Your advice and guidance on my paleo diet.

by (5)
Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 02, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Hi there,

So I've been doing Paleo diet and a paleo-esque workouts for two and a half months now, I've been trying to increase my knowledge on the subject but only have so much spare time due to having 2 jobs, I've been reading and reading... And reading. Whilst reading I came upon the information that I should be aiming for a protein goal of 1:1 gram for pound of bodyweight. I Rhetorically replied to this saying: "Is this really the case? Holy crap!"

Now I don't do a lot of calculating when it comes to food unless I absolutely HAVE to(tedious beyond belief!) but I calculate my actual food intake, give or take 10grams for variation in food producers, and it comes to 110grams, I weigh 170grams, with probably 15-18% bodyfat(I want 10% BDF for my abbs).

My goals are to lose fat and gain some muscle.

here's my general daily nutrition: Breakfast: 30g's of home made granola, 2 dessert spoons of greek yoghurt, 1 handful of berries.

Mid-morning snack: 1 full avocado(medium sized).

Lunch: 1 medium sized Tin of Salmon(listed as 21.9g's of protein with 25 grams of veggies and 1 handful of nuts.

Afternoon snack: 1 full avocado(medium sized).

Dinner: 2 grass-fed 1/4 pound beef burgers. A dessert of a 85% dark chocolate and grass-fed butter sandwhich (ie: 2 small chunks of the choco surrounding a moderate slice of butter.)

After doing some working out I figured if I added a tin of tuna to mid-morning snack, a chicken breast to the afternoon snack and have a tin of salmon a couple of hours after dinner I would come to 184.3grams of protein.

What do you guys think of my own ideas for hitting that goal? Got any better ideas? Possibly some cheaper alternatives that don't involve whey protein or other supplements?

I'm looking forward to what you guys have to say!

5 · April 02, 2012 at 3:08 PM

It's just a variation of nuts and seeds. And I might go with having the fry-up breakfast that you suggest(minus bread and beans). More enjoyable! :-)

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3924 · April 02, 2012 at 2:35 PM

What's in your homemade granola? Is it grain-based or some type of Paleo/meat granola? If it's grain-based, I think if you replaced that with a high protein/fat breakfast of eggs, pork chops, homemade sausage, or a chicken breast you could reach your protein goals and fat loss goals much easier.

5 · April 02, 2012 at 3:08 PM

It's just a variation of nuts and seeds. And I might go with having the fry-up breakfast that you suggest(minus bread and beans). More enjoyable! :-)

78387 · April 02, 2012 at 7:18 PM

This was originally on Ellington Darden's now defunct ClassicX site.

How Much Protein?

Dr. Darden, in the last Classic X you mentioned that ingesting 300 grams of protein may be injurious to your kidneys. What about a man of 170 pounds who lifts weights? Is 170 to 200 grams is too much, let alone say from 200 to 220 grams of protein? Just how much protein does a man or woman need to build muscle?


You need a lot less than most bodybuilders believe. My research shows that the U.S Department of Agriculture's recommendation for protein is on target. They recommend 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Thus, at 170 pounds, or 77.3 kilograms, you would require 61.84 grams of protein a day (77.3 x .8 = 61.84).

But wait a minute, you must be saying, I want to build muscle. How much more do I need?

To answer this question, you have to go back to the USDA's original research and determine how they did their calculations. First, they established a minimum need for a reference person who weighed 70 kilograms. Then, they subjected this data to the bell-shaped curve and appropriate plus or minus standard deviations.

The minimum protein requirement for the reference person was 23.8 grams daily. This meant that 50 percent of the population would have their needs satisfied by 23.8 grams or less of protein per day. And 98 percent of the population would have their protein needs met by 30.8 grams of protein a day.

Since most people do not consume ideal compositions of protein foods at each meal, the USDA added another 30 percent increment to the figure. The protein requirement per day rose to 40 grams per day, or 0.57 grams per kilogram of body weight.

And finally, just to sure that there was no question about the rationale, the figure was boosted from 0.57 per kilogram of body weight to 0.8. According to standard deviations, the 0.8 figure was twice as much as 98 percent of the population actually needed. The requirements of athletes and fitness-minded people were also considered in determining the guide number.

So, Charlie, even if you are a high-intensity bodybuilder, it's highly unlikely that at a body weight of 170 pounds (77.3 kilograms), you would require more than 61.84 grams of protein per day. Remember, the 0.8-gram figure is not the minimum amount, it's double minimum. Even if you fall at the upper end of the 98-percentile range, all you would have to do is consume a little bit more protein (not massive amounts) ??? which you probably already do. Nutritional studies reveal that men in the United States average more than 100 grams of protein a day.

Also, you should understand that only 22 percent of muscle is actually protein. Most of muscle is composed of water. It takes only a small amount of extra protein to produce a pound of muscle, particularly since so little muscular growth takes place within a week. Your 61.84 grams of protein a day guideline will be more than enough for you to build several pounds of muscle per week.

I know that for more than 40 years, almost everyone interested in bodybuilding has been brainwashed ??? primarily by the manufacturers of protein supplements ??? to believe that people who want to build muscle require massive amounts of protein each day. Even a few scientists somewhat and reluctantly agree. But the vast majority of nutritional research shows that massive amounts of protein are not necessary or desirable to build large muscles.


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