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How Much Protein?

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Old 07-29-2008, 02:32 PM   #1
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Default How Much Protein?

Hello all,

I'm just wondering how much protein you eat per day. It seems that the RDA seems correct for some nutritionists and incorrect for others. Some folks say that Americans eat too much protein. Dietician dot com says that the RDA for women is 50 grams. But when I do the calculations for my goal weight, it is 63 grams.

goal weight divided by 2.2 and then x 0.8 to get the protein grams

Is this enough protein? It looks like many of you have had success reaching your fitness goals by raising your daily protein intake.

I don't want to raise a huge argument, but I am interested in knowing how other people decided on their protein goals. Did you eat for what your goal weight is, or for what your current weight is?

Thanks!
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Old 07-29-2008, 03:36 PM   #2
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Here's my uneducated reply. There's so many possible formulas and arguments for and against higher protein diets so I guess you see what works for you and what is sustainable for you.

For me, it's been a struggle to increase my protein. Some formulas use the fraction of a gram of a protein per lb. of body weight. For me what was enlightening was tracking my food on Fitday because this broke down both my total grams of protein per day and my percentage. I realized that I was eating, not surprisingly, a high carb diet. Coming from a WW background, I focused mostly on total calories (and fat and fibre) but not protein vs. carb.

I now aim for a 40/30/30 split between carbs/protein/fat. I would like to see the 40% be the protein but for me it's just too hard. If I aim for the 30% protein it translates to approximately 90 grams of protein per day. That's still a struggle for me but it seems to help my weight loss, rather than the 60/20/20 carb/protein/fat split that I was probably doing before.

Oh, and I also found increasing my fat intake to be a struggle too, after all the years of low fat dieting. Sometimes my fat intake was 15% on Fitday.

I'm not sure if I've helped, but I've tried!


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Old 07-29-2008, 08:18 PM   #3
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I aim for 45%P/25-30%C/25-30%F. That translates to about 120 grams of protein for me. Sometimes my protein is higher. I have NO PROBLEM getting lots of protein, I love protein and my body just feels better on a higher protein diet. I can't eat anything with wheat, barley or rye in it, so my starchy carbs are limited to rice, sweet potatoes and beans. Generally, I consider corn or white potatoes to high in calories and too high on the glycemic index to be bothered with. Most of my carbs come from tons of vegetables and some fruit. I mean TONS.

I really think this is highly individual. Some people just don't feel good and/or cannot lose weight eating high carb/low protein, others never feel full or good eating high protein. The ultimate in not feeling good on high protein would be our buddy sportsmom with her tendency towards kidney stones. I just plain could not lose weight or maintain either weight or muscle mass on anything but a higher protein diet. On the other hand, I do know ONE vegetarian body builder and I don't think she gets even half the protein that I do.

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Old 07-29-2008, 08:28 PM   #4
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I'm with Mel and Elisa - my body seems to work better on a higher protein diet.

I actually still aim for a slightly higher percentage of carbs: 40%
Protein: 35%
Fat: 25%

For me that works out to around 110 or so g of protein a day.

I will admit that I use a protein powder to get there ... I use a Whey Isolate powder. I add it to my morning yogurt and then I have a post-workout smoothie with another scoop. That helps a lot in getting the needed protein into my diet.

Since boosting my protein intake, my workouts seem to be more effective and I seem to be dropping weight again.

.

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Old 07-29-2008, 08:37 PM   #5
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Like Mel and Photochick, I feel better and work out more effectively with more protein. I'm not smart enough to multiply goal weight or lean body mass by a formula, so I simply aim for about 40% of my calories to come from protein. Since I use Fitday, that's easy to figure out. My floor is 100 grams a day, a nice round number that I can handle, and I usually end up close to 110 - 120 grams or so.
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:52 PM   #6
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And I'm even simpler than Meg. No formulas involving goal weight and body mass for me--I didn't even bother to figure out what percentage of my calories my protein is. I shoot for 100g of protein a day. I can't remember now where I got that number from, but I like it because it's nice and round. I have no problem getting there; I'm usually over. For the past week, I've averaged around 120g of protein per day. I think my calories usually end up around 15% fat, 35% protein, and 50% carbs. I'm okay with the protein where it is, but I would like to exchange some the carbs for fat.

I don't use any protein powder or bars--to little food for way too many calories for me.

I think that maybe at one point I was trying to reduce the carbs in my diet and I found it easier to exchange carbs for protein than for fat. I can't really say that the protein has helped. I don't think it has hurt, but I didn't notice any significant change in my weight loss when I started eating more protein.
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:31 PM   #7
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I'm with Barbara on the bars - I find that they contain too many calories for too little food. I used to feel the same way about the powders, but the ones that I've found recently I'm happy with ... simply because I can mix them with whatever I want to create the volume I need to feel full.

A scoop of powder has 120 cals and 26g protein. I can mix that with skim or 2% milk, or even water. Add a cup of chopped frozen fruit for about 80 cals. Whirl the whole thing in a blender. That nearly fills a 20oz glass with smoothie for anywhere from 180 to 280 or so cals (depending on water/milk/fruit/etc). For me that's a GREAT post workout snack and because of the amount of protein I feel really full, so I don't eat nearly as much dinner.

I've also noticed since having a smoothie in the evening, I don't get the post dinner nibbles and cravings I used to. I can have my post-workout drink in the evening, dinner around 8, and go to bed feeling comfortable, instead of wishing I had calories for a snack.

.

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Old 07-29-2008, 10:06 PM   #8
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I also try to get over 100g of protein. I just feel more full that way and it seems to help me lose. I'm trying to control my carbs lately, I need another week or so to know for sure, but I may be on the cusp of breaking this darn plateau.

Hopefully, I didn't jinx it!
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:20 AM   #9
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Gosh, you guys are the BEST! Thanks for the posts - keep them coming!

I have been averaging around 80 grams of protein per day, but I'm thinking as I'm a big woman (6', 240-ish) who's working out all the time, maybe I should eat more. I'll give it a try. I'm on FitDay, too. It seems no matter how I try, I can't break the 50% carb barrier. No wonder they call this a challenge!
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:58 PM   #10
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I was told on another site that when you are lifting, the mantra is 1g protein per pound of weight. I am NOWHERE near 170g of protein! I just try to get in as much as I can, protein bars, protein shakes, almonds, Greek yogurt etc. It's difficult for me though because I am a vegetarian who cannot have any heavily soy based foods. No tofu, soy yogurt, soy cheese, some protein bars etc.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:52 PM   #11
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Default How do you get your protein?

I too believe I do better with more protein. How do you all get it in each day? I see some are using whey. What are the rest of you doing?
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:26 AM   #12
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egg whites, cottage cheese, chicken breast, ground turkey breast, pork tenderloin, salmon, tuna, occasional beef, low fat mozzarella, egg whites, cottage cheese...did I mention egg white or cottage cheese?

I use very little protein powder any more, although I used to rely on it quite a bit.

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Old 10-09-2008, 10:00 AM   #13
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I follow a vegan diet so I get all my protein from plant based items

I will occasionally use a vegan protein powder to make a shake but that is pretty much a rarity.

I eat lots of beans, some faux meat products, lately I've added soy yogurt. I also eat high protein grains (quinoa, amaranth, couscous), green veggies, nuts.

I get around 100g protein/day.
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:37 PM   #14
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Read some Paleo diet stuff. I just increased my protein, again - and I'm feeling much better and able to do more. Still learning, but especially if you workout seriously.
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:56 PM   #15
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Another consumer of 120g of protein a day over here.

My breakdown percentage is pretty much 40protein/30carb/25fat. My sources of protein are cottage cheese and protein powder in my oatmeal in the am, 4 large eggwhites with a slice of ff Kraft singles, slice of multigrain carb counting bread and fruit for lunch, snack is cottage cheese mixed with Fage greek yogurt and fruit, and dinner is usually chicken, extra lean turkey, extra lean ground beef, with vegetables and fruit. If I'm really hungry between meals I may have extra ff cottage cheese warmed in the microwave with splenda and cinnamon.

Last night I made a meatballs with extra lean ground turkey, two egg whites, enough Italian bread crumbs to make it hold together, parmigiano reggiano cheese (just a little for flavor) oregano, and about eight chopped kalamata olives. I made the meatballs big enough to fit inside a muffin tin covered them with Newman's Own Marinara sauce sprinkled just a little bit of cheese on them and topped with half of an olive. OMG. These were good and just the right size to serve the boys for dinner. Four left over for a couple of meals for Mom too. Although the youngest one in the family begged to dig into my stash for his lunch today.
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