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JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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12/27/13 9:00 A

Rather than a PB sandwich for lunch which is mostly fat and carbs. He could replace it with a meat. A lean meat is always going to pack the most protein per calorie count than nearly every other choice. If he could get a lean meat in there for 2-3 of his main meals it would really help. Then you could do the lentils/beans on the side and he should be around 30g+. If you are going to do a sandwich, limit it to 1 slice (open face). Even a whole grain bread is mostly carbs and little protein for the calorie count. Better to replace the cals from one of those slices with something that has a higher protein count if he is lacking.

Dairy is also an important source of protein. Have him aim for 2 servings a day. A cup of low fat cottage cheese or 3/4 cup of Greek yogurt will give him around 18g.

I would supplement with egg whites if he's still behind because of the high protein content vs. calorie count. Not that there is anything wrong with a whole egg. You're just going to get more protein for few calories.

But if he is looking to build muscle, he would be trying to gain weight. He is likely going to have to eat (depending on his size and activity level) around 2500-3000 cals/day. It shouldn't be very hard to get 140g on that sort of calorie count. I can manage to get around 90-100g on 1500 cals without the use of protein powder/supplements just by getting 2 servings of meat and 2 servings of dairy, a little bit of eggs and whole grains, occasional legumes, etc.

I would simply use a meat at his 3 main meals, 2 veg (or veg/fruit combo) and a high protein carb (legumes, lentils, whole grains). A high protein dairy or eggs and fruit/veg/high protein carb for 2-3 snacks.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 12/27/2013 (09:08)
LGREGG07 SparkPoints: (44,505)
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12/27/13 8:30 A

Good sources of protein aside from powders are greek yogurt, beans, lentils, quinoa, tofu, meat (chicken, beef, turkey, etc.), fish (salmon, tuna, etc.), eggs/egg whites, shrimp, nuts, edamame, and cottage cheese.

I have also recently gotten into weightlifting and body building and from the research that i have done, PB should be considered a fat source instead of a protein source because it has a relatively low amount of protein compared to the amount of fat per serving. I have also found that straying from the "traditional" lunch choices (like sandwiches, wraps,and salads) I have had an easier time fitting more protein in my diet.

When I was doing really well with my diet/workouts I was able to get 150g of protein into a typical day. I used a website called: if it fits your macros ( which helped me to determine the macro-nutrient range for my age, gender, height, weight, and fitness goals (the number of times i work out per week, if i want to lose fat, maintain, or gain muscle). It really got me to look at the nutrition labels of the foods I was eating to make sure that I was getting the right balance.

Also, since your son is young (and a boy) his metabolism is fast, so in order for him to GAIN muscle, he will have to be eating a lot of food! You simply can not gain muscle without a slight caloric surplus. He might find eating more frequently to be difficult in the beginning (I know I did!), but after a while, with the amount that he is working out and with the increased muscle mass, he will find himself hungrier.

I hope I helped some.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (243,907)
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12/26/13 5:02 P

Apart from the diet, try to encourage him to NOT try to QUICKLY develop the muscle. My grandson was very impatient and went into what I considered to be 'overload' with the exercise intensity, etc., and he developed his muscles very quickly, but also developed some unsightly stretchmarks in the process.


RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
12/26/13 4:39 P

When we were trying to add muscle in high school, we didn't have help from our Mom's, so he already has a head start.

At 140 g, you are talking 28 % protein in a 2000 calorie diet, which is about as much as you want. I would divide the grams by how many meals he eats, and then set the protein, and the fat will probably be correct, or a bit high, so all you need is to add in the carbs. Give him a lot of vegetables for nutrition, and he will be good to go. We didn't eat the

So he may want an omelette for breakfast, but you can thrown in some green peppers, onions, and diced ham and make it a western omelette. Just add as many veggies as you can Bacon, mushrooms,and black olives are okay in the omelette too. Chili for dinner, but add beans, and lots of vegetables, like onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes. School lunches will be an issue, but with a cooler, some cold turkey strips, and a yogurt, with some nuts, cheese, or fruit will do fine, and give him enough so that the leftovers are his snacks.

My favorite though is chicken and vegetable stir fry. 8 ozs of chicken, with some olive oil, and 2-3 types of vegetables. Make it so that vegetables are a majority of the dish, and he'll get healthy vegetables along with the protein he wants.

If he is weightlifting, you might want to get someone to train him how to do so properly. Body weight training is better for teenagers though. Losing focus is common among teens, and with heavy weights, accidents happen. If he is doing chin-ups, and push-ups, he won't hurt himself. His only goal right now is getting bigger, stronger, or making a team. You have more sensible goals, like him not injuring himself, or just eating a lot of fat along with his protein.

He is more likely to achieve both his, and your goals with your help.

CARRIENIGN SparkPoints: (99,034)
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12/26/13 4:05 P

Cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, protein bars for snacks, milk, and lots of eggs. I always keep canned tuna in water and canned chicken in water on hand and mix with a little lite mayo and relish and put it on bread for a sandwich or in a tortilla (which they make high protein versions of) for a wrap or just eat it straight out of the bowl. I eat a lot of chicken breasts and salmon fillets for meals because you can do so much with them, too. Fish is not especially filling, either, so it's easier to eat a little bit more of without feeling like you've eaten a lot. Those are my biggest sources of protein.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,100)
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12/25/13 10:31 P

Typically I would have a lot of veggies mixed in; in the omelet, green smoothies, salads with lunch and dinner, steamed veggies with every meal, spinach in my quiche, salsa on my salad, etc. At least 10 servings per day veggies because I feel best without grains.

IMLOCOLINDA Posts: 19,017
12/25/13 10:15 P

Eggs. Lots of eggs. Hardboiled, deviled are easy to eat and carry along...and peanut butter. My wrestlers practically lived on eggs for their protein and low calories. And the peanut butter sands could also be with bacon-it's a good combo or pb and banana. There was no such thing as protein powders in our day...or at least if there were you must have had to order them. And chicken legs are quick and easy to grab and run. My advice would be to look at low carb diets since they are high in protein...not that he needs to eat low carb...but for the sources of protein that he might enjoy. Best of luck to him. I love wrestling. It's one of the sports I think is the hardest because they have to be responsible to make weight and then win a match with no one but themselves and yet then as part of a team for the team to win. It's the most grueling of all high school sports.

MOM2MICKEY SparkPoints: (0)
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12/25/13 9:19 P

Thanks Michelle!

While he'd happily eat each of those things individually, that seems like a whole lot for one day. Do you eat other things in addition to these foods? Are you also eating fruits and other veggies, or is that literally everything you'd eat in a day?

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,100)
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12/25/13 10:58 A

Something has to be decreased in order for another to be increasd. Ezekiel raisin bread (or even Ezekiel bread in general) is very filling. Likewise, PB is moderate protein source at best. I could fit in 140g protein like this:

B: 4 egg whites omelet, turkey sausage patty (30g)
snack: ff greek yogurt (20g)
L: grilled chicken salad, vegetable beef soup (40g)
snack: turkey rollups (20g)
D: 4oz white fish, veggies (30g)
snack: quiche muffin (20g)

One of the snacks could be cut bc the total is 160g.

Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 12/25/2013 (11:12)
SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (243,907)
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12/25/13 1:45 A

When my 18yr old grandson was living with me, I gave him 3-4 oz meat for dinner, and a couple oz in his lunch, or a little can of tuna and crackers to go with this lunch, which also had protein in some form in it, as well as a nut bar for an extra. My grandson is very much into weight-lifting and very brisk walks. 5 nights a week he would do an intense hr's work-out. I would also make him a 'granny shake' which was milk, a banana, a tablespoon of almond meal or wheat germ, a tablespoon of oat bran, and 2 tablespoons of milk powder and hot chocolate powder. It would make about 600mls, and he normally had that after his work-out, and absolutely loved it. I sometimes made a big lot and split it in half - one for today, and one for tomorrow, just quickly blitzed again.


MOM2MICKEY SparkPoints: (0)
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12/25/13 1:35 A

Thanks! I feel as though, even if I add a lot more meat, it still seems overwhelming.

How much meat do you eat or serve your kids?

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (243,907)
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12/24/13 11:33 P

Increasing the portions of meat, chicken and/or fish a little will help loads. 4oz ground beef would provide around 20g - steaks would provide a bit more. Chicken legs, bone and skin removed, an average of about 26g. Pink Salmon provides about 21g per 3oz serve. 4oz Non-fat Cottage Cheese provides about 23g protein.

You might like to make him some smoothies using Greek yoghurt, almond meal and milk powder in it to help boost the protein, also.

Below is a link to an article "How to Meet Your Protein Needs without Meat" which will give you more ideas.

Good luck,

MOM2MICKEY SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 19
12/24/13 10:29 P

I'm writing on behalf of my 14 year old who is interested in increasing his protein in his diet so that he can build more muscle. He's an athletic kid, this season he's wrestling, so he gets a lot of exercise, and I've read that athletic teens should aim for .9 grams of protein per lb of body weight, which would put him at 140 grams, but getting there seems impossible, at least without stuffing him to the gills.

Today, for example, for lunch he asked for a pb and j sandwich, which I would normally serve him with a fruit and veggie. In an effort to boost protein I served it on Ezekiel raisin bread (3 grams of protein per slice), and served him a double portion of lentils as the veggie (12 grams of protein total) along with an apple. Altogether, it still only came to 25 grams of protein for the meal, and his total for the day was at 98 grams, far less than 140. This is with 20+ grams of protein for breakfast both days, snacks like string cheese or nuts, and meat with dinner.

Yesterday's total was similar.

Does anyone have better suggestions on what to serve him? My preference is to serve "real" foods rather than processed protein powder, but perhaps I'm being unrealistic?

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