Is 75 grams of protein sufficient to support muscle gain?
Asked by on Mar 21, 2008
I'm recovering slowly but surely from an over-use injury of my posterior tibial tendon. In the year plus that I was injured and severly cutting back on my activity, I gained weight and lost a lot of strengh. Right now I weigh 148 pounds and my BMI is 22.5. I've been eating around 1750 calories/day and have lost 10 pounds so far. I want to drop another 5 pounds but I want to focus more on gaining strength now that I'm closer to my goal weight and my tendon seems to be much stronger. When I'm not trying to focus on protein I average about 75 grams/day. When I try to eat more it's a struggle to get to 100 and I seem to need to eat more calories - which sets me back on my weight loss goal. I eat whole grains, veggies, beans/lentils, fruit, nuts, and usually chicken/fish/eggs/cheese are my animal products. I eat meat free 2-3 days a week. I just like the other foods better. I have a desk job, but manage to get between 60-120 minutes of exercise on weekdays with a combination of aerobic classes, calisthenics, yoga, and weight lifting. On weekends, I've been snowshoeing in the winter for about 2.5-4.5 hours each day. My goal is more strenuous hikes (4-8 hour/day) and backpacking (5-8 days) through mountainous terrain. Is 75 grams of protein sufficient to support muscle gain?
75 grams of protein would be adequate if you were eating enough calories to spare protein for building muscles; however, your calorie intake is too low and so your protein is being burned for energy. Do not try to lose 5 pounds by eating less. Instead, meet the calorie requirements to support your present weight. I believe you need about 2400 calories a day, but the Burn Meter can calculate your actual requirements. The diet you describe sounds ideal, but you need more of it. You might gain a few pounds of muscle in the short run, but you’ll loose weight and have to eat even more when you start your regimen of strenuous backpacking.