150 grams of protein fits most average males.
Ok, so I am going to try and give you a simple way of finding an answer to “how much do I eat?”
What I am doing here is giving you a starting point. I’m assuming you either haven’t ever tracked how much food goes into your face, or it’s been so long that it might be a good idea to find a new baseline. Once you have this starting point, you will optimize, or make changes as necessary, to better align for your goals – body composition improvement, performance, strength/mass gains, etc.
The formula that I use here is pretty simple.
1. Find your Lean Body Mass. How you do this is take your overall weight and multiply by your body fat %. If you don’t know your lean body mass, it is fine in most cases to use an estimate or use pictures to get a rough idea (mostly work/family safe I think).
2. Next, eat the correct amount of protein, based on your goals:
- Maintenance - 0.6 or greater grams of protein per lb. of LBM (LBM x 0.6)
- Performance – 1 or greater grams of protein per lb. of LBM (LBM x 1)
- Strength and/or mass gains - 1.25 or greater grams of protein per lb. of LBM (LBM x 1.25)
Disclaimer – This part can get tricky…I could probably spend the next 6 hours of my day defending and explaining those prescriptions above. But, this is just a VERY rough way of getting you to a starting point.
So, for the examples above, a 185-lb. male with 20% bodyfat and roughly 150 lbs. LBM:
Maintenance – 90 or greater grams of protein daily
Performance – 150 or greater grams of protein daily (see picture above)
Strength/mass gains – 185 or greater grams of protein daily
Again, it starts with finding your Lean Body Mass. You can use some pictures to estimate your LBM. Or, you can do taping or hydrostatic weighing like the Body Fat Truck we had at the gym on Saturday.
3. Finally, fill in your carbohydrates and fat
If your goals are, in this order, to 1. lose bodyfat, then 2. increase performance, then you will make sure carbohydrate sources are very low in sugars and starches. Vegetables will need to be on your plate at every single meal. Veggies to fruit ratio should be 3 to 1 or more. Fruits, juices, and starches are NOT your best options, especially on a daily basis. You should be eating under your LBM number in grams of carbs per day.
If your goals are, in this order, to 1. increase performance (ie, lift more weight or go faster in the WODs), then, 2. lose bodyfat, then you are fine to add more fruits and starches into your diet. Pay attention to getting those carbs before AND after the workout sessions and before bedtime. Vegetable are still very important. You should be eating over your LBM number in carbs per day.
The majority of your fat comes through your animal protein sources. As you can see in the picture above, by eating 150 grams of animal-sourced protein, I also took in 95 grams of fat.
The thing with fat is that it’s pretty hard to overdo it on a paleo diet. Of course, you could sit down and eat a whole tub of almond butter. But, other than something like that, I find it rare to feel like I need to eat more after having a good serving of fat.
So, I approach fat as an additional energy source. After making sure I hit my protein and carb numbers based off my goals, I just squeeze in as much fat as I can for extra fuel. If I feel like I’m tired through the day, I increase fat.
Additional disclaimer - This blog post does NOT substitute talking with your coach or physician about your situation. All of the above is based off my personal experience and observations, and again it is a VERY rough way of finding a start point. There are many other ways of doing it..ultimately, it’s up to you and playing around with it.
Workout of the Day
20 minutes: High hang squat clean,work up to 1RM
30 reps of clean and jerk
L3 – 135/95 lb. (only use if clean is greater than 225/155 lb.)
L2 – 115/75 lb.
L1 – 95/65 lb.
3×10-15 reps of GHD hip/back ext
Post your scores to the Whiteboard.