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Getting enough protein during IF?

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  • Getting enough protein during IF?

    Hey all!

    I have recently started IF, easy because I am rarely hungry.. but I am realizing that if I only eat two meals (sometimes one meal and snacks here and there - I am a nanny so I cook 3-4 hours a day!) my protein intake is very low. This morning, for instance, I tried to kick it up with a burger and two eggs and kale.. but the rest of the day I ate veggies and fat (straight coconut butter!), and was completely stuffed by the time I got home.

    Is it better to eat anyway to get the protein up? Or just listen to my bodies signals?

  • #2
    Try cutting down on some of the very fibrous carbs and adding some protein in. Or, get some fat source other than coconut butter that includes protein. (i.e., pork, beef, etc.)

    Also, I know it's not technically "primal" but having some protein powder if you absolutely can't fit in your protein is not going to kill you. It's a godsend for me, especially when I'm very busy and don't have time to cook some meat up.


    • #3
      I'm a daily leangains style IFer and getting enough protein is the main focus of meals for me. I eat meat, eggs or cottage cheese with almost any meal and bump up my protein with whey sometimes if I think I'm not getting enough. It's usually recommended that you get at least one gram of protein for every pound of lean body mass that you have.


      • #4
        i IF every day, and have two meals during my eating window, just so i can get the protein (and other nutrients) that i need. i make sure that protein is the basis of my meal...a big 5-6 egg omelet, sometimes filled with meat, or what i like to call extra-meat chili.
        plus, i try to keep protein type snacks around just in case i need to grab something quick if i know i won't be able to do the full meal thing...jerkey, cans of tuna, nuts, etc.


        • #5
          I IF every day and workout regularly so protein is a big thing... every meal is centred around protein, plus I down some BCAAs pre-workout and some whey post-workout. In water of course....
          The Primal Journey of Mr and Mrs Fist


          • #6
            I stopped worrying about protein a few months ago, and I have had no problem maintaining my muscle mass. Some days I get a lot of protein, others I don't. I don't pay attention to it anymore.


            • #7
              Thanks guys! And woah a 5-6 egg omelete?? I think I might be full for the entire day on that alone!

              @john: Interesting.. the only thing is that in percentages my protein is just barely higher than my carbs (25% vs 20% w/ 50%ish fat). What do your percentages look like?


              • #8
                I think my carbs are probably around 10%, 25% protein and 65% fats at this point.


                • #9
                  I'm an IFer, too. I tried to just eat two meals twelve hours apart but i couldnt eat enough in the first meal to last the full 12 hours. So now I fast till lunch time (which is after my morning work out), then have dinner. Like others have shared, make sure protein is the foundation of each of your meals. You prob don't need to consume 5 eggs at once, LOL. But I do eat 4 eggs for my first meal...


                  • #10
                    I don't eat anything every day until after 5:00 PM, although I do have coffee throughout the day and I put heavy cream in it. Every fourth day I don't eat, breaking fast with breakfast the next day. I'm 6' tall and weigh in at the mid 180s when I bother to weigh myself at all. I don't count calories or worry about macronutrient breakdowns as I tend to be a natural carnivore. Having said that, I do eat quite a bit of fat in the form of cheese. As far as I can tell, my protein requirements seem to be adequately met with this regime.

                    I think the genesis of the obsession with protein intake comes from the bodybuilding world. This is because that is a world of testosterone junkies. The primary anabolic effect of testosterone is ... increased protein synthesis. Well, if you are going to get the most bang for your steroid buck, you want to make sure that you are constantly stuffing yourself with protein. This is also the source of the mania with eating every three hours. It works if you have supraphysiological levels of anabolic hormones in your system. For those of us with mere physiological levels of theses hormones, that is a recipe for disaster.

                    There have also been numerous studies performed to attempt to ascertain what an optimal level of protein intake should be. These tend to take the form of gathering a handful of poor souls and subjecting them to exhaustive exercise and then feeding them varying levels of protein. If this describes you and your activity level ( and as a nanny, it just might! ), then maybe the recommendations they make would be relevant to you. Otherwise, caveat emptor.

                    I would say that if you don't find yourself hungry, then your body is telling you something. Forcibly stuffing yourself just can't be good in anybody's estimation.

                    As most of us are painfully aware, the body has evolved mechanisms to store fats and carbohydrates for periods of scarcity. To me, it beggars belief to suppose that a similar mechanism doesn't exist for protein. If no such mechanism existed, this would mean that back in the day, when Grok killed some medium sized animal and promptly ate it, three hours later all that meat would have become unavailable to his body, and he would need to rinse and repeat the exercise. That seems really difficult to stomach ( pun!! ) So, I'm with john_e_turner_ii on this one, eat less one day, more the next, it will work itself out.

                    Ultimately, if you do decide to supplement your protein intake, I would stay away from cottage cheese and whey protein since they both produce a significant insulin response by a mechanism other than raising blood sugar. This is apparently due to the whey protein, which is also present in cottage cheese. All other cheese is made from curds that have had the whey fraction removed. If you wanted to go this route, I would steer you towards the harder cheeses and esp. Gruyere. 100 grams of Gruyere has <1g of carbs, and about 30g each of protein and fat. It is also a hard cheese, which makes it quite easy to handle / store / transport.

                    My blog :

                    Interested in Intermittent Fasting? This might help: part 1, part 2, part 3.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by it1958 View Post
                      I'm an IFer, too. I tried to just eat two meals twelve hours apart but i couldnt eat enough in the first meal to last the full 12 hours. So now I fast till lunch time (which is after my morning work out), then have dinner. Like others have shared, make sure protein is the foundation of each of your meals. You prob don't need to consume 5 eggs at once, LOL. But I do eat 4 eggs for my first meal...
                      Funny you mention the eggs. I usually break my fast with 6 jumbo eggs, 2-3 slices of bacon and a mountain of broccoli and cauliflower.


                      • #12
                        Hey PK, so you don't eat until 5pm, when do you stop?


                        • #13
                          Nora Gedgaudas of "Primal Body Primal Mind" says most people only need 50-75 gms protein/day to maintain muscle repair (really buff people will need a bit more) so I wouldn't worry too much. If you needed an easy but non-filling way to bump it up, a simple whey protein in water shake would do the trick.
                          My own protein intake usually runs between 22-25% and my carb intake is usually 10-13%. That's without aiming for any particular range.


                          • #14
                            hazyjane - how would you describe your muscle tone?

                            I ask cuz i've seriously lost mine. 2 yrs ago, i was consuming 125-150g protein/day. my body weight was about 136 and i was measured at 18% body fat. I was power lifting (to the best of my abilities anyway!). I was, of course, eating mod carbs and low fat, then...

                            Now I'm just a blob and this has happened within the past year as I've gone primal. Discovering injuries, too, have forced me to seriously cut back on my strength training (now doing body weight exercises w/my daughters). My protein intake is about 100g and i'm not real jiggy with the thought of lowering it any more than that...


                            • #15
                              Dunno. I eat meat and veg, once at noon, and once at seven PM. Occasionally I will down some cottage cheese before bed.