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Help I need more protein

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Old 12-09-2012, 04:25 PM   #1
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Default Help I need more protein

I started my diet a month ago and have been tracking what I eat on spark people. I have noticed I'm not getting enough protein. They recommend getting between 60 and 160 grams daily. I have been averaging about 30 sometimes as low as 24. I have been getting the right amount of calories. So this week I bought lima beans and more soy products ( boca, morningstar) and I'm still coming up only around 40 to 50 grams. Since I have been dieting I have been very tired and sleeping more. I have noticed when I do things I always have done like fold clothes or do dishes my arm muscles get very fatigued while doing it. I'm assuming it's the lack of protein?? I have been a vegetarian for 10 yrs and I have a bad overeating problem since. Could this to be cause I'm missing protein?? I'm at loss on how to get more protein. I know beans have more but wouldn't I have to eat a lot of beans to get enough? Any advice appreciated. Thanks Kelly
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:57 PM   #2
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Honestly, that doesn't sound like lack of protein but possibly lack of vitamins. Are you taking a multivitamin?

How many calories are you eating? Are you eating plenty of vegetables? Can you post an average day?
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:19 PM   #3
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The first thing I would ask you... Is have you seen your doctor recently? Had recent blood work? Couldn't hurt to look into it to rule out a host of issues e.g. thyroid, blood sugar, iron, etc...

As far as getting more protein from vegetarian sources... If you like meat alternatives from Boca and Morningstar those are good... I like some of the faux meats from Gardein... a lot of them have close to 20g's of protein per serving...

Do you not eat eggs and dairy? Because if you do, you shouldn't have any problem getting more than enough protein... With things like an egg white omelet or some Greek yogurt...

But even on a vegan diet there are lots of options... Tofu, tempeh, seitan, beans, nuts...

And of course there are lots of great vegetarian and vegan protein powders that you can make all sorts of smoothies with to help supplement your protein needs as well...
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:29 PM   #4
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Like others said, I can't say whether or not this is a protein thing or not, but if you're looking for protein options:

*Nuts (peanuts have a lot)
*Soy Butter/Peanut Butter
*Red lentils (13 g per 1/4 cup)
*Quinoa (the only grain that's a complete protein)

Do you eat eggs? I didn't see you say you were vegan...eggs are great. Plain Greek Yogurt is good too, lowest sugar yogurt you'll find and buttload of protein.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:06 AM   #5
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If you eat animal products, go for more eggs and greek yogurt.

Other protein options:
Soy or Almond Milk
Roasted Soy Beans
Nuts
Beans
Flax Seed
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:20 PM   #6
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Everyone has covered most of them, but I just wanted to add in edamame: it's cheap (you can usually buy a frozen bag with 6 to 8 servings for a few dollars) and super easy to cook and add into salads and things! You can also get it dried with spices on it, or in a mix with dried berries.

You could also make a big batch of chickpeas to add to salads/sandwiches or roast them for snacks!
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:36 PM   #7
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I was diagnosed as protein malnourished when I was trying to recover from major surgery. After 2 weeks, I just stopped healing. My doctor put me on 2 whey protein shakes a day, which worked wonders. Ever since then, I have 2 - 3 protein shakes a week just to try to supplement what I normally get since, like you, I have a tendency to be low. If you're not vegan, maybe try supplementing with whey shakes? Or if you are vegan, soy?
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:14 PM   #8
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Nutiva sells an organic hemp protein powder that I really like. It's 15g protein for 90cal. If you make it into a shake - 1 banana, 8oz almond milk, and 3 tbsp Hemp protein- that's 17g protein and 8g fiber at roughly 255cals.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:00 AM   #9
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Hey there

I'm new to this website so please don't burn me. Just want to share what I think I know.

If you're really counting the amount of macro nutrients you eat in a day, protein for an average female should be around 60-80grams a day should suffice. Anymore, you'll want to be considering bodybuilding as some female body builders consume around 150grams a day. The two types of supplementary proteins you might want to consider is Casein and Whey protein. Casein is slow release which you probably will take when you are out and about on your regular task for the day. Generally you'll consume this first thing in the morning with your breakfast. Whey protein is quick absorbing which body builders generally consume pre and post workouts as it takes about 1 hour to fully digest whey. However, note these foods are supplementary and should never replace your primary protein sources such as tofu. However I do apologies if you're a strict vegetarian, vegan. The only protein source I can think of is loads of tofu Protein is generally used for muscle repair and you shouldn't consume more protein than required. Yes, there are dangers of eating too much of the stuff.

Your lack of energy levels will depend on what you are eating or lack of. Your primary source of energy is carbohydrates. If you are currently on a low carb diet, I would highly recommend you take another look at your complex carb intake. Perhaps add 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice to your mid morning meal and see if your energy level change. If it does, you're need more carbs! Protein is a secondary source of energy that your body looks for when carbs aren't available but you shouldn't rely on that for energy.

Hope that helps.

Some other protein sources I found off the web;
1. Quinoa
2. Beans, Lentils, Legumes
3. Tofu
4. Nuts, Seeds

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Old 11-21-2013, 06:54 PM   #10
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Protein isn't as big a deal as everyone thinks it is, assuming you are overweight. I would get your blood tested, get a professional opinion on your fatigue and muscle weakness. Once you are at an ideal weight, then it is more important to have enough protein to prevent any further weight loss and weakness.
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