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Old 07-01-2013, 12:08 PM   #1
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Are We Getting Enough Protein?

Recently I experimented with two DDs in a row. Someone expressed concern that I may not get enough protein. I've been thinking about this a lot today, and I'm wondering if ADF could possibly lead to protein deficiency if we're not dilligent to consider our daily intake.

From what I could find, women need a minimum of about 46 grams of protein a day. Protein is an essential nutrient. Without it we can become malnurished. Since many of us use low calorie vegetables on DDs and sometimes keep our calories very low, that may mean that at least two or three days a week we may not get the minimum amount of protein our bodies need. I've found with myself that although I try to meet that minimum on DDs, I rarely give protein a conscious thought on UDs since I'm often more focused on getting my essential carby treats.

I read something about protein deficiency and edema and wondered if it's something to consider if we're faithful about our rotations and find ourselves retaining a lot of water weight.

Google: livestrong Edema In Malnutrition

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:45 PM   #2
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Very interesting, a good topic!

I'm fairly new to JUDDD, but I have found I feel best/do best with a high percentage of my DD calories coming from protein. This is out of necessity for keeping migraines at bay. I haven't had any veggie filled DD, but its good to keep this in mind for future DD when I may simply get sick of so much protein and not much else on DD.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:00 PM   #3
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Interesting. I just looked over my food log, and it appears most DDs, I'm around 15-30 grams and UDs I'm usually between 75-95 grams. I wonder if you need around 50 grams "daily" or the average intake is around that, if it's okay.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:15 PM   #4
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It was me (I think) who expressed my apprehension that repeated sequences of double DDs might be inadvisable for some groups, for a number of reasons, and protein intake is among them.

My best overview explanation is that we don't store our dietary protein as protein - which is why we're advised to eat some protein everyday. We need to eat the Essential Amino Acids (EAA) in order to have the building blocks for many building, repair, maintenance and hormonal purposes (we can't synthesise the EAA).

We're advised to eat protein every day - and by and large the recommended amounts for the US are:
Infants - 10 grams
Teenage boys - up to 52 grams
Teenage girls - up to 46 grams
Adult men - 56 grams
Adult women - 46 grams

There are demographic and other special groups that may need more. Eg, pregnant or lactating women need up to 75g; body-builders or endurance athletes may need more; some ill people may a little more, depending on the metabolic impact.

There are groups of people who need to eat substantially less than that because of kidney disease or genetic variations (but these tend to be known).

My concern is that if people have repeated sequences of very low calorie DDs (and 20% of reference calories, such as we tend to do here, are very low calorie) then they may be undereating protein. This concern also reflects that in general, we have no way of knowing how well-nourished somebody is and how robust their other nutrient stores are within their body. There is also some research that indicates that people who are calorie-restricting in order to lose body fat may need more protein than the RDA.

Most of us are glucose-adapted rather than ketone-adapted (it's jolly tricky to be ketone-adapted, even for athletes and we tend to fall out of such a state very readily even when we want to maintain it) so some people may find themselves converting some of their protein intake in to glucose to meet their needs to create glucose for the brain etc. (there are lots of disagreements about so-called gluconeogenesis of glucose from protein and how much it occurs in humans).

Notionally, if somebody is regularly under-eating protein within a framework of a calorie-restricted diet, then it is theoretically feasible that they will regularly need to break down some of their muscle tissue in order to meet the need for protein to convert to glucose. So, the apprehension is that women, in particular, may be losing anywhere from 15-30g of muscle mass a day to meet this need when this happens and over the course of a year this adds up to a fair amount of muscle loss. (By and large, we want to retain our muscle mass. It's not a tidy transition to convert protein to glucose so even if we need a few grams of glucose, we might have to break down more than double that weight.)

Now, when it comes to JUDDD and other intermittent fasting (IF) schedules, there are arguments that after the initial induction, our bodies adapt, and we both break down muscle less and become better at scavenging the amino acids from by-products of our normal muscle repair and maintenance. These amino acids effectively go into an amino acid pool that our bodies can draw upon as necessary. Another contribution to the pool is from the unused digestive enzymes that we have no use for on the days that we are fasting.

However, I think the research is far from clear at present. So, if there is a general poll on the advisability of repeated sequences of DD, then my apprehensions would lead me to say that I think there are groups for which it may be inadvisable. And, as it's so difficult to define those groups, it's easier to adopt a broadbrush approach.

More than anyone needed to know on the protein aspects of IF.

ETA: I'll need to edit this as my device is playing up and I can't edit at present.

Last edited by SlowSure; 07-01-2013 at 03:20 PM..
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:29 PM   #5
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I have Down Days that are pretty high in protein by eating fish. I can get 20g of protein in only 100 calories by having salmon. Have that twice, and I feel pretty good.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:38 PM   #6
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I didn't manage to edit in time so...

I am only talking about protein intake within a very reduced calorie intake which takes place over a lengthy period (such as a weight loss regime). And, I can't stress enough that I am only speculating about repeated sequences of double DDs.

If you were eating protein but not enough carbohydrate to meet the body's glucose needs, then it is theoretically possible that the otherwise adequate protein intake will be re-purposed to create that glucose (gluconeogenesis).

I'm sure there are strong arguments on every side, but, this is what underpins my approach (which may be over-cautious). And it's particularly because I hear so much about women's metabolisms down-regulating during and after weight loss. (I can't stop myself from saying that there are longevity researchers who argue that this is A Good Thing and the less that we need to eat the better it is and it is ultimately very good for our bodies.)
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:03 PM   #7
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When I began doing JUDDD (about 5 years ago now), I contacted Dr. Michael Eades via his blog because I was eating according to ProteinPower guidelines at the time, and I specifically asked him about any ' danger' in DDs.

He told me to be sure to eat high-quality protein. My DDs were almost always the same--tuna or salmon and egg white 'omelets' (made in a mug). I always got about 50g of protein each DD--even though my DDs were initially 430 cal and later 350.

I did JUDDD for 3 years. Now in mainteance, I cycle calories but it's not strict JUDDD.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:05 PM   #8
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Thanks, Leo. It's always good to get a glimpse of your experience. You have been so successful. Please don't be a stranger around here.
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