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Protein requirement for ideal weight/body fat percentage

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created December 25, 2012 at 3:51 PM

I'm doing low-carb and (usually) IF. My goal is to improve my body composition and athletic performance, so I'd like to lose 15-20 pounds (I'm 5'1", 120ish lbs). My question is how should I calculate my protein requirement? Is it based on ideal body weight and body fat percentage? Like if my ideal body weight is 100 pounds, and my ideal body fat percentage is 20%, would I just try to eat 1g protein per lb. ideal lean mass - 80g protein/day? Or would the requirement be higher/lower than this? I don't want to OD on the protein, since I'm trying to be in ketosis. Also, I work out on a regular basis (Insanity, running, swimming, sports, etc).. that probably matters. Thanks!

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on January 02, 2013
at 08:02 PM

Ah, ok, good answer. If the time when you weighed 100 lbs was when you were under 20 and an athlete, though, don't think it's strange if you never approach that weight again as an adult woman. :)

A4e6473c7791ca1ddeedf5c5db5fbe14

(85)

on December 26, 2012
at 08:08 PM

My bad, I'm definitely NOT following the meal plan** The only carbs I eat regularly are from vegetables

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 26, 2012
at 02:50 PM

I'm saying you aren't doing the workouts properly.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 26, 2012
at 02:50 PM

The insanity meal plan is not a ketogenic meal plan- it's a moderate carb meal plan. A ketogenic meal plan is predominantly fat with a little protein (not above 30% of cals at the high end).

A4e6473c7791ca1ddeedf5c5db5fbe14

(85)

on December 26, 2012
at 04:50 AM

I used to weigh less, and I felt that I had better endurance and less pudge when I was around 100. I'm not really sure if it's "ideal", I just know that I felt better then

A4e6473c7791ca1ddeedf5c5db5fbe14

(85)

on December 26, 2012
at 04:47 AM

Well I'm definitely following the meal plan, if that's what you mean.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 25, 2012
at 06:33 PM

1 gram of protein/lb of desired body mass is a widely accepted rule of thumb that actually works in practice. Also, I don't actually believe that you can do Insanity as it is meant to be done while in Ketosis.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 25, 2012
at 06:30 PM

You do Insanity in ketosis? I honestly do not believe you.

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4 Answers

1
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on December 25, 2012
at 04:23 PM

Why do you think weighing 100-105 lbs will improve your body comp and athletic performance? I weigh 100-105 lbs because I'm a hardgainer - don't even get me started on how much MORE I'd be capable of from an athletic standpoint if I could put on 20 lbs.. ! (115-120 is my goal weight actually).

For women, so much of total weight and body comp is genetic and will be unaffected by lifestyle factors. Train too hard and you might even put on body (usually belly) fat while in ketosis. I've seen it before on PH.

Eat nutritiously, watch your calories, get plenty of protein, take good care of your body - sleep, be active but with rest periods, nourish yourself, don't stress your system too much. That's how to look your best IMO. And to be your healthiest. It won't get you to 100 lbs with 14% body fat - that is a completely unnatural state for most women, athletes included, that can only be achieved by sacrificing health.

It's difficult to 'OD' on protein. I find I have the appetite for somewhere between 80-120g daily. That seems like a lot for someone as small as I am, but I've been eating that amount for years now and obviously am using it (I may be a shrimp but I am a very muscular little shrimp). I don't eat low-carb either so none of it is going to gluconeogenesis. I say eat protein to satiety, who cares about grams? :)

A4e6473c7791ca1ddeedf5c5db5fbe14

(85)

on December 26, 2012
at 04:50 AM

I used to weigh less, and I felt that I had better endurance and less pudge when I was around 100. I'm not really sure if it's "ideal", I just know that I felt better then

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on January 02, 2013
at 08:02 PM

Ah, ok, good answer. If the time when you weighed 100 lbs was when you were under 20 and an athlete, though, don't think it's strange if you never approach that weight again as an adult woman. :)

1
D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on December 25, 2012
at 04:16 PM

I don't think protein intake puts you in or out of ketosis, I'm pretty sure that's dictated by your carb intake. If you are in ketosis, high protein is actually probably better otherwise I don't know where you'd get your calories after your fat intake.

I think it's worth noting that your body doesn't respond to the quantified measurements we put on protein or carbs or fat. We invented pounds and ounces and all that, remember? For what it's worth, I think 80-120 grams of protein is more than enough for any person. Little higher than that if you're on the bigger end of the scale, but that's really only if you're trying to put some size on. If you're trying to lose fat 80-100 is more than enough. Beyond that though, strictly measuring your protein isn't going to dictate your body fat percentage. That figure is going to depend primarily on calories in versus calories out. Where they come from isn't entirely irrelevant, but ultimately that's what you want to control more than your macronutrient breakdown if you have specific body fat percentage goals. Generally, without dropping the protein too low, the lower percentage you want the lower your calories have to go. There's just no way around that.

Lyle McDonald has written a lot about this. By his measure, for women, I think 14 calories times pounds in body weight will give you a close approximation of your maintenance calories. From there, set your deficit depending on how fast you want to lose the fat. keep protein high (80 grams or more) and you'll be fine.

0
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on December 25, 2012
at 11:06 PM

Depends on if you are eating at a caloric deficit or if you are eating at maintenance levels. There is ample evidence for the standard 1g/lb lean mass to maintain lean mass while losing fat in a deficit, but there also seems to be indication that if you are getting more than your daily caloric need you can build muscle on less protein than this.

I stick to the 1.5g/kg or 1g/lb of lean mass myself especially if your working out. Works pretty well as a baseline. Fill in the rest with fat for ketosis.

As for the exercise bit....My opinion is that the only saving point for programs like "Insanity" is that they are glycogen depleting workouts. Since your already keeping your sugar in check with ketosis I don't see any added value to this program. I would stick to one of two exercise types....low and slow (walk to slow jog) for however long you like....or...high intensity resistance training or sprints (15-20 minutes max a couple times a week). Of course if you love doing what your doing keep at it. Just some observations.

0
0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on December 25, 2012
at 04:33 PM

The Jaminets make a pretty good case for getting about 15% protein in Perfect Health Diet whether you're an athlete or a couch potato.

They detail protein intake specifically for athletes here though: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/03/protein-for-athletes/

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