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  1. #1
    Registered User Xavaneptus's Avatar
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    Question How much daily protein do I need? (Avoiding muscle cannibalism when losing weight)

    I'm currently at 104.3 kg (229.9 lbs). I'm 30 years old and 174 cm (5'85") in height. This is day 8 of my fight against obesity, which I started at 108.5 kg. The goal is to lose 3kg per 10 days, so 30 kg by the 100th. My regiment is Beachbody's Power90 that alternates between weightlifting and cardio ("Sculpt" and "Sweat"). I also do some cycling in the "sculpting" days.

    My original nutrition plan was to eat lean meat and veggies, mostly leafy greens, and stay away from carbohydrates, fats and sugar. I came across this article [Redacted nerdfitness article due to not complying with 50 post minimum for links] that made me think I might not be eating enough protein to avoid cannibalizing my muscles. This is a problem because I don't want to waste all that weightlifting effort.

    Since yesterday I've shifted to a protein powder (isolate whey). It has BCAA's that I've read are also important to minimize muscle consumption. But the article speaks of 200 grams of protein for my weight, which I've found is actually really hard to have in such quantities. Maybe it was written for people who have significant muscle weight already and need it.

    My diet now is mostly 2 eggs per day, a cup of broccoli or cauliflower, a multivitamin (for prudence), and however much protein powder I need (I had 168 grams of protein yesterday, including the eggs, by my calculations). I expect my necessary protein intake should be between 100 and 200 grams, but I want to be sure I'm not having too little or too much either because it would get expensive.

    Can anyone advice?
    Last edited by Xavaneptus; 12-11-2019 at 07:53 AM.
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  2. #2
    Harsh Truth Distributor xsquid99's Avatar
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    We usually tell people at least 0.7g per pound of bodyweight daily, but that doesn't apply to those that are obese. Use your target bodyweight (say 200 lbs) and get at least 0.7g of protein per pound, so AT LEAST 140g daily at a minimum (more is better in a calorie deficit).

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    Macronutrient Intake

    Make sure that your diet meets the minimum protein and fat intake.

    Protein minimum: 0.7 gram per pound of bodyweight (or target/ideal weight in the obese).
    (for optimal body building purposes and during energy deficit higher intakes may provide additional benefits.)

    Fat minimum: 0.4 gram per pound of bodyweight (or target/ideal weight in the obese).

    Remaining caloric budget: whatever mix of macronutrients you prefer and/or allows you to perform and feel well. Some people do better on a higher carb intakes while other people do better on moderate or lower carb intakes. It is not necessary to set a specific numbers for each macro, what matters is that the total calories, minimum fat and protein are achieved.
    Last edited by xsquid99; 12-09-2019 at 03:40 PM.
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  3. #3
    Registered User oldandintheway's Avatar
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    About .350 grams of protein per lb body weight
    I get a tax deduction just by hanging out here

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    Registered User Xavaneptus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    We usually tell people at least 0.7g per pound of bodyweight daily, but that doesn't apply to those that are obese. Use your target bodyweight (say 200 lbs) and get at least 0.7g of protein per pound, so AT LEAST 140g daily at a minimum (more is better in a calorie deficit).

    Macronutrient Intake

    Make sure that your diet meets the minimum protein and fat intake.

    Protein minimum: 0.7 gram per pound of bodyweight (or target/ideal weight in the obese).
    (for optimal body building purposes and during energy deficit higher intakes may provide additional benefits.)

    Fat minimum: 0.4 gram per pound of bodyweight (or target/ideal weight in the obese).

    Remaining caloric budget: whatever mix of macronutrients you prefer and/or allows you to perform and feel well. Some people do better on a higher carb intakes while other people do better on moderate or lower carb intakes. It is not necessary to set a specific numbers for each macro, what matters is that the total calories, minimum fat and protein are achieved.
    Target bodyweight (176 lbs) * 0.7 = 123.2 g of protein
    Actual bodyweight (229.9 lbs) * 0.7 = 160.9 g of protein
    But at least 140 g. So 140 g is sufficient, but up to 160 is acceptable? And 200g is overdoing it?

    Also, I didn't know there was a fat minimum.
    Target (176 lbs) * 0.4 = 70.4 g of fat
    Actual (229.9 lbs) * 0.4 = 91.9 g of fat
    I suppose it's not too much, though eating fat seems counterproductive. Do bad things happen without that?

    Originally Posted by oldandintheway View Post
    About .350 grams of protein per lb body weight
    Well that's a very different answer. It's half what the other guy said!
    Target (176 lbs) * 0.35 = 61.6 g of protein
    Actual (229.9 lbs) * 0.35 = 80.4 g of protein
    I'm confused.
    Last edited by Xavaneptus; 12-11-2019 at 07:54 AM.
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    Registered Soul faithbrah's Avatar
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    personally i'd aim for 150-200 grams of protein per day at your weight. i'm 77 kg and probably eat around 120-150 grams, seems to work for me
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Extra protein when cutting is never a bad thing so don’t be reluctant to take in more than advised. It has benefits. It’s the most satiating macro, it has an extremely high TEF ( 20-25% of its calories are used just in digestion and processing), it’s muscle sparing. I would not think in terms of a minimum but in terms of what is the amount for optimum results
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    Registered User Xavaneptus's Avatar
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    I was suspecting the amount because I had a lot of trouble ingesting that much.
    Last edited by Xavaneptus; 12-11-2019 at 07:54 AM.
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    Originally Posted by Xavaneptus View Post
    I was suspecting the amount because I had a lot of trouble ingesting that much.
    180g of protein is only 720 calories, and you've been eating several thousand calories a day to reach obesity. So hitting that much protein should not be an issue for you. You can knock out 50g just with a 2 scoop shake.

    Every bit of protein counts, not just your traditional sources like eggs and meats and fish. Dont forget about all the other sources like beans/lentils, whole grains, dairy products, etc.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Xavaneptus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    180g of protein is only 720 calories, and you've been eating several thousand calories a day to reach obesity. So hitting that much protein should not be an issue for you.
    I guess gulping 300 ml of water plus 30 g of protein is a big thing, especially if it needs to be repeated 3+ times per day. That protein really makes me feel full. I don't know, it's just difficult. I've ended up mixing two scoops with a bit of water to make a paste and make two pancakes with the consistency of a soft-cookie. It's easier without so much water, plus it gives me something to chew on. Adding one egg makes it better. I am managing to get there.
    Last edited by Xavaneptus; 12-09-2019 at 09:22 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Xavaneptus View Post
    I guess gulping 300 ml of water plus 30 g of protein is a big thing, especially if it needs to be repeated 3+ times per day. That protein really makes me feel full. I don't know, it's just difficult. I've ended up mixing two scoops with a bit of water to make a paste and make two pancakes with the consistency of a soft-cookie. It's easier without so much water, plus it gives me something to chew on. Adding one egg makes it better. I am managing to get there.
    Here's a quick sample of my daily intake:

    Breakfast: 3 boiled eggs, 2 dannon light & fit greek yogurt, 1/2 cup of oats - 47g of protein

    Mid morning: 1 scoop of protein powder in 8oz of water - 25g of protein

    Lunch: 8 oz chicken breast + veggies + 1 cup of basmati rice = 70g protein

    Dinner: 6 oz of 96/4 lean ground beef, salsa, shredded cheese, 1 cup of rice, spinach (aka "taco rice"): About 45g of protein

    Before bed 1 more scoop of protein powder in 8oz of water: 25g of protein

    Total: 212g of protein
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  11. #11
    Registered User Xavaneptus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    Here's a quick sample of my daily intake:

    Breakfast: 3 boiled eggs, 2 dannon light & fit greek yogurt, 1/2 cup of oats - 47g of protein

    Mid morning: 1 scoop of protein powder in 8oz of water - 25g of protein

    Lunch: 8 oz chicken breast + veggies + 1 cup of basmati rice = 70g protein

    Dinner: 6 oz of 96/4 lean ground beef, salsa, shredded cheese, 1 cup of rice, spinach (aka "taco rice"): About 45g of protein

    Before bed 1 more scoop of protein powder in 8oz of water: 25g of protein

    Total: 212g of protein
    Yeah, making it more varied and tasty would certainly make it easy. I'm on fat loss so I'm taking as little carbs as I can. Once I'm in my right weight I'll be doing something nicer like you. Also, forgive me but I've been reading the Nutrition stickies, and there was a link to a comprehensive egg article that stated that more than 6 eggs per week wasn't advisable for the cholesterol content. Is that nullified by your workout?
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    Harsh Truth Distributor xsquid99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Xavaneptus View Post
    Yeah, making it more varied and tasty would certainly make it easy. I'm on fat loss so I'm taking as little carbs as I can. Once I'm in my right weight I'll be doing something nicer like you. Also, forgive me but I've been reading the Nutrition stickies, and there was a link to a comprehensive egg article that stated that more than 6 eggs per week wasn't advisable for the cholesterol content. Is that nullified by your workout?
    Shoot, I've been eating 20-30 eggs a week for 3 years and my cholesterol is the lowest its ever been in my life.
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    For value and low calories and protein content it’s hard to beat chicken and turkey breast
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    Registered User Xavaneptus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    For value and low calories and protein content it’s hard to beat chicken and turkey breast
    I've realized the isolate protein isn't actually cheaper than lean meat. the shake is 10g per CU (currency unit) vs the chicken breast's 12g per CU. Chicken breast also only has 36 grams of fat per kg. Since I now have a minimum fat intake that's actually a good thing. I went a bit overboard with the minimization of fat.
    Last edited by Xavaneptus; 12-09-2019 at 10:45 PM.
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    Shoot, I've been eating 20-30 eggs a week for 3 years and my cholesterol is the lowest its ever been in my life.
    42 eggs per week here, haven't had it tested but no health problems yet
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    Originally Posted by Xavaneptus View Post
    I've realized the isolate protein isn't actually cheaper than lean meat. the shake is 10g per CU (currency unit) vs the chicken breast's 12g per CU. Chicken breast also only has 36 grams of fat per kg. Since I now have a minimum fat intake that's actually a good thing. I went a bit overboard with the minimization of fat.
    Always try to get your nutrition from real food
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    Registered User andy0w's Avatar
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    High protein meal will trigger glucose production from body fat.

    I'd say 1.2g / kg bodymass.
    For high activity up to 1 5~2.0g / kg

    Adjust your calories and nutrients as you lose weight.

    Add 30ml / kg water per day.
    Cycling, walking, swimming.
    No car.
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