T Nation

Care to tear a diet up?

Hi Guys,

OK over the past few months I’ve been revising my diet and I completely changed things around.
I was - previous to this - fooling myself- Without going into too much detail I was blowing a bomb on supplements, vits, dropping ECAs like mad and loading up on protein drinks.

So to make a long story short - I saw the light and have started eating real food.
I want to thank all you guys - TT, JB etc.

Now my diet is more sensible - but I still need some help tying it down and working out what the hell my calories are.
I’m trying to drop weight.
OK I feel (and everyone tells me I look) good - but my weight is staying up.
This is staring to piss me off a little too :slight_smile:

I train first thing in the morning so …
My Workout Nutrition is Simply
During -
30 grams of Protein
60 Grams Carbs
After -
30 grams of Protein
60 Grams Carbs

Breakfast at around 8 am -
4 Egg Whites and 1 Yolk
1/3 Cup of Oat Bran

At work from 9 to 5 I usually have -
3 or 4 Chicken Breasts
2 Table spoons of Sauce for taste
1 Handful of Spinach
1/2 a Red or Yellow Pepper
2 Handfuls of Broccolli
1 Multi Vit.
1/3 a Pineapple
5 fish oil Caps
2 Flax Caps
2 Cups of String black Coffee
A Snickers candy bar

In the evening
I grab 2 Beef Burgers
2 Fish Oil Caps
1 Flax Oil Cap
Cup of Green Tea

Just before bed
40 gms of Protein
2 caps of fish oil

Problems …
I ain’t dropping weight. PERIOD.
I need to drop my body weight do I need to drop more cals?
I find it very hard to get through a day without some small bite of chocolate
I can give up the coffee - but is 2 cups bad news?
How many Cardio sessions should I throw in? 5 or 6 or can I get away with fewer?
Do I have to do am Cardio?

Anyone care to give a view on the diet …

Not enough flax. It’s so hard to get what you need from the caps only. Try the liquid out.

Thanx man -
I was afraid I hear that - I hate the taste of that stinking sh*t…

Before you do anything, you need to figure out your calories. It’s true that ‘a calorie is not a calorie’, but they do still count. You can get fat on good food choices if you eat too much. Figure your cals.

Hey,

Well like davo said the first thing you need to do if you are really serious about losing your extra weight is get a food log going. Figure out what you are taking in on a daily basis. Pro, fats, carbs, kcals.

If you are maintaining a constant weight with what you are consuming now then you can either drop some Kcals, or add more exercise.

As far as the fish and flax they could stand to be a little higher also. With those caps you are taking you are not even getting in the amount you get from one TBL spoon of flax or fish oil. Nothing wrong with the caps. Just cheaper to go with the oils.

You might want to figure out what you want more also, that snickers or to lose some weight. Not that it is the only thing stopping your progree but it isnt going to help.

As far as the coffee. There are mixed views on that issue as with most. I personally drink a lot of coffee every day as well as Green Tea. You just have to see what works for you.

So. In short figure what you are eating now and adjust from their. You can post some #'s and I am sure we can all help you a little more. Or you could simply go for an all out change. Switch to something like T-dawg2. This we can also help with, you will have to post your stats.

The decision is yours.

Good Luck,

Phill

ditch the Snickers

The guys are right. Until you start working with some hard numbers, you’re just shooting in the dark. Get some measuring cups and food scale and start reading some nutritional info labels. It also helps to get your bf% tested so you have an idea of your BMR and maintenance calorie level.

As far as your diet list, the snickers and the burgers might be putting you over. A snickers has close to 500 kcal and 60g CHO (most from sugar). Depending on the quantity, fat content, and condiments, the burgers could be worth another 1000 kcal or more.

Ditching the snickers and replacing the burgers with some tuna would be a step in the right direction. However, as said before, we need some numbers or we’re just making educated guesses.

Some quick calculations put you at over 250g’s of protein and over 225g’s of carbs. You have to be a pretty big boy to use those numbers to lose “weight”. It looks to me like you’re almost on a bulking diet which is going to make it extremely difficult to lose “weight”. Another question is are you trying to lose “weight” or lose “fat”? If your body fat levels are staying the same or losing a little bit and you’re building muscle underneath that, you wont be seeing any weight loss. Remember muscle weighs more than fat.

Hey No23, congrats on taking steps towards achieving your fat loss goals by eating more real food and reading T Mag… The very first thing you need to do is weigh yourself in the morning, find your bodyfat percentage, and a calorie counting chart. ie, if you’re 200 pounds at 20 percent, you know you’re carrying 40 pounds of fat and can set your goals accordingly at 1-2 pounds fat loss per week. Check out Lonny Lowery’s article here:

also this website is good:

now you’ve got an accurate assessment of the amount of calories you burn each day and can plan a diet with the proper amount of calories for fat loss. Go for 500 to 1000 calorie deficit per day. I like 500, it puts you on track for 1 pound fat loss per day with minimal muscle loss. Yes, 10 weeks sounds like a long time to lose 10 pounds, but you may even gain a little muscle depending on what your training is like. Yeah, the snickers isn’t providing you with anything more than energy, but i predict you could keep it in there and still see alot of progress if you keep that 500 cal deficit every day, IMHO. Sorry i couldn’t be more specific but if you have any questions feel free to post:) oh yeah, and one last thing:
HAVE PATIENCE.

To clairfy Petemanmeant to say 1 pound per WEEK not day.

If the Flax tastes that bad it could be “spoiled” …fresh flax oil, which isnt my favorite thing in the world, isnt horrible either. I dont think that there is anything wrong with the caps, just you have to take a lot of them.

I agree with what some others have said in regards to calories. I’m not a big believer in droping too many cals, but a slight deficit (c. 500) is probably a good idea.

I think if you are currently doing 5-6 days of cardio a week, you are doing too much. Try intervals instead.

What is your lifting program like? Could it be that you gained muscle? Are you only using the scale to gauge your progress? If so, I think that is a HUGE mistake.

Finally, whats with the snickers? Seriously, you diet is fairly “clean” all day, so why eat that candy? I’m sure that you can get by with out it.

Jarrow is the best-tasting flax oil I have tried. Try mixing it into a protein shake; you won’t even taste the oil, yet it will give the shake a nice, creamy, rich texture.

I have lost fat even while eating a small amount of chocolate every day. My suggestion is to try pure, good-quality dark chocolate instead of the Snickers. (500 calories?!!?) 1 Lindt dark chocolate truffle ball has 70 calories, and WAY more chocolate flavor than a Snickers bar.

no23, if you answer a few questions for me, I’ll make some suggestions on protein and fat requirements.

  • How old are you?
  • How active are you? (@ work and play)
  • How much do you weigh & what is your BF%?
  • What are your goals?
  • How many days are you lifting weights, and how long does it take you to complete your workout?
  • What weight lifting program are you following?
  • What cardio are you doing currently?

I would make a couple of recommendations based on what I see.

Nothing wrong with working out in the morning, but you shouldn’t be doing it on an empty stomach. Set the alarm an hour early, get in a protein shake, go back to bed and proceed as ususal.

Optimize PWO nutrition. That means drinking Surge and eating a whole food P+C meal an hour and a half after that.

Yup, unfortunately, the chocolate’s gotta go. One thing that helps people with sugary carb type cravings is 5-HTP. If it works, it works pretty quickly (3 days or less). Try 100mg twice a day on an empty stomach (a half hour before a meal or 2 hours after a meal). The dosage can be doubled after 3 days if you’re still going crazy with sugar/sweet-type cravings.

And do plan on a cheat afternoon/evening each week where you can get some of these things you love and crave out of your system. I generally recommend 6 hours of anything goes on either a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Weigh in for purposes of tracking progress should be done on Friday morning, out of bed, after you hit the restroom.

The advice on keeping a food log is excellent if you’re really serious about making progress. You need to be eating every 3 hours (6 or more meals per day) and eating P+F / P+C meals ala Berardi. Have you read his article on P+F and P+C food combining?

Thanks guys - I really appreciate the comments.

The first thing I’ll do is try dropping the candy and cut to 1 cup of coffee to start with.
Of course I could have posted the diet above and left the snickers off the list - but I figured being honest with myself first and those I’m asking for help from is the first step in trying to address my diet problems.

PGA - Sorry - I guess I should have made it a little clearer too - yes I mean to drop fat - and maintain LBM.

Terry I have read about 5-HTP before and I guess if I’m serious I have to deal with it. I was hoping that if I dropped a little of my other carbs I might be ok and still come in under the cal deficit.

In the mean time I’ll get the measures out and start putting numbers together and perhaps like you guys say I can tie the actual calories a little better.

I’m not going to make excuses - but I guess considering how bad mt diet was before - my first aim was to start eating REAL food for a change.
(This was coming from where at one stage I considered a balanced diet was 5 MRPS, 9 ECA’s and 12 fish oil caps!)
Now I’ve done that I guess you guys are right - the cals and the food combos need to be identified.
Peteman - those are good links, especially the cal counter - thanks.

I essentailly started a few months ago by writing down JB’s, LL’s, T-dwag 2.0, and some others essentail principles for a good diet. I looked over the list and started with the basics first.
Along with JB’s new DVD the first basic point was - get a healthy diet first.

  • I’ve started with real food except for PWO.
  • I prepare my food in the morning or the night beofre to prevent going off-track
  • I stop the Carbs at about 3pm.
  • I definietly eat every 2/3 hours
  • The beef is in there for a bit of variety and is 90% lean and I just chop a little chilli into it(does that help redeem it?) - If not Nitrox I’ll do as you say and start the Tuna.

Again - all the input is genuinely appreciated.
If you guys don’t mind - I’d love to hear your input and views when I post figures - my cals and training etc in a day or two when I get a chance to measure all.

Thanks

there is nothing wrong with lean red meat. It should be a part of your regular diet.

Right on, sounds like you got all the help you need now, no23… i just wanted to offer one more bit of advice:
If the goal is fat loss and muscle retention, then knowing how many extra calories you are burning each day with reasonable accuracy is imperative. If you just want to be healthy and live longer, then cleaning up your diet and getting some physical activity is good enough. I find keeping track of calories ingested and burned also gives my mind something to focus on and makes dieting WAY easier… There’s more leeway too if you keep track. ie: I know i burn 3040 calories each day without training or cardio so i would eat about 2500 calories that day to continue fat loss. If i train, then the total goes up to 3290 for a 45 minute moderate workout. 45 minutes of cardio on the elliptical trainer will add 600 or so to that total. So you can see the need to count calories here- eating 2500 calories while burning 3900 for the day isn’t good, but thats what alot of people end up doing because they don’t know how much they’re burning! So on that day i would eat about 3400 calories to maintain my fat loss. This allows me to eat more food, which is nice, and I agree with andersons that a little chocolate won’t hurt you at 100 calories and besides- you earned it! This method works, period. One more thing: The “cheat” days or “cheat” meals may work for others who have some sort of control, but not for me. I can ruin a whole weeks worth of dieting in 2 or 3 hours of all you can eat insanity. My advice if you are going to let yourself go here and there is to continue to count those calories. Eat an extra 500 over your maintenance for a day, whatever you want, but keep track. Most fast food places have nutrition charts which make it easier. Its not much work once you get started and become more conscious of what goes in your mouth- and i’m sure you’ll feel better mentally knowing you have control and are continuing on your road to ripped!

Ok Guys here we go

As most of you remember since I now got my diet sorted vis-a-vis eating real food for a change - I went off to try and figure out my calorific expenditure and intake so I could start dropping some body fat…
(Darn it takes a bit of time to sort out all the values and even now I ain’t sure I got it right yet.)

Does someone mind looking through these briefly and telling me if they think figures are out by much?

Anyway here we go (hope this is legible when it posts):

Diet:
Food - Weight grams - P - C - F - Cals
During Wrkout Drink - - 30 - 60 - 0 - 360
Post Wrkout Drink - - 30 - 60 - 0 - 360
Broccolli - 107 - 3.4 - 6.4 - 0.4 - 34.2
Sweet Pepper - 70 - 0.8 - 5 - 1.96 - 22.4
Spinach - 50 - 1.6 - 2 - 0.2 - 12
Onion - 25 - 0.3 - 2.4 - 0.1 - 11
Pineapple - 150 - 0.6 - 21 - 0.6 - 84
Chicken (3 Breasts) - 330 - 96 - 0 - 10.2 - 513
Oat Meal - 35 - 4.9 - 23.8 - 1.75 - 112
Eggs (2) - 148 - 12.4 - 1.2 - 10 - 148
Lean Ground Meat (x2) - 75 - 46 - 0 - 27 - 448
Total Cals = - 226 - 182 - 52 - 2104.6

I’m 26 and stand at 204 lbs and 15% BF.

Oh - yeh I need to add in 9 Fish oil caps, a sprinkling of olive oil and 3 Flax caps a day also.

[Damn - more maths :-)]

Don’t go by weight. Order yourself a set of calipers (They can be had for 15-30 bucks.) Use those to see if your skinfolds are going down or not to get a more accurate statement.

OK so add in the oils and fats.
and revise the fgures above.

That brings -

Protein to 226 grams * 4 = 904 cals
Carbs to 182 grams * 4 = 728 cals
Fat to 64 grams * 9 = 576 cals

A total of 2208 calories and this all breaks down to …

P - 40 %
C - 33 %
F - 26 %

Now the questions these latest figures raise …

  1. How much do I need for maintaineance of LBM ?
  2. What deficit should I use?
  3. are the splits 40/34/26 good enough for fat loss?