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Old 09-02-2013, 02:51 AM   #1
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So as I'm incorporating more exercise, I want to majorly amp up my protein. Problem is, I'm really not sure how? I've tried supplementing with shakes many times in the past and honestly, I'd really rather not... I've never found one that tasted tolerable, and what's the point if you have to struggle to choke it down? I know that I should choose protein dense foods and I could eat nothing but chicken for weeks, but I guess my question is more this - how do you get in lots of protein without lots of extra calories?
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:20 AM   #2
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I'd love to see what others say about this as I continue to struggle with this. I aim for 130g a day, but I'm usually pretty happy if I hit 100. Before I started consciously trying to eat more protein I was around 40-60.

My normal day does involve at least 1 protein shake, usually it's in an iced coffee/frappuccino thing that I make which is actually pretty delicious. Besides that it is about 100-120g of chicken with dinner, 2-4 eggs (2 for breakfast and/or 2 hardboiled as a snack), and whatever random protein I get from my school provided lunches here in Korea. Today's was squid stir-fry and acorn jelly which was much higher in protein than normal.
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:39 AM   #3
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I guess it depends on how much you want to "amp up your protein." How many grams per day are you trying to reach?

Four ounces of meat is about 25 grams so if you do a serving of meat per meal that's 75 grams. Add eggs (2 = 13 grams) or cottage cheese (1/2 cup = 14 grams) to your breakfast (or a snack) and you're up to around 90 grams for the day. Add in some small amounts from things like cheese or beans or nuts and you can easily reach 100 grams. That's how I plan my meals so I reach my target amount.
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:44 AM   #4
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I've started using a supplement called humapro which gives you the amino acids without the calories. So basically an equivalent to 25g protein is less than one calorie.

Other than that, I focus on eating whole foods as every whole food has some protein. Leafy greens tend to have the highest protein content but they weigh so little, it takes a lot . Green smoothies are a good way to get a lot of leafy greens in one meal.

And how much protein are you eating? I aim for about 80g or so per day.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:28 AM   #5
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Greek yogurt is a great source of protein. Sweeten it with Splenda or something similar and add some sugar free pudding powder for flavor. Fage Greek yogurt has 23 grams per cup and 130-150 calories.

Quest protein bars are *very* tasty and an average bar is 180-200 calories and has 20 grams of protein. They're also high in fiber at 18 grams each (72% of daily recommended amt). I buy mine online. I would recommend getting the sample box of their original line (12 flavors) to figure out what you like.

Cottage cheese is also high in protein (20 grams/cup, I think). My sister adds Fiber One cereal to it with a couple tablespoons of chocolate chips.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:35 AM   #6
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Canned fish. There are tons of varieties and most are excellent for you in terms of omega 3s, protein and essential vitamins and minerals. In my supplies I have canned sardines, mackeral, shrimp, sprats, rainbow trout, salmon, clams, muscles, sturgeon, dungeness crab, salted cod, oysters, octopus and kippers. Some are smoked, some not. Some in oil, some not.

I also eat fresh fish including scallops, salted mackeral, crab, lobster and snails.

Most portions of these are 100-250 calories and a perfect addition to a salad.

Boiled eggs are great as well. I like pickled quails eggs.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:10 PM   #7
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Thank you all so much for the great tips!

Changergirl, what kind of protein powder do you use?

Novus, ideally I'd also like to shoot for 100 but before reading responses here it felt like such a far fetched number. I guess it's really not! I think my biggest problem, not just with protein but with weight loss in general, is that I don't really plan out my meals until I'm ready to eat. I think it will be easier to follow your suggestions if I incorporated them into planned out meals so I'd know exactly how much protein I was going to get in advance to make sure I get as much as I wanna get.

Nelie, I haven't been tracking like I should but I know it's not much. Ideally I want to get it from food but I'm gonna check out that supplement!

Earthecho, I cannot stand greek yogurt unless it's as a dip, but I never thought to try adding sugar free pudding mix to it to change the taste. Great idea! I've tried protein bars in the past as well but I never found one that didn't taste chemical-y, but I've never heard of these so I'll check them out. And I haven't had cottage cheese since I was a little girl, I kind of assume I still don't like it but who knows? Worth a shot

Ian, like the cottage cheese, I haven't touched fish since I was a kid since I hated it then and never really thought about giving it another go. I'm guessing canned fish is pretty reasonably priced, right? I want to try, I can't resist the idea of having that much variety from chicken, it'd be nice to have so many affordable meat options aside from chicken haha.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:26 PM   #8
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A lot of people who eat junk food regularly may get 30g or less/day. The RDA is 50g/day for a woman, that doesn't change much even with weight training or pregnancy. Men are slightly higher, again doesn't change much even with weight training. In fact, prior to the 1980s, weight lifters didn't eat a lot of protein, they ate a heavy carb diet with little fat/protein. It wasn't until supplement companies and weight lifting magazines associated with those supplement companies came on the market that higher protein meals became a 'thing'. Protein deficiency isn't a thing in the US fortunately even with people eating foods devoid of it. It isn't something you should stress too much about.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nelie View Post
A lot of people who eat junk food regularly may get 30g or less/day. The RDA is 50g/day for a woman, that doesn't change much even with weight training or pregnancy. Men are slightly higher, again doesn't change much even with weight training. Protein deficiency isn't a thing in the US fortunately even with people eating foods devoid of it. It isn't something you should stress too much about.
I just want to make sure I get in more than the bare minimum because while I am still trying to lose weight, more importantly I want to start building muscle and if I'm working out a lot I want to make sure my body has everything it needs to properly repair & recover! When I used to work out I would drink a protein shake after but I can't stand them now, and I've read that chocolate milk has similar protein & fats to help post workout so I drink that instead, but I want to make the most out of the calories I consume in food. If I eat, I want it to serve a nutritional purpose.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lanabug View Post
I just want to make sure I get in more than the bare minimum because while I am still trying to lose weight, more importantly I want to start building muscle and if I'm working out a lot I want to make sure my body has everything it needs to properly repair & recover! When I used to work out I would drink a protein shake after but I can't stand them now, and I've read that chocolate milk has similar protein & fats to help post workout so I drink that instead, but I want to make the most out of the calories I consume in food. If I eat, I want it to serve a nutritional purpose.
yes but there are other nutritional purposes than protein, there are vitamins, antioxidants, etc. If you 'eat the rainbow', eating a variety of foods, most of your bases should be covered. I started a supplement because I lowered my calorie intake lower than it has been in a while. When I was doing Crossfit and lifting regularly, I gained quite a bit of muscle eating between 50-60g. So for me at least, I found out you don't need a lot of protein to gain muscle.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
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yes but there are other nutritional purposes than protein, there are vitamins, antioxidants, etc. If you 'eat the rainbow', eating a variety of foods, most of your bases should be covered. I started a supplement because I lowered my calorie intake lower than it has been in a while. When I was doing Crossfit and lifting regularly, I gained quite a bit of muscle eating between 50-60g. So for me at least, I found out you don't need a lot of protein to gain muscle.
True. I take vitamin supplements so even though I know they're better if you get them from food, I tend to not think about it so much. My problem with protein is that if I don't consciously consume it, I hardly do. It's not that I dislike protein rich foods, it's just easier to put some dressing on some veggies than it is to cook chicken for example haha. As it stands, I'm definitely not even getting 50-60g. That's really good to know though that you can gain muscle without focusing so heavily on protein. Thank you!

I really just need to start planning, I think.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lanabug View Post
It's not that I dislike protein rich foods, it's just easier to put some dressing on some veggies than it is to cook chicken for example haha. As it stands, I'm definitely not even getting 50-60g. That's really good to know though that you can gain muscle without focusing so heavily on protein. Thank you!

I really just need to start planning, I think.
If your preference is salads, try adding cheese, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, and/or beans to them. That will increase your protein.
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:25 PM   #13
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Syntrax has a really good line of tasty protein powders. I especially like the nectar line's chocolate truffle, and vanilla bean. Both go really well in coffee and milk to make latte type drinks. they average 23 grams protien per scoop with 1g carbs and 110 cals

For bars I really like the think thin brand (i found them in target) a 240 cal bar has 20 grams of protein and 11ish net carbs (23 total but sugar alcohols and fiber brings it down to 11ish) the exact amount depends on the bar.

for snacks, greek yogurt and cottage cheese are both great ways to add protein.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:59 PM   #14
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There are all kinds of recipes out there (google-land) for smoothies, etc, with vanilla or chocolate flavored vegan protein powders, I've recently come across a pumpkin spice one I want to try, but since we have free range chickens, my vote is for the simple low cal hard boiled egg. Good stuff!

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Old 09-02-2013, 11:56 PM   #15
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I've read that multiplying your ideal weight (in pounds) by .4 and doing the same for your current weight is supposed to be a good ballpark figure.

For me, that would put my protein target range between 50 -120 g (my ideal weight being around 130 and my current weight being just under 300 lbs).

If you're going to use whey protein powder, I'd HIGHLY recommend using a microfiltered (also called undenatured, nondenatured, cold-filtered or cold-processed) whey protein isolate such as Syntrax. The flavor is much more mild and it dissolves in cold, cool, and warm liquids much better (it will clump in very hot liquids as all whey proteins will.)

I like using unflavored, because it's more versatile. I even add it into soup. For example, I'll make tomato soup (one can of any tomato soup pkus one can tomatoes and green chillies, petite dice) pour my serving in a bowl and let it cool a bit (if it's cool enough to eat comfortably, it's cool enough to add the protein powder). Then I stir in 10-12g of my undenatured whey protein isolate.

I also use it in fruit smoothies, but I like having the option to choose sweet or savory. I also dislike the flavorings in many flavored proteins.

I like Morningstar farms "veggie burgers" also. We buy frozen beef burgers too, but the veggie burgers can be cooked in the microwave and crumbled onto a salad.

My favorite is the Asian patty. To me, they taste like eggroll filling. I really miss eggrolls since giving up wheat (more than a trace triggers skin problems.
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