I'm not getting enough protein most days

(Nicole Sawchuk) #22

I have been following your work for awhile now and I’m impressed by all the research you have done. After finally losing weight and essentially reaching what I consider my goal weight last year through keto and fasting, I decided it was time to introduce exercise back in my life to build muscle. I don’t dedicate as much time to it as I should because of kids, work…life but since January I have done okay with twice a week weight training. But I am not seeing any muscle definition gain. I recognize there are many reasons for that…but I recognize my diet needs to be looked at. Point being is I went to your nutrient optimizer calculator and plugged some things in and got my report. I loathe measuring my food and counting calories. But like I said, I am trying to optimize so I thought I should look at it and suck it up and start measuring again to get some better estimates.
As a side note: over the last few months I have transitioned to a more carnivore diet although I don’t shy away from veggies (and I still love nuts), but over my life, veggies have always left my bowels irritated and now that I don’t focus on getting “X” amount, everything seems smoother and my energy levels are great! This goes the same for fat. I can honestly eat a stick of butter and never feel satiated. But give me meat and I will definitely get there.

Back to my main point: what surprised me though once I started measuring again is how low my protein intake actually is! Since meat is my main macronutrient the last few months, I eat it until I am full! I insist on feeling full because I like to do intermittent fasting and those meals have to keep me going! The calculator said that for my height/weight and goals, I should be getting 134 g of protein but when I measured the last few days I am lucky right now if I can get 90 g! This just surprised me as I feel I am eating more meat than ever before!

Is this just a training thing where I train myself to eat more? Or should I just relax because my body is signaling I am full, and this should be enough and I just trust that in time (and my minimal exercise effort), I will increase my lean body mass (i.e. muscles)?

(Marty Kendall) #23

Nicole the lower limit of protein is set to 1.8 g/kg LBM which is the amount required to optimise muscle growth when lifting as well as the level that gives a reasonable level of nutrient density. Diets with less protein than that tend to have relatively poor nutrient density.

See https://optimisingnutrition.com/2018/01/17/micros-macros/ for more details.

I’d be interested to know what your current LMB (based on weight and % body fat is) to double check the numbers if you’re interested. I would have thought you’d find it fairly easy to get to 1.8 g/kg LBM on a high meat diet.

Protein requirements depending on your hormones, sleep, age and a bunch of other things.
We’re currently trialling a Nutrient Optimiser dashboard that tracks your LBM vs fat mass loss and lets you titrate down your protein to 1.5 g/kg LBM if you are losing more fat than muscle or gaining more muscle than fat over the medium term. Conversely, it will wind up the protein if you are actually losing more lean muscle mass than fat.

We also think tracking all your food can really suck, so we’re trying to make tracking optional if you’re looking to really fine tune things rather than mandatory.

(Nicole Sawchuk) #24

Thanks for your response. I admit that knowing my LMB is a best guess. I do not have access to dexa scanning in this part of the world so I am going to rely on the internet calculators and say it imy LBM is 115 lbs and I currently weigh 150 lbs at 5 ft 9 inches at 39 years old. Sleep is good most days (9 pm bedtime, but 4:30 am rise).

When I do the math - 93.6 grams of protein should be doable. Its probably harder because I do get stuck in the OMAD rut due to my work schedule and family life. Although the days I did finally track were days I was eating two meals a day.

I would like to lose a bit more fat but building muscle is currently my goal (not massive body building) but I want to look toned and not soft. This seems impossible without tracking my food carefully. I will probably need to track for awhile if this is a serious goal to get an idea what will work for me and what won’t work for me.

(Marty Kendall) #25

Tracking sux but it can be helpful if you want to understand what you’re really eating. Many find that if they dial in their protein they find it hard to overeat, but if you want to get really lean it helps to track (most people aren’t trying to be fitness models though).

(Gregory Cooper) #26

Wow. Thanks for posting guys. It is very helpful.