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Old 03-18-2013, 02:20 PM   #1
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Keeping fat up while keeping protein down...

How do you guys manage it on LC? No matter what I do, it seems like my grams of fat and grams of protein are just about equal at the end of any given day... maybe fat wins out by a few grams, but protein is still ridiculously high even when I aim for fatty protein sources.

Is everyone else having this problem too? I know more calories are in each gram of fat than each gram of protein, but I can't help but wonder if I'm still having too much protein.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:31 PM   #2
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I actually have the opposite problem I guess. I can easily get in enough fat but usually have to add egg whites or something to get my protein higher.. some days I will only have 40-50 grams.

However, I usually get a lot of my fat from food such as walnuts, dressings, cream, bacon, mayo, etc. I'm a picky meat eater and dont have the money to be eating steaks every night. So for now its mainly those things!

How many grams of protein are you eating each day? I think I heard somewhere that too much protein can actually result in your body responding to it as sugars.. Not sure if thats correct or not but I remember reading something like that.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:50 PM   #3
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Even if your protein grams and fat grams are about the same you've eaten a little over twice as much fat as protein for energy because protein is 4 calories and fat is 9 calories per gram.

The dynamic between fat intake and protein intake has nothing to do with over eating protein. Right? It doesn't matter what your fat grams are in relation to your protein grams. What matters, as far as protein is concerned, is that you are eating about the right amount of protein in the context of too much or too little.

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Old 03-18-2013, 03:54 PM   #4
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I heard that too, which is why I'm worried! I have seem to have stalled out/started to gain a bit recently, but I've been trying to figure out how much of it is just water/TOM fluctuation and how much of it is something I'm doing diet-wise. Currently not having to worry about TOM anymore since yesterday, but the weight hasn't budged either.

It seems like on any given day I'm getting between 80-120 grams of protein... always a bit more fat than protein because I purposely add some in (butter, coconut oil, HWC, etc) but geez with the protein! I guess once you cut out carbs, most everything else that's LC-legal seems to be pretty high in protein

That just seems REALLY high to me, but I honestly don't know where my numbers are supposed to be or where I could cut some out and still eat enough to feel full. It's all pretty much from meat, eggs, and the occasional egg cream as a meal replacer (so protein powder, but only one scoop!).

I could post some menus if that would help anyone, but just the numbers might be enough to throw out a red flag I've been trying to keep my calories more under control the past three days, but that hasn't seemed to change much. I'm just stuck!
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:55 PM   #5
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Even if your protein grams and fat grams are about the same you've eaten a little over twice as much fat as protein for energy because protein is 4 calories and fat is 9 calories per gram.

The dynamic between fat intake and protein intake has nothing to do with over eating protein. Right? It doesn't matter what your fat grams are in relation to your protein grams. What matters, as far as protein is concerned, is that you are eating about the right amount of protein in the context of too much or too little.

See, I think the issue with me is I honestly don't know how much protein is too much! 80-120 grams a day seems like a high number, but I'm not sure if that's reasonable or not. I do take in either equal grams of fat or more fat though, so at least that's okay... I know fat is pretty important. It's just the protein overload I feel like I'm having that's concerning me, LOL!
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:55 PM   #6
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I understand completely. I don't have a problem getting my protein in on most days, and I have to really watch it or I will go over. I will say this though:the longer I do NK, the easier it seems to get. Here is how I count my protein. It's an easy to use formula.
Chicken-1oz.=8grams
Fatty beef-1oz.=5grams
Fish-1oz.=6 grams
1oz. Cheese=6 grams
Eggs-1=6grams
Nuts are all different but are clearly labeled

I don't usually count my protein in veggies. I just try to stay under my allotment for the day to account for any extra I get from other sources. As far as fat goes, that's pretty easy. You don't need NEARLY as much as you might think. A good pat of butter on your meat or veggies(sometimes both lol) a couple of tbsp of hwc, some veggies cooked in olive oil, a fat bomb or two. It's really easy for me to overdo it on the fat. If I have a free for all on the fat, I will not only stop losing, but I will gain very quickly! That's when I know that I've been overdoing the fat.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:58 PM   #7
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While I was typing, y'all were posting a bunch. I keep my protein to about 60-70grams per day, not counting anything in veggies. I keep my net carbs at around 15-20. I add or subtract fat depending on what the scale is telling me.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:59 PM   #8
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Here was my menu for today that got me up to 121 grams of protein, according to my tracker(which seems to be pretty accurate!):

Breakfast:
6oz Ribeye Steak
2 eggs
small side salad with ranch dressing
lemon water

Lunch:
chocolate egg cream (1 egg, 1 scoop protein powder, 2oz HWC, 1/4 cup water)

Dinner:
Red Lobster - half order of rainbow trout grilled, with unseasoned broccoli and a side of butter
lemon water
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:05 PM   #9
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Ugh, I hate it when I get moderated Well, in case that post doesn't pop up... I was trying to share my menu with everyone for the day that got me up to 121 grams of protein. I guess I made a boo-boo mentioning the site I was tracking my foods on though. I thought it was okay as long as you didn't link to them, LOL!


Breakfast:
6oz Ribeye Steak
2 eggs
small side salad with ranch dressing
lemon water

Lunch:
chocolate egg cream (1 egg, 1 scoop of protein powder, 2oz HWC, 1/4 cup water)

Dinner:
half order of rainbow trout at seafood restaurant, grilled, with unseasoned broccoli and a side of butter
lemon water

Totals:
Calories: 1545, Carbs: 20 (total, not net), Fat: 106, Protein: 121, Sodium: 1321, Sugar: 5

I thought I'd add too... I don't NORMALLY eat a breakfast like that I was out with family, so I took it easier on lunch and dinner a bit

Last edited by raindroproses; 03-18-2013 at 04:07 PM..
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:07 PM   #10
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If 150 pounds is about right for your height and frame then Phinney recommends about 100g of protein a day.

That is about 1.5g/kg -- (150/2.2)*1.5 = ~100.

I'd set that as a ceiling and bump down a little if needed. I'd try to keep it above 70g which is 1.0g/kg to have some cushion from .8g/kg which Phinney said is too little protein for LC.

Occasional high days or low days probably won't matter much. The trend over time (and average too I think) is what is important.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:09 PM   #11
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While I was typing, y'all were posting a bunch. I keep my protein to about 60-70grams per day, not counting anything in veggies. I keep my net carbs at around 15-20. I add or subtract fat depending on what the scale is telling me.
Wow, I seem to ALWAYS be over 80 somehow without even trying! I wonder if that's a bad thing Maybe I need to start getting more creative about it then. May I ask what sorts of things are filling to you that don't contain a lot of protein? I find myself reaching for meat a lot (and eggs) which fill me up obviously when I eat enough, and they're LC which is great... but protein city!
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:10 PM   #12
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If 150 pounds is about right for your height and frame then Phinney recommends about 100g of protein a day.

That is about 1.5g/kg -- (150/2.2)*1.5 = ~100.

I'd set that as a ceiling and bump down a little if needed. I'd try to keep it above 70g which is 1.0g/kg to have some cushion from .8g/kg which Phinney said is too little protein for LC.

Occasional high days or low days probably won't matter much. The trend over time (and average too I think) is what is important.
Ahhh thank you for that! I hadn't seen an actual formula anywhere, so that's great Honestly, 150 is my first goal and I was going to reevaluate from there... I think 130 may be a bit more appropriate unless I start packing on more muscle, but now I know a round about number I should be shooting for. I just need to find a way to fill up without so many protein-laden foods I guess!
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:11 PM   #13
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To clarify a bit... when I say the trend over time I mean that you should try to be consistent on your protein goal so you can build up some data to make informed modifications. So, try to hit 90g or 80g consistently for a week or two and tweak as needed.

I have a spreadsheet that I set to show me my running average for macro grams per week.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:12 PM   #14
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130 is about 88g protein. So start at, say, 80g and tweak after tracking it for a while.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:14 PM   #15
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That formula, (weight/2.2)*1.5, is from the Living book and Phinney's podcasts with Jimmy Moore. Phinney gives a range of 1.5 to 2.0 grams per reference weight in kg.

There is another formula in the Performance book that is based on body fat and lean body mass.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:26 PM   #16
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130 is about 88g protein. So start at, say, 80g and tweak after tracking it for a while.
Thank you! I'll have to start tracking it more often... I've only been tracking on the site I'm using for the past three days because I noticed there was something going on that wasn't sodium related and wasn't water intake related. I'm wondering if I've just been eating way too much protein!

It's just so hard having to watch multiple things sometimes, especially when dining out since proteins are often our safest LC choices!
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:32 PM   #17
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Are you tweaking because you have gotten stuck?
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:36 PM   #18
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Are you tweaking because you have gotten stuck?
Yep, got stuck and started to gain... although I'm still unsure if it could have been water weight/TOM fluctuation. I'm no longer in a position to be worrying about TOM fluctuation necessarily, but the weight hasn't come back off. It's an excess 2.5-3 pounds I gained, and haven't lost at all in days. Before that, I was losing a pound or so every other day it seemed.

It just seems like SOMETHING isn't working. I know I've dined out a lot more this past week than I ever have before while on plan, but I didn't cheat once and have only eaten proteins (steak, fish, shrimp, lobster) with little to no seasoning, no sauces except straight up butter sometimes, as well as an occasional side salad with ranch or steamed plain broccoli. Very puzzling!
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:17 PM   #19
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Yep, got stuck and started to gain... although I'm still unsure if it could have been water weight/TOM fluctuation. I'm no longer in a position to be worrying about TOM fluctuation necessarily, but the weight hasn't come back off. It's an excess 2.5-3 pounds I gained, and haven't lost at all in days. Before that, I was losing a pound or so every other day it seemed.

It just seems like SOMETHING isn't working. I know I've dined out a lot more this past week than I ever have before while on plan, but I didn't cheat once and have only eaten proteins (steak, fish, shrimp, lobster) with little to no seasoning, no sauces except straight up butter sometimes, as well as an occasional side salad with ranch or steamed plain broccoli. Very puzzling!
Moderating protein is a good start for sure. Except for the steak, and probably including the steak, those meals out were lots of protein and not much fat. I see what you were concerned about in your first post.

Probably you just need to keep an eye on portion size for protein if you have to eat out a lot and try to get the rest of your calories from sat/mono fat elsewhere away from the restaurant.

Protein grams per ounce of protein source varies quite a bit but it averages around 7g per ounce. So a 10oz steak at a restaurant is just about your day's protein goal (for 130 pound reference weight). If you know what you are going to order before you get there you can google the food item for protein nutrition and decided on portion size ahead of time. In a pinch, though, guestimating 7g/oz and being over or under once in a while won't matter as long as it is only once in a while.

Even being over by a lot once in a while probably doesn't matter. I ate a pound of pork rib meat and lost a pound on the next morning's weigh-in. I think that was a 200g protein day. But for weeks before I'd been pretty constant on protein.

If your situation is back to normal you may not really need to tweak anything to resume losing the way you were before. Your body just needs a little adjustment time for transitioning back to how you were eating and losing.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:29 PM   #20
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Wow, I never thought about meat like that! I ate a 12oz sirloin for my dad's birthday a few days back, and that was along with another meal that day... yikes!

I do try and add fats to my protein sources, or at least to my meals, but it's clear I'm still overeating protein. Usually I'll either put butter on my steak/fish/shrimp/lobster/eggs, or I'll be sure to have a side salad with plenty of ranch to go with it to balance it out and that's where the fat comes from. I've been to a Mexican restaurant a few times recently too and got fajitas (no tortillas, no rice, no beans) and covered them with cheese and sour cream... but again, dairy has some protein too.

Do you have any tips on staying full while moderating carb AND protein intake? I find that the meat is a big portion of what's been keeping me full (and my eggs!) so I'm not sure what I could really sub in without adding too many veggies/without adding starches. I'm completely starch free (no rice, pastas, potatoes, or bread products).
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:29 PM   #21
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I eat one egg in the morning. And at dinner about 100g of meat, trying to choose the fattier meats such as hamburger, salmon etc. The rest of my protein comes from the trace amounts found in nuts, hard cheese, veggies (yes, there are more than you think in VLC veggies) etc. For example if you use 200g of alfalfa sprouts to make a salad you are getting 8g of protein and about 0.5g carbs. Put your high fat, low carb dressing on that and you have a decent ratio of fat and protein. I also use other VLC veggies like bok choy, they have protein and fibre and almost no carbs in them. You can add a bit of cheese with your high fat dressing and you will also get a good protein/carb/fat ratio. Some people don't have issues with protein. I do, so I track every food I eat with respect to its macros.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:52 PM   #22
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Wow, I never thought about meat like that! I ate a 12oz sirloin for my dad's birthday a few days back, and that was along with another meal that day... yikes!

I do try and add fats to my protein sources, or at least to my meals, but it's clear I'm still overeating protein. Usually I'll either put butter on my steak/fish/shrimp/lobster/eggs, or I'll be sure to have a side salad with plenty of ranch to go with it to balance it out and that's where the fat comes from. I've been to a Mexican restaurant a few times recently too and got fajitas (no tortillas, no rice, no beans) and covered them with cheese and sour cream... but again, dairy has some protein too.

Do you have any tips on staying full while moderating carb AND protein intake? I find that the meat is a big portion of what's been keeping me full (and my eggs!) so I'm not sure what I could really sub in without adding too many veggies/without adding starches. I'm completely starch free (no rice, pastas, potatoes, or bread products).
Yes. Eat fat. With moderate protein and high enough fat you will be satiated.

It does take some initial forethought but once you get the hang of it you will be able to keep your fat up without a lot of hassle. Half the battle is establishing awareness.

Atkinsesque eating, I think, defaults to being high protein when you have to eat out a lot. It is hard to order a stick of melted butter and 4oz of sour cream at a restaurant. And even if you did you can't really trust them not to give you some frankenfood 'butter' and light sour cream. Same with heavy whipping cream where you get half/half because they are in a hurry or don't have HWC or whatever. Once in a while won't matter but lots of eating out accumulates the mistakes.

I wouldn't worry too much about incidental protein like with cheese. If your main protein source is putting you close to your protein goal the rest shouldn't add up to enough to be a problem. An egg, a couple of ounces of cheese, some broccoli - will put you over your ceiling if you have a big steak or a lot of shrimp but not so much as to be a big problem unless it is all the time. In that case you'd just adjust the steak/shrimp portion size down to accommodate the incidental protein.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:58 PM   #23
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Yes. Eat fat. With moderate protein and high enough fat you will be satiated.

It does take some initial forethought but once you get the hang of it you will be able to keep your fat up without a lot of hassle. Half the battle is establishing awareness.

Atkinsesque eating, I think, defaults to being high protein when you have to eat out a lot. It is hard to order a stick of melted butter and 4oz of sour cream at a restaurant. And even if you did you can't really trust them not to give you some frankenfood 'butter' and light sour cream. Same with heavy whipping cream where you get half/half because they are in a hurry or don't have HWC or whatever. Once in a while won't matter but lots of eating out accumulates the mistakes.

I wouldn't worry too much about incidental protein like with cheese. If your main protein source is putting you close to your protein goal the rest shouldn't add up to enough to be a problem. An egg, a couple of ounces of cheese, some broccoli - will put you over your ceiling if you have a big steak or a lot of shrimp but not so much as to be a big problem unless it is all the time. In that case you'd just adjust the steak/shrimp portion size down to accommodate the incidental protein.
I agree that it defaults to high protein when you have to dine out. It's been a difficult week for me because whenever I visit my dad he ALWAYS wants to dine out. At least once a day I'm proud of myself for at least staying away from things I KNOW I shouldn't have... but it really has cranked up my protein intake too.

The thing is though, I DO eat quite a bit of fat. My fat grams are generally equal to or almost equal to my protein. Like for instance, today I was at 112 grams of fat... but that was along with my 123 grams of protein which is way too high for me I think.

I think where I struggle is... where can I get MORE fat with LESS protein, while still keeping carbs low? Do people actually eat butter on its own, plain or something? Whenever I add fat it's always to a carb or to a protein for the most part... like fattening dressing on a side salad, or butter/cheese/sour cream on a serving of meat. I can't imagine where else I'd be fitting those in unless I actually did consume them on their own. It's still a bit of a puzzle to me I think, trying to watch so many things at once
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:52 AM   #24
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When I eat out I tend to eat a lot of lettuce. I will put some grated cheese on it and then some high fat source, which can be anything from cesar salad dressing, to HWC to sour cream. I have even thought about adding peanut butter once or twice. Whatever is available. At the last conference I practically lived off lettuce. They had olives and shredded cheese and pumpkin seeds at the salad bar, so I put those on my lettuce to add flavour, it pretty much covers your protein and fat requirements.

The thing is that whether you eat carbs or overeat on protein, really makes no difference. Protein is safer than carbs only because it doesn't trigger an initial insulin response in some people. It takes longer to digest. In my case, if the protein is lean, I will still get an insulin response. I will also get one later if I have had too much protein. So what I do is eat lettuce, which is full of fiber and slows down the digestive process. Then with the lettuce I try to choose a fattier protein source. For example, if eating out I might choose to put salmon on the salad instead of chicken. Or boiled egg which naturally has more fat in it than lean chicken breast. People get scared of the fact that cheese has carbs in it, where as chicken breast does not. However cheese gives you a healthy dose of fat along with the trace carbs. It depends on how your body reacts to protein. In my case I will chose the low carb, high fat, moderate protein food source over the very low carb, higher protein, moderate fat food source. For example for me, cheese on a salad is a better option than chicken on a salad. Or a plate of boiled eggs and cheese is better than a chicken breast, for protein.

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Old 03-19-2013, 05:16 AM   #25
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In another point of view. Several years ago I was doing a BFFM (burn the fat, feed the muscle) plan with a goal of 120g protein per day. My macro goals were 40/30/30 (P/C/F).

I was a my leanest doing this. The eating 6 times a day drove me nuts though

So while it seems that excess protein can be converted to glucose, this is an expensive metabolic process, I don't believe that for most people that this will happen without a need. For insulin resistant folks, it is probably more likely. Even so, this is not a 1-to-1 conversion. IIRC it's about 30% or so.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:18 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by raindroproses View Post
I agree that it defaults to high protein when you have to dine out. It's been a difficult week for me because whenever I visit my dad he ALWAYS wants to dine out. At least once a day I'm proud of myself for at least staying away from things I KNOW I shouldn't have... but it really has cranked up my protein intake too.

The thing is though, I DO eat quite a bit of fat. My fat grams are generally equal to or almost equal to my protein. Like for instance, today I was at 112 grams of fat... but that was along with my 123 grams of protein which is way too high for me I think.

I think where I struggle is... where can I get MORE fat with LESS protein, while still keeping carbs low? Do people actually eat butter on its own, plain or something? Whenever I add fat it's always to a carb or to a protein for the most part... like fattening dressing on a side salad, or butter/cheese/sour cream on a serving of meat. I can't imagine where else I'd be fitting those in unless I actually did consume them on their own. It's still a bit of a puzzle to me I think, trying to watch so many things at once
If you are eating lean protein then you have to add a lot of fat and that can be challenging. I bump up my fat with HWC & CO in my morning coffee. I add bacon grease and butter to my almost daily bouillon. Fat bombs are good for getting fat up. Sometimes I melt some butter and use it to dunk bites of chicken. When I fry cabbage I weigh out an oz or two of bacon grease to cook with and empty the skillet into the plate. I take a couple of oz of sour cream and add seasonings to it to use as a dip for the meat I'm eating. I account for the protein in cheese but I use it too for the fat.

For the last several weeks, bacon grease, butter, sour cream, HWC and CO have been my primary fat sources.

It is easier to keep protein down and fat up if the protein source is fatty. Bacon is a good example. But fatty protein can make it harder to keep your macros where you want them if you have a modest or low calorie goal and any satiety issues at all.

If your calorie goal is fairly low it can be a challenge to keep fat up without eating pure fat menu items like BPC or bouillon fortified with butter and another fat.

Mostly, though, it is just an awareness issue. If you are thinking in terms of moderating protein and using fat for the rest of your calories you'll be on the lookout for ways to do that.

I choose lean protein sources most days because it gives me a lot of control over exact protein and a lot of flexibility with my fat grams to keep my calories up. But I don't have any qualms about eating an oz of CO off the spoon if my calories are lagging.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:19 AM   #27
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I have not read the whole thread, but my strategy is to pick out my proteins for the day or at least have a rough game plan. Lately this has been two snacks, an ounce of cheese and an ounce of mesquite almonds, each 7 g pro, a meat meal, usually approx 40 g pro, and egg cream w 2 eggs. I shoot for 65 to 70 g. Then I eat all the fat I want. I also have a fat bomb every day w 1/2 T of peanut butter which must have a couple of grams and a stray gram here or there but it always works out ok when I actually count my macros.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:53 AM   #28
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions... it's helped a LOT! I'm happy to say that I kept my protein down to around 80 grams yesterday, and got my fat in effortlessly and felt GREAT. I'm also back in ketosis too, but I don't think protein bumped me out or anything. I think it was the darn Atkins shakes I stopped after a few days!

I switched my almonds to macadamia nuts (more expensive, but higher fat and less protein per serving) and started to watch what I'm doing more lately. If I go out for breakfast from now on, it looks like no more steak and eggs for me unless it's an occasional treat! I think I'll stick with a smarter omelette of some sort, or just a side of eggs and bacon/sausage

If anyone else has any low protein higher fat ideas to share, I'd love to hear them. I'm feeling so much better again the past couple days, and I've ditched 2.5 of the 3 pounds I gained back recently so no complaints here!
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:31 AM   #29
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I eat cream cheese or brie.

Cream in hot tea, coffee, sugar-free hot cocoa, or A&W diet root beer (my favorite treat)

I make herbed butter, then use that to top veggies, meat, or broth

I keep fat bombs in the freezer, though I don't eat them every day

Macadamia nuts, and other nuts

Bacon grease, butter, coconut oil, lard, chicken schmalz to cook with and to add more flavor and fat on top of veggies and meat
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:32 AM   #30
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I really need to look more into fat bombs, and what sort would be low enough in carbs and taste good to me. I hear a lot of good things about them, especially on days where you're consuming more lean protein than anything

I do enjoy cream cheese, but I've never tried brie. I tend not to eat cream cheese by itself though, so it's kind of hard to find places to put it now that I'm bread-free. But I do love it scrambled in my eggs and in certain sauces. And of course SF cheesecake when I'm feeling a little bad

Macadamia nuts are my new favorite thing because of their high fat content and low protein... I was eating almonds before, and find macadamias to be much better!

I cook in butter or oil all the time, and LOVE it! I wonder how those new Land-O-Lakes butter sticks are with the seasoning already added. A couple of them are lower in carb than others, so they might be something to look into

I think where I struggle the most is getting my fat in while I'm dining out, and trying to keep my protein down at the same time. Yesterday I did really well with a salmon caesar salad... it looked to be about 4oz of salmon, and a HUGE romaine salad (no croutons of course!) which I dumped a good quantity of caesar dressing on. Really good, and really filling. And best of all, a good balance of fat and protein!
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