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Bill
 
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Am I doing myself a disservice by not using a protein supplement?

Read the FAQ. Recommends protein shakes for muscle building. Got it.

Here is my current situation:
I'm fat. 6'3" ~250 lbs. Originally my intention was to get "not fat" but after two and a half weeks of endorphin rushes I've pretty much changed my lifestyle already and feel like complete shit when I eat bad food or don't exercise.

My daily routine currently consists of:
  • ~1-1.5hr of cardio (4-6 miles) -- possibly twice in a day
  • ~30 minutes of dumb bells, 2-3 sets of 5 reps at a weight where the last rep is a struggle and a sixth probably isn't happening if I tried. (Started with one set/ten reps of a comfortable weight to get my muscles used to work, then bumped it up.)
  • Bicycle crunches until it burns
  • (Plus swimming a couple times a week)
  • (Plus a "break" day once a week, during which I feel completely awful and wish to kill myself.)

I'm actively increasing everything as I feel comfortable pushing a little harder. Following Shakira's advice, hips don't lie, listen to the sound of my body. I realize this is probably not the recommended method for anything serious but right now I have no particular goals, nor a deadline, so I'm just doing as much as I can as I feel like I can.

Daily diet:
  1. 2-3 eggs, cheese (apparently I'm supposed to eat after I work out, whoops. I do everything in the morning, then possibly more cardio in the late afternoon.)
  2. (2% yogurt/cottage cheese, or raw fruit/vegetable)
  3. Sandwich with lean lunch-meats, a little whole mayo
  4. (2% yogurt/cottage cheese, or likely raw fruit/vegetable if I had yogurt etc. earlier)
  5. Some sort of lean-ish meat type device with some sort of carb.
  6. Then when it gets late, I'm usually hungry again and have more of said meat+carb and a fruit/vegetable.

Usually my hands get cold and sweaty and that cues me to eat something. A handful of plain peanuts helps a bit to hold me over as I'm still on a semi (but lessening) "three meals a day" schedule. And yes, adding tuna would be a cheap and easy assist, I need to get on that.

I have to put forth effort to eat 2000 calories. I probably need to eat more. Treadmill alone is telling me 1k+ calories burned when I'm done.


Here is some shit that leads to my question:
Not surprisingly, my weight plummeted and I lost about ten pounds in the first ten days. (I drink obscene amounts of water, thats not the issue.) As I've continued, my weight has started to creep back up. I'm back to where I started, but there is a noticeable physical change in my general appearance. My stomach is flattening out, I can see the bottom of my ribcage, I've lost one of my chins, my mantits are turning into manly tits, etc. I'm not eating enough calories regularly enough (hinted by cold, sweaty hands.) So I'm equating this weight game to muscle (which is visibly improving.) As I said before, building muscle wasn't really an original goal, but damn it feels and looks good.

Here is my question:
Given my workout (mainly[?] cardio right now, but I'm trying to give everything a serious workout,) plus the issues with caloric intake, I'm wondering if I'm not getting enough protein. I've always mentally equated protein shakes to "BLARGH IM A MUSCLE MAN SIX PACK, ARRR" but now I'm seeing that I'm possibly lacking enough protein in my diet, which may be holding me back in terms of muscle repair/growth, which is holding me back from pushing my exercise harder. Its expensive stuff though, and I'm not sure what I'm doing right now is "intense" enough to warrant it.

Should I add protein shakes/supplements to my diet at this point?

Also, any general criticisms or tips would be appreciated. (I'm not looking to get on some super strict regimen as what I'm doing is.. doable for me, and it has been successful far beyond my original hopes.) If there are some basic modifications I should make I'd be all ears.

Sorry for the novel.

Thanks a lot.
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:31 AM Bill is offline  
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Coqui
 
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You're only not getting enough protein if the amounts you lift aren't staying the same or going up. Or if your body feels like giving out on the cardio before you normally used to.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:22 AM Coqui is offline  
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Artesial
 
The way I've looked at it, if you're trying to gain muscle and not eating 1g of protein per lb of body weight you're probably not eating enough for good gains. That may be different since you seem to want to lose weight and you're mostly doing cardio. I'd say at least 100g of protein should be fine with what you're doing however.
Old 08-26-2011, 11:26 AM Artesial is offline  
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IMFlacid
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if you trying to loose weight its all about calories in vs. out. the protein will aid you in retaining muscle while your dropping fat though, ive been told shoot for 1.5 grams of protein per pound of fat
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:47 AM IMFlacid is offline  
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mainbrotha
 
Really, it depends on goals. I dont think it's necessary to add a protein supplement to see gains.

Remember that protein is just food. If you're getting enough protein through your current dietary intake, there's no need to spend the money. It doesn't hurt, but it's still an investment.
Old 08-27-2011, 05:33 PM mainbrotha is offline  
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You are getting some kind of protein with just about every meal. It is not like you are eating vegies and water all day.

Exercise machine 'calories burnt' range from meaningless to deliberately misleading. Halve the number and you are likely to be closer to reality.

10lb in 10 days of 'fat loss' implies a 3500 calorie a day deficit. If you were eating 2000 a day, with a BMR of about 2500, that would imply a +3000 calorie a day exercise output. Being honest with yourself, were you?

In the first few days of a new strict diet, you will quite literally shit out several pounds of fibre, food and the associated water in the various points of your digestive system. They are the 'easy loss' pounds that all fad diets with the "lose 5lb in 5 days or your money back" guarantees rely on. They are also the 'easy gain' pounds that will come right back as soon as you eat poorly for a couple of days. Not fat, muscle or anything exciting except the contents of your alimentary canal.

You say you have gained it all back? 10lb of actual lean mass, particularly for someone with a poor exercise routine, is a good three to four months work minimum. Be honest with yourself again.

That said, bulk protein is not particularly expensive by any stretch, particularly in comparison with equivalent amounts of protein from 'normal' foods. Even here I can get WPC for less per kg than steak... and WPC has a lot more protein by weight.
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Old 08-29-2011, 04:23 AM vinnie is offline  
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Bill
 
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I appreciate the responses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnie View Post
Exercise machine 'calories burnt' range from meaningless to deliberately misleading. Halve the number and you are likely to be closer to reality.

I understand that there are so many variables that it means relatively little. Regardless of the numbers, its how I feel throughout the day and how I respond to food that are cluing me in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnie View Post
10lb in 10 days of 'fat loss' implies a 3500 calorie a day deficit. If you were eating 2000 a day, with a BMR of about 2500, that would imply a +3000 calorie a day exercise output. Being honest with yourself, were you?

From previous weight loss runs, (nothing nearly as serious as this, but I am down 40 pounds from where I was a couple years ago) I know that the first bunch falls off like a rock but it has never bounced back like this. Given my diet change alone there is absolutely no way I'm at a higher daily calorie surplus than I was prior to starting this.

Since my FP it has been established that my scale was a piece of shit and I have no idea of an accurate weight for the first couple weeks. And to be honest, I have no idea what my calorie "expenditure" exercising is. I understand that there are so many variables that even if I posted literally every metric I could possibly keep track of, it wouldn't be enough to get anything better than a wild guess. I don't "care" (thats the wrong word) enough to go have the tests done.

I've replaced the scale but at this point I don't think it even matters. My focus has shifted off "weight loss"--thats pretty irrelevant compared to everything it affects. I feel better. My resting pulse drop (low 80s to high 60s.) My BP has dropped. Sleep apnea (OSA) metrics have dropped across the board. I look better. Even if one were to suppose that I'm somehow gaining fat, it doesn't matter in the slightest. Every easily-accurately-measured "fat related" aspect is improving.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnie View Post
Not fat, muscle or anything exciting except the contents of your alimentary canal.

You say you have gained it all back? 10lb of actual lean mass, particularly for someone with a poor exercise routine, is a good three to four months work minimum. Be honest with yourself again.

Lets say that the scale was ridiculously terrible, and I was really only down five pounds, then back five pounds with a consistent diet and routine. With visible changes and a slew of other reliable "health" metrics, I really have no idea what weight went where, how, and why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnie View Post
That said, bulk protein is not particularly expensive by any stretch

Yeah, I realized this after doing some math and wolframalpha-ing some foods. Balking at the price was a little silly.

I really appreciate your comments. I'm not trying to inflate my numbers or progress at all. That is not how I would get an accurate answer or tips. I posted what I know and what I've seen to the best of my knowledge. Hopefully I've clarified my position a bit. Honest information leads to better learning.

The new scale is accurate, precise, and consistent. I'll be interested in any weight changes for this week--for whatever its worth in the scheme of things--knowing that now I have real numbers.

I'll be the first to admit I don't know whats going on. I look at myself in the mirror now and give myself the because compared to a month ago things seem .. unreasonable.
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:02 AM Bill is offline  
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C357
 
I dont use protein supplements
Old 10-04-2011, 07:06 PM C357 is offline  
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Retardedchicken
 
It doesn't matter how much water you drink if your sodium intake doesn't match it.

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Old 11-03-2011, 07:13 PM Retardedchicken is offline  
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DarthWombaT
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Quote:
Daily diet:
  1. 2-3 eggs, cheese (apparently I'm supposed to eat after I work out, whoops. I do everything in the morning, then possibly more cardio in the late afternoon.)
  2. (2% yogurt/cottage cheese, or raw fruit/vegetable)
  3. Sandwich with lean lunch-meats, a little whole mayo
  4. (2% yogurt/cottage cheese, or likely raw fruit/vegetable if I had yogurt etc. earlier)
  5. Some sort of lean-ish meat type device with some sort of carb.
  6. Then when it gets late, I'm usually hungry again and have more of said meat+carb and a fruit/vegetable.
Is this really all you eat in a day?
Old 11-05-2011, 07:26 PM DarthWombaT is offline  
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vec
 
even though you are trying to lose weight, i think you need to eat more for the amount of work you're doing. get some protein, buy in bulk and it will not cost so much. chicken isn't too bad... it can be ~$1/lb which will be cheaper than you buying all that lunch meat. eat more eggs... those guys are cheap. whey protein is ~$40/5lbs which isn't tooo bad. if you eat a bit more, you probably won't feel like shit so much on your off days.
Old 11-08-2011, 10:37 AM vec is offline  
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Foolioq
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vec View Post
even though you are trying to lose weight, i think you need to eat more for the amount of work you're doing. get some protein, buy in bulk and it will not cost so much. chicken isn't too bad... it can be ~$1/lb which will be cheaper than you buying all that lunch meat. eat more eggs... those guys are cheap. whey protein is ~$40/5lbs which isn't tooo bad. if you eat a bit more, you probably won't feel like shit so much on your off days.

I've heard people talk about $/gram of protein before. I'm poor, so I'm trying to optimize, but not sacrifice too much quality. Is it better to buy chicken, eggs or protein in terms of $ per gram of protein. Its definitely cheaper to buy whey protein, but is whey protein more or less effective than chicken or eggs?
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:46 PM Foolioq is offline  
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vec
 
i would say the chicken and eggs would be the better choice because it keeps me full longer when i eat it. whey is a good supplement and should be kept as a supplement. if you can get all the protein you need, then don't spend on it. dark meat will be cheaper than white, but it will hve more fat. i dn't know if you care about that or not with all the exercise you do.
Old 11-09-2011, 01:07 PM vec is offline  
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