1

votes

3500 calories on paleo = 1400 calories from protein ~ 350g protein... waay too much?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 21, 2011 at 4:34 PM

OK, first some background.

For the past 5 weeks I've been working out about 11-13 hours a week (this will continue to mid sept.):

1 hour round trip on my bike to work 5x a week = 5 hours
1.25 hour lift 4x a week = 5 hours
1 hour hockey league + 1 hour pickup = 2 hours
(sometimes) pickup basketball = 1 hour

I am 5'8" // 153 lbs. // 21 years old

I have been eating paleo for 6 weeks now and enjoy it very much. However, for this time I have been severely under eating given my amount of exercise. Because I am trying to put on some muscle, I recently upped my calorie count to around 3500 calories (I might go down a bit, but my problem is still the same).

I tracked my diet the other day and realized that by eating mostly** (some milk added) paleo calories, I get about 40% of my calories from protein which equates to roughly 350g of protein. I know that the dangers of protein are somewhat overblown, but this still sounds like it is WAY too much. Here is what I ate (and usually eat). Any suggestions as to how to keep the calorie count up and lower the protein all while eating paleo?

Breakfast:

Eggs, Whole, Lrg, Fried (3)
Cheese, Cheddar, Shredded (.25 cup)
Lunchmeat Loaf, Turkey, Light Meat, Slice, Rectangle (3)
Spinach, Stmd (.5 cup)
Sausage, Bratwurst, Pork, Ckd (2)
Greek Yogurt, Plain, Nonfat (1 Cup)
Raspberries, Fresh (1 cup)

Lunch:

Spinach, Stmd (2 cups)
Dressing, Olive Oil And Vinegar (1 tbsp)
Chicken, Breast, Grilled (1 large breast... 12-15 oz?)
Milk, Nonfat/Skim, w/ Add Vit A & D (2 cups)

Dinner:

Beef, Top Sirloin Steak, Brld, Choice, 1/8 Trim (10 oz) Asparagus, Spears, Ckd, Drained, 1/2 Base (7 spears) Milk, Whl, 100% Lactose Free (8 oz)

Snacks:

Fish, Tuna, White, w/ Water, Drained, Can (4 oz)
Nuts, Almonds, Whole (30 almonds)
Drink, Protein, Max Whey, All Flvrs, Pwd, Scoop (3 servings throughout the day)
Greek Yogurt, Plain, Nonfat (.5 cup)

Any suggestions greatly appreciated, thanks.

EDIT: Some additional info. I only recently (~1 wk) added in the dairy. I will probably tone it back a bit as looking at this made me realize how much I had added in.

Also, one idea I was thinking of was to add maybe two slices of whole grain bread with extra fiber. This wouldn't push my carbs as % of total intake up by too much, but would definitely help supplement some of those protein carbs--and I don't think it would be too damaging from an anti-nutrient perspective in such limited amounts (I would intake directly following exercise)

D2f518470389fc51ed23469f6600f932

(5)

on July 22, 2011
at 02:13 AM

thanks for the tips, I think I'll add some potato or rice to my post workout meals

D2f518470389fc51ed23469f6600f932

(5)

on July 22, 2011
at 02:12 AM

oops that was a mistake--I eat full fat greek yogurt and only fat free milk at work because it is free (whole milk at home). I agree that fat is an important source of nutrition and energy--with the meal plan I gave you I got 46% of my calories from it :) I'm also waiting for these my avocados to ripen. Still, you cannot just say eat more fat when you are exercising as much as I am. I DO need more carbs (this meal gave me a mere 13%).

D2f518470389fc51ed23469f6600f932

(5)

on July 22, 2011
at 01:54 AM

haha I know mallory, they have free milk at work but only fat free =/ I don't plan on drinking it anymore.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 21, 2011
at 10:20 PM

High glycemic carbs are the best when looking to gain. Also in my area sweet potatoes are double the price or higher then white potatoes. I would do either tbh but whatever you prefer is fine.

1586db0f16b2cef51ee4e71ab08ad1a2

(965)

on July 21, 2011
at 09:18 PM

One more comment: I noticed your dairy intake is all low fat. This is a bad idea and I would recommend moving into real Greek yogurt (full fat, not this 0% or 2% stuff) and (if you really want milk) whole milk. When you drink fatfree milk, you're basically drinking sugar water with ehhh casein protein, as the lactose gets instantly converted to glucose and you don't feel full at all. Full fat, however, provides great energy and helps you feel full for a while. I'd still say avoid milk, though, as casein (dairy protein) is similar to gluten and can do nasty things to your digestive system.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 21, 2011
at 09:02 PM

difference is negligible. white or sweet potatoes arent going to make a difference to a healthy person. do both.

0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on July 21, 2011
at 08:51 PM

Again, sweet potatoes are better. You can nuke a fairly large one in the microwave in about 3-4 mins, and it's almost the same as baking it. Or white rice -- not much nutritional value, but it's a straight, clean carb that won't hurt you, since it doesn't contain any anti-nutrients. White potatoes prolly are ok in moderation, but they're higher on the glycemic index than sweet potatoes, from what I've read. Good luck -- wish I had the time and energy for as much daily activity! (For now, CF 4 days/wk does the trick!)

0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on July 21, 2011
at 08:48 PM

"While I understand that paleo prefers sweet potato, I was looking for a more scientific answer as to why a small amt of bread is so much worse than tubers." One word: gluten! Wheat's got it, sweet potatoes don't. For more Paleo hacks: http://paleohacks.com/questions/52983/3500-calories-on-paleo-1400-calories-from-protein-350g-protein-waay-too-mu#ixzz1Sm6lL3KA

1586db0f16b2cef51ee4e71ab08ad1a2

(965)

on July 21, 2011
at 08:35 PM

The other aspect overlooked when comparing bread to tubers is the nutritional element, including potassium, vitamin c, and other plant-based nutrients. Bread is essentially ground up seeds, and the antinutritious elements are pretty strong, especially when including it in your diet on a regular basis. Like Mark said, "eating an inflammatory diet increases the inflammatory load on a system already “burdened” with intense training". I would encourage you to up your saturated fat and tuber intake over taking on bread. :) plus, fat's delicious.

1586db0f16b2cef51ee4e71ab08ad1a2

(965)

on July 21, 2011
at 08:32 PM

Mark Sisson says: "Eat plenty of protein and fat to fuel your efforts and repair your body, along with (only) as many added carbs as you need to replenish glycogen. In addition to providing proper fueling, eating only animals, plants, fruits, and nuts, while avoiding grains, sugars, legumes, and industrial vegetable oils will reduce or negate systemic inflammation; eating an inflammatory diet increases the inflammatory load on a system already “burdened” with intense training. Bad idea all around." http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-deal-with-overtraining/

1586db0f16b2cef51ee4e71ab08ad1a2

(965)

on July 21, 2011
at 08:31 PM

Regarding fast twitch and slow twitch: Type 2 muscle (fast twitch) is what we regard as true strength, such as sprinting and lifting. I don't have any sources on studies (which I know have been done) off hand on this, but the method I mentioned works well. Re: Bread & Energy How much fat do you eat? Fat is an EXCELLENT source of energy and much more preferred over even tubers. Avacado, coconut oil, butter, or any other high fat foods you can work into your diet more? You can always salt and butter the sweet potatoes or so and bake them up.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on July 21, 2011
at 08:31 PM

fat free dairy??

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 21, 2011
at 08:14 PM

Conventional White potatoes are by far the cheapest and most nutrient dense carb source. Really easy to prepare too, throw a couple in the oven and mash up with some fat/salt when done. You can do things like rice and even bread but with potatoes you will be guaranteed to get enough nutrition.

D2f518470389fc51ed23469f6600f932

(5)

on July 21, 2011
at 07:42 PM

this seems very very reasonable, I just need help in execution. What type of carbs would you recommend and why? I'm just trying to figure out the most "paleo-friendly" post workout carbs that aren't too expensive or time consuming to make. One of the reasons I was thinking a bid of bread was for the zero time to make aspect, but if there is something that takes a bit more time for a lot more nutrition, I'm up for it. Thanks

D2f518470389fc51ed23469f6600f932

(5)

on July 21, 2011
at 07:35 PM

Re: Cortisol. I realize that I'm working "too" hard. Unfortunately, I cannot (will not?) change the amt of exercise, so diet is the only variable. While I understand that paleo prefers sweet potato, I was looking for a more scientific answer as to why a small amt of bread is so much worse than tubers. from 180 calories of whole grain extra fiber bread I get: 2g fat; 10g protein; 42g carb; 6g sugar; 10g fiber; 400mg sodium (something I am in serious need of). Compare to 186 cal swtpotato: 0 fat; 3.4g pro; 43g carb; 9g sugar; 6.5g fiber; 120mg sodium. anti-nutr effect THAT strong?

D2f518470389fc51ed23469f6600f932

(5)

on July 21, 2011
at 07:28 PM

thanks for the response in terms of workout, I am following my college hockey team's routine which is 4x a week. The 1.25hrs is largely a product of an overcrowded gym--i'm sure it'd be less at a home gym. I really like the idea of doing the heavier/less rep sets quicker (i already go down in reps and up in weight per set, hadnt thought of the speed component though). Do you know of any studies that have been done on this? (cont.)

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 21, 2011
at 05:41 PM

How about using the basic 1.5grams protein per pound bodyweight idea? 153 pounds put you at 230 grams daily. But again there is no danger whatsoever in 300 plus

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 21, 2011
at 05:27 PM

There is no amount of protein that has ever been shown to be harmful to healthy individuals. I routinely eat over 300 grams per day. There is nothing to worry about. Many people do a 40-40-20 share of protein carbohydrate fat respectively. At 3000 cals that will always be north of 300 grams protein.

6da7ce6a4a250c46a6e78b5b4e22da83

(987)

on July 21, 2011
at 05:11 PM

Oh, and that is a lot of dairy. Especially with the whey protein drinks. I would ditch those. Eat real food. You'll probably be able to reach your goals without whey shakes, and you'll be healthier for it.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 21, 2011
at 05:08 PM

or add some starch, maybe plantains or sweet potatoes

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6 Answers

4
1586db0f16b2cef51ee4e71ab08ad1a2

(965)

on July 21, 2011
at 06:02 PM

Why work out for 1.25 hours? I would try and cut that back to something closer to 30-45 minutes. The cortisol you're releasing into your system by over working your muscles is doing more harm than good.

If you're trying to put on muscle, for extended periods of time is counter intuitive. It seems your trips are only 30 minutes, so you're fine there.

And I'd recommend cutting you're time at the gym down to 2-3 times a week. You need to let your muscle rebuild, and time is the biggest part of this process. You're likely overworking your muscles and never giving them a chance to repair.

I'd aim for at least 1-1.5g of protein per pound of lean body fat when trying to up your lean mass. If you need energy, tubers and starchy vegetables are miles better than bread. Avoid that one. Each sweet potatoes or so before hitting the gym. They're delicious.

What does your workout routine look like? How many reps are you doing? If you're doing more than 5 or so, you're not pushing yourself hard enough and need to up the weight. I tend to do 15 slow reps at a low weight, 8 medium speed at a medium weight, and then 5 as fast as possible at my max weight. This works the fast tissue muscle while burning the glucose out of the slow tissue. This will help you in gaining muscle and lean mass. You can do a couple sets at 5 reps, but if you're able to do more than a few you're not lifting heavy enough.

Also, don't do isolation exercises. All you need are squats, deadlifts, bench press, barbell rows, and upper presses. Make sure you're not using a machine when doing these things, either--you want to build your balance on your own. Pushups and pullups are also fantastic, but avoid curls and presses. It makes you disproportionate and not actually able to do what you want to do (like lift things!) in the real world.

Don't do cardio. Don't work out for more than 45 minutes. Cortisol = boo.

Good luck! Keep up the active lifestyle, but don't workout if you're tired.

1586db0f16b2cef51ee4e71ab08ad1a2

(965)

on July 21, 2011
at 09:18 PM

One more comment: I noticed your dairy intake is all low fat. This is a bad idea and I would recommend moving into real Greek yogurt (full fat, not this 0% or 2% stuff) and (if you really want milk) whole milk. When you drink fatfree milk, you're basically drinking sugar water with ehhh casein protein, as the lactose gets instantly converted to glucose and you don't feel full at all. Full fat, however, provides great energy and helps you feel full for a while. I'd still say avoid milk, though, as casein (dairy protein) is similar to gluten and can do nasty things to your digestive system.

D2f518470389fc51ed23469f6600f932

(5)

on July 21, 2011
at 07:28 PM

thanks for the response in terms of workout, I am following my college hockey team's routine which is 4x a week. The 1.25hrs is largely a product of an overcrowded gym--i'm sure it'd be less at a home gym. I really like the idea of doing the heavier/less rep sets quicker (i already go down in reps and up in weight per set, hadnt thought of the speed component though). Do you know of any studies that have been done on this? (cont.)

1586db0f16b2cef51ee4e71ab08ad1a2

(965)

on July 21, 2011
at 08:31 PM

Regarding fast twitch and slow twitch: Type 2 muscle (fast twitch) is what we regard as true strength, such as sprinting and lifting. I don't have any sources on studies (which I know have been done) off hand on this, but the method I mentioned works well. Re: Bread & Energy How much fat do you eat? Fat is an EXCELLENT source of energy and much more preferred over even tubers. Avacado, coconut oil, butter, or any other high fat foods you can work into your diet more? You can always salt and butter the sweet potatoes or so and bake them up.

0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on July 21, 2011
at 08:48 PM

"While I understand that paleo prefers sweet potato, I was looking for a more scientific answer as to why a small amt of bread is so much worse than tubers." One word: gluten! Wheat's got it, sweet potatoes don't. For more Paleo hacks: http://paleohacks.com/questions/52983/3500-calories-on-paleo-1400-calories-from-protein-350g-protein-waay-too-mu#ixzz1Sm6lL3KA

1586db0f16b2cef51ee4e71ab08ad1a2

(965)

on July 21, 2011
at 08:32 PM

Mark Sisson says: "Eat plenty of protein and fat to fuel your efforts and repair your body, along with (only) as many added carbs as you need to replenish glycogen. In addition to providing proper fueling, eating only animals, plants, fruits, and nuts, while avoiding grains, sugars, legumes, and industrial vegetable oils will reduce or negate systemic inflammation; eating an inflammatory diet increases the inflammatory load on a system already “burdened” with intense training. Bad idea all around." http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-deal-with-overtraining/

D2f518470389fc51ed23469f6600f932

(5)

on July 22, 2011
at 02:12 AM

oops that was a mistake--I eat full fat greek yogurt and only fat free milk at work because it is free (whole milk at home). I agree that fat is an important source of nutrition and energy--with the meal plan I gave you I got 46% of my calories from it :) I'm also waiting for these my avocados to ripen. Still, you cannot just say eat more fat when you are exercising as much as I am. I DO need more carbs (this meal gave me a mere 13%).

1586db0f16b2cef51ee4e71ab08ad1a2

(965)

on July 21, 2011
at 08:35 PM

The other aspect overlooked when comparing bread to tubers is the nutritional element, including potassium, vitamin c, and other plant-based nutrients. Bread is essentially ground up seeds, and the antinutritious elements are pretty strong, especially when including it in your diet on a regular basis. Like Mark said, "eating an inflammatory diet increases the inflammatory load on a system already “burdened” with intense training". I would encourage you to up your saturated fat and tuber intake over taking on bread. :) plus, fat's delicious.

D2f518470389fc51ed23469f6600f932

(5)

on July 21, 2011
at 07:35 PM

Re: Cortisol. I realize that I'm working "too" hard. Unfortunately, I cannot (will not?) change the amt of exercise, so diet is the only variable. While I understand that paleo prefers sweet potato, I was looking for a more scientific answer as to why a small amt of bread is so much worse than tubers. from 180 calories of whole grain extra fiber bread I get: 2g fat; 10g protein; 42g carb; 6g sugar; 10g fiber; 400mg sodium (something I am in serious need of). Compare to 186 cal swtpotato: 0 fat; 3.4g pro; 43g carb; 9g sugar; 6.5g fiber; 120mg sodium. anti-nutr effect THAT strong?

1
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 21, 2011
at 07:00 PM

Eat less protien, around 130-170g should do. Up the carbs to a considerable amount, 300+g a day is a good amount if your trying to gain. Fill the remaining calorie gap with fat.

Your training regimen is pretty solid for gaining but you need to up the calories even more. I would personally go for 4000 at least. Getting enough carbs along with enough calories will really enable you to push yourself and make some nice gains.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 21, 2011
at 10:20 PM

High glycemic carbs are the best when looking to gain. Also in my area sweet potatoes are double the price or higher then white potatoes. I would do either tbh but whatever you prefer is fine.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 21, 2011
at 09:02 PM

difference is negligible. white or sweet potatoes arent going to make a difference to a healthy person. do both.

D2f518470389fc51ed23469f6600f932

(5)

on July 22, 2011
at 02:13 AM

thanks for the tips, I think I'll add some potato or rice to my post workout meals

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 21, 2011
at 08:14 PM

Conventional White potatoes are by far the cheapest and most nutrient dense carb source. Really easy to prepare too, throw a couple in the oven and mash up with some fat/salt when done. You can do things like rice and even bread but with potatoes you will be guaranteed to get enough nutrition.

D2f518470389fc51ed23469f6600f932

(5)

on July 21, 2011
at 07:42 PM

this seems very very reasonable, I just need help in execution. What type of carbs would you recommend and why? I'm just trying to figure out the most "paleo-friendly" post workout carbs that aren't too expensive or time consuming to make. One of the reasons I was thinking a bid of bread was for the zero time to make aspect, but if there is something that takes a bit more time for a lot more nutrition, I'm up for it. Thanks

0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on July 21, 2011
at 08:51 PM

Again, sweet potatoes are better. You can nuke a fairly large one in the microwave in about 3-4 mins, and it's almost the same as baking it. Or white rice -- not much nutritional value, but it's a straight, clean carb that won't hurt you, since it doesn't contain any anti-nutrients. White potatoes prolly are ok in moderation, but they're higher on the glycemic index than sweet potatoes, from what I've read. Good luck -- wish I had the time and energy for as much daily activity! (For now, CF 4 days/wk does the trick!)

1
E792631dafb3e35cf63099637b1191f4

on July 21, 2011
at 05:39 PM

I would incorporate more fruit and roots/tubers. White rice isn't a bad idea after a workout either.

1
6da7ce6a4a250c46a6e78b5b4e22da83

(987)

on July 21, 2011
at 05:03 PM

I'm going to keep my advice pretty simple. If you're trying to put on muscle, don't worry about too much protein. Protein is good for building muscle and not dangerous. If you're undereating calories, eat fattier cuts of meat (ditch the tuna and chicken, eat more beef). Also, add in more carbs from paleo sources - potatoes (sweet or white) - especially post workout. Do not add bread.

6da7ce6a4a250c46a6e78b5b4e22da83

(987)

on July 21, 2011
at 05:11 PM

Oh, and that is a lot of dairy. Especially with the whey protein drinks. I would ditch those. Eat real food. You'll probably be able to reach your goals without whey shakes, and you'll be healthier for it.

1
A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on July 21, 2011
at 04:59 PM

I wouldn't add the bread. Whatever you do, don't add the bread.

How do you feel? Is there a problem?

If you're worried about too much protein, then I'd up the fat. Maybe from a plant source?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 21, 2011
at 05:08 PM

or add some starch, maybe plantains or sweet potatoes

0
2f11726f14c04d07e10584b4e2f1dfd1

on November 03, 2012
at 10:29 AM

If you're eating regularly enough and getting good quality deep sleep, working out as frequently as you do will not be a problem, as the food you eat will repair your muscle tissue. Don't worry about working out too much, your food plan will take care of the recovery. Also I would recommend adding a couple of scoops of casein before bed to facilitate even better recovery and HGH release. That way test levels will be higher while you sleep and your muscles won't turn catabolic.

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