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KATELJM Posts: 6,585
7/21/14 10:32 P

After tracking my nutrition for several weeks, I realized that I was often short on protein and calcium.

I remembered that in 2009 when I became Lifetime with WW, that I restricted my protein to stay within points. Apparently that habit stuck with me. Now I see that at my age I need to invest the calories in protein. If I rely on animal protein, my Sat Fat gets too high. I substituted a Cedarlane Low Fat Bean, Cheese and Rice Burrito at lunch, and that helped make room for healthy fat as well as increasing my fiber intake. At the end of the day, if I am short on protein and fat, I eat natural peanut butter. If I am short on protein, but not fat, I eat a few roasted almonds. (Fortunately neither triggers overeating for me.)

As for calcium, I rely on plain nonfat Greek yogurt, but I think I am still shorting myself. The SP range for calcium is for someone 50 or younger, and I am older. Today it struck me that I should use skim milk when I make my 2 servings of oatmeal in the morning.

MARYLIZ54120 Posts: 370
7/14/14 9:38 P

A clean protein drink is what I use.

KKKAREN Posts: 12,754
7/14/14 7:22 P

have a cup of milk at each meal. a great source of protein.

ASIZE081 SparkPoints: (6,818)
Fitness Minutes: (1,642)
Posts: 59
7/14/14 6:59 P

I noticed I was getting more protein when drinking lattes instead of plain coffee in the morning. I drink a nonfat grande latte from Starbucks most days.

UKNOWITNOW SparkPoints: (64,560)
Fitness Minutes: (31,299)
Posts: 2,615
7/14/14 11:28 A

Thanks for mentioning quinoa. I too need more protein in my diet.

ACHANSO Posts: 1,073
7/14/14 10:32 A

Thanks so much for the advice! I'll check out Babyfit too! :)

7/14/14 9:57 A

Congratulations on your pregnancy---Twins! How exciting.
Your protein and calorie needs will be greatly different than the information on this site.
Please talk to your doctor about your specific needs.

We also have a sister site that deals with pregnancy nutrition and fitness. You may want to join:

Babyfit uses nutrition formulas for women expecting 1 child; so once again follow the advice by your doctor.

Your SP and BF Registered Dietitian

7/14/14 9:53 A

You have been given some great food ideas on ways to increase protein in your diet.
There is really no need to be calculating your protein needs---for this is already done for you by your Sparkpeople program. I assume this is how you know you need a little extra boost.

Sparkpeople uses the standards set by the Institutes o Medicine, National Academies which is:
-- 10-35% of one's calorie needs coming from protein.
For females we also set a lower limit of 60 grams. This is based on weight loss research recommendations to promote fullness and maintain muscle mass.

Your SP Registered Dietitian

ACHANSO Posts: 1,073
7/9/14 3:31 P

Hi there

I'm currently pregnant with twins and I find myself craving meat/protein more than I did before.

I didn't used to be a big Meat eater in general, but now I am which makes sense because I'm sure it takes protein to grow two babies!

I eat cottage cheese for breakfast almost every morning. Just half a cup has around 12-13 grams protein for only 80-90 calories if you get lowfat.

Also try tuna, salmon, eggs (egg salad, hardboiled eggs, scrambled, however you like them).

Nuts can pack a lot of protein in a small amount if you're having a hard time getting enough.

NEWGOALS4ME SparkPoints: (7,254)
Fitness Minutes: (142)
Posts: 44
7/9/14 1:57 P

I have recently discovered QUINOA and it is loaded with protein. It is very versatile - can be used anywhere you would use rice or oatmeal. I love it combined with steel cut oatmeal and apples and/or bananas or whatever I have around that goes in oatmeal. I've also made it with veggies - kind of like a fried rice thing, only not really fried and very healthy. Yum!

ANNA1679 SparkPoints: (3,295)
Fitness Minutes: (3,518)
Posts: 308
7/9/14 12:55 P

Thank you everyone. You've all given me some great ideas that I'm going to start trying to incorporate into my meals and snacks.

VEG_GIRL04 Posts: 2,617
7/9/14 12:26 P

I've been a vegetarian for 14 years so I know about the struggles to get protein without meat! That's one of the things SP has really done for me is help me to focus on getting enough protein in my diet.

Some of my old stand bys include:
Cottage Cheese
Hard boiled eggs
Poached eggs
Egg whites
Greek yogurt
Almond Milk
String Cheese

And don't forget to eat vegetables that have more protein like:
Brussel Sprouts

Baked potatoes and corn aren't bad for adding a little extra protein your way too! Eating a baked potato with lowfat cottage cheese on it with lunch or adding peas, corn and beans to a healthy salad can really do wonders when you're coming up short!

LIFENPROGRESS SparkPoints: (114,733)
Fitness Minutes: (18,343)
Posts: 4,275
7/9/14 12:04 P

I use CLICK Protein Powder. Rather than water, I mix it with 2% Milk. Sometimes, I mash a banana and blend it. The CLICK comes in Mocha, Caramel, and Vanilla Latte. I highly

DEANSDAD Posts: 71
7/9/14 12:00 P


Fish, turkey, cottage cheese, peanut butter, cheese, eggs, nuts, yogurt for starters.

"Rule of Thumb" (might be different in your particular case for any of number of reasons)
You should "aim" for ~20-25% of your daily calorie intake to be in the form of protein.
American Heart Association recommends "between 10 and 35%, see the link below.

If you are "ok" with doing the math, 1gm of protein = ~4 cals.
So, if your total cal intake/day is 1400 (random number just for example, use your actual number),
1400 x 20% = 280 cals,
1400 x 25% = 350
280/4 (cals/gm) = 70 grams protein
350/4 = 88g

So, in this case (1400 TCI/day, and "average" protein requirements) you'd need 70-88 grams.

Once you settle on a daily "goal" its a simple matter of adding up the individual items you eat (or plan to eat) to reach the goal. For that, you need to know grams/oz, cup, each, whatever "size" portion.

1 Lg Egg = 6
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese: 14
3 ounces tofu, firm: 13
1/2 cup lentils: 9
2 tablespoons peanut butter: 8
1 ounce meat, fish, poultry: 7
1 ounce cheese: 7
1/2 cup cooked kidney beans: 7
1 ounce nuts: 7
4 ounces low-fat yogurt: 6
4 ounces soy milk: 5
4 ounces milk: 4

So, if the goal is 70 grams you could eat 12 eggs (not recommended!), OR
2 eggs =2 x 6 = 12
6 ozs fish = 6 x 7 = 42
2 ozs nuts = 2 x 7 = 14
For a total of 68 (close enough),
or, any other combination of your choice.

If "math" isn't your forte, there are a number of stand alone "protein" calculators in the google machine, or, most daily calorie intake "trackers" (Spark, LoseIt, any number of others) include protein trackers (some, only in the "paid" versions, and some sort of "hidden" under the covers).

There are also any number of "menu planners" out there that include the protein component, here again, google is your friend.

Here's a couple to get you going, hope this helps

Edited by: DEANSDAD at: 7/9/2014 (12:02)
H0KIE_GIRL SparkPoints: (3,588)
Fitness Minutes: (4,833)
Posts: 88
7/9/14 11:39 A

Protein powder is great. You can mix it with water or milk to make a shake or fruit to make a smoothie. Also if you're an oatmeal eater in the morning you can add it to that.

Also, I'm a fan of quest bars especially when I need the small pick me up in between work and the gym and those tend to have a good amount of protein.

I know for me my goal daily is 100-150g so the bars and powder works wonders.

CUDA440 SparkPoints: (84,691)
Fitness Minutes: (90,171)
Posts: 8,044
7/9/14 11:21 A

almonds, other nuts.
greek yogurt
add a little spinach to salads, or sauces
cottage cheese - I like to make scrambled eggs with cottage cheese instead of milk.


ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
7/9/14 10:57 A

A smoothie with whey?

TRIPLEMWF Posts: 906
7/9/14 10:55 A

Do you like eggs? Beans are also good, but they are high in carbs as well, in case that is something that you are being mindful of. Same with cheese. I'm no expert though, just some thoughts as those are all staples in my diet.

ANNA1679 SparkPoints: (3,295)
Fitness Minutes: (3,518)
Posts: 308
7/9/14 10:51 A

I'm having trouble getting enough protein during the day. I'd not a big meat eater. I eat mostly chicken and fish with a little bit of red meat every once in a while. Can anyone recommend some high protein foods/snacks I could try and incorporate into my meals?

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