Vegetarian Protein Nightmare !!
I have spent the last couple of years trying to lose body fat as I was seriously overweight and my blood pressure was high because of it. I was 270lb and I now weigh 195lb and my BMI is no 24 which is quite healthy and I went tothe hospital last week to have some toutine checks and my blood pressure, cholesterol, pulse, kidneys and liver are all in good shape now which is good.
Over the past six monthsI have been training but whenever I lift heavy weights for an hour or so it takes me about 5 days to stop feeling really really sore which is stopping me from training and I also seem to have lost a lot of strength.
I have just spent the morning raeding the labels on the food I eat and I was shocked beyond belief....
The diet I have been eating which has made me healthy and lose weight contains very little protein at all and thousands or carbs.
My Daughter became vegetarian about a year ago and now my wife and I are both veggie too but we still eat fish and seafood. I eat a lot of pasta and pulses which I thought was great but most of it is just carbs carbs carbs and very little protein.
I am also careful about which fish I eat as I want to watch my sodium intake.
I want to stay healthy but I also want to give my body waht it needs to enable me to train and grow.
I am also shocked at how weak I have become and after reading several articles on the net it looks like my body is eating its own muscle due to lack of protein which I guess may contribute to my sorness.
I joined the Gym where I work a few weeks ago and now train 5 hours a week as follows :
Monday - Bench press, Military press, Flys, Rows, Pec deck, biceps curls and various other upper body exercises....(1 hour)
Tuesday - Cardio ... Cycling, rowing, jogging (1 Hour)
Wednesday - Squats, Deadlifts, Leg press, Leg curls and abs workout
Thursday - Cardio same as Tuesday
Friday - Upper body same as Monday
Saturday and Sunday - Rest
My typical diet consists of the following :
White grilled fish
Vast amounts of salad
lots of chilli peppers
Vegetarian Sausages (Which are one of the only things that has high protein lob carbs that I eat)
Small amounts of cheese
I have sins such as coffee, beer and the odd ciggerette but I try and keep these in moderation.
Would I benefit from adding whey protein into my diet to help me?
If so I would like a low fat low carb soloution to aid fat loss and muscle growth and could anyone suggest what to go for.
Sorry for the long winded post but I couldnt belive what I have been doing to myself and neglecting my body of energy and goodness when I thought I was eating a very healthy diet.
If anyone could advise or help I would be very happy.
PS for your information I am 6 feet 3" tall
Many thanks guys...Tim
Forgot to mention I still have slight blood pressure issues. My latest reading was 130 / 83 which is not too bad and I am still on medication for it one tablet at night every night...
Sure. Put in the whey. It's a great whole protein and if you do dairy anyway it is going to go a long way toward helping fulfill you needs. What about other dairy things like cottage cheese?
And since you do dairy and fish...what about eggs?
And you could do more soy stuff.
Also beans are fairly rich in protein. And you are missing nuts..which would also contain a lot of protein plus healthy fats. You may low salt or non-salted if you are salt-sensitive.
The fish should give you healthy omega 3 fats but some fish are more fatty than others. Supplementing with fish oil may also be a good idea. Olive oil. Perhaps some sesame oil. Basically I'm thinking you need more healthy fats.
Obviously the diet is going to make a huge difference but you may also be hitting up too much volume per day per body area.
You may want to change up the cardio. Not do so much long duration.
My main protein sources are:
- cheese >150 g/day
- cashew nuts
Both are about 25%(wt) protein, cashew nuts are even said to contain vitamin B which are hard to find without meat.
Other high protein (~25%) vegetarian food:
eggs, nuts, lentils, soy, tofu, split pea...
beans, chickpea, milk...
No need for supplements. Keep your nutrition as natural as possible. Avoid artificial sweeteners, colorants, preservatives etc.
Most important: Do not change a diet abruptly. Maybe even re-introduce some small amount of meat (e.g. two meals per week) and reduce progressively.
Eric's tip for the salt will be good for reducing your blood pressure. Also, reduce progressively until optimum. Too few salt is bad, too.
And as always, drink huge lots of water. From time to time, you may want to mix your own isotonic drink to re-establish osmotic pressure (feeling too much water in your stomach):
50% orange juice, 50% water, some sugar, some salt
Do the maths !!!
Did you check whether you have enough magnesium?
Back to the proteins:
You should eat as much grams of proteins as your body weight in lbs. High protein foods contain 25% proteins. For you, it will be roughly 200*4=800gms (where 200 is your rounden weight in lbs, and 4 = 1/(25%)) of high protein food per day.
This is to be taken ideally 3 hrs apart in (24-8)/3>=5 servings. Don't get up at night for eating. A good sleep is more important. If you wake up anyway, don't hesitate to get a night dose of proteins.
Continue the maths: 800g/5.333 servings = 150g of high protein food at least 5 times a day.
Don't eat 800g in 3 servings. The >300g will over-fill your stomach, half of it will be "eliminated", and you're going to have too large "protein supply gaps" between meals.
So, it's also a question of quantity.
My problem is that my training only doubles my appetite while I should eat over 4 times as much as I was used to before training.
Let me repeat: No abrupt diet change! While you can go from 3 to 5 servings/day frome one day to another, slowly increase the quantity per serving.
NB: I did the maths only for proteins. I did not do it yet for the carbs.
I don't think cottage cheese is a good idea. It's awfully high in sodium. Eggs are nice. Maybe egg whites.
Why not add a protein shake. Whey or soy or milk and egg. So you're a lacto-ovo-pesci vegetarian. That gives you lots of options to increase your protein intake.
I'd be gradual in my approach to adding foods. I'd keep a journal of my progress. Vince Gironda wrote about taking a scientific approach to the introduction of foods. You might get some good ideas from what he had to offer.
Sodium is not an enemy. I wish people would get over that stupid bro-logic thinking.
Sodium is needed to sustain proper muscle function and fluid levels. High levels of sodium, over long periods of time, *can* lead to hypertension. But that's if someone's taking in something stupid like 12,000mg a day. Every day.
The addition of cottage cheese will not make or break his sodium intake... It's just one food. The sodium is not THAT high. I don't imagine he'll be eating it every day. If he does, then it's still pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Because of its nutritional value, it is certainly worth adding to the diet. I'm sure the OP will agree.
Okay, I give. Let the guy eat his cottage cheese. I'm sure he'll be fine. It's good with ketchup.
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