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Craving protein since working out regularly - is this a thing?

cheryscherys Member Posts: 385 Member Member Posts: 385 Member
I have always preferred complex carbs to protein and have happily eaten veggie food. But since upping my workouts to five a week I now really crave protein especially dairy and eggs. And if I have two veggie days in a row I get an overwhelming urge to eat meat. Is this linked to the workouts? I'm late fifties so also wonder if it's just a change of life thing.

Has anyone had similar?
edited June 13

Replies

  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,559 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,559 Member
    It seems very plausible, though I haven't experienced that.

    How much protein had you been getting, before you increased workouts? How much protein are you getting now, on average?

    I'm one of those people who thinks that 0.6-0.8g or so per pound of healthy body weight is a reasonable goal during weight loss, when active, which equates to around 0.8-1g per pound of lean body mass (LBM), for a lot of people.

    At that level during loss, I didn't have protein cravings (despite workouts 6 days most of the time), though I did/do find adequate protein to be part of my personal satiation formula, which may be close to the same concept.

    Nowadays, in maintenance, I shoot for 100g minimum as a nice round number (usually exceed it), and it's around 0.8 x weight in pounds, but a little above what I'd guess 1 x LBM actually is. (I am vegetarian, ovo-lacto, eat plenty of dairy, but few eggs, no protein powder/bars.)
  • cheryscherys Member Posts: 385 Member Member Posts: 385 Member
    Thank you. Those ratios are really helpful.
    Before workouts I would have a small amount of protein at breakfast (natural yoghurt) then maybe fish or chicken or cheese at lunch and then meat or eggs in the evening about three times a week. Now I am more likely to snack on protein.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,559 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,559 Member
    Just so you know: Those ratios are higher than what USDA/WHO and the like recommend for basic nutrition, below what's sometimes recommended by sites very focused on maximizing muscle mass increase. If you want more info, these links from an up-to-date evidence-based site, one generally regarded as neutral (doesn't sell supplements):

    https://examine.com/guides/protein-intake/
    https://examine.com/nutrition/protein-intake-calculator/

    For contrast, you can get somewhat personalized USDA recommendations for protein (and other nutrients) here:

    https://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/dri-calculator/
  • cheryscherys Member Posts: 385 Member Member Posts: 385 Member
    Thank you AnnPT77 :)
  • nossmfnossmf Member Posts: 1,576 Member Member Posts: 1,576 Member
    Following a heavy lifting workout, I tend to crave hamburgers. If it fits my macros based upon dinner plans, I will give in to my craving. If not, then chicken makes a good substitute, lol. Thought for a while I was merely hungry, but I find eating a well-balanced lunch with a salad, fruit and soup just doesn't quite satisfy me as much on a lifting day as it does on a non-lifting day.
  • LenGrayLenGray Member Posts: 555 Member Member Posts: 555 Member
    I tend to prioritize protein in general, but especially when I'm working out.

    If you'd like to stick to the veggie days, snacks like chia pudding with soy milk, roasted edamame or chickpeas, smoothies, or even something like quinoa and lentil roll-ups can be satisfying and high protein. Also, don't forget more processed plant-based products like seitan, tofu, or chickpea flour, which can be made into mock meats, 'cheese', and/or eggy dishes. Those are high-protein, as well as being pretty tasty ;p
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,559 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,559 Member
    LenGray wrote: »
    I tend to prioritize protein in general, but especially when I'm working out.

    If you'd like to stick to the veggie days, snacks like chia pudding with soy milk, roasted edamame or chickpeas, smoothies, or even something like quinoa and lentil roll-ups can be satisfying and high protein. Also, don't forget more processed plant-based products like seitan, tofu, or chickpea flour, which can be made into mock meats, 'cheese', and/or eggy dishes. Those are high-protein, as well as being pretty tasty ;p

    Yes, OP, if the subtext here is that you'd prefer a more veggie-based way of eating, with less meat, there's no reason that can't work. I'm long-time vegetarian (almost 47 years), haven't had any major struggle getting to the protein levels I suggested upthread, without eating meat or fish . . . or protein powder/bars/faux meats (not that there's anything wrong with those IMO, I just don't personally find them tasty/filling). I do eat dairy (quite a lot) and eggs (few), but I'm pretty confident I could hit my protein targets eating entirely plant-based.

    The post I quoted has some great suggestions for doing that, and if that's part of what you're wrestling is, there's more I could add about vegetarian protein strategizing.

    Best wishes!
  • fitstrongfitlovefitstrongfitlove Member Posts: 58 Member Member Posts: 58 Member
    It's encouraging to see the list of mostly plant based proteins. I eat meat, but not too much. Mostly plants.

    Because I am not drawn to meat or much dairy, I work at getting at least 70-80 grams everyday. Yes, I have to work at it. If I am not paying attention, I will eat 40-50grams.

    I use peanut butter powder (trader joe's or pb fit), vegan collagen supplement, greek nonfat yogurt, tofu, and soymilk to help me reach my 80grams of protein. It is working. I feel great. I am 53, 5'2" and building muscle.

    On the days that I eat a cheeseburger, I usually don't meet my protein goals. I think because I will eat fries with the cheeseburger and that eats up my calories. haha oh well, those days are few and far between.
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