T Nation

How Much Protein Without Getting Fat?


Hey, I'm currently getting in ~100g of protein a day and I weigh 180lbs. I know this is under the recommended dosage, but I'm trying to lose a little flab. My weekday diet is in the 2,000 - 2,200 calorie range., so I guess that means I'm at about 20% protein. I'm definitely working out enough (in my humble opinion), but I'm concerned that I'm holding myself back with my protein dosage.

I'm having a hard time figuring out how to get the right balance. In my experience I've been able to be lean, but no so muscular, or muscular but not so lean. As I'm writing this I'm thinking instead of "adding" more protein, I should be replacing some carbs with protein and keep the calorie count the same until I lean up some.

Thanks in advance for the input.


My extremely crude advice is that if youre above 20-22% bodyfat and dont have all that much muscle on you, you may want to have 1.5g of protein per pound of LBM. If youre below that youre probably better off geting 1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight.

Either way, 20% of your calories from protein sucks.


just make sure most of your calories are after ur workout and in the morning.and most protien after workout window


I'm probably right around 20-22% bodyfat. So you are recommending 1.5g per lb at 180? Or 1.5g per pound at 150? Either way that puts me at 225g - 270g of protein a day. So if I maintain 2,200 calories that would be at least 900cal from protein and 1300 from carbs and fat.

Okay. I'll work on it.


100 g pro per day is def not enough.

If you've "been able to be lean, but no so muscular, or muscular but not so lean", you are probably - like me - an easy-gainer; muscle and bf go up and down together. You probably need to restrict carbs. However, low-carb does not mean no-carb; there is some indication that a certain level of carbs is necessary for thyroid function http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=4457 so I recommend 100 g carb per day.

You also need about 100 g fat per day to keep hormones up.

100 g fat plus 100 g carb = 1300 kcal. On 2000 kcals per day, this leaves only 700 kcal for pro (175 g). At the risk of incurring the wrath of the skull headed man above^, this could be enough. Maybe get another 25-50 g pro as pwo shake on days you lift, if you want.


180 * .20 = 36lb. of fat
180 - 36 = 144(Lean Body Mass, or LBM)

144 * 1.5 = 216 grams of protein (864 Calories)
144 * 1 = 144 grams of carbohydrates (576 Calories)
144 * .5 = 72 grams of fat (648 Calories)

Total calories per day = 2080

Pretty easy math.

Now if you want to cut a few carbs out of the 144 grams and add them to the fat/protein columns feel free to go as low as 100 every day OR cycle between 50-100 grams of carbs per day.