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Cheetah

Am I over-thinking macros?

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I'm going paleo-ish.  If I ever tell myself, "You can never have M&Ms again"  my soul will immediately throw the whole plan out the window.  Baby, bathwater, and all.  So I'm going like 95%.

 

My overall goal is to lose fat and gain strength until I get to my target pants size and I crank out a dozen pull-ups without sweating it, and then maintain that level of fitness until I die of excessive  bliss at the age of 142.  A big part of the weight-loss plan is staying at a target calorie intake, in my case 1750 is supposed to get me my 2-lb per week deficit.  

 

So, I'm all good with the little-to-no-grain part.  No problem.  The thing that I can't wrap my head around is this.  Everywhere I've read says that if I want to loose fat and keep or build muscle, I have to hit a protien target of 1g/lb of body weight.  That's 220 grams for me.  That's a crap-load of eggs and chicken and sundry other meats, but I can do it.  What's wigging me out is if I eat that much eggs and chicken and sundry meats, and fill out the rest of my cals with veggies and such, I end up with over 50% of my calories being fat.  Now, I get that the fat I'm getting is good fat, but still... the food pyramid that the government implanted in my brain is having a hysterical fit.

 

Can someone tell me if getting half or better of calories as fat is okay, and I should stop freaking out about it?  And if not, could someone please tell me what I'm not understanding about the plan?

 

Thanks in advance!  You're all super swell!

 

 

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I don't track macros AT ALL. Proceed with counting calories and if that works, you're fine. For some people tracking macros is better for them mentally or sometimes physically (everyone's different), but unless your calorie tracking plan fails to get the results you're seeking you don't need to worry about it.

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If you use my fitness pal you can adjust macro levels to see what your suppossed to be shooting for. What kind of proteins are you eating? Maybe try eating some that are a bit lower in fat.

 

But also, in my opinion and form what I have heard, the 1lb per bodweight rule applies to what your goal weight is. So if your shooting to be 220 lbs then yes, 220 protein. But if your shooting for less the protein should adjust to reflect that.

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Fat is not the enemy. If you  check out  http://www.marksdailyapple.com/  there a bunch of good articles on why fat isn't bad for you.  That said, you can adjust your macros for a little less fat and more carbs. Have some meats leaner, add in some sweet potatoes, potatoes, or rice on workout days. 

 

 

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A few things:

1) Total calories is the most important thing for changing your bodyweight.

2) Protein is the macro that you're going to want to focus on over the other two if you don't want to track all of your macros

3) Keto dieters actually get more than 50% of their total calories from fat, and many of them still do great things with weight manipulation

4) You don't actually need 1g/lb of protein, that just allows for optimum muscle protein synthesis while still allowing for the protein that your body breaks down for energy. You can actually get away with less than that. Plus most of the research that talks about grams/lb of body weight, refer to lean body mass. But there are plenty of people your size who get away with less than 100g of protein per day. The minimum protein requirement is a much debated topic, and I don't have the answer, but it's certainly something to think about.

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8 hours ago, calanthrophy said:

I don't track macros AT ALL. Proceed with counting calories and if that works, you're fine. For some people tracking macros is better for them mentally or sometimes physically (everyone's different), but unless your calorie tracking plan fails to get the results you're seeking you don't need to worry about it.

 

I know a lot of people don't bother with it, and I'm leaning that way myself.

 

7 hours ago, cn3wton said:

If you use my fitness pal you can adjust macro levels to see what your suppossed to be shooting for. What kind of proteins are you eating? Maybe try eating some that are a bit lower in fat.

 

But also, in my opinion and form what I have heard, the 1lb per bodweight rule applies to what your goal weight is. So if your shooting to be 220 lbs then yes, 220 protein. But if your shooting for less the protein should adjust to reflect that.

 

I do use MFP.  I've been doing food math to figure out the cheapest sources of protein.  Eggs and frozen chicken breast are the clear winners, btw.  So that will be most of it, plus I'm thinking about whey protein powder for a quick boost after workouts.

 

6 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

Fat is not the enemy. If you  check out  http://www.marksdailyapple.com/  there a bunch of good articles on why fat isn't bad for you.  That said, you can adjust your macros for a little less fat and more carbs. Have some meats leaner, add in some sweet potatoes, potatoes, or rice on workout days. 

 

 

 

I've read a few of Mark's articles; it's very illuminating stuff!  The more I read, the more it's making sense.

 

6 hours ago, Juni0r83 said:

 Plus most of the research that talks about grams/lb of body weight, refer to lean body mass. But there are plenty of people your size who get away with less than 100g of protein per day. The minimum protein requirement is a much debated topic, and I don't have the answer, but it's certainly something to think about.

 

I was wondering whether I should base the protein target on my total weight or lean mass.  That will certainly make things easier.

 

Thanks for all of the input, I really appreciate the help!  I made myself go the whole day without reading any fitness articles, and I'm feeling saner than I did.  I think I'm going to take a simpler approach - eat mostly paleo, stay on my calorie target, and don't worry about the rest.  Wait and see what happens.  That's the hardest part - I'm an instant-results kind of guy.  I know I need to give this time to see how it's working, then decide what I need to adjust.

 

Thanks again!

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51 minutes ago, Hoosiercheetah said:

 

I know a lot of people don't bother with it, and I'm leaning that way myself.

 

 

I do use MFP.  I've been doing food math to figure out the cheapest sources of protein.  Eggs and frozen chicken breast are the clear winners, btw.  So that will be most of it, plus I'm thinking about whey protein powder for a quick boost after workouts.

 

 

I've read a few of Mark's articles; it's very illuminating stuff!  The more I read, the more it's making sense.

 

 

I was wondering whether I should base the protein target on my total weight or lean mass.  That will certainly make things easier.

 

Thanks for all of the input, I really appreciate the help!  I made myself go the whole day without reading any fitness articles, and I'm feeling saner than I did.  I think I'm going to take a simpler approach - eat mostly paleo, stay on my calorie target, and don't worry about the rest.  Wait and see what happens.  That's the hardest part - I'm an instant-results kind of guy.  I know I need to give this time to see how it's working, then decide what I need to adjust.

 

Thanks again!

That's a  very smart attitude. Sometimes it takes experimenting a bit with the Paleo template to see what works for you.

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I'm actually going to play the devil's advocate position here, and suggest that once you get into the groove (which I totally support, baby steps work best!), you may want to try to aim for 160-220g protein/day (1g/lb of LBM to 1g/lb of total bodyweight). There are loads of really interesting studies about the effect of dietary protein on muscle sparing during fat loss, and even increasing weight loss through additional satiation and food satisfaction. I think you were on the right track to pay attention to it, though you may find that you naturally are hitting those numbers once the empty calories are cut out. At any rate: good luck, remember to have fun, and welcome to the boards! :) 

 

Some fun links for you: 

https://legionathletics.com/how-much-protein-do-i-need/

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2007.531/full

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People really over blow the value of protein, mostly because of supplement marketing hype. Unless you are an already trained individual or elderly, you do not need to worry about getting a lot of extra protein.

 

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk

 

 

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On 5/31/2017 at 9:13 PM, Defining said:

I'm actually going to play the devil's advocate position here, and suggest that once you get into the groove (which I totally support, baby steps work best!), you may want to try to aim for 160-220g protein/day (1g/lb of LBM to 1g/lb of total bodyweight). There are loads of really interesting studies about the effect of dietary protein on muscle sparing during fat loss, and even increasing weight loss through addition satiation and food satisfaction. I think you were on the right track to pay attention to it, though you may find that you naturally are hitting those numbers once the empty calories are cut out. At any rate: good luck, remember to have fun, and welcome to the boards! :) 

 

Some fun links for you: 

https://legionathletics.com/how-much-protein-do-i-need/

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2007.531/full

 

I'm seconding this recommendation. Yes, the calorie balance is what it boils down to, then your protein, then everything else. Protein (g) ---> bodyweight (lbs) is an easy number to remember; you won't have to overthink stuff and you'll be able to save that RAM for other things in your life. Eating 220g of protein is a bit of a task (that's around 2+ lbs. of chicken breast a day), so focusing on that one thing would be a good idea, and it might have the biggest ROI starting out. Eating 2 lbs. of chicken breast doesn't really leave you with much room to eat other stuff, so unless you overeat on purpose, the calorie balance will probably take care of itself.

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10 hours ago, Orion Antares said:

People really over blow the value of protein, mostly because of supplement marketing hype. Unless you are an already trained individual or elderly, you do not need to worry about getting a lot of extra protein.

 

I think it kind of depends on what your goals are, in addition to your current body composition and individual hormonal influences. While I agree that not everyone needs to suck down 200g of protein every day, 'extra' protein is a very relative term - especially when protein deficiencies are endemic in many places in the world. Obviously, specific medical conditions require more specialised consideration, and in the case of malnutrition there are many other factors at play. But seeing that there are few (if any) deleterious effects from consuming higher amounts of protein recorded in those without a pre-existing kidney issue, I don't think that focusing on protein intake is a bad idea.

 

I mean, 'extra' dietary protein in conjunction with resistance training can help retain lean muscle mass while accelerating fat loss (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/103/3/738.full), even in obese populations (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3159052/), as well as potentially help improve muscle gain during training (https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-015-0100-0) - and it does not (again, context dependent) even contribute to fat gain - even when you eat 'extra' protein, above your TDEE (https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-11-19).

 

Also, protein is highly satiating, and has an intrinsic caloric advantage to the other macronutrients (excluding alcohol) in it's thermic effect: ie. it takes more energy to digest, therefore you absorb 65-80kcal out of 100kcal consumed, as opposed to carbs (85-95kcal/100) or fat (95-100kcal/100). So even if protein offered no other benefits for body recomposition, the ability to feel fuller by eating fewer calories cannot be discounted - this could also apply during 'maintenance' phases as a tool to prevent consuming a caloric surplus over time.

 

In the case of fat loss, that does tend to be mostly a matter of caloric restriction (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763382/); but the deficit can be created through hormonal, activity, and nutrient manipulation just as well as just straight cutting calories (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3738392/).

 

And yes, I am definitely cherry picking my sources to support my personal opinion. ;) But at the end of the day, I think it still comes down to individual experimentation to figure out what really works for you and your health (https://examine.com/nutrition/how-does-protein-affect-weight-loss/), as opposed to making generalisations about entire populations (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150722080644.htm). I maintain that it is a good metric to manipulate in the body recomposition toolbox (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4213385/). in my wholly internet-educated uncertified opinion. :D 

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"protein is highly satiating"

 

I could never understand this statement. Protein literally has to exact opposite effect on me and makes me want to eat more. Saturated fats tend to cause satiety for me. Also why I tend to prefer fatty cuts of meat over lean cuts.

 

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Orion Antares said:

Protein literally has to exact opposite effect on me and makes me want to eat more. Saturated fats tend to cause satiety for me.

Totally legitimate - you are the paramount expert on your body! :D It is, however, quite filling for some of us. ;)

 

The beauty of forums like this is that we can all share our experiences, which then gives us the opportunity to learn and experiment with new strategies to figure out what works best for us on an individual level. :encouragement:

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13 hours ago, Orion Antares said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"protein is highly satiating"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I could never understand this statement. Protein literally has to exact opposite effect on me and makes me want to eat more. Saturated fats tend to cause satiety for me. Also why I tend to prefer fatty cuts of meat over lean cuts.

 

Interesting. I've heard of something like this before. How much protein do you consume?

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I follow Perfect Health Diet macro suggestions. Mostly because I have carb issues unsupervised/without setting a goal (either too much that it'll eat 90% of my calories or not enough that I have trouble functioning). PHD is paleo-ish except for the inclusion of white rice and suggest 60% calories from fat (lower if you aim to lose weight).

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I recently got started with tracking macros. I think the key is overall being consistent with hitting your macros. If you’re on target with your macros the majority of the time, a meal or two untracked each week wont derail your progress. It takes a while for your body to “gain”…it doesn’t happen from just a couple high calorie meals. 

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