How to get so much protein with so few calories?

I have to get 113g of protein in, but my calorie goal is only 1500. How can I do this?


  • tomcustombuilder
    tomcustombuilder Posts: 1,226 Member
    edited May 28
    Skinless Chicken and turkey breast and white fish like Talapia.
  • Retroguy2000
    Retroguy2000 Posts: 1,140 Member
    Protein powder is the cheapest. Typically about 25g for 120 calories.
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 5,735 Member
    Skyr or Greek yogurt are good too.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,595 Member
    Increase your calorie budget with exercise.

    Unlike other sites which use TDEE calculators, MFP uses the NEAT method (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis), and as such this system is designed for exercise calories to be eaten back. However, many consider the burns given by MFP to be inflated for them and only eat a percentage, such as 50%, back. Others are able to lose weight while eating 100% of their exercise calories.


    That said, your protein goal seems high. Where did you get it?

    Here's a reputable protein calculator:

    I shoot for 500 calories of exercise per day, and when I achieve that, using the MFP default of 20% protein aligns with the protein grams recommendation from Examine. If I were completely sedentary, I'd need to bump it up to 30%.
  • DebbsSeattle
    DebbsSeattle Posts: 125 Member
    Sources I use:
    Polar sardines….80 calories…10 grams protein
    Vital Proteins Collagen peptides….70 calories…18 grams protein
    Whole egg….72 calories…6 grams protein
    Flounder…90 calories…19 grams protein
    Whole milk greek yogurt plain….170 calories…16 grams protein
    Salmon, chicken, beef liver, beef, shrimp, oyster, crab, tuna, mackerel all make my weekly foods.
    I like nuts and cheese as well. I try to eat 10 cups of veg per day and that usually provides good protein too in the end of day totals. Yesterday was 34 grams of protein from all the veg and ingredient level inputs and 66 grams from direct protein sources. Try a new food item every week…might I suggest, wheat germ, nutritional yeast, whole flax seed, arugula, kefir, goat milk, sheep cheese, goat cheese, fennel root, jicama, Jerusalem artichokes, wild game (sources exist online). Use this time as an experiment on becoming your best version of you. Shoot for eating 30+ different plants each week. Include fungi (mushrooms) in that group.

    Elimination of high carb processed foods and empty calorie sugars, helped me balance my menus to my macros.
    Not holding myself hostage to meeting exact macros spot on each day also helps. I try to hold myself to a min/max range based on what I have found my body responding to best. Do not think that some trainer, nutritionist, health app has the “magic” formula for you to lose weight/gain weight/maintain weight/increase muscle/achieve body recomposition. You are a sum total of a gazillion unique bits…different from EVERY other person. Use your intuition, your “gut” feelings to guide you to best health. Close your eyes, what does your body want today? “For some reason, beets sound good.” Go get some beets. Tomorrow…”Chicken sounds good.” Go get some chicken. Don’t give into the fake messages that you should grab Pringles…those ones are lies. Look around…what is in season here at home. So if you only hit 99 grams of protein, don’t fret. If you hit 99 and max out calories, but you are craving more protein, look at your vitamin mineral intake, you might not be eating enough veg/fruit, you may need a quality supplement, your fat intake might be low, or might be wrong fats (ie, omega 6 rather than omega 3), your carbs (primarily processed foods) might be too high. Just keep experimenting. There will be a day that is spot on with what your body needs and you will feel great, satisfied, full, healthy, fit. Evaluate the menu at the days end and try to stick to those macros and micros.

    In summary, give yourself some leeway in your macros and your menus. Your great health is a result from many months, not just one day.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 30,382 Member
    You may find this thread useful:

    Review the food you've logged over a couple of days, at your 1500 goal. Look for foods that you could reduce or eliminate without much sacrifice of fullness, nutrition, energy or general happiness. (Reduce = smaller portions, eat it less frequently, etc.). Reduce/eliminate those foods to free up a few calories. Replace those in your regular routine eating patterns with foods you like from the spreadsheet in the thread linked above.

    Repeat that "review and adjust" process until you're hitting your protein goal.

    In addition to that, think not just in terms of "one big protein per meal" (which is important, don't get me wrong!). Look at your choices of side dishes, drinks, snacks, treats, etc., and consider whether there's some equally enjoyable alternative that has at least a little protein. Tweak your eating patterns in that way, too: Little bits through the day can add up to a meaningful conribution.

    Examples: Look at labels, find higher protein bread, snack foods. (Snacks: Reduced fat cheese, cottage cheese, hard-boiled egg, dry-roasted soybeans, crispy chickpeas/broad beans/lentils, jerky, etc.). Swap quinoa or some other slightly higher protein grain equivalent for rice. Consider higher protein pasta - there are several types nowadays. Some veggies have more protein than others - take a look at broccoli, spinach, beans, peas - that spreadsheet will help. (Vegetables are often lower quality protein in terms of bioavailability and essential amino acid (EAA) completeness. Eating a variety of plants sources can help make up for that.)

    113g on 1500 calories should be possible. I set myself a 100g protein minimum, usually average more like 120g . . . as a vegetarian, on only a slightly higher calorie goal (1850, in maintenance) without using protein powder or protein bars (nothing wrong with those, I just don't find them tasty/filling, personally). It should be easier if you're an omnivore.