your opinion on Protein

I’m a sedentary computer programmer who does WAY TOO MUCH OVERTIME camped at my computer.

I currently weigh 90kg (usually more like 75 when in shape) … I want to lose 15KG.
Trimming the calorie intake to bare minimum for nutrient uptake, (1200 ish? ) while boosting exercise dramatically.

Question is, how much protein do I really need?

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  • Mike

    We don’t give nutritional advice here, sorry. But I am a nutritionist and you can contact me outside of here with that question or set up a free consult at http://www.franklynutritious.com

    Best regards,

    Frank

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  • um… this sub-forum is explicitly titled: “Discussion about optimal nutrition.”

    I’m asking for opinions from the community here, not for any particular ‘ExpertAdvice®’…

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  • what kind of exercise will you be pursueing? that can be a good place to start for discussion questions and thoughts.

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  • Starting with Tai Chi and light calisthenics, then ince I feel a bit limbered up, going to add bodyweight exercises and sprints

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  • Proteins are usually not the main culprit of being over weight. Your protein intake will depend on many other factors – what type of diet are you pursuing? Everything works together – if you want to loose weight, carbs and sugar intake will be the more important factor – cut all bread, grains, and sugar; reduce fruit as well. Research the ketogenic diet; your protein intake will depend on your height, weight, age, amount and type of exercise. When I went off carbs and sugar I indulged in proteins so I didn’t feel like I was missing out – lots of burgers , eggs and bacon. After 4 weeks I lost my cravings for carbs – pasta and bread; I lost interest in over indulging on the proteins and I lost weight during the whole process. I then cut my proteins in half ( I did way over indulge, but still lost weight) without feeling like I was missing anything. Changing your lifestyle is a process of adaptation – the first thing is to cut those things your body doesn’t need and continually adjusting the things it does need as you get healthier, stronger and learn what your body needs.

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  • The book 80-10-10 by Dr. Douglas Graham is excellent for this subject. basically he suggests 10% protein and 10% fat 80% carbs. It is a raw food book so the assumption is that your carbs will not be processed sugar. I am 66 pretty active I eat 80 10 10 am vegan and about 40 % raw and it works well for me. I am still in process not there. Graham points out that mothers breast milk is only 6% protein which is what infants have when they are building our body then it makes no sense that adults need more once the house has already been built. I do 10% fat because of my previous high cholesterol. The books by Dr. Cadwell Esselstyn and Dr. Dean Ornish to cardiologists who favor plant based diets also seem in close agreement. I take in 48-55 grams of protein daily under 29 grams of fat. I am 6’1 167 pounds 15.5% body fat. I am working at losing 10-20 pounds more 10 would take me back to my high school weight.

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  • Interesting comments, thanks! I’ve been using chronometer for a year, and after much obsessive tracking, I have determined that I need to be UNDER 1200 calories in order to shed any weight at all. I am five and a half feet tall.

    So the challenge I face is making sure that I keep “enough” protein intake (there isn’t much room for error in only 1200 cal) that I’m not going to be harming muscle mass ( ike my HEART muscle for instance!) if I can get myself working hard physically…

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  • If you’re trying to lose weight keep the protein high. The more protein you consume the better will be your satiety on a low calories diet. Make sure you get enough carbs to keep the brain happy, or after a short while you’d fell like killing someone for a bread roll.

    Don’t pay attention to those who think Mom’s milk being 6% protein prove how low you can go. They have no idea what they are talking about. Protein requirements are based on ideal weight not percentages. A baby drinking nothihng but breast milk under six months old weight is under 28 Kilos that 6% translates into 1.1 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Your minimum should be 1 gram per kilogram of body weight especially while dieting. So, if you translate Mom’s milk into an adult male weighting 72 kilograms that would mean you’d be getting 86.4 grams of protein from breast milk. I don’t think you’d think that low protein. Forget percentages when dieting. They throw you off terribly. There is a big difference when computing 6% protein when consuming 3000 calories versus 6% protein when dieting and consuming 1200 calories. That’s 45 grams at 3,000, and 18 grams at 1,200. Your minimum should be 45 grams of protein and while dieting even more to keep satisfied with the low calories you’ll be eating. In fact I believe 80 grams would be ideal during your diet phase.

    Best of luck

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  • My internist says divide your body weight in half and that is the number of grams of protein you need. Some doctors say to multiply that number by 0.8. My doctor stresses that protein is muscle and it’s the most important thing.

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  • Ive been following a keto diet that says about 70 to 80 grams of protein a day. most other sites i’ve seen are about the same. Crono is saying 38 grams of protein/day. that seems waaaaaaaay low. can that be right?

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  • I almost cried reading some of this.

    The recommendation for protein intake is .84g per kg of body weight.
    But there is data suggesting that is too low for proper health and it should be closer to 1g per kg of body weight, this is a minimum not an optimum number!
    Personally I’m much closer to 2g per kg because I regularly do weight training along with other training, it helps loose weight by making you feel full and ensures you are getting all the essential amino acids your body requires for protein synthesis.
    If you are concerned about the safety of protein intake so high look over the studies, unless you are suffering kidney or liver dysfunction there is little to no data showing it is unsafe.

    Personally my macro ratios are closer to 35% Protein / 25% Fats / 40% Carbs but in reality I calculate protein, then whatever calories are left over are divvied up between fats and carbs so that I’m getting a decent amount of each keeping in mind the recommended minimums.

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  • I’ve been listening to youtube and the doctor’s promoting intermittent fasting and a ketone diet are saying low protein is adequate. I stumbled on a video called: Dr. Joseph Mercola Discusses Enhancing Your Mitochondria, he recommends about 15 grams per meal and states the Protein Requirement is: 1 gram per Kilo gram lean body mass. For women 30 -40 grams protein and men 60 -70 grams. He says, if not obese it’s half of your body mass. There are two camps choose one.

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  • The problem with calorie restriction diets is that your body adapts to the lower calorie intake & you will hit a plateau/not be able to lose weight even at 1200 calories. Most people will then tend to go off the diet (because they are hungry all the time) & regain the weight plus some. One way to avoid having your body do this is via fasting, or Intermittent fasting – 5/2 diet, alternate day fasting. Benefits are these are relatively easy to follow, no muscle loss & once you hit your target weight adaptable into a maintenance plan (I.e. 5/2 becomes 6/1). Do a google search or go to the https://thefastdiet.co.uk or https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/ for some research/reading.

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  • Should have added – you can do whatever menu/meal/diet you want when intermittent fasting. I. E. LCHF, Mediterranean, vegetarian, etc. As well, fasting days do not have to be total fasts – normal is 500-600 kcal, which isn’t hard if you do higher protein/fat on those days. For instance, 2boiled eggs in morning, piece of tuna with large salad in evening.

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  • I like Trents numbers percentage of protein, carbs, and fats. IF you want to lose weight having three meals with 100-120 g meat or eggs each plus 2 fruit a day and 3 servings of vegetables a day is healthy. IF you stay away from bananas, grapes and pineapple (one of my favourite but lots of sugar) and choose berries and an apple for fruit ( the size of your fist – not larger) you have some good vitamins without too many calories. MAke sure you have healthy fats only – avocado, olive oil and nuts… (there is controversy over coconut oil – but I like it). For vegetables, eat all the green leafy vegetables you want – spinach, lettuce, kale; eat root vegetables once a day (potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets…). Spaghetti squash with a meat/ tomato sauce is filling and lots less calories than pasta. breads and grains – one low carb diet allowed one slice of bread or one potato per day. I do not eat bread, but I like steel cut oats and nuts/ seeds with fruit for breakfast with a protein. PLan to drink 3 cups of water at least two times per day as water is important.
    Mike, plan for your menu once a week and cook/prepare enough for four meals on a day off – like prepare 2 meals of cooked chicken and veggies and 2 meals of tomato ground meat (chicken, pork or beef) with spaghetti squash and put in containers and freeze or refrigerate; take out the day you want it. On your prep day, cut up some carrot sticks, celery sticks or sugar peas and put in snack packs for your planned snacks. Plan ahead for social events. it is ok to have some wine or a beer and some wings – try to go for the protein and vegetable snacks. I am sure you are well on your way to good health.
    I am trying the ketogenic diet and am working on the percentages that can fit with my upbring on fruits and vegetables. Always adjust to what is right for you – you know your body and can research different diets.

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  • Everyone who is claiming that 1g of protein is required per 1kg of body mass:

    Can you link me to a single scientific study that points to this? I’m aware that it is what you see as far as recommendations, but I’ve searched extensively and have yet to find any real science that supports this claim. I’m interested in the science behind what happens and how the “1g per 1kg” conclusion was reached.

    Thanks!

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  • https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/protein which states some studies as well

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  • Hi Mike,
    This is such a great question, because EVERYONE has a different opinion, every “expert” with all these degrees and claims of blah blah blah says this or that. Dr. Berg says no more than 6 gm per meal, Dr. Mercola says 60 gm per day if you weigh 170. I am a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, I personally believe it depends on how much you exercise and, most of all, the quality of your protein. I train up to two hours a day, not counting training others, so I need good quality, absorbable protein. Protein shakes are garbage, especially whey, you crap most of it out and have nasty residue, but you if you can find a vegan, fermented or sprouted, organic, plant based powder, that’s OK, but it’ll cost you. Grass fed meats and wild small fish are your best bet. At your weight, if you work out, I would agree with Marcela, around 60 grams a day or a bit more, of QUALITY protein.

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  • “Fat For Fuel” (Mercola) states a beginning point for protein as 1g per kg of lean body mass. I was eating WAY TOO MUCH PROTEIN — usually double this guideline, and then could not understand why my blood glucose remained high.
    I am 30 months on Wheat Belly and 24 months of periodic ketogenic (which I call WB+). But I missed Dr. Davis’ caution about protein.
    Dr. Mercola’s formula works out like this for me:
    wt 240 lbs
    kg 109 kg (240/2.2)
    30% 32.7 kg fat (scale says 30% fat; .3 x 109 kg)
    70% 76.4 kg lean muscle (.7 x 109 kg)
    => 76.4 grams of protein per day
    Athletes can eat 25% more than this on training days (Mercola)
    I had 4 oz of pork chop for lunch today, and that was 63g of protein.
    Drs. Davis, Mercola, Fung, and Perlmutter all have statements on protein: excess protein is converted to glucose, raising blood sugar and insulin. My BG readings have come down 10-15 points in the last week of dropping protein from around 150g to 60-80g.
    I was led astray 2 years ago by a ketogenic website that stated authoritatively that “you can eat a cow and it will not affect your ketosis.” That is just wrong.
    So I’ve been grain and sugar free for 30 months and had all kinds of health benefits. Eating ketogenically and using intermittant fasting has also helped. MMT forced me to look at my protein intake. That’s my story, and I’m setting my lifetime Cronometer to those values.

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  • Hi Rick,
    Glad to see another person following the recommendations from Fat for Fuel. I’m finding that I have problems hitting the protein marco (I’m always short of carbs, but that’s really ok). My work schedule does not allow me to take breaks at specific times so there are days that I can sneak some food at 11ish, then not again until 4, but after that it’s time to fast, so I end up short on protein.

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  • Thanks Rick!

    That’s called gluconeogenesis and can be an issue. You do have to take your protein into account and be sure it is not keeping you out of ketosis. Test your blood levels for glucose and ketones to dial everything in.

    Best regards

    Frank

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  • I'm an oil free vegan and I'm getting my proteins and fats from beans, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds and gaining lean muscle weight. Vitamins and minerals are a given based on just being vegan, but I'm getting leaner and stronger.

    I do cross training, kickboxing and heavy vigorous weight training. I'm gaining lean muscle mass and losing body fat. Over a year ago, I was 20 lbs/ 9kg overweight. Went vegan and lost it within 6 months. Went on weight training to gain lean muscle and increased my grains and beans and legumes, and calories to increased muscle weight.

    In just 8 weeks of training, I've gained 5 lbs/2.26 kg in muscle weight and went down a size in clothing in just 2 months and have a six pack to show for it. My protein intake is between 34g to 55g daily. Protein is overrated. You get enough protein, as long as you keep active and calculate nutrient rich calories and not empty calories in your diet like sugar, alcohol, starchy deserts and saturated fats.

    I choose foods that have all of the amino acids. There are plant based foods that have all of the amino acids that are readily available in meat. http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/need-protein-amino-acids-found-abundantly-in-plants/

    If you think you can't get enough protein being vegan and lose fat and gain lean muscle, then go to a vegan body building and fitness forum. These people are competitors and are having absolutely no problem with protein intake.

  • Even if you are going to do lots of heavy lifting there seems to be no benefit above 1.8g protein per kg of ideal body weight. You can find great summary and references here:
    https://bayesianbodybuilding.com/the-myth-of-1glb-optimal-protein-intake-for-bodybuilders/

    Regarding drastically cutting caloric intake to shed body fat I would strongly recommend against it as your body may reduce BMR quite drastically as well, resulting in no weight loss (in the long term) or even weight gain.
    IMHO better approach would be to keep the calories constant for couple of weeks but focus on the quality of the diet (veggies, quality fats and protein, no sugar) and introduce some strength training and/or HIIT. See how your body responds to those changes and maybe then reduce your caloric intake (again, not very drastically if you don't want to yoyo back).

  • @bolekro This is sound advice! Thanks for sharing!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
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  • I would aim for .7g/lb per day. You can use goal weight if you are significantly overweight.

    Protein is muscle sparing. It's also satiating, so I try to keep my protein intake fairly high when I'm losing weight.

  • Migration user, et al. (experimental suggestion testing forum), - But, the new Science of "Autophagy" - Dr. Ohsumi (Nobel Prize 2016), proves that Autophagy and Apoptosis, work together to clean up metabolic debris. We Recycle 70% of our proteins. This is a new science, going from 10 papers 1990, to over 7,000 papers last year. Hence, why we do not need as much protein as thought. An evolutionary adaptation, and just one of the reasons "Fasting" works.

    With this in mind, that is the reason "smashley23" and "Mercola" are more accurate, recycling is new thinking -

    Ref: - Dr. Ohsumi's Nobel Acceptance speech on youTube with his science -

    and our own write up for the aging community -
    https://www.70goingon100.com/contributors/ds-mcgerk-14-autophagy-why-we-do-not-need-protein-supplements.html

    For what it is worth, but this is our "Guide", and we are adopters of HIIT ...

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