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Consequences of Lifting but Not Eating Enough Protein?

Will I just not gain the maximum amount of muscle I would if I was eating 1g per body pound?

Would strength stall thus muscle growth?


Are we talking like 0.7g / lb or like 50g a day?

Like .5-.75g lol

If you just want to build some muscle and look decent at the beach, it should be fine. If you are more serious then you may want to consider getting closer to that 1g mark, especially if in a calorie deficit.

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Plenty of people got very big while eating under a gram of protein per pound. How big are you? If you are eating a satisfying portion of protein at every meal and eating enough food for the day, it’s doubtful you’re not getting enough protein. We’re talking a maintenance or surplus of kcals though.

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.75 is fine so long as you eat enough calories.

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HIT guru Ellington Darden claims 0.5 per lbs max. And peddles diets as low as 1200 kcals for males. That combo, for me, was a recipe for disaster but others swear by it. I wonder if his mentor Arthur Jones would have approved?

Yup, I’ve read that Darden.

Bill Pearl also suggests around 0.5 g/pound of bodyweight.

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I wouldn’t recommend lower protein intakes at the tail end of a contest prep though.

Doesn’t the current literature support 0.8g/lb? I’m sure I read that somewhere, and we all just round up to 1g/lb because we suck at maths.


.5 to 2g, I don’t think it matters much. Personal preferences. I like at least 15% of my macros.

I rarely eat over 0.5 g/lbs/day.

@Brickhead with a previously fat person, would you be comfortable having them have a sub-1g of protein per lbs and make up for the caloric difference with carbs or would you keep that person on a low-ish carb intake until very lean and instead upping fats?

3.4 g/kg/d


I am sorry about the late response. I really wish I could post as much as I once did.

If someone is fat, like 20+plus percent body fat, a simple caloric restriction can do the trick, even if protein intake is considered low according to us.

If someone is very active for a long time and becomes somewhat lean, I don’t think there has to be much of a fixation on high protein intake even if the person has been fat in the past.

It’s when people want to get shredded, that macronutrient manipulation becomes all the more important, and that usually involves a relatively high protein intake. When I was about six weeks out of my show and was doing all the physical activity I could handle at that point, simple macro manipulation and time helped me get shredded to the bone.

Obviously this stuff takes some experimentation. Are you referring to people who just want to be lean and active or people who want to be shredded?

Anyway, there have been many people who have eaten less than the golden one-gram-per-pound rule and have gotten very big and strong.

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Don’t worry about it, I appreciate the response all the same!

Interesting, something I’ve internalised at this point (which is why I won’t be linking any sources) has been that before people get <12% or so, if they’ve been fat, it might be better for them to have a higher protein intake, balanced intake of fats, and a lower carb intake without it being detrimental to their performance.

Simply (beach) lean and active, not stage lean. Despite my best efforts I still have a bit of abdominal fat that I’m going to attack soon enough and I’m gathering ideas for the day I start mobilising it.

Again, thanks for the reply!