Do I REALLY need that much protein?!

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Replies

  • Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Angela937 wrote: »
    Y'all thats way to much math!

    Let MFP do the math!

    MFP's default of 20% of calories from protein is also perfectly adequate.

    (Bumping it up to 25-30% gets you in some of the ranges mentioned above.)

    NO-MORE-MATH.jpg

    The USDA suggest protein should be 10-35% of calories. If you're lifting want to be on the higher % which for most people in the normal or a bity overweight (per BMI) will get you into the .8-1g of protein per pound of bodyweight range.

    LOL

    I did a one person experiment and definitely found for me that when my protein is higher I lose weight and gain muscle more easily on the same number of calories with less protein. But honestly, I can never get to 1 gram of protein per kg of body weight. To get close, I used a whey isolate protein powder twice a day.

    Good luck

  • Retroguy2000
    Retroguy2000 Posts: 475 Member
    edited January 2021
    Just chipping in to add consensus to what multiple others have said:

    - The USDA minimum suggestion for general pop is irrelevant here.
    - More protein when doing strength training is very good.
    - More protein when in a calorie deficit is good, and it helps you feel fuller, which makes it easier to keep a deficit.
    - More protein if you're older is good.

    To that end, about 0.7g-0.9g per pound of your lean weight is good, and if you're in a calorie deficit you could maybe bump that a little higher. You said you're 200 pounds but didn't mention your lean weight. Still, that new 150g target you have sounds like a good amount. You could maybe do a few grams less if you're not in deficit. Time to get some whey protein powder.
  • LeanButNotMean44
    LeanButNotMean44 Posts: 852 Member
    Anecdotal situation, but when I increased my protein intake I found that I had some...ahem...bathroom issues. 😳 Granted, I was eating ~180-200g per day (52yrs old, female, ~135lbs) which is a lot, but it was in alignment with my goals. I’ve since reduced my daily calories, so that number has decreased to between 150-180g/day. Bathroom issues are pretty much non-existent.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,142 MFP Moderator
    Anecdotal situation, but when I increased my protein intake I found that I had some...ahem...bathroom issues. 😳 Granted, I was eating ~180-200g per day (52yrs old, female, ~135lbs) which is a lot, but it was in alignment with my goals. I’ve since reduced my daily calories, so that number has decreased to between 150-180g/day. Bathroom issues are pretty much non-existent.

    When you increased your protein, how did your fiber look? How about fats? Its possible there wasn't enough of one of those causing the issue
  • kristingjertsen
    kristingjertsen Posts: 239 Member
    We have an inexpensive scale that tracks a lot of measurements, including protein and skeletal muscle mass. I am mostly vegetarian who eats beans, pulses, peas, tofu and soy products along with fruits, vegetables, and greens. I eat maybe a quarter cup of chicken breast meat or 4 ounces of fatty fish like salmon, sardines or mackerel once or twice a week. My keto husband eats mostly meat and lots of fat, so you would think he would have much higher protein level and muscle mass. The answer is no, mine is actually higher in both categories than he is. Remember that you have many different options to get your protein needs met, and some of those options are lower in fat and much higher in nutrition than others. I focus on the healthier options and eat a little chicken and fish so that my microbiome will continue to recognize them as food it needs to be able to digest. Learned the hard way after succumbing to a serving of Christmas Ham and having miserable digestive problems for three days afterwards.
  • Theoldguy1
    Theoldguy1 Posts: 2,276 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Angela937 wrote: »
    Y'all thats way to much math!

    Let MFP do the math!

    MFP's default of 20% of calories from protein is also perfectly adequate.

    (Bumping it up to 25-30% gets you in some of the ranges mentioned above.)

    NO-MORE-MATH.jpg

    The USDA suggest protein should be 10-35% of calories. If you're lifting want to be on the higher % which for most people in the normal or a bity overweight (per BMI) will get you into the .8-1g of protein per pound of bodyweight range.

    Y'know, I kinda disagree with that. (But I didn't click disagree, in case anyone does.) It will vary a bit by person.

    For me, I lost a bunch of weight at 1600 + exercise. At the base 1600, 20% is 80g protein, for someone with (probably) lean mass somewhere in the 90s pounds. That's IMO a little lower than ideal, but it's not crazy low. (At the time, I was usually into the 90s grams, sometimes higher.) 35% of base calories would've been 140 calories, a number of grams well above my goal weight (which is well within the normal range).

    Moreover, I'd observe that active people following MFP as per instructions are adding calories from exercise, so increasing their protein goal to 20% of a higher calorie number. (A low-ish normal amount of exercise for me would've put protein goal at 90g at 20%). A more muscular (to start) person who is watching weight loss rate, not just trusting the so-called calculator, is likely to get a higher calorie allowance after the first-month trial period at "calculator" calories, besides.

    Since men's good weight tend to fall higher in the normal BMI range than women's, maybe what you're saying is more likely to be true for men than for women. OTOH, they usually also have higher calorie allowances, so I dunno (and I'm too lazy to do the speculative arithmetic).

    I think kshama's right: For a fairly decent range of people, the 20% isn't *crazy* low, especially once exercise is added. A little more might be optimal, sure. 35% universally? I don't think that's necessary, universally. (I sure as heck don't need 183g of it now, in maintenance, at a weight in the 120s, no matter my workout routine.)

    Just my opinions, obviously. What I'd encourage people to do (and did encourage above, and did personally) was to do the arithmetic for grams. It's not hard.

    To all those people who thought they'd never want to use algebra: Solve for X, eh? Heh.

    I never said, and the USDA guidelines don't say protein should be 35% of calories. The USDA recommended range is 10-35%.

    Looking at myself as an example. I'm 205 pounds have been a long time resistance trainer somewhere in the 15-20% BF range. If I'm lifting and maybe getting about 8,000 steps a day I maintain at right around 3,000 calories. If I get 200g of protein that would make about 27% of calories from protein, well within the recommended range. I think this would be pretty much linear for moderately active males in a normal BMI or slightly overweight range

    Now if I decide to train for an endurance event, I would bump my calories but most likely not my protein since I'm a the 1g/lb of bodyweight which is considered good by many sources for an active resistance training individual.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,969 Member
    edited January 2021
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Angela937 wrote: »
    Y'all thats way to much math!

    Let MFP do the math!

    MFP's default of 20% of calories from protein is also perfectly adequate.

    (Bumping it up to 25-30% gets you in some of the ranges mentioned above.)

    NO-MORE-MATH.jpg

    The USDA suggest protein should be 10-35% of calories. If you're lifting want to be on the higher % which for most people in the normal or a bity overweight (per BMI) will get you into the .8-1g of protein per pound of bodyweight range.

    Y'know, I kinda disagree with that. (But I didn't click disagree, in case anyone does.) It will vary a bit by person.

    For me, I lost a bunch of weight at 1600 + exercise. At the base 1600, 20% is 80g protein, for someone with (probably) lean mass somewhere in the 90s pounds. That's IMO a little lower than ideal, but it's not crazy low. (At the time, I was usually into the 90s grams, sometimes higher.) 35% of base calories would've been 140 calories, a number of grams well above my goal weight (which is well within the normal range).

    Moreover, I'd observe that active people following MFP as per instructions are adding calories from exercise, so increasing their protein goal to 20% of a higher calorie number. (A low-ish normal amount of exercise for me would've put protein goal at 90g at 20%). A more muscular (to start) person who is watching weight loss rate, not just trusting the so-called calculator, is likely to get a higher calorie allowance after the first-month trial period at "calculator" calories, besides.

    Since men's good weight tend to fall higher in the normal BMI range than women's, maybe what you're saying is more likely to be true for men than for women. OTOH, they usually also have higher calorie allowances, so I dunno (and I'm too lazy to do the speculative arithmetic).

    I think kshama's right: For a fairly decent range of people, the 20% isn't *crazy* low, especially once exercise is added. A little more might be optimal, sure. 35% universally? I don't think that's necessary, universally. (I sure as heck don't need 183g of it now, in maintenance, at a weight in the 120s, no matter my workout routine.)

    Just my opinions, obviously. What I'd encourage people to do (and did encourage above, and did personally) was to do the arithmetic for grams. It's not hard.

    To all those people who thought they'd never want to use algebra: Solve for X, eh? Heh.

    I never said, and the USDA guidelines don't say protein should be 35% of calories. The USDA recommended range is 10-35%.

    Looking at myself as an example. I'm 205 pounds have been a long time resistance trainer somewhere in the 15-20% BF range. If I'm lifting and maybe getting about 8,000 steps a day I maintain at right around 3,000 calories. If I get 200g of protein that would make about 27% of calories from protein, well within the recommended range. I think this would be pretty much linear for moderately active males in a normal BMI or slightly overweight range

    Now if I decide to train for an endurance event, I would bump my calories but most likely not my protein since I'm a the 1g/lb of bodyweight which is considered good by many sources for an active resistance training individual.

    Sure. I was responding to the implication that 20% was generally not enough. For people similar to me - even with possibly a bit more muscle than average for my size in my age category - 20% isn't crazy, and the 35% top end of the USDA range would be pretty extreme.

    Interestingly, the USDA personalized needs "calculator" recommends 45g protein for me (set at "very active") which IMO *is* crazy low. (The calculator suggests 2413 calories daily at that setting, which is *maybe* 100-ish high for my reality, but in the ballpark.)

    Targeting/exceeding my 100g personal-choice goal (which I estimate to be just above 1g/lb LBM, though without DEXA or other authoritative evidence), my current actual protein intake is running around 22% of calories on average most weeks, per MFP. That's at a slight calorie deficit (usually 100-250 daily), so I suspect that the protein intake would be pretty close to 20% of actual maintenance calories. I grant that it would be a higher percent of calories at a bigger deficit, but not enough IMO to make 20% crazy-low.

    That was my point: For people similar to me, the 20% is actually higher (by lots) than the supposedly custom USDA recommend number of grams, even at a deficit; and though it's a bit lower than what I think is optimum for me, it's not far enough so to be a Really Bad Plan. This started with kshama asserting that "20% is perfectly adequate" (but mentioning higher percentages for those who prefer). I agree with your contention that it's better to use a gram/pound calculation, but disagree (original post said "kinda disagree"😉) with the implication that 20% is going to be materially too low, even if active/lifting. Like I said, individuals will vary: Higher TDEE, relatively lower percent needed (even at a deficit); lower TDEE, relatively higher percent needed . . . among other individually variable personal factors.

    That's all. I don't think we have a big gap in actual opinions, in practice.
  • LeanButNotMean44
    LeanButNotMean44 Posts: 852 Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    Anecdotal situation, but when I increased my protein intake I found that I had some...ahem...bathroom issues. 😳 Granted, I was eating ~180-200g per day (52yrs old, female, ~135lbs) which is a lot, but it was in alignment with my goals. I’ve since reduced my daily calories, so that number has decreased to between 150-180g/day. Bathroom issues are pretty much non-existent.

    When you increased your protein, how did your fiber look? How about fats? Its possible there wasn't enough of one of those causing the issue

    Oh, it was most definitely because I wasn’t consuming enough fiber. I kept my carbs fairly low; not keto low, but usually fewer than 100g. I’m certain that as a result my fiber was intake was probably 20g or less per day. Fats were fine because I ate eggs, cheese, Greek yogurt, almonds, etc.

    I’m eating more carbs than I had been and haven’t had to deal with the issue in quite awhile, thankfully!
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,145 Member
    gwenster89 wrote: »
    Hey everyone! Happy new year. I've been getting back on my food/lifting grind (and damn it feels good!) and I've been having a blast nerding out about macros and intermittent fasting and all the things I'm going to sort of mostly not do. However, one thing I've seen a lot is that we should be eating 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per pound that we weigh. Is that true?! I've found that a lot of these numbers are catered to normative bodies (TDEE is another one), but once someone has a higher amount of body fat than what those calculations were created from, the results are no longer accurate. So, if I'm 200 lbs, should I really be eating 160 to 200 g of protein? That just seems like a lot. My naturopath said 80 is good, which is a very different number.

    Just curious what your thoughts are! Thanks in advance!

    Depends on elegant your goals are. If you want to just lose weight then lower end is fine if you want to retain muscle and lose weight than .8 to 1 gram is the ideal number to hit.
  • sarah7591
    sarah7591 Posts: 282 Member
    How do you know what your lean body mass is?
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,969 Member
    sarah7591 wrote: »
    How do you know what your lean body mass is?

    With reasonable accuracy? Dexa for $$. Maybe a few other lab-type tests, maybe calipers in the hands of someone skilled/experienced

    Less accurate, maybe good enough approximation for some purposes: Visual assessment by skilled/experienced person; maybe the online "Navy fat calculator"; maybe some BIA devices (4 point better than 2, probably) might be in the ballpark if used under appropriate conditions & averaged over time or outliers ignored; self-comparison to online compendia of photos of people of similar size at various (reported) body fat levels.

    For clarity: Not saying that last paragraph is *accurate* methods. Just saying it may be close enough for some purposes. For protein calculations specifically, once you do the math, you can be a little off on BF% without the number of grams being vastly different. For example, let's say my 2-point BIA scale is accurate (which it probably isn't). It's consistently around 23% lately. I'm around 125 pounds. The combination of those numbers suggests I have lean mass of 96.25 pounds, so 1g protein per pound is 96. Let's say it's wrong, BF% is really 27%. 91.25 lbs lean mass, 91g protein. Or, it's really 19%, so really 101.25lb LBM and 101g protein. My protein varies by that much daily anyway (I'm usually over 100g somewhere), so meh, who cares.

    YMMV.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,969 Member
    sarah7591 wrote: »
    How do you know what your lean body mass is?

    I tried to answer, but for some reason got "comment under review". 🤷‍♀️ It'll show up here later, after other people have given better answers. 😆
  • Theoldguy1
    Theoldguy1 Posts: 2,276 Member
    sarah7591 wrote: »
    How do you know what your lean body mass is?

    Basically it is the remainder of your body less fat. For example if someone is 200 pounds with 20% bodyfat, their lean body mass is 200 - (200 *20%) = 160 pounds.

    Of course you need to get a good idea of your bodyfat to do the calculation.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,859 Member
    sarah7591 wrote: »
    How do you know what your lean body mass is?

    @sarah7591

    It's hard to know accurately but can be easy to get a rough estimate which is good enough for this purpose as precision isn't required, especially if you are setting a minimum goal for protein.
    There's some sample pictures here to compare yourself against but depending on where your body composition is you might find the textual commentary more useful than the pictures.

    https://www.builtlean.com/body-fat-percentage-men-women/
  • gwenster89
    gwenster89 Posts: 48 Member
    Just chipping in to add consensus to what multiple others have said:

    - The USDA minimum suggestion for general pop is irrelevant here.
    - More protein when doing strength training is very good.
    - More protein when in a calorie deficit is good, and it helps you feel fuller, which makes it easier to keep a deficit.
    - More protein if you're older is good.

    To that end, about 0.7g-0.9g per pound of your lean weight is good, and if you're in a calorie deficit you could maybe bump that a little higher. You said you're 200 pounds but didn't mention your lean weight. Still, that new 150g target you have sounds like a good amount. You could maybe do a few grams less if you're not in deficit. Time to get some whey protein powder.

    I'm gonna aim for 120. That feels attainable... 150 is daunting. I don't eat a ton of meat and I'm trying to stay under 100 g of carbs so I don't want to make up protein with beans and grains. I use a plant-based protein supplement after I work out but not on other days usually, so there's some room to increase protein there. Thanks!
  • darreneatschicken
    darreneatschicken Posts: 669 Member
    0.8 to 1 gram of protein per pound that you weigh seems to be the general consensus if you want to build muscle during a bulk or retain muscle during a cut.