Low Carb Friends

Low Carb Friends (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/)
-   Vegetarian (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/vegetarian/)
-   -   Protein Requirements (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/vegetarian/757324-protein-requirements.html)

Sherril 02-10-2012 05:41 PM

Protein Requirements
I was just wondering how many grams protein do low-carb lacto-ovo vegetarians get? I've been averaging between 40 and 50 grams but I'm wondering if that is enough for my excessively overweight body. I still need to lose 65 pounds and don't want the lack of protein to be a reason to stall.

Also, can I get by without taking vitamins? I hate to take pills of any sort.

TaDa! 02-11-2012 04:40 AM

I have a few thoughts for you Sherrill.

For comparison sake, my nutritional values for yesterday were 1800 calories (maintenance), protein 78 gm, fat 133 gm, carbs 55gm net. That was lacto-ovo eating (I only eat fish once a month or less when at restaurant/or have little choice available)

1. Are you taking that protein number from a food logging program? or is that your own guesstimate? because the protein in actual veggies adds to the number from what we usually think of as protein sources .. nuts, dairy, eggs, soy, etc.

2. I would not worry about protein level for lowcarb weightloss. I would be more concerned with getting high fat and keeping the carbs low. That is what will make you lose weight.

3. Any vegetarian should be taking both iron and vitamin Bs as we tend not to get enough. And women in general are supposed to take vitamin D so that calcium is absorbed and prevents osteoporosis .. that said, there is no reason to take pills if you can work in a whey protein powder dose into your day, or a sugarfree product that has vitamins like that Vitamin Water (not sure if it is sugarfree). Make sure to check the nutritional info though before you buy to make sure it has what you need in there.

4. I did a talk on vegetarian protein needs to a group I belong to and the US has changed its minimums on required protein for good health - you meet those Sherrill. Here is part of the handout I wrote up for them. The entire thing was written for non-lowcarbers and can be found here: http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/we...l#post13553070 (post #1154 and $1156)

How To Get a Little Vegetarian into Your Diet …

Nuts and Seeds – Almonds, Sunflower Seeds, Peanut Butter (technically a legume)
Dairy – Eggs, Cheese, Yogurt, Milk, Whey protein powder (and shakes)*
Beans – Lentils, Chickpeas, Beans of all kinds, Hummus Spread
Grains – Bread, Rice, Wheat Seitan (a/k/a “Wheat Meat”)*
Soy and Vegetable Protein –Veggieburgers, Soy Crumbles, Tofu*, Tempeh,* Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)*

Based on the “Reference Nutrient Intakes for Protein” which replaced the RDA

Women (age 15-49) ~45 gm
Women (age 50+) ~50 gm
Women (pregnant) 51 gm
Women (lactating) 53-56 gm

Men (age 15-49) ~55 gm
Men (age 50+) ~53 gm

Children (age 7-10) ~28 gm
Children (age 11-14) ~42 gm


Soy, Nuts, Beans
Almonds (1/4c) 6 gm
Peanut Butter (2T) 8 gm
Veggieburger 15 gm
Red Beans (1 cup) 12 gm
Hummus (1/4 cup) 4 gm

Weird Vegetarian Proteins*
Soy Tofu (4 oz) 10 gm
Soy Tempeh (4 oz) 16 gm
Wheat Seitan (4 oz) 23 gm
Quorn (4 oz) 23 gm
Soy TVP (1/4c) 12 gm

Special K Cereal (1 cup) 6 gm
Whole Wheat Bread (2 slices) 8 gm
White Bread (2 slices) 4 gm
Rice (1 cup) 4-5 gm
Pasta (2 oz dry/sm bowl cooked) 7-8 gm

Milk – all kinds (1 cup) 8 gm
Yogurt (1 cup/8 oz) 12 gm
American Cheese (slice) 4 gm
Cheddar Cheese (grated 1/4 c) 7 gm
Eggs (2 large) 12 gm
Egg Whites (2 large) 8 gm

Broccoli (1 cup chopped cooked) 6 gm
Peas (1 cup) ~8 gm
Spinach (a salad bag) 6 gm
Corn (1 ear) 4.5 gm

Sherril 02-11-2012 06:24 AM

Thank you so much for that information and words of encouragement. Yes, I guess I am eating enough protein for this WOE. You're right, I am guesstimating my protein. I'm having protein powder in some form about 2-3 days a week only but I eat plenty of the dairy and veggies items (not starchy veggies) to add up on the other days. My calorie counts are between 1200 and 1800 a day, depending on how hungry I am and I stay between 18 - 25 grams of carbs a day. I'm doing a great job on portion control simply because my hypoglycemia is gone. A month ago if my blood sugar dropped, I would have pushed down and kicked my own kid out of the way to get to something to eat if necessary. Now I can go 2 or more hours, after noticing I'm hungry, to eat. I didn't even know that was possible until I tried low carb. I haven't used an appetite suppressant since I was in my 20s (I'm 50 now) but who needs them when your blood sugar isn't swinging widely between too high and too low all them time.

Nigel 02-11-2012 05:09 PM

Speaking of eating...I have found that if I can eat something every 2-3 hours, I have a lot more energy. Even if I just eat a couple of slices of cheese or a cucumber, whatever. I haven't been eating that way lately and I noticed I'm a lot tireder faster...so yeah, I'm going to get back into that routine again too. Mostly you don't eat as much even though it seems like you are eating all the time...you can't hold as much and you don't get that "starving" feeling, so you eat better when you have a meal or a partial meal. As they say, eat like a 5 year old...ya know they like to graze all the time.

It makes sense...your blood sugar never drops too low this way.

locarblady 02-14-2012 01:01 PM

I have also been told that low GI vegetarian foods and VERY low fat works to take weight off. It makes more sense to me that higher fat with the lower GI vegetarian foods would be a more manageable low carb weight loss plan?? Would love your thoughts on this! :) Thanks!

saltnpepper 02-15-2012 09:21 AM

:goodpost: I too would love to think what you all think about that??



TaDa! 02-15-2012 01:12 PM

locarblady and saltnpepper .. that is exactly what I did to lose all my weight (108 lbs total) and the same thing i do now to maintain that weightloss! essentially low GI vegetarian foods and high fat - and that is very similar in nutrient ratios to meateaters doing Atkins. A regular day for me is like 60% fat! like 130 gm fat, 70 gm protein and maybe around 50 gm carbs lately.

Do not be afraid of the fat .. and the diet advice you get elsewhere on these boards, from people eating normal carb amounts (30 on up) .. not the anti-veggie and good carb crew ... applies to you too.

Saltnpepper, at your size, 5' and around 100 lbs, realize that this might mean a smaller quantity of food than you like, since the fat is calorie dense food and that is something you'll want to consider too ... I am someone who needs the visual cue of large portions, and so I fill my plates with huge portions of cabbage, or eggplant, or whatever veggie and add the fats and proteins right to that, since they are smaller portions due to the high fat content we use in lowcarb. It is a visual trick, lol!

hth? I hope that was the kind of info you meant .. tell me if not and maybe I can point you to something useful.



locarblady 02-16-2012 03:29 AM

That was exactly what I needed to hear - thanks! :) I am trying to up my fat intake each day - butter on veggies, olive oil and vinegar on salads etc....hopefully this will "kick in" and I'll see the pounds disappearing again.

saltnpepper 02-16-2012 03:43 AM

Yes, what I was looking for also TaDa. Thanks

If I may ask you one more question, what does a day look like for you menu wise??


Saltnpepper, at your size, 5' and around 100 lbs, realize that this might mean a smaller quantity of food than you like, since the fat is calorie dense food and that is something you'll want to consider too ...
Soooooo true. I did WW at one time. Not so much "their" diet, but because I need to learn portion control.


I am someone who needs the visual cue of large portions, and so I fill my plates with huge portions of cabbage, or eggplant, or whatever veggie and add the fats and proteins right to that, since they are smaller portions due to the high fat content we use in lowcarb. It is a visual trick, lol!
You are so smart!! That is totally what I need to be doing. :high5:



locarblady 02-16-2012 04:10 AM


What were your gram totals of fat, carbs and protein while you were losing all your weight? I am sooooo impressed with all you accomplished and how long you've maintained :)

Thanks again,


TaDa! 02-16-2012 04:15 AM

My menu tends to change from season to season, etc. and I probably eat more than you saltnpepper - I have worked really hard at building muscle in order to have a metabolic advantage where my body naturally burns more calories at rest, etc, so I can eat more than most people my size who have been dieting and losing more muscle - and I weigh a good 25 lbs more than you (that's a lot, lol!) .. all this leading up to me eating like a horse, lololol!!!! here's an example of a current day (of me on maintenance):

coconut oil/whey protein powder/walnut almond treat I make for myself

fried eggplant with sauce and cheeses, and half a lc pita
~~or veggieburger, onion, lc ketchup on half a pita, with side of veg

same as breakfast

Late afternoon snack:
peanut butter and whey protein "truffle"

cabbage with cheddar cheese and butter
~~or tofu stirfry

locarblady I'll have a look for that info and post it for you .. I went through a few different stages - all of which were weightloss stages -

hth some!


TaDa! 02-16-2012 04:35 AM

locarblady, OK, according to ******, for my first year on vegetarian lowcarb, I would eat about:

1400 calories, 118 gm fat, 21 net carbs, 50 gm protein

on most days, with some days of 1800 calories (obviously higher nutrient values too) every week. The proteins I was eating were nuts and peanuts, tofu, cheeses, eggs. I notice added fats as avocado, olive oil and butter (I wasn't into coconut oil yet, back then in 2003/4).

Once I had most of the weight off, I ate more like 1400-1600 calories daily in order to lose weight and started adding in carbs .. and could lose just fine on up to 100 net carbs a day, but found 50 net carbs to be best for appetite suppression.

If I had it all to do over again, I would have moved more quickly up to the 50 net carbs, keeping it all natural vegetable carbs because it did/does not affect my weightloss AT ALL, lol!!! I was just a scaredy cat listening to all the doom-and-gloomers on these boards who are afraid of a little lettuce .. lol! Although honestly, I was the only person trying to do this vegetarian style back in the day before all the books, etc came out ..

I hope that helps .. feel free to pick my brain! I would love for the whole world to go vegetarian lowcarb :D

locarblady 02-16-2012 07:05 AM

Thanks - and you also answered my thoughts on cheese! :) I'm eating some cheese (mostly hard cheese), almonds, veggie burgers (lowest carb ones), Slim Fast Low Carb shake each morning, and I use butter and olive oil.....will try to load a weeks worth of meals into one of the tracking apps to see where I am......I eat salads and cooked veggies every day and eggs some days as well. I feel great - just not losing as quickly as my husband who eats lots of meat :) I also sit at my job all day..... :( As some weight comes off, I will try to move more.

TaDa! 02-16-2012 09:08 AM

locarblady, there is no way a woman can lose like a man will .. and that is something you will just have to put up with, lol! I do not believe it is the vegetarian protein sources - at all - if it helps at all, I lost, on **average** for year one, about 1.75 lbs a week.

I honestly think calorie level, or portion-size, will affect us women much more drastically too. At my high weight, I probably ate 3000-4000 calories a day .. cutting that in half is drastic, lol! and as we get smaller, losing weight, not all of us can continue losing weight at the same amount of food we begin with.

lowcarb regulates some peoples appetites so well that this is not an issue - and they do not need to look at portion size or calories. It is my personal belief that for most of us coming from morbid obesity, that is not enough to deter us from overeating even at the lower level and we need to stay on top of it.

Honestly though .. 2 things:

1) if you are losing weight, you do not need to worry too much about portions and calories right now!!!! Just be sensible in portions. Don't compare yourself with dh!!! lol!!!

2) On exercise, I really recommend some kind of weightlifting or weightbearing exercise right now .. it will help you maintain muscle as you lose weight .. and muscle on your body is what helps burn the fat stores and let's you eat more calories ..

just some other thoughts!


locarblady 02-17-2012 03:44 AM

I was figuring that walking around at this weight is "weightbearing" enough! :) lol ! Thanks for the above input - I know the weight didn't come on overnite nor will it come off that quickly - in the meantime, I feel good and will continue on this road and hope my body and this woe continue to work well together! And rereading your posts helps alot! :)

saltnpepper 02-17-2012 11:27 AM

Thanks for the response TaDa.


I have worked really hard at building muscle in order to have a metabolic advantage where my body naturally burns more calories at rest, etc, so I can eat more
I know this is true. I really don't exercise.......:dunno: anyway. You are very smart to know this.

And I appreciate your shared knowledge.

I may not eat as much as you, but just getting a look at your menu was a big help. I just need for someone to tell me what to do.......I hate to admit it, I may be lazy......in self defense, I have a lot going on right now. (Who doesn't?) So seeing it all in print is very helpful.

Thanks again,


Gioia 03-08-2012 07:26 PM

Hello. I am new to the forum and this topic got my attention. I am not currently doing low carb, but want/need to do so. I'm practically a vegetarian, having lost my taste for most meats and chicken, over a period of years. I'm not sure why that has happened, but I think that it has to do with the communication among my eyes, brain, and eating. So, here's my dilemma: I am lactose intolerant (love dairy), have IBS, do not eat fish or seafood of any kind, am soy intolerant (love soy - edamame, etc.) Also, sometimes, I can look at a leftover and almost gag, even if I had it for a meal on a previous night. Given my body's idiosyncrasies, I've been trying to figure out how to do vegetarian (not vegan) low carb, without encountering all of my food obstacles. I can use all of the suggestions that anyone can send my way. Thanks a bunch!

Sherril 03-08-2012 08:09 PM


Most people who are lactose intolerant are sensitive to the sugar in milk products. Does cheese bother you? You may be able to use dairy products that are low carb, which don't contain much lactose (milk sugar). Sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, etc. Also, eggs are a low carb super food for vegetarians. Nuts and seeds make great snacks along with almond milk. Quorn is another meat substitute you can find in the frozen isle. I found it at Target this week. (Nigel, did you try those nuggets yet?) Low carb wraps with hummus, lettuce, avocado, and tomatoes are delicious. Seitan is made from wheat gluten and is very high protein low carb. You can buy it or make it yourself. Lots of youtube videos to help. And don't forget about veggies. My new obsession is roasted asparagus. It's been around $1/pound so I've been eating around a pound every night. :yummy: Salads are easy to make and you don't have to have any left-overs if you make them single serving. I make a huge one almost every night because if I don't the family gives me their puppy dog faces. :sad: Look for protein powders that have ingredients you can tolerate and make yourself a smoothie in the morning. Add peanut butter, almond milk, powder, sugar-free syrups and enjoy. :up:

veggies4health 03-09-2012 07:48 AM

Pauline, thank you for the great information! You help a lot of people!

Sherril, a couple of years ago I went on a VLCD (protein shakes monitored by a doctor). One thing I learned, living on my 3 shakes a day, is that to control your hunger, you need protein. Each shake was 27 gms of protein. Now, if you do Medifast, that plan's shakes I believe are 12 or 15 gms protein each, but you get 5 per day, so you're drinking every couple of hours. The protein keeps the hunger away. It's not a magic bullet, the shakes. It's the protein levels.

That's why I never did well on all the other diets - WW, Jenny, Nutrisystem, American Diabetic Association exchange program, I've done them all. But their low-fat low calorie plans ALWAYS did me in. I was always hungry, and always eating WAY too many carbs which made me crave more. When the dr sent me to a nutritionist - AFTER I became diabetic (why not BEFORE when I was pre-diabetic??) - I told her I wanted fewer carbs than in the ADA exchange program (I had done Atkins in the past and knew about low carb). She was shocked and said, no way. I told her it didn't have to be as lowcarb as atkins, but I didn't want the 300-ish gms of carbs/day that ADA recommended (for diabetics! what are they thinking??). She wouldn't budge. What a waste.

The low carb controls your hunger too by not spiking your insulin levels - you go into ketosis. The clinic taught me to stay in "fat-burning" mode, you had to eat less than 75 carbs/day.

They also taught us a formula (I'll look around for that info) for how many cals/day we would need on maintenance. For me, it was 1300/day!!! I could increase cals if I increased exercise. Needless to say, when I went off the diet, I was good for a while, but not vigilant (1300 cals/day is dieting! Yikes!) and my weight crept back on....BUT not the weight that I had initially lost by becoming a veg.

Regarding the fats.... here's the thing. If you cut back on carbs, you have to eat either more protein and/or more fat, right? I get fat in tofu, avocados, nuts, etc. If you do low carb, low fat, then you are very very high protein. You don't want too much protein, it can hurt your kidneys.

Gioia, welcome! I am almost-vegan (a little cheese and eggs), low carb/glycemic (diabetic), and discovered last year that I have a wheat allergy (grrr....seitan is a favorite of mine!!). So I understand the challenges. What it has done for me is to make me eat more whole foods and less processed foods. And the wheat allergy keeps me away from my downfall, bread (well, most of the time. When I don't resist I pay for it with itchy skin rashes!!). I love my roasted veggies, I love my big salads, hummus, avocados, tofu....there IS so much I can eat that I love! My family loves my tvp chunk stew (take a beef stew recipe

The challenge to this way of eating is planning. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Being veg takes time with prepping the veggies, mainly. But the food I eat as a veg? I am totally satisfied. I take comfort food recipes and convert them so that they are meat free and wheat free. It works!

locarblady 03-22-2012 10:40 AM

I remember you saying that during weight loss, we need to not worry about getting enough protein, but make sure we're eating high fat and low carbs.......I was curious where you got your fat from? And what about cheese? Did you limit that during your weight loss phase? I use butter, olive oil and mayo and cheese, but always wonder if there should be limits on those?


TaDa! 03-22-2012 12:49 PM

The limits have to come from common sense locarblady - or the dictate of a specific plan. I followed an Atkins-style program so I limited cheese to 3-4 oz a day. As far as fats, I used the ones you mention + coconut oil. avocado, nuts, tofu, etc. I limited mine through calorie control -- you can gain weight on a lowcarb high fat diet just as you can lose weight. It all has to do with how much you eat and how much your body requires to maintain or lose .. common sense ..




veggies4health 04-08-2012 11:20 AM

The doctor's clinic that I went to gave us this formula to figure out how many cals to maintain:

weight x 8 = maintenance

So if you are trying to maintain at 150 pounds, 150 x 8 = 1200 cals/day

The 8 is a variable that is a stand in for an REE rate (Resting Energy Expenditure). You can have this calculated especially for you, but bariatric doctors consider "8" to be the general number for people who tend toward obesity. It is basically your metabolic rate. So you can see, if your REE is a 10, you get more cals/day. That's why you have some thin friends who seem to be able to eat more than you and never gain weight.

veggies4health 04-08-2012 11:38 AM

Sherril, regarding your original question....how much protein.

Since I have my binder out from my bariatric clinic, here's what the clinic says, based on current bariatric research:

80 grams protein, minimum while low-carb dieting

For women, 80-100 gms protein/day minimum
For men, 100-120 gms protein/day minimum

The formula is: weight x .68 = gms protein/day required.

So, if my goal is 165 pounds in maintenance, then 165 x .68 = 112 gms protein/day
If my current weight is 200 pounds, then 200 x .68 = 136 gms protein/day

Fat should be 20 - 30% of total cals/day, although for we obese people, more like 20-25%.

Fiber should be 25-35 grams/day (inulin is good)

Carbs should be 4-5 cups/day of fruits and veggies in maintenance, ~250 cals
1 cup/day of whole grains, beans, legumes, ~200 cals/cup

Water, in maintenance, should be 2-4 quarts. During weight loss, 3-5 quarts

I am not a doctor or nutritionist and I'm not giving medical advice. Just passing on what my bariatric clinic gave me.

Nigel 04-08-2012 11:52 AM

That's interesting.
I have read up about protein, etc. at different sites, but none of them agree with each other.

I don't think I eat near that much protein per day...so I'm wondering if eating more would be the thing to do.

veggies4health 04-08-2012 04:29 PM

Nigel, I was on a VLCD (Optifast type diet) of 600 cals day - 3 protein shakes of 27 gms/protein each. The doctor whose clinic I attended, I have seen his name as a keynote speaker for bariatric conferences, and the clinic keeps its own stats for peer review as well.

It was the protein that kept me satiated and full. I find that now, I'm always thinking ahead to the many meetings I have to attend, or if I have to eat lunch out and can only get a house salad as a vegetarian, to carry nuts with me, or a protein bar, or string cheese to keep me going. Before I leave from work for home, I have 10 gms protein so that I'm full and it helps keep me from binging when I get home.

There's another board I belong to, that people try to mimic the macronutrients found in a protein drink LCD, but using real food. It's pretty interesting. And tough to do as a veg, with trying to keep it low carb.

TaDa! 04-09-2012 10:28 AM

Just wanted to hop in .. weight x 8 or weight x 10 is nothing near what I maintain at ..

I weigh between 128-131 most of the time and maintain on about 1800-2000 calories a day. (As far as calories burned from exercise, I am at about 230 calories per day .. so the equation still is not anywhere near accurate for me). I had been morbidly obese from the time I was a toddler .. for near on 38 years. I am 47 now.

I do not think those guidelines work for people who maintain their muscle. Doing 600 calorie days is essentially fasting and causes bigger muscle loss than "regular" dieting does. Obese people generally have large leg muscles due to the increased weight they carry around. Muscle burns more calories than an equivalent amount of body fat. Lose the muscle with extreme dieting and your metabolic rate decreases.

I think the info from the bariatric clinic is for those doing fasts to lose the weight .. just a thought ..


Sherril 04-09-2012 09:47 PM

Thanks Pauline, I was hoping I wouldn't have to go so very low with calories once I got a lot of my weight off.

TaDa! 04-10-2012 04:24 AM

no problem Sherrill! My advice, is not to go too low while dieting. I lost all my weight (108 lbs) at 1200-1600 calories a day. I also started exercising after a month and I think that helps maintain muscle too - I walked as my exercise for the first 60 lbs lost - nothing else.

As veggies4health mentioned, lowcarb and keepiong the protein up is another way to minimize muscle loss - which is why the bariatric clinic that has people on fasts is giving them very high protein. My protein right now is around 80 gms, and I went back to 2003 in my ******, and I was eating about the same amount (a little less some days) on weightloss ..

just some more random thoughts, lol!

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:10 PM.