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Thinking of Cutting Down Protein


so ive been eating about 300-350 grams of protein a day for like a year and a half now. I want to drop this to 200grams a day i weigh 250-255ish and a guess for what my lbm is about 185-190ish at 5'8

does this sound like a bad idea?
this means i might drink a 50g protein shake once a day and the rest of my protein will come from whole foods, about 22oz of chicken a day(either about 2 10oz chicken breast or one chicken breast and 3 chicken thighs) 6 eggs 2.5oz of tuna and you know the little bits you get from things like rice and stuff.

and ill probably just eat 3 meals a day instead of the 8 meals/snacks every two hours.

do you think this will drastically affect my lifting? it'll probably only drop my caloric intake by 400 calories


Whats the reason for lowering protein intake?


Lowering protein to less than 1g/lb of bodyweight will DEFINITELY negatively effect gains. Even though you have quit a bit of BF, you have a high level of LBM too which needs supported. Having higher bodyfat doesn't decrease the requirement that much.

I've experimented with protein intake quite a bit, and trust me, going below 1-1.5g/lbs of bodyweight DOES effect gains (more fat vs muscle, less strength etc). With your stats, I'd be hitting 300g/day - 250g minimum (but only when dieting, not gaining).

As for meals; it depends on your metabolism. If you can gain weight on a low amount (e.g. around 3-4000cals/day give or take), then you can get away with less frequent meals.


350 may be slightly excessive from your LBW estimate, but i would definately advise against going under 250. 250-300 is a fair aim. Cut calories from energy calories, not sustainance calories. Hit your dailt EFA and amino requirements, and play with the rest. Dont mess with the basic building blocks.


Try it and find out. The most important thing is to learn YOUR body. See how you react and go from there.


I wouldn't drop the protein and meal frequency together (at least NOT at the start), try and be patient with losing BF.


200g / 185# = 1.08 gram of protein per pound
Sounds acceptable.

Also, sounds fine.

If it does, make adjustments.

The real issue that needs addressed is total calories and grams of carbs per day.
Carbs are protein sparing so how many are you going to eat?

Then total calories or fat since it is all that's left.
How many grams of fat are you going to eat?

Just talking about protein and not taking into account other macros doesn't make sense.


185 is LBM not BW


Whats your point?

1st Post Edited: for Ryan


Well I figured since I'm uncomfortable with my bf level due to 3 years of uncontrolled unclean bulking that maybe I could maintain my lbm with the 1 gram per pound rule which would help with decent calorie reduction instead of drastically cutting carbs which I love and crave 24/7. But I slept on it and dicked around with calorie counters a bit and I think I'm going to try the moderate/low carb approach first. Keeping protein at 300-325, carbs at about 100g not including vegetables, and fat at 77 grams and all of those carbs pre and post workout

Calories coming from protein shakes, chicken breast/thighs, tuna, eggs, white rice(post workout) and a monster energy drink pre workout.
I calculated a days worth of calories at around 2200-2500 this is estimated I bumped it up some from 1869 because I didn't include things I cook with like butter in the eggs or olive oil when baking chicken.

I have no idea how many calories I eat on a regular basis. Its pretty much about the same but with a packet of ramen or a fast food burger/burrito with fries thrown into the mix so I'm assuming my regular caloric intake could be anywhere from 500-1000 calories more than that.

But anyways I think even only 2000 calories is too much for me to cut. I'm in the army but I work nights so other than my workout I'm incredibly seditary. I'm talking like 12 hours of almost zero movement.


I think youre setting yourself up for complete failure if you start to randomly guess numbers.

Track your food intake for a week. Be honest and dont change how you normally eat.

Dont count calories each day, just note what you ate and how much. Then at the end of the week tally each day up.

And about your choice to reduce protein in an effort to cut calories: you said the other option is to drastically cut carbs. Why not just reduce carbs. Rather than DRASTICALLY reduce them?

And if you think that you cant lose fat on 2000 calories, you need to be more active. You talk as if youre chained to a chair for those 12 hours. Instead of being sedentary, MOVE.

But none of that is really relevant until you knmow exactly how much you eat on a regular basis. Without knownig this, any adjustment you make is a crap shoot.


Ill do this.


So your going to hit a cut huh? I can actually help with this :slightly_smiling:

1 - member BONEZ217 is correct, don't just "guess" how much your macros should be, you will set yourself up for failure or will rob yourself of your true potential. Sure, anyone can just cut down what they eat and lose weight, any successful jenny Craig member can tell you that. As a bodybuilder though, if you do it wrong you will NOT be happy with the outcome. There is nothing worse than having all your hard work "trumped" by a LARGE t-shirt, you want people to know you work out, right? Don't be Jared from Subway :slightly_smiling:

2 - Don't do 3 meals. Okay, as far as science goes, yeah you will probably be fine. As far as someone who has not followed a diet what-so-ever for the last 3 YEARS goes (this is YOU) it will be waiting too long to eat and will be increasing your chances of a "F*CK IT!" bender, believe me, on a cut, they happen. I have done more cuts than I can count and I still have times now and then I just lose it. On a serious cut your are going to be watching the clock in between meals, especially if you are sitting doing nothing for long periods of time, the hunger will be far less if you don't have to wait as long. I'm not saying you do 8 but around 5 is more realistic.

3 - Ditch the sugar monster drink, you are on a cut, you can use your calories better than this since that will do nothing for your hunger, get a diet one or if you are like me and don't do sweeteners drink a black coffee

4 - Accept you will look a little worse before you look better....
Oh, in a perfect world the fat would just melt away from my lower stomach and stick around in my arms, legs and chest until the end but thats not how it works. The last place visable fat hangs on to is your lower stomach. That means on your quest for abs you will see your chest, arms, legs, etc shrink in size while your stomach stays fat. Don't worry, if you are doing your cut correctly this is just fat you are losing but you will look a little smaller, you will be weaker due to the decrease in calories, your pumps will be less vascular (initially) and you will not have "good" abs for awhile. Just accept this and don't let it freak you out too bad, in the end you will look better, there is just a phase on the road to it where you look a little worse and this is where MANY people quit.

5 - You are in the big leagues now, lol. I say this jokingly but it's true. I'm not saying what you did to get this far did not take dedication, anybody who has done what you have to this point is a dedicated individual and you deserve some praise for that.....but, I will say MOST people can't cut, they just don't have what it takes. You will really be testing your limits here, stay focused, keep the intensity high, remember there are usually big dudes and skinny dudes...the big dudes WITH abs are few and far between and are considered the elite in my opinion. I heard someone say abs on a skinny guy are like boobs on a fat chick, kind of true. A guy your size, if the cut is done properly, could look F'n insane!! Don't be a quiter, see this thing through to the end.

6 - The final and possibly most important....get ready for negative "compliments"
You will initially lose a lot of water and have a positive response from people. The problem is, once you start turning down late night pizza with your friends and actually getting some GOOD results the negative compliments will start. Things like "Dude, you have lost a lot of weight but you look kind of sick, you should eat something" or "I think you have lost enough weight, you might have a disorder" will start to become frequent. In my current avatar picture I had my own mother tell me I look famished and might be seriously sick. I had my Wife say she likes me better "big" and had to deal with any number of people asking me why I am losing weight. If you are not a typical fat-ass, which you are not by any means, most people don't understand why you are losing weight. People will also test your limits. I'm not sure if you have even been a smoker but anyone who has quit can agree with this..
Person out of smokes - "hey can I get a cig guys"
Friends - "no, go buy some"
Person QUITING smoking - "hey guys, I just quit smoking"
Same Friends - "Do you want a cig, here have a few"
Same rules for food, you will reciever MORE temptation than you ever imagined because other people want you to eat it with them, they will actually start getting mad at you for saying no. Don't let them get you down, in the end you will look fantastic and everyone will ask how you did it. Of course, when you try to tell them they will just say your all wrong and will do it there own way and fail but it doesn't really matter what other people do right? Hope that helps!
- Brian


I think you should focus on cutting calories/carbs/fat and cardio, cutting down on protein should be the last of your worries


I would suggest around 250 because unless your loosing weight you should be eating a healthy amount. Protein at every meal.
Should be around 250. I wouldn't suggest going lower than 220. If you do up your BCAA's.


crazy climber/brian - seriously thanks for the advice and input man, ill definitely take everything you said into consideration. oh and the only reason i drink the monster energy drink is for simple carbs pre workout, do you think that is really a bad idea?

to everyone else yeah i dont plan on lowering protein. That was a dumb idea. ha.

ill probably log my calories for the next couple weeks and januaryish start trying to lose some body fat. Although for me this is just going to be damage control getting to about 15ish% because i really want to focus on strength for a while and bring up my pressing and squating.


THANKS MAN! :slightly_smiling:

Well, this probably is not what you want to hear...and some may not agree with me but I really think it has to be one or the other if you want good results. If you want to lose noticable fat you will lose strength. You might be able to maintain it somewhat but to lose a signifigant bodyfat%, and have your bench and squat go UP will be pretty unlikely.

Keep in mind, my experience is natural bodybuilding. I don't have a problem at all with un-natural but the rules change then :slightly_smiling:

In my experience this only happens (lose fat, gain strength) when overweight people first start a program. Not sure why, maybe just because there muscles are completely untrained so they get stronger and lose a little fat at the same time since they have done nothing but watch TV and shovel cheetos in there mouth there entire life, but for someone like yourself, a heavy lifter that has been lifting for years I think your lifts will go down if you want a noticable amount of fat to go away.

I find it personally best to do a strict/hard cut to get where you want to be bodyfat-wise, then pick back up the heavy strength training when you can consume the needed calories to do so. Also going all or nothing on any given program, (weather you want to bulk, cut, increase strength) choosing one is far better than half assing 2 of them. "Damage Control" is never the way to go if you ask me. Sit down and think about what you really want right now and give it 100%

That being said, I'm not saying it's impossible. Some people claim to be able to have solid strength gains while cutting bodyfat. I personally found my best muscle/strength gains happened when I cut my bodyfat% really low, then did a solid bulk. In order for you to do this though you would lose strength initially, I think in the long run though you will end up just as strong and be happier with your "shirts off" look. This reminds me of the Indiana Jones movie..."You must choose wisely" - lol.


i didnt mean try to cut and get stronger at the same time, by damage control i meant spend some time losing body fat, then after i reach about 15% start working on strength again because im not happy with my numbers. and i feel that getting any lower than this would take an extremely long time.


Why wait until your 15%? You should be trying to improve strength throughout the entire cut. You can get pretty damned lean and still make strength gains. It's only at the very low body fat that it's damned near impossible.



how much experience do you have with losing significant weight/body fat and gaining appreciable strength? Leverages change a lot when you lose 10%+ of your bodyweight. Max effort lifts definately suffer.