The first thing that I found ACTUALLY made a difference was MEASURING and RECORDING EVERYTHING I ate and drank. I was instantly held accountable, as the #'s don’t lie. Want a beer? That’ll be 180 cals with 15gs carbs @ 9pm. Each beer. Wine?
Its easier to make decisions that you later regret when you delude yourself. If you give yourself the knowledge, you most likely won’t make as many moves that you will later regret. I spent 15 years KNOWING that if I wanted to look better, I would need to stop drinking so much alchohol… But it wasn’t until I actually recorded the impact of the alchohol, side-by-side with the good-food, that I garnered the gusto to say no. The interesting thing for me is the question of motivation: I have ABSOLUTELY no compuction to drink anymore, simply having come to grips with the true effects and my true ambitions.
Paules is absolutely right that deep down you already “know” what you should and shouldn’t eat. That voice inside your head that whispers for you to do or not to do something?
That’s as loud as it ever gets. The sooner you listen to that little guy, the more complete you feel. At least that’s how it seems to have worked for me, YMMV.
My Favorite Carbs: Oats, white rice, sweet potato
My favorite fats: Nuts ( macadamia! 1 oz/day), Olive/avocado oil (high in monounsaturated fat), pork fat, cacao butter, coconut butter, naturally occuring fats in meats like tuna, beef, pork, chicken, salmon, etc
My Fav Proteins: Beef Sirloin ($5/lb @ costco, cook it sous vide), chicken, nonfat plain greek yogurt/skyr, tuna/salmon, pastured pork, beef jerky (watch the sodium & sugar!)
Do you have access to a costco or other discount warehouse to purchase bulk food? (foodservice suppliers are great, for example: rice half price when you buy it 25lbs at a time!)
As for an overall plan:
get the livestrong calorie tracker app; free, simple, effective.
Get your macros in order. The ratio of Protein/Fat/Carbs is very important for body composition. Eat 1g protein per lb of bodyweight (ie. 120lbs = 120g protein) MINIMUM… This is the absolute lowest you should go on Protein as an active adult. Aim for 60 g Fat and the rest Carbs. If you eat too far over your body’s daily-caloric-expenditure, you WILL gain weight. What you are doing the rest of the time you arent eating will largely dictate what kind of weight you gain. Want to get real big? Get a job as a mover, HUSTLE, and EAT like you have NEVER eaten before. You’ll put on slabs of muscle-mass. Want to make your ribs disappear into a pad of chub? Eat more and stay on the couch.
Agreed with Jarvan: use your bodyweight. Get a pullup bar and use it until it breaks.
As far as a gym goes, does your college have a gym you can use? I put together a home-gym for less than $400, and that was buying new-in-box… craigslist is waaaaay cheaper. All you need is a bench and Dumbells to start; I bought my first barbell over 14 months after I restarted lifting.
I would suggest the Arnold 6, or Christian Thibs “Best damn workout for natural lifters”. Both are full-body routines. Both will kick your ass without getting you too lost in a complex set/rep scheme. When you have stuck to a program for 6 months, reevaluate. DO NOT switch things up too much when you are starting, as there is no need. Save some tricks for when you hit plateaus.
And for god’s sake, don’t even think about AAS.