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How Do I Eat Over 140 Grams of Protein Per Day?

By Marc Perry / April 7, 2018

>Given we are right at the start of the New Year, it’s no surprise most of the questions this week relate to body composition changes. We also answer how to eat enough protein and how to correct rounded shoulders from office work. We hope you enjoy the Q&A roundup and we look forward to doing it again next week!

  1. How to eat enough protein?
  2. Good way to slim down for vacation?
  3. Can I add a dumbbell power clean exercise to the BuiltLean Program?
  4. Should I cut or build?
  5. I do I correct rounded shoulder posture?

Question #1 | How to eat enough protein?

Question: “Hi Marc!  You suggested in an article that you have to eat 140 or so grams of protein to avoid losing muscle. That seems a lot. How do you manage to eat that without overdoing the calories? e.g. at 5g of protein per ounce that would be 28 oz of filet mignon trimmed which is more than 1900 calories alone.
What am I missing?” – Jon
Answer: Hey Jon,  That’s an excellent question.  The short answer is getting up to 140 grams of protein is not easy, but it’s doable.  Every 1 ounce of meat has around 7-9 grams protein depending on the meat, with fish and beef typically on the higher end of that range.  So in order to get to 140 grams, you would need to eat a lot of meat (12 ounces+) per day along with other high protein sources including eggs, whey protein, and possibly dairy (yogurt, milk).  What I’ve found is somewhere in the 0.8-1.0 grams of protein per pound of LBM can likely keep your muscle mass as you are shedding fat.  There are a lot of studies on this subject, so we’ll be sure to explore it in more depth with references in another article.

An important premise behind eating higher protein while on a diet is that it has a significant effect on satiety and eating less calories than you burn leads to “protein sparing”, so eating extra protein can help ward off the body’s desire to use muscle mass as a protein source. 


Marc ( Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT)

Question #2 | Good way to slim down for vacation?

Question: “I am trying to slim down, lose a little body fat, and start to re-establish lean muscle definition.  I run 1 mile about 10 min after I eat dinner, and I do 15 min ab routine.  I know that I am starting to slim down, as my pants on my waist are looser, but I haven’t lost any in my thighs.  Any suggestions? Should I do 30 second sprints, in reps of 4’s instead of running, and possibly throw in some stairs???

I am trying to look and feel amazing, especially before I go on vacation with my husband at the end of the month. Anything I can do to help burn off any extra inches the right way before I go on my vacation? Thanks” – Jessica

Answer: Jessica,

You can try incorporating some interval training in conjunction with your 1 mile run, to add some variety to your workouts. Below are two articles that I think you will find useful. Also be sure to check out the free Get Lean Guide on BuiltLean.com for more fitness and nutritional information. Finally, keep in mind you simply need to focus on losing fat without losing muscle and eventually the fat will come off your problem areas. Where fat is lost is genetically predetermined. Hope this helps!

High Intensity Interval Training

Interval Training for Fat Loss

Kwesi (Kwesi Peters, CPT, Community Manager)

Question #3 | Can I add a dumbbell power clean exercise to the BuiltLean Program?

Question: “Can I add Dumbbell Power Clean Exercise in to BuiltLean Program? or should i go for Barbell Complex Workout?
I found your article is really interesting and want to try :)” – Wajisa
Answer: Hi Wajisa,
You definitely can. I would suggest doing the dumbbell clean and press in place of the shoulder press exercise. You can also consider doing it at the end of the workout right before interval training.

Marc ( Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT)

Question #4 | Should I cut or build?

Question: “Hi Mark I’m flabby and I don’t know what to do with improve my physique. I’m a young guy 5.8 and 155 lbs with 16% body fat. I’m afraid I weigh too little to afford weight loss but when I try to gain muscles I gain lot of fat in the abdomen and face. When I try to lose weight I get extremely skinny limbs and flabby stomach and chest. What do you think I should do? Cut fat or gain muscles?” – Jared
Answer: My opinion is to focus on losing fat without losing muscle. If you get down to 150lb by losing all fat while retaining your muscle mass (132lb lean body mass), you will be at a solid 12% body fat. I wrote about why you should focus on losing fat first before building muscle in more depth this article => 3 Reasons To Lose Fat First Before Building Muscle

A lot of guys are in your position in that they are not satisfied with how much muscle they have, but also believe they have too much body fat. Once you are lean, you can get a better sense of how much muscle you want to put on. Also, consider you can still get very strong at 150lb.

Marc ( Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT)

Question #5 | I do I correct rounded shoulder posture?

Question: “Which muscles in my? back are weak that cause my poor posture?  My shoulders are pushed forward and inward.” – Josh
Answer: Forward rounded shoulders result from the combination of dominant/tight muscles in the front of your body and overstretched/weak muscles in the back of your body, and it’s a really common posture problem. It results from slouching, sitting at a computer for extended periods of time, weak core musculature, over-focusing on the front of your body when exercising, neglecting stretching, etc. If you want to correct your posture, you’ll need to stretch the tight muscles, strengthen your over-stretched weak muscles, and build your core endurance. So what is tight and what is weak?

There are a number of muscles pulling the shoulders forward, but the primary culprits are:

  1. Pec-major and minor, which pull the shoulders forward
  2. Upper Trapezius and Levator Scapulae, which elevate and upwardly rotate the scapula (shoulder blade)
  3. Latissimus Dorsi, which medially rotates the arm at the shoulder, among other actions.

These are a few of the muscles you’ll want to focus on lengthening through stretch, deep tissue work, and self-myofascial release techniques (using a foam roller, tennis ball, soft ball, etc).

The muscles you’ll want to focus on strengthening are:

  1. The extensors of your back and neck
  2. Mid- and lower-trapezius muscles
  3.  Serratus anterior
  4.  Rhomboids
  5.  Rotator cuff, and
  6.  Your core!

Your best bet is to work with a corrective exercise specialist or physical therapist who can assess the severity of your posture and your mobility, and develop an individualized exercise program tailored to your body and your needs.

You can also read “5 Most Common Posture Problems” to find out more about common postural issues and how to correct them.

Hope that gives you some direction!

Kristin ( Kristin Rooke, CPT)


  • Glen says:

    Re: Question #5- will this also stop or eliminate/reverse soft tissue buildup in the upper to mid back? I was told that it is this soft-tissue build up that causes those humps you see in middle age to older people.

  • mike says:

    Hey Marc! first of all i would like to thanks all the builtlean staff and you for having an opportunity to find this site. all the articles here cleared all my confusions with regards to exercise, healthy lifestyle, etc. And i also applied it to myself and i get a fantastic results. For 4 months now, my weight started from 89kg and now I’m down to 72kg. That’s why when my friends ask me how do i do it. i just refer them to your site. I have 2 questions that’s bothering my mind lately. FIRST, I have read on your free guide that in the building muscle phase you have to eat more than you burn (calorie surplus)? is there an exact amount or percentage of calorie surplus you need for building muscle? like in fat loss phase 15 – 35% calorie deficit. SECOND, could you please give me an example of modified split routine or workout? hope for your reply.thanks! Godbless

  • Mitesh says:

    Hi Marc,

    I have another question on the Daily protein requirement of 140 grams. Depending on the workout schedule vs rest day, should we change the protein intake as well?