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Too much protein?


kellsmarie

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hey everyone!

 

so, i am trying to stick to my recommended calories & marcos. im 5'6", about 135 lbs. trying to lose about 5-10 lbs but also trying to put on muscle so my calorie goal is set at losing .5 lbs per week.

 

i use livestrong.com to track both of these it tells to stick to the following:

 

cals - 1459

fat - 47g

cholesterol - 219mg

sodium - 1751mg

carbs - 219g

fiber - 18g

protein - 36g

sugars - 29g

 

so yesterday i was messing around with the site trying to make a "perfect" diet plan for this week.  right now, i have 1122 cals which include:

 

breakfast:

1 egg

1/2 avocado

1 smoothie: 1/2 banana, 1 cup silk, 1 cup yogurt, 1 cup strawberries, 1 cup spinach

 

lunch:

2 servings whole wheat pasta

pasta sauce

1 apple

 

dinner:

1/2 chicken breast

broccoli

sweet potato

 

snack:

2 cups white kernel popcorn

 

this puts me at:

 

cals-1122

fat- 28g

cholesterol - 246mg (over)

sodium - 962mg

carbs - 186g

fiber - 35g (over)

protein - 44g (over)

sugars - 48g

 

im really stuck as to eating more. because i know it's important, however if i have another apple im over on sugar. if i eat a whole chicken breast, im over on protein. but im pretty far from my carb goal as well!

 

any guidance? 

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Add in more veggies? Or another portion of sweet potato? 

 

As for too much protein it is better to be over than under, especially if you are doing any time of resistance training. And in all honest the protein count is pretty low from livestrong. Rule of thumb is .8g per pound of lean mass which would put you somewhere in the 80-90grams a day range. 

 

Besides your diet what are you doing activity wise? 

 

And don't worry too much about hitting your numbers perfectly in the beginning. Calculators are good only for a ballpark range. Track what you eat, your weight changes, measurements etc, and those numbers will give you feedback as to whether you are eating too much/too little. It'll take a few weeks or so since it is a long term experiment. 

"Pull the bar like you're ripping the head off a god-damned lion" - Donny Shankle

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Add in more veggies? Or another portion of sweet potato? 

 

As for too much protein it is better to be over than under, especially if you are doing any time of resistance training. And in all honest the protein count is pretty low from livestrong. Rule of thumb is .8g per pound of lean mass which would put you somewhere in the 80-90grams a day range. 

 

Besides your diet what are you doing activity wise? 

 

And don't worry too much about hitting your numbers perfectly in the beginning. Calculators are good only for a ballpark range. Track what you eat, your weight changes, measurements etc, and those numbers will give you feedback as to whether you are eating too much/too little. It'll take a few weeks or so since it is a long term experiment. 

 

I thought it was 1g per lean mass or 0.8g per total mass.

 

Either way, I agree with bigm, you're not getting nearly enough protein if you want to build muscle.

 

Also to add to that, 1150 is way to low calories. WAY to low.

 

edit : Macros use calories like this, carbs and proteins are 4 calories per gram and fat is 9 calories per gram.

It's not 80% diet, 20% exercise, it's 100% diet, 100% exercise. Give it your all.

My journey (Date - Total - BF % - LBM)

2012-01-01 - 242 - 35% - 157

2013-12-15 - 172 - 10% - 155

2016-05-01 - 231 - 25% - 173

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Too little protein for muscle building, and that number is way too many carbs for weight loss unless your metabolism is superb. And it appears you will be if you follow their plan. When in doubt, more protein is better than less. If you don't have adequate protein, your body will begin eating its own muscle mass to produce the amino acids needed, since it can't get these from carbs or fat. Fewer carbs are better than more, unless you're lifting heavy. And, really- don't try to low-carb it if you do happen to be lifting weights. You will regret it. I did.

 

Here, read this article.

 

http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2011/mar/how-the-body-uses-carbohydrates-proteins-and-fats.html

 

Your protein should probably be more like 80+ g on a cardio day, 120+ day on a resistance training day, so aim for an average of 100 g/day. Keep carbs below 100 g on days you aren't doing resistance training, but give yourself more carbs on days you are doing resistance training (it's called carb cycling). Go find yourself a better macro-calculator. The one you used is for the average Josephine who sits on her ass all day and isn't likely to be building muscle. It is true that sedentary Americans eat too much protein, which is then converted to fat because they are consuming a surplus of calories.

 

Your exercise activities are just as important as your diet if you are looking to build muscle. You've gotta be doing strength training or HIIT-type stuff if you want to enter hypertrophy. But if you want to lose weight, you probably don't really want to gain muscle. You're already fairly thin, so a body recomp for you would probably be a weight gain rather than loss.

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Add in more veggies? Or another portion of sweet potato? 

 

As for too much protein it is better to be over than under, especially if you are doing any time of resistance training. And in all honest the protein count is pretty low from livestrong. Rule of thumb is .8g per pound of lean mass which would put you somewhere in the 80-90grams a day range. 

 

Besides your diet what are you doing activity wise? 

 

And don't worry too much about hitting your numbers perfectly in the beginning. Calculators are good only for a ballpark range. Track what you eat, your weight changes, measurements etc, and those numbers will give you feedback as to whether you are eating too much/too little. It'll take a few weeks or so since it is a long term experiment. 

i love veggies, so this could definitely work for me!

 

activity wise - mon wed fri i do weights at the gym. this includes squats, lunges, deadlifts, hip abductor machine. arms i use the bicep/tricep machines. assisted pull ups & im trying to up my plank time.

 

tues/thurs i do 30-45 mins cardio. i think i'll start going on saturday as well & just has sunday as my off day.

 

as far as sugar - i always notice that even one egg puts me over on my cho. but i know that it's good cho so i don't worry about it. does that apply to the sugar in fruit? because i love fruit and could seriously eat 3 apples a day ...!

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Too little protein for muscle building, and that number is way too many carbs for weight loss unless your metabolism is superb. And it appears you will be if you follow their plan. When in doubt, more protein is better than less. If you don't have adequate protein, your body will begin eating its own muscle mass to produce the amino acids needed, since it can't get these from carbs or fat. Fewer carbs are better than more, unless you're lifting heavy. And, really- don't try to low-carb it if you do happen to be lifting weights. You will regret it. I did.

 

Here, read this article.

 

http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2011/mar/how-the-body-uses-carbohydrates-proteins-and-fats.html

 

Your protein should probably be more like 80+ g on a cardio day, 120+ day on a resistance training day, so aim for an average of 100 g/day. Keep carbs below 100 g on days you aren't doing resistance training, but give yourself more carbs on days you are doing resistance training (it's called carb cycling). Go find yourself a better macro-calculator. The one you used is for the average Josephine who sits on her ass all day and isn't likely to be building muscle. It is true that sedentary Americans eat too much protein, which is then converted to fat because they are consuming a surplus of calories.

 

Your exercise activities are just as important as your diet if you are looking to build muscle. You've gotta be doing strength training or HIIT-type stuff if you want to enter hypertrophy. But if you want to lose weight, you probably don't really want to gain muscle. You're already fairly thin, so a body recomp for you would probably be a weight gain rather than loss.

okay that makes sense - that inactive people are eating too much protein & it converts to fat. because i knew that protein could do that, which is why i didn't want to be way over on mine.

 

i mean, i'm active but i wouldn't consider it to be a huge amount. i usually spend an hour in the gym every morning doing either weights or cardio. im not lifting a whole ton right now, i want to keep upping my weight but im going slow & steady with it. so i don't think i need a monster amount of protein, but clearly what i have been doing isn't work for me. i do see some muscle, but not the results that i would like. 

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 It is true that sedentary Americans eat too much protein, which is then converted to fat because they are consuming a surplus of calories.

 

 

 

okay that makes sense - that inactive people are eating too much protein & it converts to fat. because i knew that protein could do that, which is why i didn't want to be way over on mine.

 

 

 

 

While there does exist a metabolic pathway to convert protein into fat it is often waaay overstated in nutritional textbooks. 

 

There was a well controlled study by George Bray in 2012 that looked into the protein-fat conversion theory and found there was no statistical significance between low/medium/high intakes (5%,15%, and 25% of calories from protein) 

 

Also, a good write up about it on T-Nation

 

The more you know :)

 

edit: relevant graph is relevant 

 

nihms-506388-f0003.jpg

"Pull the bar like you're ripping the head off a god-damned lion" - Donny Shankle

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okay that makes sense - that inactive people are eating too much protein & it converts to fat. because i knew that protein could do that, which is why i didn't want to be way over on mine.

 

i mean, i'm active but i wouldn't consider it to be a huge amount. i usually spend an hour in the gym every morning doing either weights or cardio. im not lifting a whole ton right now, i want to keep upping my weight but im going slow & steady with it. so i don't think i need a monster amount of protein, but clearly what i have been doing isn't work for me. i do see some muscle, but not the results that i would like. 

 

 

You are in the weight range where you could cut out the cardio completely (or reduce it to 20 mins, 3 x per week, just for heart health) and only do weight training, and would see better results in body recomp. If you aren't lifting as heavy as you can, then it would be in your best interest to start. High volume, low reps, like a 5 x 5 program (e.g., Stronglifts), or moderate volume, high reps. Either way, you'd see the results you want by eating a bit more (around 1500-1800 cals/day), consuming more protein, and lifting heavy items. There are about ten thousand pages about this on NF and the Internet.

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While there does exist a metabolic pathway to convert protein into fat it is often waaay overstated in nutritional textbooks. 

 

There was a well controlled study by George Bray in 2012 that looked into the protein-fat conversion theory and found there was no statistical significance between low/medium/high intakes (5%,15%, and 25% of calories from protein) 

 

 

 

I should probably stop being lazy and just go look this up for myself, but what are excess calories from protein converted to, if not fat?

 

Feel free to be as jargony as possible. I like science (*adjusts glasses*).

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I should probably stop being lazy and just go look this up for myself, but what are excess calories from protein converted to, if not fat?

 

Feel free to be as jargony as possible. I like science (*adjusts glasses*).

 

 

Poop (how is that for jargony!). Body is pretty good at absorbing protein or not depending on its demands. Most protein (like 90%) break down happens in the stomach and small intestine. If it isn't broken down, it becomes waste. 

"Pull the bar like you're ripping the head off a god-damned lion" - Donny Shankle

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While there does exist a metabolic pathway to convert protein into fat it is often waaay overstated in nutritional textbooks. 

 

There was a well controlled study by George Bray in 2012 that looked into the protein-fat conversion theory and found there was no statistical significance between low/medium/high intakes (5%,15%, and 25% of calories from protein) 

 

Also, a good write up about it on T-Nation

 

The more you know :)

 

edit: relevant graph is relevant 

 

nihms-506388-f0003.jpg

whoa! thanks!

sorry for the delay - i was at work. thanks again for sharing these :)

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You are in the weight range where you could cut out the cardio completely (or reduce it to 20 mins, 3 x per week, just for heart health) and only do weight training, and would see better results in body recomp. If you aren't lifting as heavy as you can, then it would be in your best interest to start. High volume, low reps, like a 5 x 5 program (e.g., Stronglifts), or moderate volume, high reps. Either way, you'd see the results you want by eating a bit more (around 1500-1800 cals/day), consuming more protein, and lifting heavy items. There are about ten thousand pages about this on NF and the Internet.

i do plan to lift more. im just taking a slower approach. thank you for the advice :)

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While there does exist a metabolic pathway to convert protein into fat it is often waaay overstated in nutritional textbooks. 

 

There was a well controlled study by George Bray in 2012 that looked into the protein-fat conversion theory and found there was no statistical significance between low/medium/high intakes (5%,15%, and 25% of calories from protein) 

 

Also, a good write up about it on T-Nation

 

The more you know :)

 

edit: relevant graph is relevant 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the link bigm. I always enjoy reading interesting scientific articles.

 

While I think the results are probably still statistically significant and relevant, I think the study has some pretty horrendous methodological flaws. They increased calories by a PERCENTAGE, then measured their results in ABSOLUTE VALUES. I mean.... seriously... none of the researchers saw anything wrong with that?

 

Or perhaps they did, and modified the way they presented their data until they achieved that golden standard of statistical significance p<0.05.

 

The reason I think that the results are still probably relevant is the data presented in the graphs which shows the mean weight of the low protein group appears to be the high 60's (kg) while the medium and high appears to be high 70's (kg). ie not too huge a difference and hopefully also meaning that the caloric requirements of the groups was not hugely different (they stated the 40% increased calories over all 3 groups averaged out to be +954kcal/d but did not state how this was broken down per group).

 

 

 

"I should probably stop being lazy and just go look this up for myself, but what are excess calories from protein converted to, if not fat?"

 

Poop (how is that for jargony!). Body is pretty good at absorbing protein or not depending on its demands. Most protein (like 90%) break down happens in the stomach and small intestine. If it isn't broken down, it becomes waste. 

 

What I got from the article is that the extra protein resulted in an increase in lean mass, as opposed to being pooped out (the medium and high protein groups gained the same amount of fat as the low protein group, but gained more weight overall due to gaining lean mass). This could have been muscle, or conversion to glucose then storage as glycogen + increased water retention that is associated, or a combination of both (or some other increased tissue that simply wasn't fat).

 

-----

 

Also in regards to the OP, I agree with everyone else that if strength training is your goal then current best scientific evidence is that you should aim for about 0.8g protein/lb.

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If you're 5'6" and 135, I'd focus on gaining muscle and not on losing weight. If you gain muscle and stay the same weight, you will get smaller as muscle is denser than fat. Gaining muscle involves eating at a calorie surplus with ample protein while doing lots of weight training, not a deficit; and while it can be possible for overweight people new to strength training to both gain muscle and lose fat, you aren't overweight, and you really can't do that beyond beginner strength gains from getting used to the exercises. You should check out Spezzy's Story - the final after photos in there are her at 5'4" and 142lbs.

 

Those targets from LiveStrong are super low on protein (and fiber), quite frankly it's good that you were relatively high on those two. Likewise, if you're over on sugar and it's all from the sorts of foods you've got in your plan there, I'd be a-ok with that... I know SparkPeople will always give at least 60g for protein (and presents things as target ranges, rather than a single value). While I've never looked into LiveStrong's tracking tools, I've never been impressed with the quality of the articles on their site when I come across them.

"None of us can choose to be perfect, but all of us can choose to be better." - Lou Schuler, New Rules of Lifting for Women

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I use Livestrong to track what I eat but completely ignore the daily recommended allowance thing.  It is obviously set for a higher carb, lower protein and fat type of diet.  I like their database and find most of the foods I eat so I use it.  I just look at the pie chart thing that shows overal percentages of carb, fat, protein. 

 

Eat real food and work out.  How you eat and work out really depends on what your goals are.  If you are really looking to get stronger, there are plenty of programs available to follow that will make you stronger but none of them are casual trips to the gym.  They are serious hard work and you will need to get more protein.  If your goal is just to be leaner, body weight workouts to maintain muscle mass along with careful diet (usually means cutting carbs) is the way to go.  It sounds like you are a healthy body weight for your height so maybe your focus should be on making sure you have/maintain lean muscle mass.  Choose a program you like and go for it.  As far as diet, we all have our opinions of how many carbs you should have but most agree you could probably stand some more protein if you are working out.  And if nothing else, dont use the Livestrong daily allowances to determine your macros.  Use it for the easy to use database and to have a place to track.  

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I use Livestrong to track what I eat but completely ignore the daily recommended allowance thing.  It is obviously set for a higher carb, lower protein and fat type of diet.  I like their database and find most of the foods I eat so I use it.  I just look at the pie chart thing that shows overal percentages of carb, fat, protein. 

 

 

same - when i started counting calories years ago, i used the site strictly for the calorie counter, and it worked! but now im at a good weight and i'd like to gain some muscle. so maybe it's time for me to part ways with livestrong! 

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If you're 5'6" and 135, I'd focus on gaining muscle and not on losing weight. If you gain muscle and stay the same weight, you will get smaller as muscle is denser than fat. Gaining muscle involves eating at a calorie surplus with ample protein while doing lots of weight training, not a deficit; and while it can be possible for overweight people new to strength training to both gain muscle and lose fat, you aren't overweight, and you really can't do that beyond beginner strength gains from getting used to the exercises. You should check out Spezzy's Story - the final after photos in there are her at 5'4" and 142lbs.

 

Those targets from LiveStrong are super low on protein (and fiber), quite frankly it's good that you were relatively high on those two. Likewise, if you're over on sugar and it's all from the sorts of foods you've got in your plan there, I'd be a-ok with that... I know SparkPeople will always give at least 60g for protein (and presents things as target ranges, rather than a single value). While I've never looked into LiveStrong's tracking tools, I've never been impressed with the quality of the articles on their site when I come across them.

thanks for the link! 

 

about a year ago i started cutting processed foods from my diet. with the exception of going out with friends every now and then, everything i eat is real food. so i didn't think it was a huge deal if i was eating more fruit! haha. but im just not seeing results like i would like to. i need to find a good macro counter. 

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same - when i started counting calories years ago, i used the site strictly for the calorie counter, and it worked! but now im at a good weight and i'd like to gain some muscle. so maybe it's time for me to part ways with livestrong! 

You dont necessarily have to change the tracker you use, just figure out what you want your macros to be.  Unless there is a tracker out there that lets you set it yourself.  I'm not aware of any but there may be something.

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Guest Dirty Deads

The best macro counter you can possibly use is a kitchen scale. You can research what a portion of raw chicken breast has as far as macros, commit that to memory or write it down and weight your food every day.

I'm one of the few on here that does not buy into the "protein is God" thing. You're probably a LITTLE low, I'd say between 60-80 grams a day, as long as you land in that range, you're fine. Your calories are a little too low for adding muscle, but keeping what you have should be easy while dropping the libras.

I also wouldn't worry about the too much protein turning to fat since the pathways used to turn it to such are going to require that your body already has a calorie surplus. Even then, it takes almost as much energy for your body to turn that into stored fat as a gram has calories. So, it's negligible at best.

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You dont necessarily have to change the tracker you use, just figure out what you want your macros to be.  Unless there is a tracker out there that lets you set it yourself.  I'm not aware of any but there may be something.

 

SparkPeople lets you adjust your targets (and also which nutrients it highlights for you without going into the detailed reports). Just went in and double checked as it's been a while since I used it (It's under "Change nutrition goals"). I've always thought of it as a common feature on those sites, but perhaps I'm mistaken.

"None of us can choose to be perfect, but all of us can choose to be better." - Lou Schuler, New Rules of Lifting for Women

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Too little protein for muscle building, and that number is way too many carbs for weight loss unless your metabolism is superb. And it appears you will be if you follow their plan. When in doubt, more protein is better than less. If you don't have adequate protein, your body will begin eating its own muscle mass to produce the amino acids needed, since it can't get these from carbs or fat. Fewer carbs are better than more, unless you're lifting heavy. And, really- don't try to low-carb it if you do happen to be lifting weights. You will regret it. I did.

 

Here, read this article.

 

http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2011/mar/how-the-body-uses-carbohydrates-proteins-and-fats.html

 

Your protein should probably be more like 80+ g on a cardio day, 120+ day on a resistance training day, so aim for an average of 100 g/day. Keep carbs below 100 g on days you aren't doing resistance training, but give yourself more carbs on days you are doing resistance training (it's called carb cycling). Go find yourself a better macro-calculator. The one you used is for the average Josephine who sits on her ass all day and isn't likely to be building muscle. It is true that sedentary Americans eat too much protein, which is then converted to fat because they are consuming a surplus of calories.

 

Your exercise activities are just as important as your diet if you are looking to build muscle. You've gotta be doing strength training or HIIT-type stuff if you want to enter hypertrophy. But if you want to lose weight, you probably don't really want to gain muscle. You're already fairly thin, so a body recomp for you would probably be a weight gain rather than loss.

Her carb intake is fine. If you are regularly doing exercise at an intensity greater than walking, most people will benefit from a higher carb, lower fat diet than vice versa. It has nothing really to do with metabolism at all (that will influence overall calorie intake, not carb intake in a vaccuum). Especailly if you aren't fat. Higher intensity exercise burns carbs and carbs alone, nothing can change that, it is basic human physiology.

If you're in a calorie deficit you're not going to build muscle.

Body recomp doesn't really work for most people, and even for those it does, it is terribly inefficient. Alternating periods of sustained surplus with periods of sustained deficit is a far more efficient path. The body is really good at maintaining status quo, to make any headway on making changes, you have to force it to change.

currently cutting

battle log challenges: 21,20, 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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okay that makes sense - that inactive people are eating too much protein & it converts to fat. because i knew that protein could do that, which is why i didn't want to be way over on mine.

Excess calories are "converted" into fat. In general though no other macros (carbs, protein, alcohol) are actually converted into fat in the body. DNL (actual macro to fat conversion) is a largely irrelevant process in a normally functioning human. What does occur is that overeating on other macros causes the rate of fat burning to decline. When in a surplus the the dietary fat intake exceeds the body fat burn, which causes dietary fat to be stored (when maintaining this is at equilibrium, when losing burn exceeds intake). For the most part only dietary fat becomes body fat; though its not as simple as the eat less fat to be less fat explanation, overall calorie intake still governs whether you are gaining or losing body fat. And you cannot game the system and eat no fat (some is essential).

 

 

You are in the weight range where you could cut out the cardio completely (or reduce it to 20 mins, 3 x per week, just for heart health) and only do weight training, and would see better results in body recomp.

The idea that doing cardio hinders body comp results is utter nonsense. Its always good to do some cardio.

 

Eat real food and work out.  How you eat and work out really depends on what your goals are.  If you are really looking to get stronger, there are plenty of programs available to follow that will make you stronger but none of them are casual trips to the gym.  They are serious hard work and you will need to get more protein.  If your goal is just to be leaner, body weight workouts to maintain muscle mass along with careful diet (usually means cutting carbs) is the way to go.  It sounds like you are a healthy body weight for your height so maybe your focus should be on making sure you have/maintain lean muscle mass.  Choose a program you like and go for it.  As far as diet, we all have our opinions of how many carbs you should have but most agree you could probably stand some more protein if you are working out.  And if nothing else, dont use the Livestrong daily allowances to determine your macros.  Use it for the easy to use database and to have a place to track.

 

Bodyweight work is fine for gaining muscle mass too. Even a lot of it.

 

thanks for the link! 

 

about a year ago i started cutting processed foods from my diet. with the exception of going out with friends every now and then, everything i eat is real food. so i didn't think it was a huge deal if i was eating more fruit! haha. but im just not seeing results like i would like to. i need to find a good macro counter.

Whether the food in your diet is processed or not will have no impact on your body composition goals. That will come from the calories and macros of the diet as a whole. Body composition goals come from the forest not the trees.

 

You dont necessarily have to change the tracker you use, just figure out what you want your macros to be.  Unless there is a tracker out there that lets you set it yourself.  I'm not aware of any but there may be something.

Myfitnesspal allows custom macro/micro nutrient settings.

currently cutting

battle log challenges: 21,20, 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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