Live FB Q & A Chat with Dr Clay July 24

After putting it off for years, I finally have a professional facebook page –

One way I’ve been using it is by doing live Q & A chats.  I’m really enjoying doing these, and from the sounds of it, others are enjoying them, too…which is the point.

Below is a ‘transcript’ of the latest chat.  The only thing edited is the exact order of the comments/questions so that it makes more sense.

By the way, please ‘like’ my fb page: 1) so you’ll know when I’m doing these live chats, etc 2) to help spread the word so I can help others…I’d appreciate it :)

Dr Clay: Got a question? Fire away!
I’m answering questions LIVE for the next 30 min – 10amPST/1pmEST – 10:30amPST/1:30pm EST
My expertise is in Physique Enhancement. So exercise (resistance training & cardio) as well as nutrition are perfect topics.

Mike W: (leftover question from last Q & A chat) – What brand or type of shoe would you recommend for my morbidly obese self who is thinking about the running after I sluggishly jog?

Dr Clay: in response to Mike Walker’s question about what brand of shoe do I recommend – I’ll admit when I don’t know something or if it’s out of my scope of knowledge/expertise..and specifics about shoes isn’t something I’d say I am an expert in. With that being said…1) don’t over-analyze your footwear. things like that give people ‘analysis paralysis’ and keep them from ever getting started. my blunt words (which is what I’d say if we were in person) are “just put on some damn shoes and go run/walk.” 2) I’m a big fan of ‘barefoot-type’ footwear like Vibram’s Five Finger shoes or New Balance Minimus. And you know what? Good old Vans are a great ‘minimalist’ type shoe that goes overlooked. Main thing is…just do the damn exercise ;)

Mike M: @DrClay 10 best proteins 10 worst carbs in your experience?

Dr Clay: we talking food sources, supplements, or both?

Mike M: Both please but food specifically.

Dr Clay: Best protein sources (in no particular order) – whey protein (CFM whey isolate in particular), egg whites, whole eggs, chicken breast, salmon, cod, cottage cheese (if not lactose intolerant), eye of round, turkey breast, and whey/casein blend.

Dr Clay: Please note the true answer is ALWAYS “It depends.” On to the carbs.

Dr Clay: 10 best carb sources (in no particular order) – sweet potatoes/yams, quinoa, basmati rice, bananas, apples, steel cut oats, Vitargo (best carb supplement), black beans, blueberries, kiwi

Dr Clay: HUGE TIP: in my experience working one-on-one with people for 20 years now, one of the MAJOR keys to making progress with your physique is to accept the fact that you’re simply going to have to eat the same ‘real’ foods (like those listed above) day in and day out. If/when you’re willing to eat egg whites, chicken breast, turkey breast, and lean fish along with the occasional protein shake and the corresponding natural carbs and/or fat sources, then you’re truly ready to make some physique changes. If you still insist on eating pop-tarts or cinnamon toast crunch for breakfast, then you’re not ready.

Mike M: Thank you but was worst carbs.

Dr Clay: oh yeah…worst carbs. that’s kinda hard to answer cause there are so many. how about coke, pepsi, coffee sweetened with sugar (even ‘natural cane sugar’), lucky charms, ice cream, milk (the carbs are primarily lactose), pretty much all ‘protein’ bars, white bread, gatorade, power ade, kool aid.

Mike M: This is where I have got to a high protein low carbs and 3 lots of intense cardo and 2 of weights I have cut all the worst things from my life and only with I had done it sooner.

Dr Clay: sounds like you’ve got a good start, Mike, keep it up! My parting advice is to not become ‘carb phobic.’ I see this happen a lot (and I’ve been there, myself) when someone does a low-carb diet long enough to see benefit. They often become scared of carbs, thinking that eating carbs will stop fat loss. Sure, eating too many carbs will stop fat loss, but not if you eat the right TYPE of carbs in the right AMOUNT and at the right TIME. Using carbs correctly will INCREASE fat loss.

Adam S: Will 20% more protein intake than your body need per meal potentially stunt fat loss? Also if you want to bulk, are best results in a bulk program to do it back to back for weeks. then cut for a week, or Bulk one day, cut the next?

Dr Clay: ‎Adam, the word “need” is relative. But let’s say you mean ‘need’ as in “enough to maintain positive nitrogen balance.” Eating 20% more protein will NOT stop fat loss. (this is one of the MANY reasons why all calories are NOT created equal).

Dr Clay: Regarding ‘bulking’ (not my favorite term but…) I’ve found that focusing on muscle/weight gain for a period of weeks – often 2 to 8 weeks – works best, followed by periods of fat loss that range anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks works best. With clients I work with on an ongoing basis, we find a body fat level where they perform well and feel good, then we agree to not go more than 1 % (or so) higher than that. So, Tim, for example, often has mass gain phases lasting 6-8 weeks followed by 1-2 weeks of fat loss. This works GREAT!

Dr Clay: Alright, my friends, that does it for this live Q & A session. Hope you enjoyed/benefitted, if so, I’m happy to do this more :)

Adam S: Thanks for that :-)

Mike M: Thank you most helpful.

Dr Clay: de nada, amigos ;)

Adam S: I will do my bit to spread the word about Dr Clay in the UK!

Dr Clay: I’d REALLY appreciate that, Adam!

Protein Intake for those with High Body Fat Percentage

I just received an email from a reader who has had great success using the principles in my ebook, Set Your Metabolism on Fire.  Hearing that made my day, but it was especially nice to hear that he’s teaching the same principles to a friend of his who weighs ~ 375 lbs.

To me, that’s what all this is all about… learning the principles of good nutrition (& exercise, etc.), and then passing that knowledge and understanding on to others.   So it’s always nice to hear that someone who’s learned from me (or anyone for that matter), is using that information to help others.

But the question arises…

Is Protein Intake Still Based on Weight for those with High Body Fat?

…regarding my typical protein intake guidelines (1g/lb bw) and those who are obese or have higher body fat levels (%). Should they still follow the same protein intake guidelines?

My normal, rule-of-thumb (and every other decent sports nutritionist on the planet) is to consume ~ 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day.  Thus if you weigh 180 lbs, eating 180 grams of protein per day is a perfect starting point.

But let’s keep in mind that 1g/lb is the low end of the recommended protein intake, it can go up to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight, even up to a maximum of 2.0g/lb.  Again, these aren’t just my guidelines, these are pretty much industry-standard among experienced sports nutritionists.

But if you weigh 375 pounds and are, most likely, approaching ~ 50% body fat, should you really eat 375 grams of protein per day?

That’s a great question that needs answering.

I guess the first thing we need to decide is… “is 375 gram of protein per day too much?

how much protein is too much protein?

How Much Protein is Too Much?

Well, how do we define too much?  If by too much we’re talking about more than is necessary to sustain life, then yes, 375 grams of protein per day is certainly more than is necessary.

But if by too much we mean dangerous, then no, consuming 375 grams of protein isn’t dangerous.  Unless of course you one had a kidney disease that compromised renal (fancy word for kidney-related) function.

In plain language, like we’re talking as friends, here’s the deal on protein supposedly being bad for your kidneys: it’s an old wive’s tale!  It’s based on the simply fact that people with certain kidney diseases don’t do well with much protein, because their kidneys don’t function properly.

But saying protein is bad for your kidneys is like saying water is bad for your skin, simply because some have an allergic reaction when even a drop of water gets on their skin (aka aquagenic prurtits).  But what does that have to do with your skin?  Nothing.

In recent decades studies have shown time and time again that consuming a diet high in protein is not bad for our kidneys. (1)  Healthy kidneys filter out the waste products of protein metabolism just like they do slews of other things, cause that’s what they’re made to do!

But even though 375 grams of protein per day is not dangerous per-se, that still doesn’t mean you need that much.  It is a bit overkill, no doubt.  And in my educated opinion, we should always strive to maintain a reasonable overall balance to our macronutrient intake.

But for sake of argument, what would consuming 375g protein per day do?

Effects of High Protein Diets

It has been shown is about 9.5 gazillion studies that diets high(er) in protein are the absolute best at boosting metabolism due to the thermic effect of protein, and protein-rich diets work incredibly well at preventing hunger (2) (largely due to the fact that protein doesn’t significantly raise blood sugar and cause the subsequent crash.)

protein is a dieter's friend
protein is a dieter's friend

In fact, think about every remotely successful type (or brand) of diet in recent years (South Beach, Atkins, Zone, Tom Venuto’s “Body Fat Solution,”  Dr. John Berardi’s “Precision Nutrition,” and so on), all recommend consuming copious amounts of protein.  That’s because even though we only “need” about 60 grams per day to avoid a clinical protein deficiency, that doesn’t mean that paltry amount is optimal.

Thus, one could argue that consuming 375g/prot/day, which is just a little over 60 grams of protein per meal, would be great for someone who needs to lose a lot of body fat.  We know it would certainly provide great satiety (feeling of being satisfied re: eating), and would would provide a nice boost in metabolic rate due to the thermic effect.

So even though that amount would be far more than is necessary, the effect would be little to no hunger and a tendency toward having good, stable energy without major ups and downs.

I personally, consume almost that much protein on a near daily basis and have for years.  (I shoot for 50-60g per meal, typically 6 meals per day.)  Granted that’s about as high as I will go, but I feel good there and I’m quite healthy.  (Amazingly, my kidneys have not exploded like the “experts” said;)

For sake of illustration and evaluation, let’s look at a sample macronutrient breakdown that includes 375 grams of protein.

375g protein/day x 4 calories/gram = 1,500 calories coming from protein.

100 grams/day of carbs x 4 calories/gram = 400 calories from carbs per day.

60 grams of fat at 9 calories/gram = 540 calories from fat per day.

That would equate to 2,440 calories per day, with ~ 61% coming from protein.

I have done very, very similar diets on a number of occasions to get ripped for a contest.  And I must say, it works quite well, especially if you time the nutrients properly!

The effect for someone at 375lbs would be: practically no hunger (due to the satiety induced by the protein and fat), a pretty steady, but not outta-this-world energy level (the kcal are still quite low for someone 375lbs), and a lot of rapid fat loss without a loss in lean body weight (muscle).  The high protein intake protects the body from having to break down it’s own muscle tissue (aka – anticatabolic).

(Let’s clarify that we are operating under the assumption that the individual is resistance-training, which anyone wanting to improve their physique should!)

But, even though the above would work quite well, I think a less extreme approach would be better.  (I’m always for moderate use of protein, carbs, and fat overall.)

strive for overall dietary balance

Dr Clay’s Protein Intake Strategy for the Overweight

Here’s what my though process would be if I were personally designing a plan for the person in this situation.

Once a 375 lb guys gets to an average body composition, he’ll be about 225 lbs.  (Very much a ballpark guess, and that’s as precise as we need to be here.)  So let’s say 225g/prot/day is his low end.  (Based on 1g/lb/day if he were average body composition.)

Although you can safely go up to 1.5 g/lb, and even 2.0g/lb according to research (which is the highest I will go, FYI), let’s just say that 375g/day is his high end.  I would simply split the difference, having him take in ~ 300 grams/protein per day, divided across 6 meals – so about 50g of protein per meal.

(To be honest, I’ve been doing this so long, I already know that a large male needs about 50g protein per meal for physique enhancement purposes.  So I skip all these calculations – I’m all about precise, yet simple:)

From there I would simply fill in the rest of his calories with carbs and fat – timed appropriately.  And if I had to venture a guess there, I’d say an average of about 100g of carbs per day (highly variable depending on training & cardio), and about 75grams of fat or so per day would be good starting points.

Note: the more overweight the person, the less carbs they should consume, yet a proportionately higher fat intake.  Reason being – people who are overweight rarely metabolize carbs well via reduced insulin sensitivity.  Plus reducing the carbs and raising fat keeps average blood sugar and insulin levels lower, which reduces hunger.  And the protein also reduces hunger, thus we’ve got hunger beaten from various angles.


The truth is, hardly anyone really needs to split hairs over, or even adjust, their protein intake based on their body composition.

But for those who are approaching 40 or 50% body fat, it’s not a bad idea to reduce protein intake to about 0.75 grams per pound of bodyweight.

Whatever you do, keep in mind that protein is still the metaboslism-boosting, appetite-suppressing cornerstone of every meal.

Your friend in fitness,

Dr Clay

PS – Like the guy I mentioned who’s helping his friend t lose weight, I encourage you to do what you can to help those around you to become fit.  Whether it’s with sound advice or simply a few kind words of encouragement, you can positively affect those around you more than you will ever realize.



(1) Dietary protein intake and renal function
William F Martin, Lawrence E Armstrong, and Nancy R Rodriguez
(2) The Effects of High Protein Diets on Thermogenesis, Satiety and Weight Loss: A Critical Review.  Thomas L. Halton and Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD

What Protein Powders do You Recommend?


Hi there,

        I was given your book by a fitness instructor that is hosting a “Biggest Loser” challenge.  I read that on your web site you have a list of recommended protein powders.. I cant seem to find them anywhere.  I appreciate any information you could help with!

Thank you, Monica


Monica, please tell that fitness instructor I said ‘thanks’ for passing a copy of my book “Set Your Metabolism on Fire” on to you.  And I hope the no-nonsense information in there helps you achieve your goals (and maybe even WIN that Biggest Loser challenge!)wheyproteinon.jpg

As the content on piles up, it sometimes becomes not as easy to find stuff as I would like (which we’re steadily working on).  Since choosing a good protein powder supplement is important, I wanted to take a moment to point you (and others) to a couple of important posts regarding protein supplements.

Check out these protein-related posts:

Dr Clay Approved Proteins - a brief list of protein supplements I’ve found to be worthy of being “Dr Clay approved”

Dr Clay’s recommended Protein formula - this is the exact protein I (and my clients) use about 90% of the time due to the low price and high quality.

Whey Isolate vs Whey Concentrate – in the episode of the Dr Clay Show I go over the difference in whey isolate and whey concentrate. 

I hope that helps you out. :)

Dr Clay

How-to Order my “Blended” Protein from

Until now I’ve kept all my product formulas to myself and my clients. Well, today I’m breaking the mold, cause I wanna help you save some money on your protein.  You can use the discount code “DrClay” to get an additional 5% off.

If you haven’t heard of, you’re really missing out. Basically it’s a place that will custom make protein for you. The only problem is that the vast majority of people don’t know what type is best to order, or what combination of ingredients.

Likewise, many people have found it just a little bit difficult to understand the ordering interface at

But today I’m going to teach you exactly, step-by-step how to order the best blend of top-quality proteins for the most inexpensive price available!

If you’re looking for a general protein to use throughout the day than this is what you need. It’s a blend of fast and slow acting proteins, which in essence provides a time released product.

Dr Clay’s Blended Protein Formula

25% Micellar Casein,
30% Milk Protein Isolate
45% Whey Protein Isolate Cross Flow Microfiltration (CFM)

Update: Here are Dr Clay’s latest protein formula recommendations based on new proteins available.