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Getting enough protein and calories

Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:45 pm
by fast_twitch
I could use a little help in designing a good eating schedule and diet. I've been lifting for a couple of months (after a break of 6 months) and have come up to a hurdle.

My job requires me to be on my feet 8 hours a day and is pretty physical - so, I burn my share of calories at work. It's also difficult for me to stop and eat small meals (I'm lucky to get in a lunch break sometimes). I try to snack on high protein things (nuts and Odwalla protein bars), but it's almost impossible to get enough calories in given my job requirements.

I'm wondering if anyone else has a similar situation and how you go about getting enough good calories and protein. I can't seem to gain in body weight or muscle mass because of my limited diet.

Any suggestions?



Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:08 am
by hoosegow
Make you a couple of shakes with oatmeal (in a blender) before you leave for work. It takes all of a minute to drink a shake. Throw in a tblspoon of olive oil. Eat some peanuts or almonds. Beef jerky - the good kind. It is very low fat and is high in protein. Protein bars are a mainstay of mine.

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:35 am
by fast_twitch
Thanks for the reply, hoosegow.

Yeah, I keep meaning to throw some flax oil in my morning shake (with protein powder) - I've got to get on the ball with that one.

Beef jerky, huh? I'd always thought it was too salty and fatty. I'll have to check the ingredients next time I'm in the store.

As for protein bars - what do you eat and recommend? I usually munch on a protien (19g) Odwalla bar, but is there something out there with more protein?


Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 2:25 pm
by Ironman
You'll find much of the hype about salt and fat is just that, hype. If don't have high blood pressure, which would indicate you are sodium sensitive, have all the salt you want. In fact very low sodium diets can raise some peoples renin levels which also causes high blood pressure.

As for fat, with the exception of transfat, nothing to worry about there either. Even if your lipid profile is less then perfect. Your body is responsible for 90% of your lipid production, which means eating no fat at all would result in only a 10% reduction at best. Of course we know eliminating all fats is impossible and unhealthy anyway. Insulin is responsible for cholesterol synthesis. So sure a persons body is providing the raw materials, but their love of highly refined carbs is what turns them in to a cholesterol factory. So if you are saving you insulin spike for post workout, then no need to worry there. Of course post workout we don't really want a lot fat anyway.

So in short, get your calories and protein up where they need to be, and eat the right kinds of carbs at the appropriate times. And feel free to eat some beef jerky. But not to much, because most of it is soaked in sugar.

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 2:32 pm
by hoosegow
Beef jerky has very little fat. Jerking meat (yes, I know the jokes write themselves) is an ancient form of preservation. Fat and moisture is removed and salt is added to keep it from spoiling. So it is salty, but is very low in fat. Because the moisture is removed, it is of very low volume and you can eat a lot of it and get a lot of good calories.

As for protein bars, yes there is a lot of good stuff out there. I usually get Pure Protein bars. The Met-Rx Big (something or other) isn't bad either. I just try to get the most protein for my money with the least amount of fat. Do a little research when you go buy your stuff. If you are paying $1.25 per bar, get the one with the most protein.

Also, try some raw red potatoes or yams. They are not bad. You just have to shift your mindset of what a potato should taste like.

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 7:53 pm
by fast_twitch
Thanks guys.

I'll look into the jerky tomorrow and am looking at protein bars over at

I do try to monitor both my salt and saturated fat intake, as I have borderline high bp and have hereditary high cholesterol. I'm not obsessive about it though - all in moderation.

All I know is that I don't seem to be getting enough calories and/or protein, so need to find good, nutritious snacks that I can eat on the go to supplement my regular meals.

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:05 pm
by Ironman
In your case, you should see what effect if any higher and lower sodium intake has on your diet. Then raise, lower or ignore it accordingly.

People like to think they have hereditary high cholesterol. Really they have inherited a tendency to provide plenty of raw materials that can be used in cholesterol synthesis. They may also have inherited insulin resistance. They may also have made the insulin resistance worse and regularly cause it to spike up real high with their love of eating refined carbs. They may also have been fooled into eating even more of this crap, because it is "low fat", in the false belief that less fat will lower cholesterol. This is because insulin is the hormone responsible for cholesterol synthesis. So keeping it even most of the time would be the way to go. Hoosegow's snack ideas look pretty good to me. Maybe ad cheese cubes to the list.

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:29 am
by hoosegow
I just wanted to make a recommendation for jerky. If you have a Love's truck stop nearby, go buy some of their jerky. It isn't the processed, sugar added crap like SlimJims.

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:54 pm
by hoosegow
I saw this on today and immediately thought of this thread:

Things to Try in the k-word Today

1) Bodybuilder Bon Bons
I learned this from fitness trainer Sandy Joyce. Take a whole jar of all-natural peanut butter and hand mix it with eight tablespoons of flax meal and three scoops chocolate Metabolic Drive.

The easiest way to do it is to just dump all the ingredients into a big bowl and mash 'em together with your grubby paws. Roll the "dough" into balls, wrap in Saran Wrap or foil, and freeze. Makes around 37 balls.

These suckers are portable, healthy, easy to prepare, and make a damn good football game snack. My eight-year old daughter loves to make 'em and eat 'em too. Beats candy bars!

You can probably exchange the Metabolic Drive with your whey protein and flax meal with oatmeal since you probably already have them around the house.

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:27 pm
by VoK
Recommendations on beef jerky?

I don't have a Love's truck stop. Right now, I'm just munching on Oberto, which seems to be the most common brand.

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:28 am
by TimD
Number 1, going fat and carb free is going to be very hard to accomplish, as most protein sources contain some fat, and most if not all fruits and veg contain carbs. 2ndly, fats are essential to sustain life. I have seen people do quite well with moderate to moderately high fat and protein, and very low carbs, but from what I've seen, most people do NOT do well with higher carbs, low protein and very low fat. My advic, rather than to exclude foods by category (carbs, fat) would be to identify foods you can digest, and build your diet around that.

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:09 pm
by Ironman
I think this guy was doing a manual spam. I'll take care of him.