Liftin protein requirements per NROLFW
I was reading "New Rules For Lifting For Women" and noted that both my calorie and protein intake is lower than the guidelines for the program.
I normally eat somewhere between 1200-1400 calories a day with protein around 25% of calories. The formula in the book puts calories for my resting metabolic rate at 1204, and indicates non-workout days should contain 1685 calories and workout days 1926! And my protein consumption would more ideally be at 35%. This is such a HUGE difference that I don't know how I could possibly eat so much, even with supplementing w/a whey protein shake 1X a day.
This morning I had coffee, a 4.6 oz. boneless pork chop, 1 egg & 2 oz of sweet potato in butter. I am so stuffed!!!! This meal gave me 43 g. protein and that is only a fraction of the 147g I apparently should be having. It totaled 482 calories so I'm not on track for the 1685 and I feel so stuffed it seems that it will be a long time b/f I even get hungry again.
So how do you do it?
and are you sure you calculated your protein grams correctly? NM based on 35% looks like you did. I don't see the need for that much though. 1g/lb of lean body weight would give you a much more individualized number to work with.
Last edited by Neckhammer; 03-24-2013 at 06:32 AM.
Thanks, Katherine. It seems your experience is similar to mine. I simply can't imagine eating that much protein. I'm at 125 lbs, down from nearly 200 lbs. and the 1200-1400 calories & 25% protein has seemed comfortable for me. The book seemed to state that I couldn't build strength/muscle without upping to their minimum recommendations which is why I thought to give it a try. I have felt recently that I wasn't making the progress I should with my lifting, and thought additional protein might help. I am hoping that my body will begin to crave the higher amount as yours did. For now, I think I might try an increase over my norm but not as much as their recommendations.
You have to take these with a grain of salt. If you do enough research you will find that the range in recommendations is enormous. You will see anything from .6g/kg of lean body mass to 1.5g/lb bodyweight.
Last year, while dieting rather strictly (and weighing about 180#), I started to increase my exercise from one (somewhat tired) walk 4 times a week by adding short runs and weight lifting. I hit a protein wall and crashed. It turned out my diet contained only 35-55g of protein a day. Increasing to 100g a day and eliminating the run allowed me to recover to the point where I was making progress on the weight lifting and no longer having tired walks.
Craving mad amounts of protein was the trigger that showed me the way.
I then tried to cycle up to get more protein, up closer to the higher recommendations, but I was not able to eat that much meat. Doing so seemed preposterous, considering my calorie intake, similar to yours. I finally realized that even eating 100g a day of protein is too much for me. I have decided that 80g is probably appropriate. When I am really packing the protein (120g+ per day) I end up putting on weight even if I am maintaining a significant calorie deficit, and this is entirely repeatable.
In the end you will have to do your own n=1.
I could easily bump up the calories w/more fat, but the problem here for me is the protein intake. The plan indicates that @ the recommended 1685 calorie intake, 590 of those calories should be protein (35%). The protein totals for my breakfast came from Fitday:
It totals 43g. which seems like an impossibly long way from the 147g. recommended, especially given how stuffed I feel.
I think a lot of recommendations out there are based on guys who eat 4000 calories a day, and how much protein they can eat rather than how much they need to eat. When you get into the mindset of what I call the "supplement mode" as a lot of these people do, you can end up consuming far more of this or that as "insurance", simply because you can.
"Just in case I need more protein I will take 250g extra as shakes."
The bottom line is protein is KING. For weight loss and retaining lean mass it is an absolute must. You really can not overdo the protein. It is highly satiating though, which is why you have issue eating a ton of it.
The issue is that the requirements for protein are dependent on two things primarily. One is if you are eating at a caloric deficit (protein needs go up while losing weight). The other is how much lean mass you are trying to maintain (more lean mass needs more protein).
Studies indicate that marks .7-1.5g/lb of lean mass are good levels to RETAIN lean mass while shedding fat on a calorically restricted diet.
The studies that say .6g/kg (much lower levels) are done at a caloric surplus or at the very least equilibrium. NOT at a restricted weight loss level.
But, again I don't agree with making protein a % base of your diet. It is much more accurate to calculate needs based on the lean mass you are attempting to preserve. So unless you got 147lbs of lean mass (you most likely don't) then those numbers are a bit high.
Thanks for that, Neckhammer.
I'm now at a normal weight for my height, but I know that I lost muscle while losing the weight. I wish I had realized how important it was to retain muscle while losing, but unfortunately, like many women, I was too fixated on watching those scale #s go down.
I've been working at building muscle and have lost some additional fat since beginning a workout program at the gym nearly a year ago. But lately I felt my progress had slowed down which is why I was considering Schuler's advice. My goal is to replace remaining fat with additional muscle.
My LBM measured at 105.2 last October, so Mark's lower recommendation is far from Schuler's and also far more comfortable for me. But you said that Mark's recommendation was to retain muscle. Should I move somewhat higher if my goal is to build? Like maybe .9?
Last edited by janie; 03-24-2013 at 11:54 AM.
Well if your goal is to build muscle AND shed fat then your gonna end up in one manner or another of calorie or carb cycling program. It really is hard to shed much fat while also building muscle. You can retain it, but its darn hard to actually build it. Thats why many people pick one goal or the other. Thats what "bulk" and "cut" cycles in bodybuilding refers to. You pick your goals for say 3 months and go at it rather than trying to accomplish both at the same time.
Looks like I have some reading to do. Thank you.
BTW, I'm not sure how much faith to put in impedance testing but here are the results of my last 2 tests:
Weight 133.8 130.3
LBM 96.1 105.2
BFM 37.7 25.1
BMI 24.1 23.4
PBF 28.2 19.4
So while I only lost 3.5 lbs between the visits, I did increase lean body mass and reduced body fat (that is, if these tests are to be believed). I'm scheduled for another test in May.............