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SOCAL_LEE SparkPoints: (43,325)
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Posts: 246
2/28/13 7:08 P

There's great advice already here in the comments. I just wanted to add that good, cheap sources of protein include eggs and cottage cheese. Also, for your back, I would definitely recommend strengthening your abs (or core muscles in general). Planks are a fantastic exercise for that. When you pick up something heavy, too, use your legs -- instead of bending over, squat down and up. This will spare your back. Good luck!

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,288)
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Posts: 9,713
2/28/13 5:18 P

Unfortunately, losing weight and gaining muscle are opposing goals; gaining muscle mass requires a calorie surplus, while losing weight requires a calorie deficit.

However, by strength training, you can preserve and strengthen the lean muscle mass you do have (without it, you can lose as much as 25% of your weight in lean muscle mass), boost your metabolism, and make the fat you do have look better.

Protein supplements are not necessary for this goal as long as you are getting enough protein in your diet. Most people don't need protein shakes while eating a healthy diet.

Don't worry about bulking up. For your average muscle-bound body-builder type (male or female) they have to eat at a calorie surplus, and TRAIN like a body builder, perhaps even supplement. Most people can't do that even if they try!

For the difference between bulking up and toning up (and to dispel myths like lifting light for high reps for toning), check here:

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 2/28/2013 (17:21)
SWEDIEPIE Posts: 338
2/28/13 4:06 P

At the bottom of your nutrition tracker, you'll see a range for protein, and for each food you eat/add, it will show you how many grams of protein have come from that food.

BMU20619 SparkPoints: (117)
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Posts: 13
2/28/13 3:46 P

Thank you guys for the answers. I would like to do both, lose weight and build some muscle. I have not used any protein supplements, I wanted more knowledge on it first. I have a "bad" back and would like to lose some belly and strengthen my abs. I do not want to have a "body builder" body, but I need a stronger back and stronger arms for my job. I walk around all day during my job as a vet tech and I am constantly lifting large dogs. When I got the job I didn't think it was that bit of a deal, but my back has been killing me even more lately. I have been told the key to a strong back is strong abs and to use abs more than back? Is that correct?

As for foods and protein, I am on a short budget and try to buy the cheapest foods. I also try to eat a lot of turkey, nuts and yogurt. How do I know what my protein intake should be? I apologize if these all seem like silly questions, I just want to learn how to be healthy and fit. :)

TONKA14 Posts: 4,947
2/28/13 3:35 P

It is important to remember that if you are eating within your SP protein range and are a healthy adult you are most likely meeting your protein needs and additional supplementation is probably not necessary. Much of the protein supplement push is coming from personal trainers or fitness centers--who are also selling the supplement to make additional income.

Have you been tracking? Are you meeting your protein needs with your meals and snacks? You can find many protein ideas from the meat, nuts and dairy options in these lists if you a re a little short and they will provide a lot of other nutrients as well.

Coach Tanya

JCWIAKALA Posts: 347
2/28/13 3:18 P

Protein powder is to support muscle building (large or lean, either way protein fuels our muscles) and is not designed for weight-loss. Yes, you can replace a snack with a protein shake. I also like the suggestion of adding it to other foods. However, it's generally not low in calories and is not necessary in order to lose weight. However, some people struggle to get the protein that they need, so then it may be a good idea in that case.

BMU20619 SparkPoints: (117)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 13
2/28/13 2:56 P

Thank you, that is very helpful :)

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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2/28/13 2:43 P

Personally, I just add a little to my foods here and there on my strength training days if I'm struggling to get my protein up high enough. I only usually do 1/4 of serving just for an extra protein boost and add it to my pancakes or oatmeal in the morning when I need a high protein breakfast before my workout (in addition to the protein coming from my meal).

It's unnecessary if you can get your protein from the foods you eat and you should be getting the majority of your protein from actual food if you are on a calorie deficit. It's unlikely a protein shake will keep you satisfied. They are also lacking in healthy fats and complex carbs. But you can use it to enhance the protein coming from a meal that contains healthy fats and complex carbs.

You can add it to yogurt, oatmeal, cottage cheese/oat pancakes, sprinkle it on high fibre cereal or make protein "baked" goods, smoothies that include other foods (fruit, yogurt or nut butter).

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 2/28/2013 (14:45)
BMU20619 SparkPoints: (117)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 13
2/28/13 2:20 P

Being new to fitness, I am still learning a lot. Many people have recommended drinking whey protein powder and/or eas powder. How often and when should you drink these shakes? I've been eating 6 times a day, cant they replace one of my snacks or my meals?


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