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Old 11-09-2010, 05:01 PM   #1
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Default Protein help

I have noticed something in a few threads that I just feel I have to say something about.

In questions regarding how much protein someone should eat I frequently see the standard nutritionist formula of weight X .8 to figure how much protein someone should eat. This is a valid formula, but I have seen in a few posts that people are multiplying .8 x the number of pounds someone weighs. The .8 formula is for kilograms, not pounds. This is a huge difference.
For pounds, you multiply your weight x .37. So if someone weights 185 pounds they would need approx 69 grams of protein per day. This is a big difference from 148 grams, which is what you get if you multiply the weight times .8. Now, getting extra protein is certainly not a bad thing, but I hate the thought of someone sitting around thinking they are seriously shorting themselves on protein, and not getting the other nutrients they might need while struggling to get almost 150 grams of protein in 1 day.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:41 PM   #2
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Oh gosh. I read this because I'm interested in getting protein, but I have a hard time reading paragraphs with lots of numbers in them - sorry, I know that seems weird, but it's just the truth, numbers confuse me a lot. I think I never get over 80gm or so of protein a day, and sometimes it's as low as 40gm - and I never though this was that bad?
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:22 PM   #3
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The federal RDA is 57 g protein/day. From what I've read, the protein recommendations are made by kg, not lbs but some people use lbs. I get between 60-100 g protein/day. It depends on the day. I do fine with that.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:47 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by carlyjordon2002 View Post
From my understanding you need to eat at least 1g of protein per pound of body weight or 1g per pound of lean body mass. I eat a high protein diet and I try to get in no less then 160g of protein a day but I can eat as much as 200g if I want but I have never went higher then 190g of protein. I drink about 1 protein shake a day which has about 25g of protein and then I eat my protein in eggs, chicken, beef, etc. But it all depends on what YOUR body needs. Some people don't eat more then 70g of protein a day, I realized that eating more protein gives me more energy as well as keeps my blood sugar regulated and I'm less hungry.

On this other site that I am a memeber of they stress finding your macro nutrients to see how many carbs, protein, fat grams you should eat a day. This is the site Some might get scared away from it because it tells you to eat more cals as well as lift heavier weights.
1g of protein per pound of lean body mass would be very hard to accurately figure. Its hard to know exactly what your lean body mass is without pretty pricy tests. In general, anything in the 60 to 75g range is going to be fine for someone of normal activity. If you are more physically active, with heavy endurance exercising, or weight lifting, you would use more. I cant imagine eating 200g per day. That is 65 percent of my daily intake. LOL I wouldnt get enough of anything else at all and still keep at my daily limit. It doesnt hurt, certainly. My main goal was to make sure people understood the kilogram/pound difference, and didnt go crazy thinking they were shorting themselves, when they truly are not.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rainbowstripe View Post
Oh gosh. I read this because I'm interested in getting protein, but I have a hard time reading paragraphs with lots of numbers in them - sorry, I know that seems weird, but it's just the truth, numbers confuse me a lot. I think I never get over 80gm or so of protein a day, and sometimes it's as low as 40gm - and I never though this was that bad?
at your weight, in the 50g range is just fine. If you only hit 40 some days, it certainly is not going to hurt you. If you are not out weight lifting or doing very strenuous activity every day, what you are getting is fine. It is rare I break 70, and I am usually right in the 60g range. But there are also days where i'm lucky to hit 40, just like you. I find that 5 or 6 ounces of my favorite fish (cod) does wonders for my protein intake if I feel I have been extra low for a few days running.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:04 PM   #6
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I do think it comes down to individual preference. I lift heavy weights, now so more than ever and my strength is increasing and body shape changing. I've read things that indicate that protein estimates by the main body building community are generally higher than necessary and that has only been a recent recommendation up until the last 20 years or so. Prior to that, body builders generally ate a much higher carb diet than most current body builders.

It doesn't really matter because your body doesn't store protein so it will rid itself of it if it isn't used. Only possible issue with too much protein is if it is animal protein, you may need to increase your calcium intake since processing animal protein requires calcium.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:14 PM   #7
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Getting in protein is pretty easy because theres protein in milk, cheese, eggs etc. Plus my cravings are minimal and protein keeps me full longer. Basically you just have to find what level works for you because some do good on a high carb diet and some do better on low carb. Also I eat 2000 cals a day so this is working out great but if I were eating 1200 cals theres no way I would be able to get in that much protein and have room for anything else. I wish you luck

I should be the one wishing you luck! More power to ya girl. I have never had an urge to get the hardbody thing working. I think it looks great, but its never been a look for me, ya know? I am a cardio type of gal, but my weight lifting is limited to simply keeping a nice tone. As for the calories. With your lifting, and the running, you certainly need those extra calories. I am also down to 130 now, so my BMR has dropped a **** of a lot since my 200 pound days, so I don't need all that extra, dammit. Believe me..I love protein. Meaning, the food that contains protein. But I just cant fit in that much. Even once I hit maintenance, I won't be able to do more than 75 or 80 tops. It is sad though..I am a carnivore at heart. And my favorite snack is nuts of just about any kind. I have to have my husband hide nuts, and dole out a serving for me when I have it as a snack one day. It is one of the few things I cant resist. Nuts and pumpkin pie. Go figure.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:17 PM   #8
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I do think it comes down to individual preference. I lift heavy weights, now so more than ever and my strength is increasing and body shape changing. I've read things that indicate that protein estimates by the main body building community are generally higher than necessary and that has only been a recent recommendation up until the last 20 years or so. Prior to that, body builders generally ate a much higher carb diet than most current body builders.

It doesn't really matter because your body doesn't store protein so it will rid itself of it if it isn't used. Only possible issue with too much protein is if it is animal protein, you may need to increase your calcium intake since processing animal protein requires calcium.
I think a fair bit of the overestimating is purely economically motivated. As you said, the extra protein doesnt hurt you, although I have read some studies that show that the body can only actually absorb so much each day, but not real sure on the validity of that. But if you think of who usually sponsors most of the bodybuilding sites and services, you will see a large portion of them are the makers of the protein supplements. It's going to be in their best interests to tout the studies which show the higher protein limits for sure. So, since it isnt going to hurt anyone, why not push the higher numbers? Just like the weight loss industry, the body building industry wants to make a buck.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:28 PM   #9
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I think a fair bit of the overestimating is purely economically motivated. As you said, the extra protein doesnt hurt you, although I have read some studies that show that the body can only actually absorb so much each day, but not real sure on the validity of that. But if you think of who usually sponsors most of the bodybuilding sites and services, you will see a large portion of them are the makers of the protein supplements. It's going to be in their best interests to tout the studies which show the higher protein limits for sure. So, since it isnt going to hurt anyone, why not push the higher numbers? Just like the weight loss industry, the body building industry wants to make a buck.
Actually, that seems to be the main reason. I was reading some interesting articles lately discussing that up until protein supplements became popular, body builders generally ate a low fat, high carb diet. And in terms of the validity about absorbing only so much protein, that is true because our body stores fat and it stores sugar but it doesn't store protein which it has to convert to either use or convert to fat. And obviously there is a lot of money (billions) to be made in supplements so it only helps to promote protein.

And also, I wanted to comment about body type. I think building muscle helps everyone. The girls at my gym all lift heavy weights and they are gorgeous in their own right but everyone has their own body type. There are the thin athletic ones you'd never guess that they lift heavy weights until you see them do it and then there are the others that have more visible muscle tone but I haven't seen any that are extremely muscular. If you are happy with your body shape then you could definitely keep doing whatever you are doing but if you want to reshape your body in any way, muscle is the way to go. Also, more muscle means you can also eat more
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:01 PM   #10
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If I was 130 I definitely wouldn't take in that much 200g of protein I was just listing what I do since I weigh over 200 lbs. But if I were 130 lbs 90g would be more then enough. But just like any diet its going to be made up of a majority of something mine if protein, other people choose carbs, some choose fat. The diet has to be majority something and I would much rather it be protein no matter if it is something that was thought of 20 years ago. I used to eat over 300g of carbs a day but no one batted a eye at that but once you say protein everyone is like oh no thats not healthy but eating tons of carbs is? I don't get it lol (this wasnt directed towards you but lots of people question lots of protein but not lots of carbs in a diet)
Things like that tend to go in cycles I believe. Depends on the fad of the season, I think. Low carb is in/low carb is out high protein is in/ high protein is out. ****, I remember back in the day when we were told that 1 egg a day was the road to dying an early death due to high cholesterol. I'm one of those who likes to keep a pretty even diet. You made me curious, so I did a check on my dietpower to see my average over the last year. I love my diet power. Over the last year (well, 9 months, since I havent been logging for a full year yet) I have averaged 152g of carbs per day, and 58.6g of protein. I certainly could have been a bit better in the protein area. Would prefer to see an average closer to 65 or 70, but happy with the carbs. The last quarter my average was 64g protein, and 153 carbs, so I guess I have improved a bit as time passed. But I definitely dont favor a high/low diet. Guess I'm a boring medium kinda gal.
300g of carbs? Wow..I mean..I love carbs. Never been the type to go low carb, but 300? that is a hefty carb count!
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by TornadoSiren View Post
I have noticed something in a few threads that I just feel I have to say something about.
I'm glad you brought this up! I had this same discussion with my son a couple of weeks ago when he told me how much protein he was aiming for, as he had heard the same myth. I spent quite a bit of time gathering data to show him exactly what you pointed out.

Regarding the 1 gram per pound, I'm pretty sure that's only valid if your name is Arnold If you do spend a lot of time at the gym lifting weights, then your body needs will be different than the rest of us.

We should also try to remember that too much protein can be damaging to the kidneys. You can have kidney disease for a long time before the symptoms appear and do damage to yourself without realizing it.
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:23 AM   #12
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Carly - no one said you shouldn't eat protein and there was a reason that people migrated to follow the food. There are certainly carbs that are easy to get and store for winter months such as winter squashes and it is somewhat why there are 'seasonal' foods. And your body isn't going to pee or poop protein, it will convert it to fat if it can't use it. And yes, if you have kidney issues (even if you aren't aware of them) a high protein diet can be damaging.

I've been taking a molecular biology course and honestly, it is very enlightening in terms of learning how our bodies use carbs, proteins and fats.

I eat a high carb diet but it is a lot of minimally processed foods such as beans, whole grains, fruits, nuts and veggies.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:56 AM   #13
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I think discussion is good but your original post was saying 'you need 1g of per pound of body weight' which is a pretty high recommendation. Need is a pretty strong word and even the post you linked to didn't recommend that much and many people would have a really hard time getting to that point.

Obviously everyone follows a different plan which I think is good and as for what someone 'needs', I think the federal RDA is a good starting point although obviously you can look at other sources to adjust to how you see fit.
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:20 PM   #14
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My initial post was simply to point out that the .8 formula is not designed for pounds, but kilograms, and I had seen people advising that it be used for pounds, and I could imagine women all over looking at their totals and thinking they were giving themselves half the protein they really needed. How much protein you eat is a personal dietary decision. I just didnt want anyone thinking the baseline of "needed for normal good health" was almost twice as high as it actually is. The rest was not knocking high protein, nor endorsing high carbs. The rest was merely discussion, not a pro or a con for anything.
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:46 PM   #15
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I do intense weight lifting 4 times a day and always try to aim between 90-120 grams of protein a day.
It all depends how strenuous you are using your body throughout the day.
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