T Nation

Need Help: Meals and Bodyfat %

First of all, hi everyone. I need some help.

Ive been interested in strength training for a while now, and I’ve been doing a ton of reading and learning as much as I could for the past few days. I’ve also started doing basic workouts, and now I want to start a more intense program (whatever is the proper name). I still would like to ask you guys for help.

I’m 16, about 5’ 9" and 115 lbs. I know, I’m scrawny. Criticize all you want, I probably deserve it. One thing that would be really helpful to me is some examples of a good meal. From what I understand it’s better to eat more, smaller meals than the normal breakfast lunch dinner routine. Also, how do you guys calculate body fat percentage? I was reading the Massive Eating article, but I need to know my body fat to be able to know how many calories to eat every day.

Anyways, sorry for the dumb questions, I’m still learning. And I know a lot of people will say teach yourself but I’ve read so much contradictory information that I don’t know what’s true. And the people on this site seem the most knowledgeable so I figured asking here would be a safe bet. Thanks for all the help!

At your height and weight you could assume 10%bf. This may not be right, but it doesn’t matter that much. You will soon know if you are eating enough to gain.

WRT more frequent meals, this is probably a good idea for you, it will help you get more food in.

What is a good meal? As many meals as possible should be meat or fish, vegetables or salad, maybe some crushed almonds and/or a bit of extra virgin olive oil on the salad. Some fruit.

You may not be able to manage six meals a day like this. If you can’t, make sure you get protein, some healthy fats and some fibre in each meal. Examples of portable “snack type” meals: a handful of nuts, fresh or dried fruit. Or a few slices of cheese, whole wheat crackers and a tomato sliced on top. Breakfast examples: omelette with sauteed mushroom, onion and pepper. Oatmeal with protein powder, milk and berries.

Don’t be afraid of fat. Most people have trouble gaining because they don’t eat enough fat. You NEED fat. Your brain is about 60% fat. Fat is also necessary to produce testosterone.

However, it is important to keep your fats in the right proportions (around 1/3 saturated, 1/3 monounsaturated, 1/3 polyunsaturated). Also it is important to get a good balance of omega 3 to omega 6 fats. (2:1 according to Udo whatsisname). Fish oil caps will help this.

PS I don’t think anyone who is scrawny at 16 deserves criticism. For most of us, it just goes with the territory.

Ok thanks, I figure I need about 3500 calories a day if I have 10% BF. I wish I knew for sure what % I have…

Anyways, I have been reading some programs in the article section and so far I think I’m going to start Shut Up. I don’t have access to a gym though, and a lot of those workouts sound like they need machines. Is there a program that is a little less reliant on machines?

And finally, does anyone know of a good website that explains how to do different workouts. Preferably with pictures or videos? I am having trouble finding a good one. Thanks again!

[quote]Gettysburg wrote:
Ok thanks, I figure I need about 3500 calories a day if I have 10% BF. I wish I knew for sure what % I have…[/quote]

3500 cals/day is a good starting point. Don’t be surprised if you find it hard to eat that much on a regular basis, until you get used to it.

[quote]
Anyways, I have been reading some programs in the article section and so far I think I’m going to start Shut Up. I don’t have access to a gym though, and a lot of those workouts sound like they need machines. Is there a program that is a little less reliant on machines?

And finally, does anyone know of a good website that explains how to do different workouts. Preferably with pictures or videos? I am having trouble finding a good one. Thanks again![/quote]
There are plenty of programs that don’t need machines. Example: Waterbury’s Anti-Body Building Hypertrophy http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459341

What exactly do you have access to? Barbell? Bench? Squat rack or squat stands? Dumbbells?

How to do the exercises:
http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html

I don’t like the way the site is organized, but the exercise videos are fine.

Also, a lot of more recent T-Nation articles have video clips in them.

Don’t do Shut Up–it’s not for beginners. Do one of the programs mentioned in the beginner thread. Pick one for which you do have the necessary equipment. And if you can’t do a particular exercise, tell us and we can help you find a suitable replacement. You should really find a gym though.

Don’t worry too much about calories. You’re a beginner, so as long as you’re eating a lot you shouldn’t have a problem. This is hardly an exact science (I’m sure all the formulas had you thinking otherwise), and you’re talking about a difference of maybe 200 calories between 5% and 15% body fat.

If you’re growing, then you’re probably eating enough. As a beginner, you can afford to err on the high side as far as intake goes.

Just adding - don’t fear carbs.

-Cloth

When you’re just starting out all the info can be really confusing. So here are a couple of meal ideas that you shouldn’t need to modify.

Breakfast:

500g yoghurt
2 scoops of vanilla protein
blueberries
50g oats

mix all the ingredients together and eat with a spoon. That is an easy 700kCal right there.


Daytime Meals:

1 Sweet Potato (microwaved for 9 minutes)
1 large chicken breast grilled.

Add spices like cumin, chilli, coriander (cilantro), a few drops of lemon/ tabasco.

Experiment to see what you like to prepare the chicken breast with.

For the sweet potato try adding some cinnamon and all spice as well as some paprika, if you want you can also add a dash of OJ. Mash the sweet potato and spices together with a fork.


Pre-Bed:

1 Salmon Steak
Spinach leaves/ green salad/ broccoli

Put a little salt and pepper on the salmon steak along with some parsley or coriander and lemon juice.

Wrap the salmon in tin foil and grill for about 6 minutes. (the tin foil keeps all the juices in and keeps the salmon moist, it also means that you don’t get fish juices on your grill which means that your house won’t stink of fish every time you grill something for the next few days).

Serve with vegetable side covered in olive oil.


These are just a few easy ideas. Just remember to try and eat at least 5 meals a day and you’ll be well on your way.

A good beginner program to try is Chad Waterbury’s Total Body Training:
http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=04-073-training

This website is an awesome resource and has helped me to put on nearly 70lbs since June. If I can do it so can you.

Good luck!

Maybe it’s just the mood I’m in this morning but my last few posts deal with overthinking things and making things much more complicated than they actually are.

I would say at your age and weight…I wouldn’t pay any attention to what I’m eating so long as I’m eating. Just eat. 6 times a day is a good goal. Just make sure you eat and lift hard. If you get up to 200 pounds after a year or two of hard lifting and eating and want to cut, THEN start worrying about what exactly is included in everything you eat.