Protein Argument?

holly55555
holly55555 Posts: 307 Member
I'm in the pursuit of abs and lowering my body fat percentage. I'm 5'8, 130 lbs, but still a lot of fat to lose, especially on my stomach. I've been eating 1450 cal a day and lost 10 lbs since January. I've been weight training 3x a week and cardio 3-5x a week.

I'm getting conflicting information, so maybe some of you can help me sort this out.

I work out with a trainer who told me I need roughly 70g of protein a day to get to my goal of abs. However, my boyfriend is also a trainer (just not mine) and he says I need 1g for every lb I weigh, which would be 130g!

When I told my trainer what my bf said, he said that was an old bodybuilding way of doing things and it's just unnecessary.

When I told my Bf this, he maintains that I need more protein.

So I'm not sure who to agree with. My trainer is in great shape and trains models and actors, so clearly he knows what he's doing. However, sometimes he'll tell me something one day and the next day say the exact opposite. He can be a bit unreliable.

My bf is newer on the scene, also in great shape, and he's very well-educated and knows a lot on nutrition and is constantly taking new courses on the subject.

So which is it? How much protein do I need? Obviously I'd rather eat the 70g just because it's hard to get to 130g in a day. But I really would like abs to show soon and to get more muscle overall.
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Replies

  • juggernaut1974
    juggernaut1974 Posts: 6,212 Member
    Protein doesn't give you abs.

    You do need a fair amount of protein in your diet. It's generally recommended somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.8g per pound of body weight (or alternatively 1g per lb of lean muscle mass) as a general rule of thumb.

    But having 6-pack abs requires low body fat + abdominal muscles, neither of which is (directly) impacted by amount of protein.
  • Springfield1970
    Springfield1970 Posts: 1,945 Member
    edited May 2015
    It's generally agreed and a lot of us here have maintained muscle on a cut and maintenance at 0.8g per pound of body weight, which is 100g110g per day. Easy. This isn't going to give you abs though.

    To reveal the muscle you need to burn the body fat by being on a sensible calorie deficit (10-15%). Eating the protein and lifting will maintain the muscle.
    If you find at the end of your cut you need to build muscle, eat same amount of protein, progressive heavy lift and eat 250cals per day extra of fat and particularly carbs.
    I'm so glad I'm not doing this for a living and not knowing what im doing!
    I've got the gaining weight section posse to thank for that. Better than any personal trainer. Free!
  • dieselbyte
    dieselbyte Posts: 733 Member
    holly55555 wrote: »
    I'm in the pursuit of abs and lowering my body fat percentage. I'm 5'8, 130 lbs, but still a lot of fat to lose, especially on my stomach. I've been eating 1450 cal a day and lost 10 lbs since January. I've been weight training 3x a week and cardio 3-5x a week.

    I'm getting conflicting information, so maybe some of you can help me sort this out.

    I work out with a trainer who told me I need roughly 70g of protein a day to get to my goal of abs. However, my boyfriend is also a trainer (just not mine) and he says I need 1g for every lb I weigh, which would be 130g!

    When I told my trainer what my bf said, he said that was an old bodybuilding way of doing things and it's just unnecessary.

    When I told my Bf this, he maintains that I need more protein.

    So I'm not sure who to agree with. My trainer is in great shape and trains models and actors, so clearly he knows what he's doing. However, sometimes he'll tell me something one day and the next day say the exact opposite. He can be a bit unreliable.

    My bf is newer on the scene, also in great shape, and he's very well-educated and knows a lot on nutrition and is constantly taking new courses on the subject.

    So which is it? How much protein do I need? Obviously I'd rather eat the 70g just because it's hard to get to 130g in a day. But I really would like abs to show soon and to get more muscle overall.

    As I stated in another of your posts, find a new trainer (and possibly a new bf lol). The fact that your trainer is telling you to focus on protein for abs, as well as do a minimum of a hour of cardio a day, is proof he is clueless.
  • decblessings
    decblessings Posts: 113 Member
    I've heard 1g for every pound of lean body mass, not your total weight. Maybe that's what your bf meant?
  • alexgcherk
    alexgcherk Posts: 5 Member
    ceoverturf wrote: »
    Protein doesn't give you abs.
    It's generally recommended somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.8g per pound of body weight (or alternatively 1g per lb of lean muscle mass)

    This is incorrect 0.8g per kilo (not pound). So, you are 130lbs = 59kilos*0.8g = you need 47 grams of protein a day

  • juggernaut1974
    juggernaut1974 Posts: 6,212 Member
    edited May 2015
    alexgcherk wrote: »
    ceoverturf wrote: »
    Protein doesn't give you abs.
    It's generally recommended somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.8g per pound of body weight (or alternatively 1g per lb of lean muscle mass)

    This is incorrect 0.8g per kilo (not pound). So, you are 130lbs = 59kilos*0.8g = you need 47 grams of protein a day

    I'm sorry but you are incorrect. 47g of protein a day is woefully inadequate for most people's goals.

    47g of protein = only 188 calories per day from protein, or less than 10% of most people's calorie budget.
  • rybo
    rybo Posts: 5,424 Member
    The reality is that protein requirements are not fully understood. So its hard to say exactly what you need. However its generally not a bad idea from a satiety perspective to err on the side of more protein than less. All the estimates given are ball park and people have successfully met their goals going both above and below the recommended range.
  • flippy1234
    flippy1234 Posts: 686 Member
    The issue of protein is a tough one. If you eat too much and do not do enough exercise, it will turn to fat. If you don't eat enough and work out too much, you start to lose muscle. Both have happened to me. However, protein will not give you abs. Uncovering your abdominal muscles by losing the fat in that area will give you abs. Protein helps build muscle and keep you fuller longer because it is slow to digest. The amount one needs is different for everyone. It will be trial and error for you. Looks like roughly 100g per day may be a good amount for you to lose weight and maintain muscle. That what I am going for...So, in reality, shoot for 70 to 100 a day I would suggest.
  • yarwell
    yarwell Posts: 10,478 Member
    the usual catastrophe of units.
  • Hornsby
    Hornsby Posts: 10,322 Member
    alexgcherk wrote: »
    ceoverturf wrote: »
    Protein doesn't give you abs.
    It's generally recommended somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.8g per pound of body weight (or alternatively 1g per lb of lean muscle mass)

    This is incorrect 0.8g per kilo (not pound). So, you are 130lbs = 59kilos*0.8g = you need 47 grams of protein a day

    No, it's per lb.

  • dieselbyte
    dieselbyte Posts: 733 Member
    edited May 2015
    flippy1234 wrote: »
    The issue of protein is a tough one. If you eat too much and do not do enough exercise, it will turn to fat. If you don't eat enough and work out too much, you start to lose muscle. Both have happened to me. However, protein will not give you abs. Uncovering your abdominal muscles by losing the fat in that area will give you abs. Protein helps build muscle and keep you fuller longer because it is slow to digest. The amount one needs is different for everyone. It will be trial and error for you. Looks like roughly 100g per day may be a good amount for you to lose weight and maintain muscle. That what I am going for...So, in reality, shoot for 70 to 100 a day I would suggest.

    Please tell me you aren't saying excess protein turns to fat...
  • Hornsby
    Hornsby Posts: 10,322 Member
    dieselbyte wrote: »
    flippy1234 wrote: »
    The issue of protein is a tough one. If you eat too much and do not do enough exercise, it will turn to fat. If you don't eat enough and work out too much, you start to lose muscle. Both have happened to me. However, protein will not give you abs. Uncovering your abdominal muscles by losing the fat in that area will give you abs. Protein helps build muscle and keep you fuller longer because it is slow to digest. The amount one needs is different for everyone. It will be trial and error for you. Looks like roughly 100g per day may be a good amount for you to lose weight and maintain muscle. That what I am going for...So, in reality, shoot for 70 to 100 a day I would suggest.

    Please tell me you aren't saying excess protein turns to fat...

    I was gonna ask that but let it slide...thinking she just misspoke or didn't put the whole thought into it. We shall see.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    alexgcherk wrote: »
    ceoverturf wrote: »
    Protein doesn't give you abs.
    It's generally recommended somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.8g per pound of body weight (or alternatively 1g per lb of lean muscle mass)

    This is incorrect 0.8g per kilo (not pound). So, you are 130lbs = 59kilos*0.8g = you need 47 grams of protein a day

    The reason for the confusion is that .8g/kg is the minimum recommended for basic health for someone who is basically sedentary and not eating at a deficit.

    .8g/lb (or thereabout, say min .8-1 g/lb of lean mass) is recommended for either (1) someone trying to build muscle (like OP), or (2) someone trying to maintain muscle while exercising and eating at a deficit (or a whole lot of people on MFP).
  • flippy1234
    flippy1234 Posts: 686 Member
    Excess anything turns to fat if not burned....
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    Not in a calorie deficit.
  • dieselbyte
    dieselbyte Posts: 733 Member
    flippy1234 wrote: »
    Excess anything turns to fat if not burned....

    While there is metabolic pathway for protein conversion to fat, it is almost unheard of (read 99% unlikely) in any but the most rare circumstances in humans. Even de novo lipogenesis requires rare conditions.
  • holly55555
    holly55555 Posts: 307 Member
    Ooh maybe I need to clarify... no one said eating protein will magically give me abs, it's eating enough protein to accommodate the weight lifting I've been doing to get the abs (and overall muscle) for optimal results.

    I've gotten really great results working with this trainer, but I definitely don't trust everything he says. It's more just having someone make me come to the gym and show me what exercises to do is incredibly helpful!

    Thanks for all the responses... I currently average 70-100g a day. I guess I will just stick to doing that and ignore them both? hahaha
  • _lyndseybrooke_
    _lyndseybrooke_ Posts: 2,561 Member
    ceoverturf wrote: »
    Protein doesn't give you abs.

    That should end the thread right there.

  • holly55555
    holly55555 Posts: 307 Member
    ceoverturf wrote: »
    Protein doesn't give you abs.

    That should end the thread right there.

    I understand that, I am doing all the things to get abs already. Eating at a deficit, weight lifting, abs exercises, etc. My question was about how much protein I need to accommodate this activity level with my goal of getting more muscle/abs.