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Thread: Protein rule of thumb page

  1. #1
    brahnamin's Avatar
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    Protein rule of thumb

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    Okay, so I haven't really focused on protein for the purpose of body composition since college and all I recall of the formula of grams of protein per day versus body size was that it required calculus, long division, and a fair to middlin understanding of particle physics.

    Meh. I definitely prefer a more intuitive approach - assuming such a beast exists.

    So the other day I came across a formula on somebody's primal-friendly blog (I want to say it was Eades' blog, but I'm everywhere these days and I really don't remember) and it actually did feel intuitive to me.

    The author suggested consuming a number of grams of protein equal to your goal weight (I assumed from the context that that could be applied to a weight loss goal weight as well as a bulking up goal weight).

    So yeah, intuitive, friendly, easy to remember and keep track of.

    None of which matters if it's not an accurate assessment of protein requirements. Which is why I brought it here.

    My goal is to lose weight (I have about 100 lbs to drop) and to gain strength without losing muscle or necessarily bulking up. I am at 300 lbs right now, so I'd be eating about 200g of protein per day with this formula (or the way I do things it might be more accurate to say I'd be eating anywhere between 180g and 220g a day trying to average out to about 1400g a week).

    Anybody have an opinion based in experience whether this would be a realistic (and helpful) approach considering my goals?

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    i remember the same advice of aiming for your goal weight in pounds for how many grams of protein to eat per day. i was lifting pretty heavy at the time, and i was eating as close to 200g as i could each day. i definitely got smaller while getting stronger. a lot stronger. i was doing SL 5x5 and lifting more than my body weight on all the big lifts except overhead press.

    that much protein wasn't coming all from food though. i had a couple scoops of whey in a PWO shake.

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    brahnamin's Avatar
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    Yeah, getting 200g of protein is no joke, honestly. I'm probably hovering around 100g/day the way I'm currently eating.

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    I had understood it as being per pound of lean body mass (but I've also heard of .7 grams per pound, 1 gram per kilo...too many variations). I aim for the lean body mass number as a minimum target. I find it's hard enough to get that much in sometimes! I can't imagine trying to take in over 200g daily.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brahnamin View Post
    Okay, so I haven't really focused on protein for the purpose of body composition since college and all I recall of the formula of grams of protein per day versus body size was that it required calculus, long division, and a fair to middlin understanding of particle physics.

    Meh. I definitely prefer a more intuitive approach - assuming such a beast exists.

    So the other day I came across a formula on somebody's primal-friendly blog (I want to say it was Eades' blog, but I'm everywhere these days and I really don't remember) and it actually did feel intuitive to me.

    The author suggested consuming a number of grams of protein equal to your goal weight (I assumed from the context that that could be applied to a weight loss goal weight as well as a bulking up goal weight).

    So yeah, intuitive, friendly, easy to remember and keep track of.

    None of which matters if it's not an accurate assessment of protein requirements. Which is why I brought it here.

    My goal is to lose weight (I have about 100 lbs to drop) and to gain strength without losing muscle or necessarily bulking up. I am at 300 lbs right now, so I'd be eating about 200g of protein per day with this formula (or the way I do things it might be more accurate to say I'd be eating anywhere between 180g and 220g a day trying to average out to about 1400g a week).

    Anybody have an opinion based in experience whether this would be a realistic (and helpful) approach considering my goals?
    Brahnamin...your number is more than adequate for your needs. As I gathered from your post...you would seem to be the type of person that would be against an exact, finite, quantity of protein being required to maximize your muscle building. You seem more like a range guy to me...you know....the amount of protein you need is between "x and y". And Im sure you would like it that your body probably works in a similar fashion. Just like you have a carb threshold where if you eat below that...you remain in ketosis (i.e. fat burning) and if you go above it you become gluconeogenic (i.e. running off of glucose for energy and fat storing), you more than likely have a protein threshold for muscle building as well. Go below it and your body cant build muscle. Go above it and you will build muscle but you also run the risk of adding bodyfat because extra protein in your system will get converted to glucose if insulin is turned "on". Its a fine "edge" that can be as sharp as a knife!

    Anyway, for building muscle, the number I hear a lot of people use is 1.5-2.0 grams of protein/lb of bodyweight. So, to be safe and to limit the gain of bodyfat...use your target weight for the calculations. If you want to be a 200lb muscle man then you need to eat anywhere from 300-400 grams of protein per day to ensure you are getting enough.

    One more thing...to make life easier for you...consider all meat (pork, beef, chicken,fish) to average exactly 7 grams of protein per ounce. This is a number that has been averaged from all available resources and I find it is extremely accurate.

    So, to convert your grams of protein per day into ounces of meat you need to eat just divide by 7 and round up to the next nearest gram: 300-400/7. So, you need to eat between 43 and 57 ounces of meat each day to obtain your desired amount of protein for muscle gain. This doesnt sound nearly as bad, to me, as having to eat between 300-400 grams everyday.

    Just think...three 14oz New York Strip steaks a day and you are literally where you want to be!!!!
    If you can just get your....mind together....then come on across to me.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by nachobrawler View Post
    So, to convert your grams of protein per day into ounces of meat you need to eat just divide by 7 and round up to the next nearest gram: 300-400/7. So, you need to eat between 43 and 57 ounces of meat each day to obtain your desired amount of protein for muscle gain. This doesnt sound nearly as bad, to me, as having to eat between 300-400 grams everyday.

    Just think...three 14oz New York Strip steaks a day and you are literally where you want to be!!!!
    I sinceriously hope you're joking.

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    I'm with Owly. I'd understood it to be aim for 1gm per pound of lean body mass.
    The following is a direct quote from the blog post on April 3:
    Mark tries to eat about 1 gram of protein per pound of body mass each day and suggests many others do the same to maintain lean body mass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brahnamin View Post
    I sinceriously hope you're joking.
    If you are a 250lbs muscle man with 10% BF on steroids then he would not be joking.

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    brahnamin's Avatar
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    Okay - So how does one determine lean body mass in the absence of a reliable means of measuring body fat?

  10. #10
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    No, Brahnamin, I wasnt joking. I have never done steroids or human growth hormone either in my life(chima-p).

    The amount I quoted you is what people working to build muscle from scratch at the start of a mass building lifestyle consume. Are you ok with your current amount of muscle mass? If so, you can just target for maintenance of what you have and that number is more in line with what Mark quotes....(1g/lb of bodyweight).And this works well for maintenance (this is about what I am doing...more or less).

    Its completely up to you as only you can decide what YOU want. 1.5-2.0g/lb of bodyweight works. I have seen plenty of people get enormous (without steroids or hgh) eating that much protein. Keep in mind also that the 43 oz of meat I quoted you is for the entire day and can come from many different protein sources (i.e. including shakes with whey protein). Its not as hard to get as you would imagine once you start doing it. Much harder is the heavy lifting involved in building the muscle!
    If you can just get your....mind together....then come on across to me.....
    James Marshall (Jimi)Hendrix

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