T Nation

Need Help with My Diet


#1

I’m new to this site, and I need a little help with my diet. For an average guy trying to cut fat, how important is it to track your macros? Should I focus more on total calories and getting the right amount of lean protein? Any input appreciated.


Only The Big 3 Lifts for a Month?
#2

It is important to track your macros. You have to get the right amount of proteins to maintain muscle mass. Carbs you will need as well. They are your primary energy source. If you eat too few of them your body will use protein for energy, which can lead to muscle loss instead of fat loss.

Your diet should optimally consist of 39 percent protein, 45 percent carbohydrate, and 16 percent fat.

Caloric intake should be tracked as well. You should have a caloric deficit of 300-500 calories per day. That way you should lose 0.5 to maximum 1kg of bodyweight per week. If you lose more you have to decrease the caloric deficit. Otherwise, you will lose muscle mass.


#3

A kg a day? 7kg a week? Even 0.5kg a day is pushing it. Is that a typo?

We need much more information @kyleky1991

what’s your current stats?
what’s your current diet look like?
what’s your training look like?
what’s your daily activity like?

to answer your question, tracking of calories would depend on what your current diet looks like, tracking could be helpful or pointless depending how bad shape you are in and how bad your current diet is.


#4

Yes, I corrected it. It should be per week.


#5

25, 5’7-'8, 227 lbs
Current diet is mostly plant based, eggs, and some dairy (no milk)
I lift 5-6 days a week, at least 90 minutes a day.
I would say my daily activity is decent, I work a factory job 8-12 hours a day 6-7 days a week, constantly on my feet and moving. On the very rare chance I’m don’t feel up for lifting, I still make sure to go hike with my wife for a few miles, or walk my dogs.


#6

What did you eat yesterday?


#7

What is optimal isn’t exactly settled. Just ask the Keto folks.


#8

Breakfast- 2 yellow apples, 1/4 cup of raw whole almonds
Lunch- About a cup and half of some garbanzo bean stuff my wife made (garbanzo beans, sour cream, buffalo sauce) meant to be eaten as a spread or dip
After gym- 1 banana with about 2 teaspoons of peanut butter
Dinner- chili, if I remember correctly. I could have done without the noodles though.


#9

Is that a normal day? Is that even 1500 calories?


#10

Probably close to 2200 I tend to over indulge at dinner


#11

How long have you been honestly and consistently following this diet?

Being as active as you state and only consuming what you posted, should not be enough food to make you 227lbs at 5’8". How long have you been consistently lifting?


#12

Not 227 lean lol. I’m down from about 270 or so a year ago


#13

Lol, well, that sorta changes things a bit… Congrats on the weight loss. If you’re really eating 2200 then I would just reduce by maybe 200 calories and see what happens. I would track your diet at least for a while, though. I don’t know what your end goal is, but Garbanzo bean dip and binge eating Chili are probably not going to get you there.

You expend so much energy that 2,000 calories seem too low to me, though. You may need to spend time normalizing your body. A 50lbs drop is a shock to your system I’m sure.


#14

myfitnesspal makes it easy to track you food and it’s free.


#15

Well my weight is still going down at the moment. Pretty much all I’m wanting to know is it absolutely necessary to calculate macros. Could I just make sure I get my minimum protein requirement, and just pretty much use common sense for the rest? I know I need to cut out the simple carbs, and sodium. I plan on adding fish back into my diet to up my protein intake. Will it be fine to get my protein from fish, eggs, beans, and legumes. And just eat clean, mostly raw, veggies for the rest of my nutrients?


#16

By the way is there any reason to count the carbs in fresh vegetables? Or do those get a pass?


#17

I believe the best course of action is to plot your macros and try and stick with them. I also believe the more straight forward the formula you choose the easier it is to both monitor intake and comply with your diet. It took me quite a while to realise this until I read guys like Frank Zane, who survived on a basic: 250 PRO/50 CHO/50 FAT ratio, jacking the carbs up every third day as part of his cycling approach. Folks tend to over-complicate this these days when it’s not really necessary.

Obviously there are a myriad of ratios to choose but the main thing is not to get bogged down in theory and start putting together a macros plan based on your activities and your goals. Next look at meal frequency. What works best for your lifestyle? Is it 6 meals? Is it 3 meals
plus 2 shakes? Then you nail down what you will eat at those times to hit the macros. Obviously you don’t sweat things like green veg. Same with lean protein, e.g. tuna, fish, chicken breast, etc, as 100g = c.20g PRO. So it’s easy to track. You may end up measuring stuff a few times to gauge portion size then you’re good to go. For example, I love my PB but when I have it I now weigh it first because I found I was really over-estimating what I thought was a tablespoon worth.


#18

Even in strict keto you should be able to get away without ever having to count them in. This is assuming you are talking green and other cruciferous veggies.


#19

Thanks for the help, seems to be the more people I ask advice from the more confused I get. There’s a lot of conflicting information floating around. As for right now I think I’m going to make sure I get the right amount of protein, and keep the carbs to a minimum. What would you guys say is a reasonable amount of protein per day? I’ve seen stuff saying .5g per pound all the way up to 1.8 g.


#20

If you train hard regularly (bodybuilding), you should eat between 1.25 and 1.5 grams of protein for each pound of bodyweight daily.

And just in case you are skeptical I have this from John Hansen (2-time Natural Mr. Universe) who is one of the most knowledgeable natural bodybuilders.