T Nation

Does it Matter What You Eat


Hey guys I was curious about what your thoughts are on people who take the stance that it isn't so much "what you eat" as it is "how much you eat". For example, I know several people who have gotten ripped to shreds eating twinkies and pizza. According to them, as long as they are getting the right amount of each macronutrient it doesn't matter where it comes from.


In terms of physique development...for me, personally: Assuming the macro breakdown is the same, it doesn't make a difference if the carbs are fruity pebbles or sweet potatoes.

But, if you care about your health at all and if you personally like the taste of potatoes...you'll choose them base don a better micronutrient profile. Atleast usually...

Moderation is best.


Thanks for your reply. Yeah this has always confused me. Guys like John Romaniello say that what you eat is very important for losing weight. Meanwhile guys like TimbahWolf (search youtube) eats whatever food sources he wants and he's walking around at like 8% bodyfat.


There have been endless threads on this.

500 calories of good complex carbs from oatmeal is not the same as 500 calories of carbs from candy. Why? Well, oats have agreat nutritional composition, providing your body with valuable nutrients, the complex carbs are released slowely and provide ideal fuel for your muscles over an exteneded slow released period of time without spiking insulin heavily. Candy will provide a short term supply of energy and spike insulin and promote the storage of fat..

The same goes for all kinds of bad food VS good food.

If you want the most out of your nutrition and training program then you will eat good carbs and good fats.

There are some guys who's bodies tend to treat bad carbs/fats almost equally to good fats/carbs - this is usually at a younger age when metabolism is higher. But I guarantee you if they substituted pizza and twinkies for sweet potato and nuts - they would be more ripped and bigger.

I think this topic requires simple common sense rather scientific evidence. Of course good food is better for serious training



just because it's sold at whole foods doesn't mean it's healthy


I'm going to have to disagree with the theory that it doesn't matter where your sources of macronutrients come from.

As far as carbs are concerned you should really steer clear of gluten, wheat, legumes and grains. That stuff can really mess up your gut, and as you know your gut is your 2nd brain, so if you're eating a lot of stuff that's going to mess up your intestinal track and your belly you're going to feel like sh*t.

As far as protein is concerned I would go with some good clean whey, grass fed beef or some wild caught salmon. Don't fuck with that corn fed beef, because it will really mess up your innards.

I would get my carbs from things like nuts, greens and non-starchy veggies like yams and sweet potatoes.

Google the "Paleo diet" or "Paleolithic diet" and you'll see what I mean.


O rly?


Yay, someone's had their first read of Robb Wolf and knows how to regurgitate all his info. Whey is not paleo btw. You've contradicted yourself.


What you talkin' about? Didn't you know that most cavemen has 50lbs tubs of whey in their caves? How do you think they got so HYUUUUGE?


I just want to add that for me, eating tons of wheat-based products does screw up my digestive system. I just found this out the hard way. Looking for good replacements (rice, potatoes?).

I also want to add that eating a lot of whey also makes my belly ache and I end up taking a piss every 2 hours at night :\


Making crappy food choices becomes a habit, at least for weak willed people.


In terms of dieting for basic weight loss or management, I don't believe that the food choices (ie. fruity pebbles vs potatoes) are especially important, however, in terms of the PERFORMANCE involved in the gym, which is necessary to maximal muscle retention (the real goal in being BIG and ripped), I think you'd be an idiot to put 'junk' in your car and expect it to react like you gave it the highest quality fuel. While I may personally factor in a little crap during a contest prep for the psychological treat it provides, I would never risk getting all that I can by giving any less than my best, and that applies to dietary choices as well as training.

As to the people who have gotten "ripped to shreds" eating junk foods, I highly doubt that they're going to step on a bodybuilding stage anytime soon and have the other competitors worried. "Ripped" to most of the general public simply means looking "normal" to people who train hard and understand the game.



Your energy will most likely also be completely different on quality fuel. Energy is very important when chasing a goal, and if your goal is to become a ripped beast you'll need a lot of it.


I would rather eat the more heatlhy stuff, and thats what I try to do.

Although, saying that on some occasions when I do binge, often the next day i have the best workouts.
For example the other day I ate a whole pizza, and then about 10 scotch and cokes. The next day I benched my PB and then smashed my weigted pull-up PB for 5 reps.



Yeah I don't believe that for the average or even any one individual person that fruity pebbles would be an equal source of value as sweet potato. For hypertrophy or real gains in strength.

When people binge they often times take in huge amount of carbs the day before or the day of the exercise. You'd be getting the same gains if you ate that much corn, sweet potato, banana, etc in epic amounts. probably better gains. Though a pizza isn't so bad as it can be an epic source of carbs/protein and fat.


OP this type of thread has been argued to death, go back & look through the forums. It usually ends with the usual 80% of replies saying "dude I got hyyoogggee eating teh pizzaz & friez everyday, screw dat healthy crap!!" vs 20% saying "Healthy food = better than junk food".


Nobody says that.


It's a semi-joke/sarcasm. I know people don't say exactly that nor do 80% of the replies. You get the point.


The 'I ate junk and I'm ripped' usually boils down to two things, in my experience

  • Teenager metabolism, in which a guy who eats like crap but is active and young has a 4-pac and no development.
  • A guy who secretly eats properly alone and has pizza/beer when he's out socially, and a decent physique but still held back because of frat night/poker night/football sunday binges.

You can't be impressively huge, impressively cut and impressively healthy if your diet is unimpressive more than 5-10% of the time.


^Good quote.