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How much protein per day!?!

KelDawLanKelDawLan Member, Premium Posts: 7 Member Member, Premium Posts: 7 Member
Hi all,
I’m a long distance runner, and now training for shorter summer races so 2-5 miles. I want to lose 1-2% body fat, started at 20%, now at 19%, and gain some muscle. So I’m weight training 4x a week, using thinner leaner stronger guidance. Using MFP to track calories and macros, set to 40/40/20 split. On a drop of 1 pound a week, but get back exercise calories. Starting at 135g a day for protein which is a challenge, and then it increases as I exercise. At 5ft 7 and 125lbs do I need to be consuming as much as the guidance in the picture here? eaxcekhjqkic.png
edited June 2019

Replies

  • sardelsasardelsa Member Posts: 9,833 Member Member Posts: 9,833 Member
    I would aim for 0.8-1g per lb bodyweight minimum. 184g is a bit much for your stats. I would also increase fats to at least 0.4g per lb as they are important for hormone function.

    Agree with @psuLemon I would look into recomp. At some point I would consider a bulk when you are comfortable with your bodyfat %.
    Here is a great thread on recomp

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10177803/recomposition-maintaining-weight-while-losing-fat/p1
  • MikePTYMikePTY Member, Premium Posts: 3,819 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3,819 Member
    1 pound is probably too aggressive at your weight and body fat level. If you are going to continue to cut, I wouldn't do any more than .5 pounds per week. But a recomp is probably better.

    And 40% protein is also excessive. 25-30% would be more than enough. There is no one universal recommendation for protein amount (you'll see at least 5 different formulas regularly spread on this board), but the most common is 1 pound of lean mass. So at 125 and 20 percent fat, that really means you only need around 100 or so grams per day.
  • KelDawLanKelDawLan Member, Premium Posts: 7 Member Member, Premium Posts: 7 Member
    Ok, thanks guys. I wasn’t sure whether to put my goal to maintain or lose weight as I have the exercise calories given back to me, and sometimes it has gone up to over 2000 calories after a long run. If I change the macro split for my exercise calories to a 50/50 for carbs and fats, that would maintain my 135g protein per day target. Does that sound sensible?

    Ultimately I am wanting to recomp, but was being cautious about how many calories to start the day with, as I run most days, I know I will be getting an additional 500 calories a day on average.

    If fats are at 0.4g per lb, can I still lose fat?
  • sardelsasardelsa Member Posts: 9,833 Member Member Posts: 9,833 Member
    Fat/weight loss will come from a calorie deficit (also possible to lower bodyfat eating at maintenance but not actual weight). How you split up your macros is up to you. However to help maintain muscle adequate protein is beneficial and fats are essential for health and hormone function.
    edited June 2019
  • GaryRunsGaryRuns Member, Premium Posts: 463 Member Member, Premium Posts: 463 Member
    How are you getting that body-fat percentage measurement? 19-20% seems pretty high given your height and weight. Short of a hydro-static or DEXA scan be wary of those numbers, especially if they're coming from an electrical impedance device or calipers.

    As to MFP's protein recommendation, it adjusts that based on your exercise calories, along with your other macros. Unfortunately, for strength/hypertrophy goals, you don't really want that. As long as you're getting approximately 0.8-1g of protein per pound of body weight that's sufficient, regardless of exercise. More protein won't hurt you, but it won't contribute to building strength and muscle. Ideally you'd set a hard value for your protein and let MFP adjust the carbs and fat for your exercise calories to eat back and leave protein alone. Unfortunately, unless you go premium (I've heard, don't quote me), you can't do that in MFP so you have to do it yourself.
  • sardelsasardelsa Member Posts: 9,833 Member Member Posts: 9,833 Member
    @GaryRuns according to OP's profile she is female so 19-20% is not unreasonable at all for her stats.
  • GaryRunsGaryRuns Member, Premium Posts: 463 Member Member, Premium Posts: 463 Member
    @sardelsa, Duh! My gender bias shows through. :D I assumed the OP was male. I stand corrected.
  • KelDawLanKelDawLan Member, Premium Posts: 7 Member Member, Premium Posts: 7 Member
    Thanks @sardelsa yeah, I’m a female, and get told most days I’m too skinny/thin blah blah blah, mostly by office people who don’t exercise much, and never compete at running. I’m still a wee bit larger than the girls that beat me.
    @GaryRuns I have scales at home and my gym has more techie ones with handle things and they confirm quite closely what my home scales say. That’s exactly what I have recently done with the exercise calories being given back. I have the premium MFP and have sat the ratio at 55% carbs, 15% protein and 30% fat for the additional calories. This is much more doable, thanks for confirming I’m on the right track with it. My normal ratio now is set at 45/35/20. And this seems to be stabilising/0.5lb p/w loss with my weight at 8st 12 now and very slowly changing BF down @19.4% muscle up @41.1%.
    Think I’m finally on the right path with my goals. Thanks everyone.
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