Episode 30 - Amy Berger on the Protein question

by Break Nutrition | Podcast

Show notes:

  • Amy’s website is www.tuitnutrition.com and her Twitter is @TuitNutrition
  • Check out her previous episode with us (#9) where we talked about her book The Alzheimer’s Antidote
  • Amy just wrote a timely blog post on the theme of information overload, which leads to paralysis by analysis and can be solved by….an information vacation!
  • The world of nutrition is divided over Carbohydrates vs Fats while protein historically assumes a rather unifying role
  • Nevertheless, there’s controversy about How much protein is optimal? And What sources of protein are best?
  • Today we focus on the confusion surround protein and how much we should be eating and why
  • I start off by asking Amy what she’s confident about and not confident about when it comes to the question of dietary protein?
    • She suggests people focus, first of all, on keeping carbs low
  • I ask Amy what sort of protein sources these people who are under-eating protein
    • She says it tends to be chicken and fish
  • I emphasize people should focus on protein quality: choose animal sourced foods over plant sourced foods for meeting your protein needs
  • I mention the Ketogains philosophy to prioritize hitting protein targets before thinking of carbs and fat, asking Amy if she agrees how they’re ordered

  • Amy assumes that Ketogains those recommended priorities they do because it goes without saying that if people want to follow the Ketogains approach they’ll keep the carbs low
  • What’s Amy’s elevator pitch to people asking her to improve their body composition
    • She uses the concept of being fat adapted, or that of a fat based metabolism
  • We talk about the difference between satiation (what makes you put the fork down) and satiety (what delays your next meal or snack)
    • Please take a look at this excellent series of posts on satiation, satiety, hunger, appetite and how proteins, fats and fibers have give you more or less of each
  • We talk about how the terminology of ‘high’, ‘low’ and ‘moderate’ to describe macronutrient intakes gets us in trouble. People read into it what they want and we’re better of quantifying what we mean!
  • I mention how hunter-gatherers were careful to select prey that were fat enough and were also careful to select the fattier cuts or bits, such as bone marrow, brain and offal
  • I also use the Ketogains calculator, with myself as an example, to explain how we get confused by talking about protein without specifying if we’re referring to grams of proteins or percentage (%) protein
    • Example (1): 9% body fat, in a Maintenance phase, using Ketogains’ protein recommendations (1.8g/kg of lean body mass)
      • Example (2): 25% body fat, in a Fat Loss phase, using Ketogains’ protein recommendations (1.8g/kg of lean body mass)
    • Example (1) = 21% protein [161g], 76% fat [266g], 3% carbs [25g]; 3,138 kcals
    • Example (2) = 29% protein [132g], 66% fat [136g], 5% carbs [25g]; 1,852 kcals
      • It’s constructed with Ketogains’ default 20% caloric deficit setting, 1 hour of exercise per day (divided into 20min of weights, 20min of cardio and 20 minutes of ‘other’) and with the Moderately Active setting selected
    • Example 1 vs Example 2 ===> 1,852 kcals / 3,138 kcals = 59% caloric deficit
    • Amy and I speculate about why the big caloric drop is recommended
      • Possibly because the protein intake that remains makes the diet sustainable due to its helpful effects in terms of satiation and satiety
    • Amy asks if protein intake should be based on future or current body composition?
      • I mention that recommendations must be scalable to short and long-term goals
      • I also explain that basing recommendations based on goal weight or goal body composition isn’t a good idea given we often fail to predict when or how these will be reached, so it’s better to base recommendations on a person’s current body composition
    • Amy talks about her starts-and-stops trying out low-carb, starting out with Dr.Atkin’s 1992 Diet Revolution – it was simpler back then!

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