sports nutrition

My new challenge!

imageI’m doing the Precision Nutrition Lean Eating program and we’re at the stage in the program where we get to choose the habits we think we need to work on. It can be one that we’ve worked on through the program or one of our own choosing.

I love focusing on habits. See past posts Habits versus Goals and Making a habit of it.

I posted a tool to help create new habits on our Facebook page recently and I think it’s fun to create a game of establishing habits, whatever those habits may be.

What’s the habit I need to work on? Mine is no surprise given my goals of gaining muscle and maintaining a vegetarian diet. It’s getting sufficient protein, always a challenge. I reread Tracy’s post on getting enough protein on a vegan diet.. Though I’m not a vegan, I lean in that direction (aim for 2 vegan meals a day) and it’s good from a health point of view not to rely on dairy as one’s main protein source.

How much protein is enough?

See this from a past post on nutrition news:

Consuming twice the recommended daily allowance of protein protects muscle mass while promoting fat loss:

“A new report appearing in the September issue of The FASEB Journal challenges the long-held adage that significant muscle loss is unavoidable when losing weight through exercise and diet. In the report, scientists show that consuming twice the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein while adhering to a diet and exercise plan prevents the loss of muscle mass and promotes fat loss. Tripling the RDA of protein, however, failed to provide additional benefits.”

What’s the RDA? .8g per kilo per day. 1.6 is  double that and it’s the ratio I should use to calculate the amount I should be aiming for. So at 90 kilos, or thereabouts, that’s 144 grams of protein a day. A lot.

My protein shake this morning had 30g, my protein added cereal and yogurt had another 30. One tip I’ve taken from the coaches at Precision Nutrition is protein with every meal and I aim for at least 50 g with breakfast. Luckily I wake up hungry and I can happily eat a large breakfast.

My usual non vegan protein sources are eggs (free range), Greek yogurt, and whey protein. Vegan protein for me is tempeh, nuts, seeds, soy, chickpeas, hummus, and various kinds of veggie burgers. Yum.

These days protein consumption is the one thing I’m tracking. Wish me luck and suggestions, as always, welcome.


12 thoughts on “My new challenge!

  1. Getting enough protein on a vegan diet to gain siginificant muscle (or retain muscle if you’re losing weight) is extremely difficult, especially if you are not overeating – and by this, I mean simply taking in alot more calories per day than you are burning off. You almost have to rely on supplements unfortunately – specifically, protein shakes. I know of no other way to do it.

    1. Yes, agreed. I do have one protein shake a day with 30 g of protein for just that reason.

  2. If you’re getting there with only 1 protein shake a day, I think that’s absolutely amazing!

  3. You might want to consider drinking a casein shake (slow acting protein) right before bed as well. It stops you from going into a catabolic state at night, and it adds another 25 grams of protein to your day. The only problem – it’s not vegan.

  4. I’ve been working on this one myself. I’ve been reading the GoKaleo site (which I think I found through your blog, actually) and have been pushing myself towards a 1 gram of protein per pound of weight. I’m not vegetarian, so that makes it easier, but it still has been quite a change. I like though, I like it a lot. I’ve been feeling great, and like my emotional balance is more stable. I’m not having sugar spikes and crashes. I’m still pretty new to it though, so I will be interested in reading your progress. Oh – and I LOVE the Lift app!

  5. Personally I can’t follow that recommendation of so much protein. I tried it and as a vegan found it excessive and way too filling. I felt horrible and like I had to eat all the time. And I’m also not into prescriptions of any kind around eating ( beyond a vegan diet). Instead I’ve integrated the habit of eating some protein at every meal or snack. I have my smoothie in the morning snd a piece of toast with PB. I add beans or chickpeas to my salad at lunch. And I make sure dinner involves protein. I also grab a few nuts if I’m going to eat a piece of fruit to round it out. I confess that I didn’t get very far with trying to eat a gram of protein per pound of body weight. I’ll be interested to see how it goes for you.

    1. As a true vegan, Tracy, I honestly believe that your only chance of making it would have been by having 2 or 3 vegan protein shakes a day. Otherwise – next to impossible without consuming way more calories than you could possibly burn off. But it sounds like you’re not really interested in gaining muscle but rather you’re more interested in endurance sports, and I don’t believe that you need the same amount of protein for that. Moreover, it doesn’t sound like you want to get involved in any type of sports nutrition much less “dieting” – rather, you just want to eat relatively healthy and become emotionally and mentally healthy (in respect of food intake issues). It might not be optimal from a sports perspective, but it certainly sounds relatively all-around healthy! 🙂

  6. Yes, at the moment I’m not interested in trying so hard. Too much effort for something I’m not all that concerned about. I do like muscles, but I am getting stronger as it is, and yes, the recommendations for endurance sports aren’t quite the same. I like the No Meat Athlete and find his recommendations more in line with what is possible for me. As in all things, I do not believe there is a one-size-fits-all prescription.

    1. I agree completely. Your ethical commitment to veganism is a factor in and of itself which will affect the range of choices open to you. It’s all a balancing act, in many regards.

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