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Calories- Carb, Protein, and Fat Balance



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BUNNYKICKS
Posts: 2,299
8/16/13 3:34 P

" I have done pretty well with everything else but fitting in enough protein has been really hard for me!"

Addressing my protein requirements was something I really struggled with, too! When attempting to reduce calories, my "natural instinct" is to cut back on meat, cheese, dairy ("too high calorie"). For the longest time it didn't dawn on me that I should be cutting back on the carbs, instead. Having two slices of bread (sandwich) for lunch, potatoes or other "starch" dish as a staple at each dinner, and oatmeal, cereal, toast or other carb-intense breakfast is just sooooo ingrained.

To get my protein in, I started thinking outside the menu box that I'd been operating inside. "No, I do not need starch at every meal" was almost revolutionary thinking for me. "Yes, I can eat the egg omelette WITHOUT a side of toast; Yes I can eat steak with a salad and roasted beets but WITHOUT the baked potato, Yes, I can eat a hearty chicken stew WITHOUT the dumplings, Yes i can have stir fry with half the rice, or even none at all!" Wow i tell you, once you remove that slice of bread or scoop of rice, you suddenly have a LOT of extra calories that you can use for protein foods! And I have learned that I didn't really love those starchy-carbs anyways... I was just habituated to eating them.



PGENNA86
SparkPoints: (3,671)
Fitness Minutes: (931)
Posts: 76
8/16/13 2:01 P

thank you for the information I am defiantly going to look in to some of these!



DIDI808
SparkPoints: (124)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 4
8/16/13 1:52 P

PGENNAN thereis one some of friends use, which is made with brown rice protein and is also organic! just google "Perfect Fit Protein" (this will not allow me to post links!)

There are also some made of soy.



PGENNA86
SparkPoints: (3,671)
Fitness Minutes: (931)
Posts: 76
8/16/13 1:45 P

is there any protein powder out there that is not whey based? I can't have dairy so I have been looking a bit myself but I haven't found anything.



CHIBI_TOTORO
SparkPoints: (147)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 79
8/16/13 1:44 P

There is soy protien powder, and egg white protien powder. the egg white is the best, as far as taste, but it's uber pricy.



PGENNA86
SparkPoints: (3,671)
Fitness Minutes: (931)
Posts: 76
8/16/13 1:40 P

is there any protein powder out there that is not whey based? I can't have dairy so I have been looking a bit myself but I haven't found anything.



DIDI808
SparkPoints: (124)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 4
8/16/13 10:51 A

I also wanted to add that protein powders are a great way to add protein if you find that it's very difficult for you to add meats and protein to your diet. You could add a scoop to a fruit smoothie for breakfast, or even mix it in some of your favorite recipes. Protein is SO important for fat loss! Don't be afraid to try the powders, there are many organic and all natural options out there.



PGENNA86
SparkPoints: (3,671)
Fitness Minutes: (931)
Posts: 76
8/16/13 10:02 A

I am with you I have a hard time eating enough protein. I have done pretty well with everything else but fitting in enough protein has been really hard for me!



TCANNO
SparkPoints: (100,719)
Fitness Minutes: (66,720)
Posts: 18,023
8/16/13 8:38 A

All mine come from what I eat. the only one I do have extra is Fiber in the form of milled Linseed but you don't have to track this.




SIMONEKP
Posts: 2,495
8/16/13 8:17 A

add a protein to each meal and snack and bump up your calories.



RUTHDES
SparkPoints: (61,988)
Fitness Minutes: (10,793)
Posts: 1,267
8/16/13 7:16 A

Some great ideas here on adding protein. Exactly what I was looking for!



ANARIE
Posts: 12,406
7/12/13 11:29 A

"I am usually under my calorie intake every day so I am not to worried about that."

But that's exactly what you SHOULD be worried about. That's the whole cause of the problem.

You're discovering exactly why there's a bottom calorie target. You'll notice that when you set things up, it didn't tell you "below 1550 calories." It said "1200-1550." For most women, if you add up the minimum amount of protein, fat, and carbs that are needed to run the body, they're going to sum up to about 1200.

They call carbs, protein, and fat "macronutrients" because they're the nutrients that provide calories. Carbs and protein have about 4 calories per gram and fat has about 9. The only way you can eat less than 1200 calories is by NOT eating enough of one of those macronutrients. My guess would be that you have not eaten more carbs than your limit; you just haven't eaten enough of the other things.

Think of it as a budget. Carbs are your rent, protein is the utility bills, and fat is the car payment. Calories are your income. If rent, utilities, and the car payment add up to $1200 calories a month, but you only bring in $1050 that month, your rent is going to be way too high a percentage of your income. You can't fix it by switching phone companies; you've gotta get out and get more money.

At this point, your best bet might be to focus on the macronutrients, not on the calories. If you make sure that you reach your minimum fat, protein, and carb requirements with no obvious junk food, you will probably be getting 1300-1500 calories. (It's possible to do it with 1200 but you have to do a LOT of very precise planning.)

Others have already mentioned meat and dairy as sources of both protein and fat. Fish is also a great source of both protein and the healthiest fats. You can also increase protein by making your carbs do double-duty. If you're eating pasta, look at different brands for one that has more protein. Vegetables have protein, especially beans and peas and leafy greens, so eating those is a good way to up your protein and feel virtuous about it.



JENNILACEY
SparkPoints: (74,381)
Fitness Minutes: (62,236)
Posts: 2,489
7/12/13 10:54 A

Looking at your nutrition tracker for the last couple days I see a lot of fruit, not enough veg and protein. Your nutrition tracker is also... not complete? Or are you really only taking in 500-700 cals a day? I see you also strength train and this is highly detrimental. If you're not eating enough while strength training that heavily, you're essentially undoing all your hard work. You need to feed the muscle to grow it which is difficult enough on a cal deficit. If anything, eating low you won't even be maintaining lean muscle. Your body is going to break down muscle for fuel and a good portion of your weight loss with be muscle/tissue. You don't want to lose that, do you? You will need to at least double or triple your cal intake if you want to reap any benefits from strength training. You're going to have a lot of work ahead of you. Try eating more often, carry healthy snacks with you and graze all day if you have to. Healthy fats will definitely help increase your calorie intake. Even adding extra virgin olive oil to your foods; salads, when cooking veg or making pasta.

Protein- lean meats (chicken, turkey, pork, fish/seafood, lean beef), low fat dairy (cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, part-skim ricotta/mozzarella, low fat chedder, parmesan/ramano, milk), eggs/egg whites, legumes, lentils, *whole* grains, seeds and nuts.

Healthy fats- olives/olive oil, nuts/nut butters, seeds/seed oils, avocado, eggs, cold water fish

Pile on the veg. I love fruit but what I do is just have smaller portions of it and add it to other foods (like my oatmeal or yogurt). I try to aim for 1-3 servings of veg with every meal.

When you increase your protein and healthy fats there will be less room for carbs. Not that there's anything wrong with carbs but having a more balanced ratio will not only help ensure you're getting enough of your micronutrients but also the building tools you need for strength training.

It will take time to tweak your diet so don't feel too overwhelmed, you're only on day 3! Just concentrate on a few small goals at a time. If you don't mind my advice, increasing your cal intake should be your number 1 focus. You don't want all those hours and hard work in the gym going to waste! :)

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 7/12/2013 (11:03)


DIETITIANBECKY
Posts: 26,579
7/12/13 8:17 A

I also took a look at your tracker---and you should be somewhat concerned. You are not eating enough and you are not getting enough protein. I also see meals skipped. One of the best tools to get started is using "the plate method". Use a 9 inch plate and cover:
1/4 with protein/lean meats
1/4 with a whole grain or starchy veggies
1/2 the plate with fruits and veggies.

This link will get you started:
www.choosemyplate.gov

Becky
SP Registered Dietitian



MICHELLEXXXX
SparkPoints: (6,611)
Fitness Minutes: (5,730)
Posts: 1,935
7/12/13 12:39 A

Examples of high protein sources containing healthy fats: salmon, eggs, cheese, sardines, grass fed beef, hormone-free poultry.



RUSSELL_40
Posts: 16,826
7/11/13 10:30 P

I second a serving of meat. It is exactly what you need. Fat and protein.



LADYSTARWIND
SparkPoints: (21,817)
Fitness Minutes: (18,121)
Posts: 1,232
7/11/13 7:06 P

If you need to add fats, have a quarter of an avocado.... Add a teaspoon of olive oil in with the pasta....

I also *enjoy* cheddar or swiss chees as part of my diet--they do have saturated fat, but since I dont' eat much of it in anything else, I accept those consequences along with the protein and calcium! One oz at breakfast really makes a nice addition, and keeps me full longer. Cottage Cheese is another favorite---more protein than the hard cheese, and not as much fat.....
patti

Edited by: LADYSTARWIND at: 7/11/2013 (19:08)


YOJULEZ
SparkPoints: (15,605)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
7/11/13 6:42 P

Took a look at your tracker. You haven't been at it very long so it's kind of hard to tell, but it appears you're not eating enough. You only have 1045 calories for the entire day yesterday. But, your protein issue could easily be remedied by adding in something like a chicken breast with your pasta meal, instead of just eating pasta by itself. 4oz of chicken breast is only about 140 calories, but will add 25 grams of protein. Also with pasta, you can reduce the amount, but then bulk it up with veggies like broccoli, or this time of year, zucchini or summer squash. That won't help the protein much, but it will make you feel like you're eating a larger pasta portion.

Also, try switching to greek yogurt, it has a lot more protein than regular yogurt. For breakfast every day I have greek yogurt, an apple chopped up, a bit of granola, and some cinnamon, all mixed up together. Baked goods like muffins are often just a waste of calories (and carbs!) I would also ditch the granola bars, or if you want to have one, find ones w/ more protein in them. Nature Valley and Kellogg's both make protein granola bars that are under 200 calories.



SAMANTHAF92
SparkPoints: (2,305)
Fitness Minutes: (1,534)
Posts: 26
7/11/13 6:30 P

I have been eating healthy for the past couple days to a week or so. I am usually under my calorie intake every day so I am not to worried about that. The thing that gets me though is that everyday when I do the nutrition report it has my carb ratio really high, more than whats recommenced. With my carb ratio being so high i have a very low percent of protein and fat. What are ways of adding more protein and fat (good fat!!) into my diet that are not going to make this more balanced.

Thank you!



 
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