We received another awesome nutrition question and wanted to share it with you:
Q: The full question was “if I am running out of/have run out of calories for the day, and I am still short on protein, which one is more important?”
A: As with all good answers it depends.
(Oh, and, good work for being diligent enough to ask this question!
First it depends on how often you run into this dilemma. If you run out of calories before you get your protein once a week, then I can, in good conscience, just answer the question directly. However, if you are running into this dilemma 2, 3 or more days per week, then this is the wrong question. Instead its time to look at your regular eating habits to see why we’re using up all of our calories before we hit our protein goal.
Pro-Tip/Shortcut: In my experience the 2 most common factors that make this dilemma occur frequently are (1) protein bars, and (2) nuts. A more complete sentence would be that it is essentially impossible to hit your protein goals without going waaaaay over calories via protein bars and/or nuts. Check this out for a more complete breakdown on protein pitfalls.
So, let’s get back to the original question for someone who is only having this dilemma once a week or less. The answer depends on your goals: if losing weight is you #1 priority then calories are more important. I don’t want to BS you and say that missing your protein once a week will have zero impact, but on the whole it’s probably going to be acceptable. If maximizing strength and/or muscle gain is your #1 priority then protein is more important.
Also, if you are wondering why strength training is vitally important for fat-loss and maintenance read this.