ANYONE getting ~100g of protein through food alone

*thanks in advance to anyone who reads through all of this!*

while eating under 1350 calories? I've tried and tried, both in reality and in pre-planning days in the food diary, and unless I go to around 1800 calories I can't seem to meet that protein goal - which is one gram for every pound of lean body mass - without resorting to eating nothing but meat. I don't want to do that, it doesn't appeal to me eating wise and it doesn't make sense to me that I should have to eat that way to meet my nutritional needs. I'm starting to think it's nearly impossible.

I really prefer a whole foods approach and am rather put off by the idea of eating some highly processed supplement. I eat a lot of yogurt, peanut butter, beans, oatmeal, cheese, and 'regular' protein - chicken, pork, beef, fish, or soy grain on a regular basis. I know there are small substitutions I can make on a daily basis to slightly up my protein intake, and I'm working on making them. A lot of them are a matter of using up all of things I already bought before switching to the other thing, like right now I'm stocked up on sheep yogurt which gives 10 g of yogurt vs Greek yogurt which would give me 17 g, but even if I log a day with all these small changes it isn't adding up to enough protein. My diary is wide open if anyone wants to take a look - please realize today and yesterday are given away to Thanksgiving celebrations and taking a break from focusing on all of this. I have next Monday logged as an example of a day where I meet my protein goals - and my caloric intake is nearly 1900.

It's all leading me to think that my current deficit of 500 might not be the healthiest intake level for me, and that perhaps I should lower it to 250, but even then I feel I would be struggling to meet my protein goals. I have been so easy going with my weight loss so far, not really freaking out over anything, but now I'm starting to freak out over this! I am trying to focus on overall health, not scale weight - losing body fat and gaining muscle. I want to minimize my muscle loss while getting rid of the fat; I know some loss is inevitable. I'm starting a strength training program this week with a personal trainer to help with this goal and thinking seriously of making some huge changes to my diet plan as well.

Sorry this is so rambly, I'm both venting and trying to figure this *kitten* out.


  • Crystal817
    Crystal817 Posts: 2,021 Member
    My protien total for today was 110.

    I had chicken, eggs (plus more whites), greek yogurt and tuna.
  • snookumss
    snookumss Posts: 1,451 Member
    I am usually focused on my protein when I eat most things, but I have a 1700 estimate calorie goal AND I USUALLY have to drink a protein shake to get there. Its much easier for me, I think Turkey may have a LARGE amount of protein in it as well, for another meat option. 1350 calories seems REALLY low, but also if you are training you get those exercise calories. That will make a difference in how much you can intake. Seriously though, I have just sat down and eaten meat before, quite frequently and I still have room for other things (my random treats---and veggies of course "D). If you factor in a regular schedule of exercise, it will help A LOT in getting an adequate amount of protein.
  • drog2323
    drog2323 Posts: 1,386 Member
    thats too much to read. sorry

    i do pretty well on protein thru food, but i also have (usually) one protein shake a day.

    sorry...wasnt much help
  • TLCEsq
    TLCEsq Posts: 413 Member
    What is your current LBM in pounds? My LBM is about 125 and I can make my protein goal fairly easily but it requires a bit of a cutback on carbs, to around the 40% range. At 1350 calories, getting your protein might be darn hard without upping your calories as you say. I lose more weight if I eat more and eat more protein as opposed to eating less protein just to eat fewer calories.
  • CMmrsfloyd
    CMmrsfloyd Posts: 2,385 Member
    I shoot for 100g per day, my goal is 1200 calories per day but I also early exercise calories which normally puts me eating 1600-1900 on exercise days. My biggest sources of protein are usually grilled chicken and salmon, just b/c they are easy to keep in the freezer and quick to prepare. My 98g grilled chicken breast is about 24g protein and 110 calories if I remember correctly and I think my cheap salmon is about 15g protein and 100 calories. I make sure I get protein at every meal and add it into snacks if necessary (peanut butter, cheese, yogurt). If I were having a super lazy food day I could easily work in 4 of those chicken breasts throughout the day for a total of 96g protein at only 440 calories. Of course I don't normally eat THAT much chicken in one day. LOL. A lot of days I will have it twice though, and that's nearly half my protein goal right there.
  • Acg67
    Acg67 Posts: 12,142 Member
    100g of pro = 400cals which is then 25% of your cal goal. so you wouldn't just be eating only meat to hit that goal.

    i usually eat 100g of pro in 1 meal, so it can be done with not much effort
  • DakotaKeogh
    DakotaKeogh Posts: 693 Member
    Yes. I am getting well over 100 grams every day and need to do so as I'm near the goal and my body is lean enough to want to give up lean mass more than fat. I admit, on some days I have to juice it with a protein shake. But usually I can get there on my own.

    Kashi Go Lean
    Almond Milk
    Galaxy Nutrition Veggie Cheese
    Sunbutter (peanut butter replacement from sunflowers)
  • brittg7
    brittg7 Posts: 146 Member
    tuna and eggs will help you a lot along with chicken....i also struggle with the protein intake but if you plan ahead and stay focused you can do it...protein bars are also helpful...i personally do not do shakes because one it is expensive and im in college and two because when i have tried shakes i have never liked them...
  • servilia
    servilia Posts: 3,453 Member
    Stock up on chicken and fish!! I find it hard to get to 100g on food alone so I use a shake, but if you really don't want to go that route then meat is your most cal-efficient option. My greek yogurt is pretty good too - 3/4 cup = 100 cals, 18g protein.
  • Acg67
    Acg67 Posts: 12,142 Member
    8oz shrimp, 8 oz of chicken, cook, throw in some stir fry veggies and you have 100g of pro right there in a single meal
  • CoryIda
    CoryIda Posts: 7,935 Member
    I regularly hit around 100 grams of protein/day and don't take a supplement of any kind; however, I get a lot of the protein from chicken and fish - I can have large servings of them for lunch and dinner and have veggies and other lower calorie, high nutrition sides with them.

    My calorie goal is a lot higher than yours since I am on maintenance, but getting about 12-16 oz of a healthy fish and/or chicken breast throughout the day can get you pretty close to your 100 g protein goal without using up a lot of calories.
    Then there are eggs, peanut butter, some whole grains (quinoa is a good one) --- basically, it is about choosing high quality proteins so you can get enough without using up all of your calories.

    *** That being said, as a disclaimer, I don't eat anywhere near an ounce of protein for each pound of my lean body mass (130-ish lbs). I eat somewhere around 50% carbs / 25% protein / 25% fat, which is what works well for my body, but everyone is different.
  • caveats
    caveats Posts: 493 Member
    I'm a red meat-lover, so it isn't that hard for me to down a 10-12 oz. steak (ribeye, NY, sirloin, whatever is on sale at the market) and get at least 75g of protein out of it. And I buy a LOT of red meat. I know I should eat more chicken, poultry, lean meats, whatever, but chicken to me is just so boring. :) But that's dinner.

    A couple of eggs is ~14g protein. That can be breakfast (but I don't really eat breakfast) or, in my case, a post-workout snack. Toss in the Greek yogurt and you're up to ~105g protein without trying very hard.

    Also, if you are trying to lose fat while maintaining the muscle you do have, AND you're about to start with a trainer to learn strength training, then you should raise your calories. 1350 isn't going to get you very far. Aim for a lower deficit, and combined with the extra work you'll get from strength training, you'll get plenty more room in your calories for "other stuff."

    Edited to add: That being said, I still use a protein drink sometimes because red meat gets expensive. Tonight, it was because I ate dinner too late and I was still short on protein, so 12 oz. of soy + a scoop of whey pretty much got me to an acceptable protein level. That was 32g of easy protein -- although I know that you said in your case, you don't want to take "supplements".
  • gp79
    gp79 Posts: 1,799 Member
    It sounds as if your carbs are high. 1g protein per lb and .35g fat per lb of body weight. Fill in the rest with carbs. The only macro that should change in most scenarios are your carbs.
  • tigertchr23
    tigertchr23 Posts: 418 Member
    Nuts, cheese, yogurt, soy beans, lean meats, eggs, protein shake are standard. Make your protein portions larger than carb portions for your meals. The protein shake I use is Isopure Zero. You get 50g of protein with 2 scoops!! It is worth checking into . . . use it after a workout or for breakfast.

    Then have some edamame for snacks between meals. You can also get complete proteins from sprouted grains. Try switching to a bread similar to Ezekial . . . .

    Here is a helpful table as well . . . .

    Best wishes :flowerforyou:
  • servilia
    servilia Posts: 3,453 Member
    I took a look at your diary. With that high of a deficit, you might have trouble being able to fit your protein into that cal goal with the pasta and barley casserole you're having. As you know they're carb heavy. As a personal preference I've cut pasta and other starchy carb foods out of my day to day routine and enjoy having my dinner without it. This way it's easier to fit my proteins in. :)
  • servilia
    servilia Posts: 3,453 Member
    I actually wouldn't recommend nuts if you're looking for protein. They're great for healthy fats but not enough protein for the cals if that's what you're looking for.
  • MFPfriend
    MFPfriend Posts: 1,121 Member
    I barely eat meat at all, and on my normal days (which haven't been normal lately), I get around 80-115 grams on 1400 calories.
    I eat a ton of eggs (well, egg whites. I like them, so no biggie here. I'm not a fan of the yolk, though) and I drink a TON of milk (also one of my favorites). I also have bread that's 5 grams of protein per 100 calories. I try to eat some meat at lunch (usually roasted chicken or turkey on a sandwich). I also eat yogurt (I don't even eat Greek yogurt, though, just regular). Um.... tryin' to think here. I eat string cheese too, since I'm usually pretty good on my fat levels.

    Honestly, it's not too hard. But the lower my carb levels are, the higher my protein level goes.
  • MercenaryNoetic26
    MercenaryNoetic26 Posts: 2,747 Member
    Answering the headline, YES and then I supplement another 100. I shoot for 200gms on my low carb days which has been often.
  • i'm on a mild version of a ckd diet plan and it sounds like your doin the same thing (high protein, high fat, low carb) ive probably lost about 20 pounds of fat and gained about 5 pounds of muscle with not too much excercise in just over one month although i don't really input my excercises...other than the usual protein sources the shake helps quite a bit especially after training.. i gotta eat about 160g plus a day of protein to retain muscle mass. You can look at what i'm eating everyday but i just don't know how to show u.
  • havalinaaa
    havalinaaa Posts: 333 Member
    Thank you everyone. I am in the process of seriously reevaluating my goals/caloric intake and food choices. Everything I'm reading here is backing up what I was already thinking. I realized I was trying to up my protein with the foods/portions I already eat, which clearly wasn't working before and wasn't going to work in the future no matter how much I tried to work it all out.