a/highproteinfood.htm

My question for you: Do I have this figured out right? I may need to lower my portions of protein to lose weight at the rate I'd like to lose (2 -3 pounds a week) at least for a while.

Your comments and wisdom, please. Thanks so much.
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:39 AM   #2
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Hi, Sandyfanny, I was confused in trying to figure out Dr. Harris' protein recommendations, as well. And I don't know what criteria were used in designing all those protein calculating software programs. Probably a man with very low body fat and lots of muscle, who is a super athlete, and needs much more protein than we women usually do.

There are 2.2 pounds in a Kilo. 216 pounds = 98.18. A one to one ratio gives 98.18 grams of protein per Kg. I eat less than 1 gram per Kg. But, when I started eating low carb I ate 1.2 or 1 until I became accustomed to the diet. We are all different and have different needs. What others do can give us information and some reference points, for a start. At some point, we have to discover what works well for us, and just do that, regardless of what anyone does, thinks, says, recommends, etc.

The amount of protein per day is as controversial to some as carbs, plant food, calories, exercise, etc. For those of us who have broken satiety switches, are insulin resistant, have reduced metabolic rates due to dieting, genetic make-up, having once been very fat and then losing weight, illness, or whatever else, we have to find the ratios of protein, fats, and carbs, and the kinds of foods we can eat, as well as eating much less than those who do not have reduced metabolic rates. There are huge discussions at fitness forums and other forums about protein intake.

An example of some scientists trying to find out what amount of protein is "best":

Here is a section from this study on protein intake:

Protein dose
The third dietary factor potentially affecting physical performance is adjusting protein intake to bring it within the optimum therapeutic window for human metabolism. The studies noted herein [13-15,20] demonstrate effective preservation of lean body mass and physical performance when protein is in the range of 1.2 – 1.7 g/kg reference body weight daily, provided in the context of adequate minerals. Picking the mid-range value of 1.5 g/kg-d, for adults with reference weights ranging from 60–80 kg, this translates into total daily protein intakes 90 to 120 g/d. This number is also consistent with the protein intake reported in the Bellevue study [9]. When expressed in the context of total daily energy expenditures of 2000–3000 kcal/d, about 15% of ones daily energy expenditure (or intake if the diet is eucaloric) needs to be provided as protein.

The effects of reducing daily protein intake to below 1.2 g/kg reference weight during a ketogenic diet include progressive loss of functional lean tissue and thus loss of physical performance, as demonstrated by Davis et al [21]. In this study, subjects given protein at 1.1 g/kg-d experienced a significant reduction in VO2max over a 3 month period on a ketogenic diet, whereas subjects given 1.5 g/kg-d maintained VO2max.

At the other end of the spectrum, higher protein intakes have the potential for negative side-effects if intake of this nutrient exceeds 25% of daily energy expenditure. One concern with higher levels of protein intake is the suppression of ketogenesis relative to an equi-caloric amount of fat (assuming that ketones are a beneficial adaptation to whole body fuel homeostasis). In addition, Stefansson describes a malady known by the Inuit as rabbit malaise [8]. This problem would occur in the early spring when very lean rabbits were the only available game, when people might be tempted to eat too much protein in the absence of an alternative source of dietary fat. The symptoms were reported to occur within a week, and included headache and lassitude. Such symptoms are not uncommon among people who casually undertake a "low carbohydrate, high protein" diet.


As you can see, protein intake is a huge subject. I haven't gone through that study line by line, to see what "bugs" there were, which don't work out right.

After I went very low carb (ca. 20), and found out what my maintenance and losing-weight calorie levels were, I started experimenting with the ratios of protein and fat. If I eat too much protein I don't lose weight, and can gain. Also, the kinds of food I eat are key. Also, every couple of pounds I lose now seems to change my "system" and I have to re-adjust what I eat and how much. And, I can attest to the fact that as we weigh less, we need fewer calories.

Other things, such as going to sleep early enough, drinking my gallon+ of purified water throughout the day, getting outside enough, and supplements, such as Vit. D, Magnesium, Vit. E, and a multi-vitamin, all make a huge difference. When I was younger I could get away with more, such as staying up late, etc. Now, I need to take extra care.

Hope this helps a bit. Am sending you lots of good thoughts.
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Macronutrient ratios mediate weight via hormones. Hormones drive fat storage. Kurt Harris, M. D.

Last edited by SilverLife : 09-16-2010 at 08:42 AM. Reason: corrected error
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:11 PM   #3
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Default Thank you...

I'm still confused. This is hard reading and difficult to understand and attempt to apply. But your approach makes sense. I appreciate your help.
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:50 PM   #4
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Sandyfanny, it took me awhile to get used to reading such things, too.

I track my food and weight at fatsecret. (I ignore the rest of the site.) I've been comparing the days I don't lose weight and the days I stay the same or lose with how much protein I've been eating.

Some folks just pick a protein number and try it for awhile. I have read several posts by women who eat 30 grams of carbs, 60 grams of protein and 90 grams of fat, or similar numbers, and are quite happy with their progress.

Just for a reference.

Does that help a bit?

We all need whatever approach we need to find our way through low-carbing.

Sending you best wishes.
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Macronutrient ratios mediate weight via hormones. Hormones drive fat storage. Kurt Harris, M. D.
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