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ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
2/28/14 4:19 P

'For demonstration purposes let's use 25%. On a 2800 calorie maintenance plan, that is 700 calories or 175 grams of protein per day. To get 175 "protein calories" you would need to eat 35 hard boiled egg whites, or 11 cups of legumes, or 9 cups of greek yogurt, or 3.5 full chicken breasts etc. Frankly, I can't eat that much. So, without supplements, how do you meet these protein guidelines?'

That's 27 grams of protein for half a chicken breast (86 grams), with no skin, cooked and roasted (assume there's no fat added). 142 calories and 3 grams of fat.

54 grams of protein in two halves. 284 calories and 6 grams of fat.

6 oz of non-fat plain greek yogurt is 18 grams of protein, 100 calories and no fat.

54+18= 72 grams protein.

Add some garbanzos:

A cup of cooked garbanzo beans (chick peas) is 15 grams of protein. 269 calories and 4 grams of fat.

72+15= 87 grams protein

Now, you're only halfway to your stated goal of 175 grams of protein.

In terms of calories, you've had 284 + 100+ 269. That's 653 calories. You've eaten 23% of your maintenance calories.

With low-fat protein like this, you get more bang for your buck. But wait, 23% is kind of close to what you proposed as a goal (25%). You got there pretty quickly. The rest of the calories (77% of your calories for maintenance) you can use for fresh veggies, which will also have some protein, although smaller amounts, and fats. Also, fruits, whole grains, wine, and whatever - because you've got your 23% of your calorie limit.

A half a chicken breast, roasted, skinless, without added fat, still has 3 grams of fat. The Greek yogurt has 0 grams.

The garbanzos have:
Total Fat 4.2g 7%
Saturated Fat 0.4g 2%
Monounsaturated Fat 1.0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.9g

I only gave 3 proteins and they are quite low in fat.

(I had walnuts today and non-fat cheese bound with a bit of canola mayonnaise in a pita bread sandwich. I still had 72 grams of protein by noon - but almost twice your calories! The walnuts and the mayo contributed fats. 40 grams of fat just in the walnuts.)

I realize this is not the pure protein calories you are counting. But a whole chicken breast is a lot. 3.5 chicken breasts is really a lot. And these are low fat sources of protein.

Double the fat in a piece of meat - and still keep it as lean as possible with a trimmed 3 oz piece of beef (round), roasted, no fat added.

For 85 grams of that beef, you get 23 grams of protein, slightly less than the same amount of roasted chicken breast (86 grams). For the beef, there are 157 calories and 6 grams of fat.

This is a lot of protein and I'm using meat that is very low in fat.

Not as much protein as ICEDEMETER, though.

It occurs to me that you are going to pick up proteins in carbohydrate foods, too, so trying to get 175 protein calories is one goal, but then you have to eat even MORE carbohydrates (40-65% of calories) and just think: carbohdrates and protein grams have one thing in common... they are 4 calories per gram. That's a LOT of carbohydrates.

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 2/28/2014 (21:23)
ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
2/28/14 2:22 P

Ok - I admit - I appreciated your post as a challenge of sorts! It really made me think about what I would do if I needed to increase my calorie range that high. I get what you mean about "not able to eat that much", but I am a grazer by nature so tend to eat a bit at a time. That said, I put together a "day" including meals and snacks that I have eaten recently (although on different days), and which I think I would have no problem with consuming all in the same day:

Breakfast: omelet (2 whole eggs + 2 egg whites) with spinach, mushrooms, and 1 oz of grated cheddar along with an asian pear (445 calories, 31g protein)
AM Snack: 2 slices of pumpernickel bread with 2 oz of ricotta cheese mixed with 2 Tbsp strawberry peach jelly and an apple (386 calories, 12g protein)
Lunch: 6 oz roasted chicken breast with 1c of veggie/lentil/hazelnut/barley stew (482 calories, 51g protein)
PM Snack: 8oz organic plain greek yoghurt mixed with 2 Tbsp blueberry jelly and 1 oz sliced almonds (385 calories, 29g protein)
Dinner: 8 oz porterhouse steak with 1-1/2c of mixed veggie stir-fry (532 calories, 57g protein)
Evening Snack: self-crust pumpkin pie with whipping cream and hot cocoa (565 calories, 20g protein)

Totals are 2796 calories, 199g protein (28%), 268g carbs (38%), and 110g fat (34%)

The only issue with this particular menu is that it includes 48g of fibre, which works fine for me, but would be too much for many people. Swapping out the stew at lunch for a larger portion of chicken and just mixed roasted vegetables would work just as well and not be as filling - or using a big salad with lots of cheese and oil-based dressing.

For me, adding in the additional protein was not a problem at all - it was getting the rest of the calories in without going totally nuts on the fibre or just giving up and going for a couple of glasses of orange juice, strictly for calories without fibre.

Thanks for posting this --- it's left me exceedingly grateful for the much lower calorie range that I get to deal with!

BERRY4 SparkPoints: (264,438)
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2/28/14 1:19 P

Online Now  • ))
emoticon Thank you for the helpful information as well as "perspective".

I am finding that as I up my fats / proteins, I do feel full (satiety) in a better way. And opposite that is that chewing on fiber-rich veggies also help with feeling "full" and satiated because of the "chew" factor!

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
2/28/14 12:36 P

25% isn't necessary, although I eat near there following a low carb plan. At 2000 calories, I get most of my 125 grams of protein from 4 XL eggs, and 6 b/s chicken thighs a day,but there is protein in fruit, nuts, cheeses, and vegetables too.

The ratio that SP provides is 50% carbs, 20 % protein, and 30 % fat, with a range for each obviously, so you could shoot for 10-20 % if you choose to. If fat stays at 30 % or less though, then you would be eating 50-60% carbs.

Stop and ask yourself why eating 1400-1680 calories of carbohydrates isn't a struggle, but 700 calories of protein is. For one thing, 175 grams sounds like a lot to most people here, but it is because you eat 2800. For the people eating half the calories, this would be like consuming 87.5 grams of protein, hardly high protein. That is a personal choice, and you can decide to do what you want. If it is a problem, just cut the protein.

That leaves us with the idea that 50 % carbs is easy to do, while 25 % protein is tough. Since they are both close to 4 calories per grams, that is saying that you have no problem eating 350 grams of carbs, but 175 grams of protein is a struggle.

Think about that. If you eat more protein, you get full on half the food ( and calories ), but when eating carbohydrates, you can eat double the calories, and it feels easy. That is probably why people overeat now that we have increased carbohydrates. They don't get to the point of feeling stuffed ever, like you do when you eat a lot of protein. This keeps you from overeating, and why most people don't overeat protein, they overeat carbohydrates. You can eat twice as many calories, and not feel as full. I just find that very interesting.

Still, when I was 350 + lbs. I ate about 30 % protein, which was over 250 grams a day. It is a percentage of your diet. so while the number sounds like a lot, it really isn't that much. If I had been following a 50 % carb diet, and came on here saying I struggled to eat 430 grams of carbs, I doubt anyone would suggest I just eat 250 ( 28.5 % ).
Remember that when you cut one macro, you raise the others. If you cut protein, either carbs, or fat will increase. You are really making two decisions. So, if you decide to cut to 10 % protein, you either up fat to 40 %, or keep fat at 30 %, and up carbs to 60 %.

You may want to drop down to 20 % and try that, just pay attention to what it does to the fat and carbs, and that you don't move them too far out of range the opposite way. Good Luck figuring out what works for you.

Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 2/28/2014 (12:37)
RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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2/28/14 10:36 A

I was going to say, I think the minimum protein for an adult male is in the neighborhood of 70 or 80 grams daily (you can look it up), so anything over that should be just fine and there should be no need to try to force an arbitrary higher percentage if you are otherwise comfortable with the way you are eating.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
2/28/14 8:35 A has a 'nutrient search' screening tool (it's in the dropdown menu for 'tools') that allows you to look for foods that are 'high in protein' and 'low in calories' (all having the same 100 gram weight).

This is what it spits back. Click on the food section and then click on 'widen search' to get back to the complete array.

Or just start looking at all the selections listed without narrowing it to a food section in the array.

The only reason meat doesn't show up in the sections is that, for 100 grams of meat, even lean meat still contains fat (which is fine, but it does add calories). You can tailor the 'nutrient search' yourself but it's a quick way to get a food that fits certain criteria.

My favorite protein boost is non-fat cottage cheese. Also, non-fat cheddar cheese (shredded) tossed in a salad or mixed with other ingredients in a sandwich. Or a soup!

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 2/28/2014 (08:37)
NIRERIN Posts: 14,247
2/28/14 8:08 A

a tenth of 2800 cals is 280 cals, which is a minimum of 70 g protein. figure if you have two meals and two snacks that are each about half the size of a meal, and you're looking at hitting 17.5 g protein at each meal and 9 g protein at each snack.
for meals, 2oz dry pasta has 7 g protein and a 1/4 cup of dry lentils has 9 g. so that's 16 grams right there. and lentils have 70 cals per 1/4 cup and pasta has about 200, so you're only at 270 cals for a total right there. add a cup of broccoli and that will add around 50 cals and 3 g protein depending on it it's fresh or frozen, chopped or florets. so you're at 320 cals and 19 g protein. a 2.6oz pouch of tuna has 70 cals and 17 g protein [it's the only meat i had on hand to check the numbers for. i can see where someone might want to do chicken or beef or pork in this kind of dish though], so that bumps you up to 390 cals and 36 g protein. the jarred pasta sauce i have on hand is 70 cals for 1/2 cup with 2 g protein, and i'll say we want about 3/4 cup for this volume of food, so that's 105 cals and 3 g protein. which brings a single meal total up to 495 cals and 39 grams of protein. if you could keep that same ratio of protein to cals that would mean you could eat 220 g of protein in a 2800 cal diet. and that should be under 3 cups of food for dinner.
an apple and 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter will have 270 cals and 8 g protein, which is just a gram under what you want your snack to be. if you kept that ratio of protein you could get 82 g protein in your diet, or 11%.
a cup of chopped peppers has 30 cals and 1 g protein. 2 eggs will be 120 cals and 12 g protein. a half ounce of cheese will run you 55 cals for 3 g. 205 total cals with 16 g protein. add a third egg for a grand total of 265 cals and 22 g protein. if you add beef, chicken or fish that's going to double the protein for not double the calories. pop it on a wrap for 120 cals and another 3 g protein or a total of 385 cals and 25 g protein without the meat. keep up that meatless ratio of protein and you could get 181 grams of protein in your diet in that 2800 cals. and that's about a cup and a half of food plus a wrap. not a lot of volume at all.
the greek yogurt i buy has 150 cals for 20 g protein in a cup. a cup of my frozen fruit has 60 cals and a gram of protein. 210 cals with 21 g protein. again, for a cup and a half of food. figure 200 cals of granola is another 1/4 cup of food and 3-6 g protein.

DISCDOG Posts: 2,668
2/28/14 7:45 A

I eat 100-130 per day and I use NO supplementation.
Eggs with 2oz of meat of the leftovers from night before's dinner and veggies to make a high protein scramble.

Mid day meal 6-8 oz meat with vegetables

last meal cottage cheese and greek yogurt with berries (and sometimes nuts if I have enough calories left!)

FWIW, I generally advise people that after they figure out their total cals needed for the day, to add 1 gram of protein per pound, .4-.6 grams of fat per pound, and fill in the rest with carbohydrate. On a higher calorie plan. that will be a lot; on a lower cal one---not so many.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (246,775)
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Posts: 26,771
2/28/14 4:56 A

You must remember that there is protein in a lot of fruit/veges and legumes, too, not just meat, chicken fish and eggs.

Lean red meat is your best source of protein. I wouldn't be worried about trying to hit 175g protein, but rather so long as it is in your range. My range starts at 60g, and that is generally the minimum amount that is recommended.

Why don't you explore some members Nutrition Trackers and see how they reach their targets. As an example, you can check mine. I consumed 72g protein and as far as percentages is concerned, it was 19.68%. SP generally recommends around 20% in weight-loss.

Below is a link to the article "How to Meet Your Protein Needs without Meat"


Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 2/28/2014 (05:02)
TRIATHLETEGIRL SparkPoints: (55,983)
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Posts: 356
2/28/14 12:45 A

Hi Curtis,
My calorie range is about half of yours, but I have a high protein amount set by my nutritionalist. I do rely on protein powder but I also use cottage cheese, tuna, and salmon to help fill in the requirement. Eggs are nice but you are right, they don't have a huge protein punch, though they are good for a snack in place of a bran muffin or the famous fruit-and-nut combo. I find that most of my meals are based on protein and a few veggies on the side. I will be interested to hear what anyone else has to say.

CURTISJ71 SparkPoints: (2,511)
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2/27/14 11:03 P

SP says we should consume 10% - 35% of our calories from protein. For demonstration purposes let's use 25%. On a 2800 calorie maintenance plan, that is 700 calories or 175 grams of protein per day. To get 175 "protein calories" you would need to eat 35 hard boiled egg whites, or 11 cups of legumes, or 9 cups of greek yogurt, or 3.5 full chicken breasts etc. Frankly, I can't eat that much. So, without supplements, how do you meet these protein guidelines?

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