T Nation

Beginner to Nutrition

So I want to become properly informed on exercise nutrition. I’ve been lifting for a while, albeit inconsistently, but the one (and most important) part of exercise I’ve neglected is becoming properly informed on nutrition. I know some of the handy rules of thumb (like 1-1.5-2.0gg of protein / lb of bodyweight) and things like foods to avoid ( I don’t eat junk food at all) but aside from that I don’t really have much structure.

I’d like to know where one goes to find nutrition resources. I’m sure there are plenty of articles online with plenty of information, but more often than not I find some essential…“why?” missing within the article, which drives me nuts.

My goals are as follows:

I’m currently at about 13-14% body fat (closer to 13% from the last measurement). I weigh 168 lbs. I’d like to drop to about 10-11% body fat, but at the same time, I don’t want to inhibit muscle growth. It is important for me to note that I don’t particularly care for becoming bigger, just stronger, though I will take whatever size comes as a product of increasing strength. My workouts are geared towards becoming stronger rather than hypertrophy anyways. As far as muscle growth, I’m primarily concerned about my legs, as they lag behind my upper body, though not significantly so.

Here’s a look at what my typical daily eating routine looks like:

Breakfast: 2 whole eggs, 1 egg white, scrambled, with a side of veggies. Maybe a few pieces of ham, glass of orange juice and water. I used to eat two slices of toast in the morning but read somewhere(can’t find the article) about substituting that for veggies, which I like the change.Orange juice typically, or water. If I happen to run out of eggs, I typically have oatmeal with a scoop of protein powder and a bit of brown sugar.

Muscle Pharm Chocolate Milk Protein shake between breakfast and Lunch.

Lunch: Typically chicken (drum sticks of a breast, occasionally chicken thighs). I’m in college and stopped buying red meat because that junk’s expensive. Vegetable source (typically same as from the morning as I cook in enough quantities to last through the day) and some sort of carb souce, often potatoes or white rice. I used to buy brown rice but the rice wouldn’t cooperate with me cooking it so…yea lol.

Between lunch and dinner:

Typically one of these:
sandwich consisting of deli meat, some sort of cheese, a sliced tomato or so.
Protein shake again

Dinner:
Chicken again in some sort of style, vegetable, carb source.

Here’s a breakdown of what my grocery cart looks like.

Carrots, white potatoes, sweet potato, zuccini, corn, tomatoes, onions, celery, bananas, often some canned tomato sauce/paste, chick peas, black/red beans, asparagus, snap peas, green beans…typically sauteed in olive oil with whatever kind of condiment I feel like using. Salt, pepper, chicken stock, lemon juice, something like that.

chicken: either thighs, quarter chicken, or a bunch of drum sticks. Mostly drumsticks as they’re the cheapest. Also when I cook chicken, I take the skin off.

I don’t buy any red meat(aside from ground beef) or fish anymore(though I do have canned tuna)…kind of waiting on my college disbursement to come through before I do some more grocery shopping lol.

I’d like to think that I eat fairly healthy, but I can’t ever seem to slim down just a bit to feel a bit…leaner? My goals with fitness aren’t primarily about aesthetics, but it would be nice to just be a bit slimmer. I’m sorry if this is a lot of information, but I wanted to be sufficiently comprehensive.

To whomever answers…thanks for the help!

If you want to learn more about nutrition pick a diet/theory and stick with it for two or three months. Make yourself your own test subject.

[quote]camposdiego10 wrote:
So I want to become properly informed on exercise nutrition.

LEARNING would be a much better route.

Read,ask,listen,watch,execute,fall down,get up,repeat.

Repeat until your not falling down as much

Not bad.
Drop the orange juice and sugar on your oatmeal. Maybe add a couple of pieces of fruit instead.

Do you eat steak?? Beef?? Fish?? Eating chicken all the time would get boring.

Do you have pics? Whats your training program like? How tall are you., at 168 lbs you must be pretty short if your trying to lose weight?? This info will help.

tweet

Nate Miyaki has some solid nutrition info:

read through all of this posts.

Dr Lowery has some good stuff too:
http://www.T-Nation.com/ALSAuthor.do?p=Lonnie%20Lowery&pageNo=1

Most people have differing nutritional needs for various reasons but there are some general ideas I think can help you design your own diet.

Your diet should not make you feel nervous, lethargic, or anxious about physical activity. Your diet should not upset your digestion. Your diet should not spike your bloodsugar above 120 mg/dl for longer than an hour.

Take your current diet and eliminate one thing at a time and see how it makes you feel with regard to the above. After a period of a few weeks (3 or 4 is best) add it back and retest.

Common avoid foods: refined sugars, seed based oils, dairy, grains, legumes.

Also, the internetz is rife with alternative opinions. Verify any info you receive about diet with your own research and experimentation.

I can’t wait to buy more food with my refund check…

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Most people have differing nutritional needs for various reasons but there are some general ideas I think can help you design your own diet.

Your diet should not make you feel nervous, lethargic, or anxious about physical activity. Your diet should not upset your digestion. [/quote]

I think this is something simple that often gets overlooked. Your diet should make you FEEL GOOD.

Of course there are some cases that might not be true. Body builders cutting for a contest, people trying to bulk up fat and muscle who are stuffing their faces…but for most people and for everyday life, your diet should make your body feel good.

Once you find your “style” it can be adapted for weight gain or loss…

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Most people have differing nutritional needs for various reasons but there are some general ideas I think can help you design your own diet.

Your diet should not make you feel nervous, lethargic, or anxious about physical activity. Your diet should not upset your digestion. Your diet should not spike your bloodsugar above 120 mg/dl for longer than an hour.

Take your current diet and eliminate one thing at a time and see how it makes you feel with regard to the above. After a period of a few weeks (3 or 4 is best) add it back and retest.

Common avoid foods: refined sugars, seed based oils, dairy, grains, legumes.

Also, the internetz is rife with alternative opinions. Verify any info you receive about diet with your own research and experimentation.[/quote]

why would you avoid dairy, grains and legumes? refined sugar i can understand to some extent.

I think vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can be overlooked sometimes.
Water soluble vitamins- C and all B vitamins, which have alternate names like B3 is niacin.
Fat soluble vitamins- A,K & K2,E,D
Minerals and trace minerals
Antioxidants for example Carotenoids, kaempferol, quercitin; I think these are also called phytonutrients or flavenoids.
Coq10, etc

I try to get all these nutrients through foods and supps, at least RDA.
I really like nutrition websites like whfoods; you can type in a food or nutrient in google followed by whfoods and youll get a rda percentage how much is in that food and what kinds are in it, or a bunch of science articles on that nutrient (what it is, does)

Nutrients are synergistic so if your missing out on something it will affect how the others work or may not work at all. Getting all these nutrients has def improved my exercise ability.