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Macronutrient ratios and best protein powder?


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I'm a 5'6 female, 140lbs and doing P90x and wanted to see what people with vegan bodybuilding experience say about how much protein I should get. I know on a regular basis I get enough and that most people overdo it on protein which is not healthy. My question is, if I'm doing a strength program like P90X, do I need to go out of my way to eat more tofu/tempeh/beans, etc? Or will just eating more calories take care of it? I have tracked two days so far of my eating on Livestrong, and it seems about 50% carbs, 30% fat, 10-15% protein. Now this is just from two days so it's not necessarily that way everyday. Example of a day:

Breakfast: oats with flax, banana, blueberries, walnut, unsweetened almond milk

Lunch: apple, pumpkin seeds (1/8-1/4c) almonds (20), whatever I've made that day: vegetable lentil soup/fruit and veg smoothie/salad, etc (just one of those)

Dinner: I cook everything ex: stir fry with quinoa/burritos/grain bowls/bean burgers on romaine

Any snacks: smoothies, carrots, banana with pb, rye crackers with almond butter, fruit


I only eat whole foods. Nothing processed. Is 30% fat intake too high to lose fat and build muscle? It's from the walnuts (which is only 1 TB), almonds (only 20) and flax (1 TB ground) it seems. Is that too much? What percentage of protein should I get?


I'm only concerned about it because this is my 3rd time doing p90x and i've never seen results even though I worked my ass off, and was running on top of that (while eating very clean). Is 1800 calories a day a good goal to still lose weight and fuel my workouts? I think I normally eat around 1500. Workouts burn anywhere from 250-500 calories a day, and I walk 2 miles a day to work.


Also...recommendations on protein poweders? I can't afford Vega. Anyone use Shakeology?



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  • 4 weeks later...

Alright, so I'm using a lot of assumption here to fill in the blanks, but I'll see if I can offer some help...


At 5'6" and 140lbs, without knowing your age, I'll say you have a BMR of about 1433 calories.

I'll assume you have a reasonably sedentary job and multiply that by 1.2 to get a base daily energy expenditure of about 1720 calories.


Walking 2 miles (I'm assuming that's a total; 1 mile there and 1 mile back) at an average pace of 3mph burns about 125 calories.

I'll assume you work Monday to Friday, so you're burning those calories on 5 of 7 days.


You say your P90X workouts burn between 250-500 calories, so we'll just average it to get 375 calories burned during exercise.

I've never tried P90X, but a quick Google search seems to suggest that it's a 6 on 1 off schedule, so you're burning that average of 375 calories 6 of 7 days.


So, putting it all together... 1720 * 7 + 125 * 5 + 375 * 6 = Total weekly energy expenditure of 14915 / 7 days = Total daily energy expenditure of 2130 (maintenance).


Now, if you're normally eating 1500 calories a day, that works out to a weekly deficit of 4410 calories, which should translate to roughly 1.26lbs of fat loss per week. So, if you're not seeing any progress, then something is off... are you positive you're tracking calories correctly? A food scale can be a huge help in that department.


Otherwise, try adjusting your macro nutrient ratios. If you're getting between 10-15% of your calories from protein, and you're eating 1500 calories, then you're only getting between 37.5-56.25g protein. That's on average 0.74g/kg of body weight. I know some people on here will disagree with me, but that's just too low... you're quite active, and with goals of losing fat and gaining muscle, you should be aiming for at least 1.5g/kg, which works out to about 95g per day. Add some tofu/tempeh/beans, like you mentioned, or even pick up some protein powder.


1.26lbs per week is a safe rate at which to lose weight, so I think you're fine to continue eating 1500 calories. If you get 95g of protein, that's 25% of your calories, which means that you'll need to adjust the rest of your macros. Try aiming for 55% carbs, 20% fat, and 25% protein. If you're still not seeing results, bump the protein up to 30% and reduce the carbs to 50%.


Good luck!

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  • 2 months later...

Thank you! I just saw this reply But I am starting a new workout routine again and getting serious about making sure I get results this time. Another thing that may have been inhibiting my results (but who really knows for sure) is that my hormones have been out of whack for almost a year and I just began taking thyroid hormone replacement for low thyroid. This does make things a bit more difficult, since my metabolism is slower I'm not sure if conventional calculations/formulas for calorie requirements will work for me. But I am going to aim for around 100g protein daily.


Thanks again!

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