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Old 01-17-2014, 11:10 AM   #1
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Default Question about exercising and protein usage

I know this is more an issue for guys, but I think both guys and gals like to have muscle in all the right places.

I like to eat a big breakfast, then not eat again until after work, since I'm full until then and it's the best way for me to keep my calories down, control my hunger cravings, and lose weight. However, I've been doing some early-morning workouts recently (cardio AND weight-lifting), and I'm concerned that after my workout my body will utilize as much protein that it can from my breakfast, then after a few hours - when my muscles need to do more muscle repair from the weight-lifting - there won't be any more protein available to use.

I understand that if excess protein from a meal isn't used, it's stored as fat, so by eating just twice a day after early workouts my body would have to wait until I eat again at dinner to do any more repairing, whereas if I ate smaller meals during the day with protein I would actually see faster muscle gains. A coworker has told me not to worry about it, that it'll all work out fine, but I'm not so sure.
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:31 AM   #2
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You can find scientific evidence arguing every single point. I wouldn't worry. Just eat enough protein and sleep and train and eat at maintenance or higher to build more muscle.

I'm starting a bulk which is TERRIFYING considering weight loss/maintenance has been my goal for 27 years, but my lifts have all stalled and I am still doughy and not ideally built at 119 pounds.
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:14 PM   #3
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You can find scientific evidence arguing every single point. I wouldn't worry. Just eat enough protein and sleep and train and eat at maintenance or higher to build more muscle.

I'm starting a bulk which is TERRIFYING considering weight loss/maintenance has been my goal for 27 years, but my lifts have all stalled and I am still doughy and not ideally built at 119 pounds.
I'm on a fat-loss diet, which means that I can't eat at maintenance or higher, or I won't lose anything. I just need to make sure I'm getting enough protein while I'm in a deficit. I'm not sure getting it all at once (or 2x/day) is the solution, though.
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:21 PM   #4
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I'm in heavy lifting along with weight loss. May I recommend Eat More 2 Lose Weight? If you know your TDEE, it helps on what you need. I know, for me, my breakdown is 50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fat. I eat about 2500 calories a day....and I am losing (after a brief gain of course). And building some nice and crazy muscle.
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricon7 View Post
I know this is more an issue for guys, but I think both guys and gals like to have muscle in all the right places.

I like to eat a big breakfast, then not eat again until after work, since I'm full until then and it's the best way for me to keep my calories down, control my hunger cravings, and lose weight. However, I've been doing some early-morning workouts recently (cardio AND weight-lifting), and I'm concerned that after my workout my body will utilize as much protein that it can from my breakfast, then after a few hours - when my muscles need to do more muscle repair from the weight-lifting - there won't be any more protein available to use.

I understand that if excess protein from a meal isn't used, it's stored as fat, so by eating just twice a day after early workouts my body would have to wait until I eat again at dinner to do any more repairing, whereas if I ate smaller meals during the day with protein I would actually see faster muscle gains. A coworker has told me not to worry about it, that it'll all work out fine, but I'm not so sure.
Your co-worker is completely right.

Protein takes a long time to digest. Egg protein for example will still be releasing amino acids into the blood stream 8 hours after ingestion. Whey protein is the fastest digesting protein and it still takes hours to digest.

Excess protein is never turned into fat except in the most extreme circumstances.

Lifting weights while dieting is not going to build muscle unless you're an obese novice. It will only help to maintain the muscle mass you have.

If you were, by some miracle, building muscle ... it's not a several hour long process. Protein synthasis actually peaks around the 24 hour mark before it starts to decrease.

Long story short - listen to your co-worker. Don't worry about it.
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:30 PM   #6
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Ah the cutting fat and simultaneous muscle gain! I'm reallllly hoping that I am novice enough to do some of that!
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:37 PM   #7
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Generally, "cutting" diets emphasize eating 1g/per pound bodyweight to maintain muscle while losing fat.

Off the top of my head I recall suggestions that for ideal "recomposition" you eat higher than maintenance on lift days and at a deficit on rest days. I find this difficult personally as my post-workout BEAST HUNGER is delayed until the next day and I hate forcing myself to eat after workouts!
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Old 01-17-2014, 03:26 PM   #8
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I wouldn't worry about it. Male gorillas eat mostly leaves and they pack on plenty of muscle. You don't need tons of protein for muscle building even during weight loss- your body is extremely efficient at utilizing what it can get.
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Old 01-17-2014, 04:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnP View Post
Your co-worker is completely right.

Protein takes a long time to digest. Egg protein for example will still be releasing amino acids into the blood stream 8 hours after ingestion. Whey protein is the fastest digesting protein and it still takes hours to digest.

Excess protein is never turned into fat except in the most extreme circumstances.

Lifting weights while dieting is not going to build muscle unless you're an obese novice. It will only help to maintain the muscle mass you have.

If you were, by some miracle, building muscle ... it's not a several hour long process. Protein synthasis actually peaks around the 24 hour mark before it starts to decrease.

Long story short - listen to your co-worker. Don't worry about it.
VERY interesting article here on this subject. I do have on advantage that others may not, in that I used to be much more muscular in the past than I am now, which is why I may be able to do this, albeit at a slow rate. The author also refers to a book by Lyle McDonald that I may look into, also, since he has had advice on dieting topics that have been very helpful for me.

http://www.muscleforlife.com/build-muscle-lose-fat/
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I do have on advantage that others may not, in that I used to be much more muscular in the past than I am now, which is why I may be able to do this, albeit at a slow rate.
I'll correct myself. Obese beginners or formerly muscular people.

You still need to be overweight because the energy has to come from somewhere.
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