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 What Is High-Protein Diet?

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PostSubject: What Is High-Protein Diet?   Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:36 pm

If you're hard training athlete or just an ordinary fitness enthusiast that is trying to gain strength, build muscle and lose fat high-protein diet would probably be the best option for you (of course if you have no kidney diseases). But have you ever wondered how the hell you are supposed to follow high-protein diet and don't spend all your income on it? How to make it happen? I'll try to answer these questions in the post and show you on my own example how I made high-protein diet more affordable for me here in Ukraine.

What Is High-Protein Diet?

I don't use macro-nutrient ratios in my diet (I mean accurate percentages). Dieting is no fun (well, at least for me (maybe just a little)) and percentages make it even less fun. So I'm using bodyweight ratios. I count only calories and protein. Calories were determined in experimental way. As for protein, any diet that consist at least 1 g of it per 1 lb of bodyweight (of course, if you're not obese) is considered by me as high in protein.

Ok, here's my numbers for those who is interested:

Height: 180 cm (5'11'')

Weight: 82.5 kg (181.5 lbs)

Maintenance: ~2500 kcal per day

How to Create Your Own High-Protein Diet?

As you can see my bare minimum of protein per day is approximately 180 grams. If I want to gain muscle I'll need to increase it to approximately 270 grams (maybe even more). Why so much protein? You can read here. Well, you may need less in several occasions. But I'll discuss this later. Remember, all this is just an advice. If I want to lose some fat I'll be ok with 180 grams.

So the next step would be to create a menu that will satisfy our protein requirements. You can pick from several protein sources. They could be animal or plant. In my experience animal protein products ar far superior to plants. I don't know whether it's because of incompleteness of plant protein sources or any other reason but I see less results in muscle building and fat burning when eating plants compared to tasty dead animals and their products. Of course, vegetarian and vegan diets would be cheaper here in Ukraine but, man, I hate those beans and lentils. I gave them a try. I wasted my time.

So I pick from animal protein sources. My top picks would be:
◦Meat
◦Poultry
◦Fish
◦Eggs
◦Cottage cheese

I like to keep it simple and don't add any fancy stuff. If you have an OCD you can go ahead and calculate the price of 1 g of protein in each of these sources. But this isn't needed. Just compare prices and concentrations of protein in all these sources.

My top picks again would be: chicken breast, 0% cottage cheese (it tastes like s**t (I'm not saying that I've tasted s**t but I guess that it may taste even better than this devil's trick)), 9.5% cottage cheese, 17% cottage cheese (it tastes awesome) and eggs. Also I can eat occasional lean beef, lean pork or fish.

These are the cheapest high-protein sources available here in Ukraine. I wouldn't eat canned food. And we don't have organic craze here. So I don't really know whether my food organic or not. As the proverb says: "The less you know - the better you sleep".

Then create menus for your workout and non-workout days according to your calories and protein needs. I like to add some carbs on workout days and to go low-carb on non-workout days. And workout days should have generally more calories and non-workout - less.

For example, here's two menus for fat loss for me or someone with my stats:

1) WO Day

250 g fried chicken breast

230 g 9.5% cottage cheese

6 fried eggs

250 g 17% cottage cheese with dry fruits

130 g rice (I measure it dry before boiling; it's half a cup)

+ any amount of veggies

Total: 2549 kcal

Protein: 187 g

Cost: 40 UAH ($5) per day

2) Non-WO Day

10 hard-boiled eggs (you may think "holy s**t!" but I just love eggs and their price)

460 g 0% cottage cheese

250 g 17% cottage cheese with dry fruits

+ any amount of veggies

Total: 2013 kcal

Protein: 186 g

Cost: 40 UAH ($5) per day

As you can see such diet will cost me $150 per month. And there's no supplements included (when we're talking about diet on a budget food should be your number one priority). Of course, you should remember about variety and once you hit plateau you'll need to create new menus.

Intermittent Fasting And High-Protein Diet

As you could already notice I'm a big proponent of intermittent fasting. It keeps you energized, it promotes fat loss, it trains your mind and your body, it gives you freedom, it keeps you full and satisfied and it regulates your hormones to name few advantages. Another great thing about it that while you're fasting and not eating protein your sensitivity to it increases. According to Ori Hofmekler, author of the Warrior Diet, protein absorption during periods of overfeeding preceeded by underfeeding periods increases up to 160%. That's quite big advantage for me. But as everything in life intermittent fasting is not for everyone.

Closing Thoughts

So now you have all the keys to create your own high-protein diet and have no excuses to fail. High-protein diet shouldn't be expensive as many may think. Make smart food choices and spend all the rest money on strippers and booze (: As always, thanks for reading. Comment, ask, like, share.

Alex Zinchenko
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