Finding Your Personal Best
In the hopes of building a leaner body, that is adapt at burning fat, you now know (from reading my previous series of Macronutrient Spotlight posts) that you want to feed your muscle by prioritizing protein. Now that we know this, let’s focus on understanding what this means for you and your body. There is no perfect number that fits everyone. Each body is different and knowing how to calculate protein and caloric intakes is important for your own health and wellness journey. In the spirit of learning, let’s do a calculation for fictional characters Bob and Fanny (your uncle and aunt).
Bob is 200lb (91kg) at 20% body fat and Fanny is 160lb (73kg) at 40% body fat. They calculated their protein need using the equations from my previous article about calculating protein need.
Crunching the Numbers
Calculate pounds of fat = Weight(kg) x % body fat
Calculate Lean Body Mass(LBM) = Total weight – Fat (from above)
Find recommend protein = 1g of protein per lb of LBM.
For Bob and Fanny:
Bob is aiming for 91 x 1.2 – 1.6g = 109 – 146 grams / day or 200-40 = 160 = 160 grams Wow!!! That is a lot
Fanny is aiming for 73 x 1.2 – 1.6g = 88 – 116 grams / day or 160-64 = 96 = 96 grams Hmm… higher body fat less relative protein need but still a lot.
Putting Numbers to Practice
Bob nails 160 grams of protein (4Cals/g) = 640 Calories from protein. Fanny gets 90 g P and therefore 360 Calories from protein
Bob loves Ribeye steak with potatoes and sausages on the bun (2 sausages 1 bun “cutting carbs”). Not much of a salad guy. Knowing that he needs more protein he used extra egg whites for his morning eggs. This is what Bob ate today. Dinner up top to breakfast below.
Fanny kept things simple by eating mostly the same as Bob but skipping the starches. She knew she would have to supplement with whey because she doesn’t usually eat that much protein. She also likes salads and doesn’t understand why Bob doesn’t eat more vegetables. Here is Fanny’s daily intake.
Now let’s see how their first day tracking went. First Bob. He nailed the protein and besides adding egg whites he didn’t really eat any differently than usual – he always eats a big dinner.
2400 Calories Protein 640C / Carbs 566C / Fat 1,224 Cal = 50% from Fat, 27% protein 23% Carbs
Fanny also nailed her protein and did really well over all keeping her calories in line with her goal of fat loss.
1400 Calories Protein 360C / Carbs 165C / Fat 869 Cal = 62% from Fat, 26% protein 12% Carbs
What was surprising/enlightening about an exercise like this? What recommendations would you make to Bob and Fanny? What ideas came to mind for your own protein intake strategies? How will you move forward?
If you are confused, that’s alright. Our bodies are complex and it takes time to understand how they work and how to use this knowledge to our advantage. If you have questions, please feel free to reach out. I am excited about helping you learn, grow, and feel your best.
-Dr. Jerome Craig