T Nation

Is My Diet Killing My Progress?

I don’t have an opportunity right now to eat a lot of home cooked meals so I have to throw in a double turkey subway (wheat, sometimes 6 inch sometimes footlong) but also chicken and rice from a middle eastern place. Did start throwing in a protein shake every now and then, and probably eat an average of 3 meals a day, sometimes more sometimes less (I know…)

I got into routine about 3 months ago and have been trying to hit the gym (free weights) almost every day, and occasionally throw in a little jogging, some uphill mountain biking, but nothing that would be considered solid continuous cardio.

I’ve gotten stronger, which is good, but my body composition has not changed much. I wouldn’t say I gained any decent muscle, or really toned up, or lost a good amount of fat, just minor improvements on all three. I’m almost 6’1, 230lb, with probably a good 50-60lb of fat proportioned evenly through my body (no beer gut, some man chest)

Now I have a couple of questions… I’ve posted before and know what a good food layout is, and how many calories I should be getting.

Could the somewhat out of whack food schedule (I don’t do 5 proportionate meals… might get a footlong double turkey, then 5 hours later eat a bunch of chicken/rice, so fourth) be killing my progress? I know what I need to be doing, I just need to know if that’s what is keeping me back

And question two… say I do keep up the not so serious foot routine, but still do get good amount of protein/carbs and don’t overeat, will I slowly improve, or am I stuck at this forever? now I’m assuming that slowly as I’m working out and damaging the muslce it will recover, and gain some mass little by little while burning off fat real slowly - may take a year or two, but will eventually change the body comp. Is that the case, or am I stuck looking like poop until I get the diet spot on?

Thank you much, just need quick answer to those two questions. Thanks!

Your diet is number 1 priority when it comes to a serious physique change. Try and eat healthy for one. If your getting less then 3 meals a day, thats a major problem, even for someone not training. Try and get multiple smaller or medium sized meals a day.

If your going to be doing alot of cardio you need to also be getting your complex carbs, white bread from subway is a relatively crappy substitute for it.
Use the search function in the upper right there and try to get more specifics. Also, check out the T-Cell, theres a couple of really good threads going on about nutrition.
I hope I helped. Good luck dude.

You’ve pretty much answered your own question. You know your diet is crap and isn’t what you should be doing. If for some reason you can’t be 100% on the diet can you be 90% or closer?

Good Diet + Intensity/Hard Work = Improvement

Yes. Your diet is holding you back. If you want to see more progress, fix your diet.

If you don’t clean up your diet, it is likely that you will slowly improve to a point, and then you will cease to improve. That point is not too much in front of you, and it is likely that you’ve hit it, as far as body composition is concerned.

You can get stronger without a top-notch diet. you can’t cut or get big without one.

well I Appreciate it, good folks, guess I needed that reassurement to kick me in the ass and get my game straight

When I’m gaining mass I usually eat every 2 1/2-3 hours sometimes 2 hour intervals! 40-60+ grams of protein with occasionally spikes of up to 100 grams for breakfast and or lunch. In case you want an example of what others do to gain.

Yes, your diet is holding you back. A double stacked turkey sub isn’t the worst food choice that you could be make, but your meal frequency and total daily consumption is a problem. Adding in a protein shake or two to break up the day isn’t a bad idea at all. You may want to get almonds and snack on those.

Fix your diet, everything else will fall in to place.

You can find creative ways to have several meals in a day. I pack 4oz. of mixed nuts and 16oz. protein shake to take to work every day. I eat/drink half of that at mid-morning and the other half at early afternoon, that gives me 2 meals along with my lunch, so I have 3 meals at work every day.

Since I eat breakfast before work, I’ve eaten 4 meals by the time I get home in the evening.

Nuts make a dense, calorie-rich snack you can take anywhere. Even better than protein bars since they don’t melt.