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Protein and low calorie diet


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How do I manage to keep to a 1200 kcal per day diet whilst getting my 90 grams of protein?

 

These are the figures I am happy with for my form. I am concerned that sticking to the low calorie diet (which is the way I have always eaten) means I can't get enough protein. I have been eating alot of kidney beans, chickpeas, tofu and seeds, soy milk and oats and am really over-full by the end of the day, even on 1200 kcals (perhaps due to the amount of beans consumed).

 

I also have a problem with consuming a large amount of soy due to controversy surrounding that. Too much of a 'good' thing?

 

I'd be grateful for any advice, especially from female weight trainers.

 

Melly

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Hi Melly;

 

Soy is "big money" and the people whose business they are taking away, animal agriculture is "big money" too. That means you are going to be hearing FUD ( Fear Uncertainty Doubt ) about soy for the rest of your life. I collect articles about soy from reliable sources in a special section of my blog. I make no claims, you just enjoy reading the opposite side of the story:

 

http://beforewisdom.com/blog/category/soy/

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High Protein vegan foods:

1. Soy beans and just about everything made from soy beans.

2. Wheat gluten(protein) and a blizzard of faux meats made from that

3. Products made from the lupin bean

4. mung beans

5. lentils

6. whole grain wheat products

7. amaranth products

8. Brewer's Yeast makes a nice "protein drink" and it naturally has a lot of minerals and vitamins. It is a food, not an isolate.

9. Nutritional yeast is also a concentrated source of protein and gives a cheesy flavor to foods.

 

nutritiondata.com is your friend

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Thanks beforewisdom,

 

Great help, and I shall have a read of those articles. I certainly understand the whole FUD thing. I have been banging my head against a brick wall today in trying to devise a good food plan for myself. I had forgotten about lentils beign a good protein source. They are easily available and low in fat, however I am finding everything high in calories. A relatively small amount of lentils, served with brocolli and seeds (as 1 meal out of 6 for example) knocks a big proportion off my daily calorie allowance, meaning I have to be so careful with the other 5 meals, and also meaning I may restrict myself and not get the protein I require. On this low calorie diet (well, it is for a female bodybuilder right?) I am finidng it hard to get my 90 or so grams of protein. Feeling a little deflated. I have a very sedentary lifestyle (sat all day) other than my workouts, so I have not wanted to consume anymore calories.

 

Melly

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I have a very efficient ( aka "slow" ) metabolism, so I am used to trying to fit in a lot of protein in the space of a few calories. I don't think you are going to get that much protein for that tiny amount of calories unless you supplement, use gluten or use soy.

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I meant, that based on the protein to calorie ratio of vegan foods that I know of that I don't think you are going to consistently 90 grams of protein a day eating l200 calories unless you eat wheat gluten ( aka seitan, faux meats, etc ), eat soy beans, eat soy foods, and/or use protein drinks (whatever they are made out of ).

 

Is this a temporary phase you are in while you are unable to exercise more?

 

I take it from your alias that you are female and I am guessing you are not very tall, correct?

 

If that is the case, eating that little, I highly encourage you to be very vigilant about your vegetable, calcium and vitamin D ( from D2 supplements and the sun ) and intake. You don't have a lot of bone mass to play with.

 

If you aren't, do weight baring exercise. If you smoke, stop. If your drink soda, cut down.

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Hi there, you seem to know alot about this stuff, so I shall just write out how I exercise, what I eat and what my stats are. Maybe you can tell me how best to improve. I am very new to this, and feel like I am making so many mistakes already

 

My stats are

weight: 107 - 111 lbs (varies)

height: 5.4

waist: 25 inch

hips: 37 inch

neck: 12 inch

forearm: 8 inch

wrist: 5.5 inch

 

If I have it right, my body fat is more than I thought

 

I am sat alot of the day studying, and its pretty much something I can't get out of for atleast a couple more years. I also have 3 kids, so I'm not plonked at the desk all day I do a 10 minute run every morning on the treadmill (before I eat anything). Running isn't my forte so I find it difficult. I then do weights late afternoon; 3 sets of 20 of different free weights (I don't have any equipment other than dumbells) and using body weight, for about 45 minutes. I do all of that 6 days per week, and I started 3 weeks ago now.

 

breakfast: 1 cup oats, 1 cup soy milk

lunch: 1 cup yellow split pea cooked, 2 cups brocolli, handful of pumpkin seeds

snack: humous dip and crudite with handful of seeds, cup of soy milk

dinner: 200g tofu, 1/2 cup lentils cooked, veggies, spinach, handful of sunflower seeds

snack: cup soy milk

 

With this lot, I am eating a little more than 1200 kcals, and I am feeling fatter!

 

What do you reckon? If I bought a protein powder, would this sort me out? Any advice the workouts I am doing?

 

Sorry for all of the questions here, but I really want to get this right.

 

Melly

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Wow, I like that blog devoted all to soy. I've had to switch to soy from rice (my preferred powder) temporarily due to budget concerns and was worried about the same thing. I'm gunna have to read over that sometime in the near future.

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Melly;

 

I realize that your resources may be limited, but if you can, I think you will lose more fat, faster if

 

- join a gym, lift only 3 times a week, do fewer exercises, but work up to going heavier

- work up to taking long walks ( 1 hour semi-brisk or brisk ) 3- 4 times a week.

 

The walking and/or increasing your cardio is more important for fat loss. Getting more intense with your weights may become difficult as you lose weight as it requires energy......though you should keep up what weights you can as it will keep you firm.

 

The big change for you to make is to get more cardio and not exercise 6 days a week.

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Makes sense, thanks

 

I bought some soy protein powder today Quite amazing how much protein I can get for so few calories. I was quite happy about that. Also looked up seiten and saw that I can make it with wheat flour (tedious though I hear!). I left the weights alone today, and instead did a brisk 55 minute walk/run. Quite excited about trying again with some better ways of doing it all, thankyou

 

It might seem a silly question, but I wasn't sure whether I would lose weight (on the scales), since fat weighs less than muscle, and even though I will lose fat, I'll be building muscle. What should I expect in terms of what the scales say?

 

Melly

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Also looked up seiten and saw that I can make it with wheat flour (tedious though I hear!).

 

It doesn't have to be if you start off with "vital wheat gluten flour". Some supermarkets even have it. Here is an easy recipe:

 

link

 

It might seem a silly question, but I wasn't sure whether I would lose weight (on the scales), since fat weighs less than muscle, and even though I will lose fat, I'll be building muscle. What should I expect in terms of what the scales say?

 

You might want to read this blog post and the articles linked to in it:

http://beforewisdom.com/blog/wc/stick-a-fork-in-me-im-done/

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Hi Melly!

 

I don't want to be a jerk and plug my own site, but I am going to http://www.veganproteins.com

 

Obviously you dont specifically have to order from there, but if you are ok with protein powders, there are tons of different protein sources besides just soy. (Not that I have an issue with soy, I just like to mix it up) There is rice protein, pea protein, hemp protein (which is usually just the whole food ground up, and it has lots of good fiber, also important on a low calorie diet), alfalfa protein, etc.

 

As for foods (mmm, my favorite!), I am not sure where you live, but here we have something called "high protein tofu", and one serving has about 15 g protein for only 100 calories! You may have something similar where you live. Not all tofu brands are created equal! And dont forget all of the protein in leafy greens. 1 bunch of kale has roughly 12 grams of protein, for few calories, and it is absolutely loaded with lots of vitamins that you'll need to make sure you're getting on a low calorie diet. I really hope this helps!

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Interesting read, thankyou beforewisdom

 

@thendanisays, thanks for the tips and info (no worries about the plug; grab the opportunity I haven't found high protein tofu around my way, but I'll definitely have a look at your link. I am in the UK (Manchester)

 

After going through a tub of soy protein powder this week, going to try hemp or spirulina next week. Might try the hemp first as I have heard of this one more.

 

After taking the soy powder (3x per day) and maintaining the 3 lifting days per week and cardio 6 days per week, on a calorie intake of ~1300 per day, I found I have put 7 ounces on in the past 5 days. Abit miffed at that actually. I have been going to bed feeling pretty bloated (and waking slightly bloated too). Its the 5 meals per day I feel but also the soy protein seem to cause bloat. I feel fatter around the mid-section, which from past scrutinization of my diet over the years means I am putting weight on (not muscle).

 

I altered the diet again today. Now on 1000-1100 calories, and only 2 protein drinks (instead of 3) and 4 'meals' as opposed to 5.

 

The one thing that bothers me is that I don't feel like I am eating enough in terms of macronutrients, and perhaps even my carbs, and yet I with the protein powder, if I eat anymore I put weight on (and I'm sure what that weight is in terms of tissue type!).

 

The other irritation is the bloat and the weight gain. With my stats (see above), and even with a sedentary lifestyle, is it possible to be gaining weight (as fat) if this is all I am consuming, whislt working out? I simply can't cut out anymore food ors I'll starve to death.

 

Rough example menu (todays menu) with workouts:

 

7.00am: cardio

 

8.00am: 1/2 cup oats, 250ml soy milk

 

11am: 2 pieces fruit (apple and pear)

 

1.30pm: weights (or cardio on a cardio day)

 

2.30pm: Lunch: 1 scoop soy protein drink (in water), 1 cup brocolli, 1 cup cooked kale, 50g brown

rice, 60g kidney beans, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon olive oil

 

6.00pm: " (as lunch menu)

 

Any advice on what I am doing wrong would greatly help. Or does this plan seem reasonable for me (taking my stats into consideration)?

 

Melly x

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Hey Melly,

1000-1100 calories is really low. 1200 is the smallest amount the body can function on, so this will probably back fire on you and cause your body to hold onto everything you are eating as well as muscle loss.

Soy is good but for some it can also cause bloating. Bloating could also be why the scale went up, are you drinking water? That will keep everything moving. Drink that between meals, even when sedentary you should be drinking water.

What type of cardio and weight training are you doing?

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Hi greengoddess,

 

Yes it is quite low, I agree with you, but my lifestyle is extremely sedentary. I am sat down for the main part of the day with studies or other stuff. My only activites are school runs, running around after the kids after school (tea-time/chores etc) and other than that are my workouts. I am running on a treadmill for 15-20 minutes 6 mornings per week, and lifting now for 3 days per week, with brisk walking on weightlifting days (treadmill again), but my day other than this is very 'lazy'; probably not the most accurate term there, but thats how I feel during the day, lol.

 

I'm not skinny despite maintaining a diet of a similar calorific intake for the past 4 years, but I very slim, with flab (clearly body fat from wasted muscle over the past 4 years). The difference now is that I have bumped up my protein intake significantly and am weight training. Any help would be gratefully received! In the past 3 weeks or so, I have chopped and changed my routine a few times. I am going to try the hemp protein powder next week, so am hoping this will decrease the bloating in the evening.

 

I have always drank alot of water, so am okay with this. Its usually in the form of camomile tea (just teabag and water and cam' is caffeine free) or mineral water, as well as the added protein powders (mixed with water).

 

My arms and shoulders are quite lean, and it seems all the fat I have is stored in my butt/hips/thighs.

 

Melly

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According to every chart I can find, the ideal weight for a women of your height between the ages of 25 and 59 is 131 pounds. You need to gain ~22 pounds to be considered healthy. The reason you don't look like you want too is because you do not have enough muscle, not that you have too much fat.

 

You are having such trouble losing weight because you are well below the weight you should be.

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Vegimator, yes I have heard much about good old sprouts. I have sprouted my own mung beans before, so will do this again next week. Thanks for the link

 

Goob, I understand what you are saying Trouble is I don't know how to increase my weight without that fear its fat. I have a flabby lower half (maybe its skin doing that?). How would I 'know' that my weight gain was muscle? Are there any hard fast rules other than using a tape measure?

 

Whilst I'm on the subject of flabby lower regions (lol), what are the best exercsies for the glutes, quads, hamstrings? I have been doing alot of lunges and squats. My bottom half is the part of my body I am most eager to change.

 

Willing to educate myself further so any advice on the diet/my workouts I will most definitely have a stab at. I desperately want to be healthy during my weight training journey

 

4 years ago, after the birth of my 3rd child (and from there going vegan), I was so happy about losing all of the weight (plus), from my 3 pregnancies, that I didn't even think about my muscle tissue. All of a sudden, it has hit home that I didn't do it as efficiently as I would have wanted to. I was raw for a while, which is when my body weight declined to about 104lbs (very low weight for me).

 

Melly

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I have a flabby lower half (maybe its skin doing that?).

 

Melly

 

...and lack of muscle (yup)

 

Just wanted to add that, since I am sat down for most of the day (other than working out), what foods should I introduce to increase my weight without fat being stored? Complex carbs and protein seem like the way to go, but I suppose I am reluctant to increase my carbs since I find eating anymore bloats me up and just increases the fattiness of my hips. I have read on here people talking about how much fat they have lost and muscle gained in a week, but how does one 'really' know?

 

Melly

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Even though you are sedentary, you should try to eat more during the day. Or up the calories in one meal, like breakfast. If you struggle to get that many calories in without feeling overly full, try things like green smoothies!

If you build muscle it will help with the flab. Ideally you would do full body workouts or compound like bicep curls with squats. You can't spot train.

I find hemp protein is one that doesn't cause bloating for me.

Have you tried green tea? It can help with burning fat, just make sure you don't have it with meals because it can affect iron absorption.

Many women struggle with fat in that area, our bodies tend to hold it there. But like I said the best thing you can do is full body training, spot training doesn't work.

But try to build muscle, this will add weight to your frame and help with the flab .

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Judging from those pictures, you don't need to worry about fat. After you get your metabolism back to normal any fat you gain will be in proportion to the muscle, so it isn't a bad thing. Any "flab" you might think you have is more likely just skin that would be tighter if there were more muscle underneath it.

 

Jogging 20 minutes a day and resistance training 3x a week is a lot more activity than the average american gets, so you are far less lazy than you might think. A healthy women your height has a basal metabolic rate of ~1200 on average. Which means, if you just laid in bed all day, your body would use 1200 calories of energy for basic bodily functions like breathing and such. Just getting out of bed to eat will drastically raise the number of calories your body uses. Even something as small as fidgeting during the day will use more energy than sitting still.

 

If I were you I would toss the scale in the garbage and work up to eating ~1700 calories a day. That is how many calories a women your size should burn on average with your given activity level. If you add ~100 calories a day it shouldn't be too difficult to get used to and should help your metabolism to speed up.

 

If your metabolism doesn't seem to be improving after a couple months then you should see a doctor to have your thyroid checked, then discuss the issue with them before you make any further changes.

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@greengoddess, green smoothies sound like a very good idea. I did have a kale/celery/apple smoothie today and might keep this up if I can now. I know about the spot training thing, as its one thing I researched abit more (due to the butt disasisfaction); I generally do full body routines, but with emphasis on a certain region for a given day.

 

Goob, I agree and what you say makes alot of sense to me, and I already knew about the figures having calculated them myself over the past few years for BMR etc. The thing that has sent me into this way of thinking, is the body fat calculation; depending on which formulae used, I got something like 21-26% body fat. The thing that reinforced this was cellulite (and flabby skin) . I have a fair bit despite being very slim . Not sure if that will ever go away. Anybody ever seen female body builders with cellulite? I suppose this is a different type of fat storage though, but so bloody annoying nevertheless. Perhaps I am over-compensating for the cellulite, and trading my health in for my increasing desire to get rid of these fatty deposits.

 

 

 

Melly

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