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not enough protein. any suggestions?

I am 6'1" and weigh around 225 pounds. About a year ago, I became a vegetarian and since then I have become more and more aware of the fact that I'm not getting enough protein in my diet. I'm not exactly sure as to how much protein I'm supposed to have daily, but I'm pretty sure I'm under that mark. I know that I get at least 60g a day from protein shakes alone, and I am also aware that some other things that I eat have little bits of protein as well. I eat a meal with tofu in it at least once a week. I was just wondering if anyone had any other good ideas that I could use to gain more protein into my diet. Thank you in advance!

9 answers

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I’m not sure exactly how strict (or what type) a vegetarian you are? But if you can eat dairy, it ALL contains protein; Eggs are also high in protein as are nuts, legumes and fish (some types of vegetarians will still eat fish).

You need anywhere from 1 gram (g) of protein per kilogram (kg) of body weight each day up to 1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. You simply divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to convert to kilograms. For the average person who doesn't lift weights or doesn't do much exercise, 1.0-1.2g per kg body weight, if you are active and lift weights 3-5 days per week you will need 1.4-1.6g per kilogram of body weight and if you are an 'ultra endurance athlete' you will need 1.6-1.8g per kilogram of body weight each day.


5 years ago

Depending on the type of vegetarian you are... egg whites make a great source of protein. Whether from the egg or from a carton... they make great omelets with veggies or plain. I make a two egg white sandwich with one slice of whole grain bread after my early morning workout. Keeps me going all morning. Other sources... Greek yogurt and cottage cheese.

lifeisgood 51 4.6k
5 years ago

I have to ask - how do you know you need more protein? What are your fitness/workout goals?

5 years ago

I'm a lacto-ovo vegetarian. I guess I should have specified, sorry about that!

Coomer28156 1.3k
5 years ago

Since you mentioned that you are a lacto-ovo vegetarian there is actually a sample lacto-ovo vegetarian diet on this website under the "nutrition" tab and "popular diets" tabs. Here it is:

This sample diet consists of 2000 calories a day with 20% protein. I hope this is able to give you some protein ideas.

Jennifer Barbarino 54k
5 years ago

I don't eat meat, either--and only added eggs back into my diet when I got back to the gym. I had a hard time getting enough protein while maintaining a fairly lazy cooking schedule. You'd be surprised at how many things you can stick greek yogurt/egg whites/protein powder into.

The eggwhites in the supermarket are expensive, but pasteurized so they're safe uncooked. I add them to some of my smoothies.

I don't like oatmeal or greek yogurt, but mixing them together with cinnamon and a little fruit makes a filling, protein-rich breakfast. I used to mix yogurt and veggies into my mac n' cheese, though I don't eat it anymore.

I eat a fair amount of quinoa, and will sometimes mix a little greek yogurt and/or whey powder into it, depending on what I'm eating it with.

You can mix unflavored whey protein into soups and sauces, too, if you eat them.

My trainer uses chocolate whey powder and greek yogurt to mix up a pudding-like dessert. Not my kind of thing, so I can't vouch for it.

Vee W 2.4k
5 years ago

Well I've always heard that you needed a certain amount of protein for how much you weigh. James helped me figure that out above. I believe I need more protein because I don't feel as if I get enough through my diet now. Currently, I work out five days a week. Three of those days I do light cardio with higher intensity weights. The other two days are more focused on cardio. I alternate between these days as well. My goals overall are to really just slim down, while building more muscle. I don't want to be a body builder or anything of the sort, just want to lose the fat while gaining muscle.

Coomer28156 1.3k
5 years ago

Thanks for the additional info.

From James' info you can now see you're needing somewhere between 100-185g of protein daily. Based on your workout description and goals your probably needing 150g plus or minus - more likely minus than plus.

From the ages of 13-20 I was a 4 sport high school and 1 sport college athlete as a lacto-ovo vegetarian. Just by eating balanced food sources (although aided by a 4,500-5,000 calorie/day diet!) I easily consumed enough protein without needing supplementation.

Your protein shake goes a long way towards meeting your daily requirements. I would start using the AH diet tracker just to see how much protein you are getting. Judging from what I have heard, and continue to hear in the gym on a daily basis, protein is the most oversoncumed supplement, especially by males. If you take too much, it will simply be stored like all extra calories are - as fat (and WAY too much can cause other difficulties).

5 years ago

Check out Garden of Life RAW Protein and RAW Meal. Not the best taste but completely vege-based.

hcehorn 397
5 years ago

add your answer!

Coomer28156 member since Aug '11


MemberFlat Rock, MI
5/7/2012 at 6:48 PM