Round 4 Day 35 – Chest and Tri, no rest. FitDay and the Protein Issue.

How much is enough?

So my weight this morning was a low 266.8. That makes 15.2 lbs lost on the Paleo diet and thanks to FitDay I know why. I am having a hard time keeping up with the amount of calories I need to keep my fat ass fat. Yesterday I was short almost 1500 calories but still over the 2000 calorie minimum that I feel is necessary. I seriously can’t stuff any more fruit and veg down my throat in a day. I am going to have to start increasing my protein which led me to calculate my protein needs…

I used to calculate my protein requirements when I was into the heavy weightlifting since to a “bodybuilder” protein is like air, without it you will wither and die. According to THIS I need 360g of protein a day, even using just my lean mass by subtracting my fat% I am still rated at 300g a day. Fit day claims that my 106g of protein that I ate yesterday was already 190% of my requirement meaning they estimate my protein requirement at a minuscule 56g! So why the discrepancy? Well, the obvious thing is my frame size and musculature, but even taking into account a LARGE frame says I need 115g. Interesting… Fitday is obviously not geared towards the athletes among us. Using the lean mass approach, the people at criticalbench claim you require 1.14g per lb of lean mass, which for me would equate to 228g of protein. That is sounding better. However I am disturbed, nay, astonished at the vast difference in calculations here. It does show however what I have believed for a long time, you can’t rely on a single source of information to get your requirements. Being exposed to the bodybuilding world for so long made me very aware of my protein requirements but what about all those people out there who are working out, using programs like Fit Day to calculate their requirements and leaving themselves woefully short on protein? You could say that someone who is serious about their workouts wouldn’t rely on FitDay and I hope they wouldn’t but I would be naive to think that is the case. Apparently the RDA for protein is .75g per lb of lean mass. Even using that calculation, I should be at 150g, not the 56 that FitDay claimed. So what is the issue with FitDay and their protein? It seems as if there is nobody out there who has noticed this problem. People are using FitDay to track their nutrients but nobody seems to have noticed how low the protein intake is. maybe it’s just me, but the extra calories I am missing will be in the form of protein from here. My goal is set to around 200g of protein a day given that I am pretty active and need to maintain my muscle mass. I didn’t go through years of torture building muscle so I could let it go to waste. The other side of the equation is what your body is doing to create or use the amino acids required to build protein. I mean protein doesn’t have to come from protein, as long as your body has the right amino acids it will make the protein. Is it possible then that ingesting low amounts of protein would be fine as long as you are getting enough amino acids (specifically essential amino acids) to build muscle. There is a ton of information out there about protein but seemingly little about how the body actually uses amino acids (and from where) to build the muscle tissue. Before this turns into a protein rant, I think I need to do some more reading. If my protein level is to remain low, thereby allowing me to keep my fat levels low also then where else do I need to get the amino acids from to provide the appropriate level of building blocks for the muscle. I am not even talking about ADDING more muscle, just having enough to repair the damage done by the workouts I am doing. It appears that although the meat protein contains all 8 essential amino acids (Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Valine) in spades, you can in fact get all 8 from other foods (something which the vegetarians out there will no doubt think is common knowledge).

This does not answer my question though. How much food and which food do you need to provide the essential amino acids that you would get from meat protein? If you are eating enough vegetable based amino acids does that then reduce the amount of “protein” that you need in a day. I would say yes that is exactly the case, but if so, by how much? This is getting complicated…

Yesterday I did a chest and tricep workout, just flat bench for chest and for triceps a mixture of narrow grip bench and free dips. It wasn’t a crazy hard workout, 35 min long but I did get to complete failure on the dips. I am only going up to bodyweight for bench (275) and mostly will stay around 255 for my working max. Mostly because I can’t be bothered changing the plates all the time since I have a limited selection but also because I don’t want to stress my shoulders since they are getting a heavy workload as it is.

FitDay is still bothering me… What else could be out of whack?