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FJPhotography
02-02-2012, 03:18 PM
Can anyone tell me whether the following is to be expected?

I'm not sure I am seeing the right results, but I don't know exactly what to change. My objective is to build lean mass while losing fat, which many (but not all) people here seem to believe is achievable.

Exercise so far:

3 weeks of doing the Allpro Beginner routine and lifting quite heavy with it (It's tough to complete the reps on the heavy day) + three times per week cardio (running).

Nutrition/Macros:

AMR is around 2,900 cals per day

Spent first two weeks on a deficit: daily 'clean' calorie intake of 2,400 calories, of which:

Protein was 200-230g
Healthy Fats 80-100g
Carbs made up the remainder

This week I have upped total daily calorie intake to 2,800, using almonds as the main way of adding the extra 400 cals.

Today I weigh approximately the same as I did when I started the Allpro cycle three weeks' ago, and my BF% is slightly higher ( from 18% to 20%). I can visibly see some muscle growth, particularly in the biceps and triceps, but it's not particularly impressive.

More worrying (at least as far as my original goals is concerned) is that my gut measures exactly the same as it did three weeks' ago, and this is the part of my body that I am least happy about (38 inches). When I read other journals, people talk about losing weight off their waist, but that hasn't happened to me even my calorie deficit.

I also read on another thread here that if you are not gaining weight and not gaining fat, then you need to up calories - hence the increase this week. However, I am really concerned that upping the calories as I have done this week is simply going to give me an expanding waist line.

Can anyone offer any advice?

TIA.

ironwill2008
02-02-2012, 03:31 PM
You need to decide on a daily calorie total, and then stick to it like glue for 6-8 weeks before changing anything. Decide on an amount; the exact number isn't life or death at this point. What you need for now is a baseline, a calorie total to hit every day, so that at the end of the 6-8 week period you'll be able to see what it's doing for you. If you keep moving the target around every couple of weeks, you'll never get a handle on exactly how much to eat.

Your protein and fat amounts look good.

BTW, you are using a small food scale to weigh your portions, aren't you?

mrmrbill
02-02-2012, 03:37 PM
1. "...3 weeks..." More time, as IW said.

2. Were your lift numbers still going up prior to the 400 cal bump? If so, the bump is unnecessary.

FJPhotography
02-02-2012, 03:38 PM
Many thanks, Ironwill.

OK, so I will stick with 2,400 and see what happens, then re-evaluate in three or four weeks (that'll be the six/seven week point).

I am indeed using a scale to measure everything!

Thanks for your advice!

FJPhotography
02-02-2012, 03:41 PM
1. "...3 weeks..." More time, as IW said.

2. Were your lift numbers still going up prior to the 400 cal bump? If so, the bump is unnecessary.

Yes, my reps have been increasing on-schedule, so I must be getting stronger - on 11 now, and couldn't have done that in week 1.

OK, sounds like keeping the cals constant is the way to go for now.

Thanks :)

ironwill2008
02-02-2012, 03:49 PM
I am indeed using a scale to measure everything!


Good deal; you're on the right path.

The more consistent you are now, the easier all this (nutrition) will get, and the sooner it will get easier. Just remember that your body doesn't turn on a dime as far as body composition is concerned; it takes time for things to sort themselves out and become obvious as to their value. This also applies to changes in your training and changes in how much sleep/rest/recovery you get.

TenThreeFive
02-02-2012, 03:54 PM
Excellent advice so far. That waist not moving is frustrating as hell. I would do it a little different. I would drop the running for now. On workout days I would consume 2600 calories with the bulk of carbs after lifting and non workout days I would consume 2100 calories. I wouldn't add running until you get your bf 14% or below. Just my 2 cents. Good luck.

Bofrere21
02-02-2012, 04:21 PM
At your weight (near 200lbs) 200-230g of protein is not enough IMO. You should aim for at least 1.5g! Especially if you don't eat that much carbs (275g) and doing running/cardio you are probably using up some protein into gluconeogenesis (transformation of amino acids into glucose).

Try upping your protein to 300g, some people even gain more at 2g per lbs so it would be 400g per day. For me going from 1.2g to 1.5g made a huge difference.

Eric

ljimd
02-02-2012, 04:29 PM
Many thanks, Ironwill.

OK, so I will stick with 2,400 and see what happens, then re-evaluate in three or four weeks (that'll be the six/seven week point).

I am indeed using a scale to measure everything!

Thanks for your advice!


Be patient - it takes a while to get moving in the right direction.

ironwill2008
02-02-2012, 08:28 PM
Be patient -

^^^^ This vvvv

Patience
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll191/ironwill2008/patience.jpg

FJPhotography
02-03-2012, 12:11 AM
Excellent advice so far. That waist not moving is frustrating as hell. I would do it a little different. I would drop the running for now. On workout days I would consume 2600 calories with the bulk of carbs after lifting and non workout days I would consume 2100 calories. I wouldn't add running until you get your bf 14% or below. Just my 2 cents. Good luck.

Thanks for the support and advice.

I am happy to drop the cardio for a few weeks and see what happens. I assume it's OK to do some abs work on those days instead?

Also, since your calorie plan makes only a tiny difference to my usual weekly total of calories (a difference of only 400 per week), can nI adopt this without breaking the advice already given about sticking to my original deficit and evaluating over a period of three or four more weeks?

BTW, your sig is a great anchor for newbs like me who've been reading until our eyes bleed and have ended up with a brain fire!


At your weight (near 200lbs) 200-230g of protein is not enough IMO. You should aim for at least 1.5g! Especially if you don't eat that much carbs (275g) and doing running/cardio you are probably using up some protein into gluconeogenesis (transformation of amino acids into glucose).

Try upping your protein to 300g, some people even gain more at 2g per lbs so it would be 400g per day. For me going from 1.2g to 1.5g made a huge difference.

Eric

Eric

That's a lot of protein - I am not sure that I could actually get that much into my diet. Already taking 3x USN IGF1 protein (120g) and 1x ON Casein (28g) per day. Trying my best to eat as many eggs, prawns, chicken and red meat as I can! Will try and get it up, though.


Be patient - it takes a while to get moving in the right direction.

Thanks. It's not a quality I am known for! Must listen to you guys and just let nature take its course before re-evaluating.


^^^^ This vvvv

Patience


:)

mrmrbill
02-03-2012, 12:45 AM
That's a lot of protein - I am not sure that I could actually get that much into my diet. Already taking 3x USN IGF1 protein (120g) and 1x ON Casein (28g) per day. Trying my best to eat as many eggs, prawns, chicken and red meat as I can! Will try and get it up, though.

Some calculate P intake from LBM, others from total bodyweight. If by LBM, your numbers are already on target, any more is unnecessary. Fat doesn't really have protein requirements to speak of, for existence. It sits there minding its own business, stored energy. At BF:18-20%, it's highly unlikely that your losing protein to cardio efforts before excess fat is called upon. At much lower BF levels, gluconeogenesis circumstances would change.

FJPhotography
02-03-2012, 02:39 AM
Indeed, I calculated mine based on LBM.

Thanks for the additional info.

FJPhotography
02-28-2012, 10:16 AM
Gents

I'm now past the six-week point and wondered whether you can re-evaluate my progress?

The original macros remain the same as my first post, but the main change is that my AMR has dropped to around 2,600 cals having almost completely cut out cardio (I still run for 30 mins once a week). My average daily intake is 2,400 cals clean, but I admit that once per week I have been eating dirty and beyond my daily limit (sometimes by as much as 1,000 cals).

Routine is 4x sessions per week using All Pro Beginner, and reps increase weekly - no stalls yet and now in middle of second cycle.

Results:

Scales: LBM is 157.71 today (was 157 on 5 Feb, 152 on 14 Jan when I started). Fat is 19% today (19.4 on 5 Feb, 20.2 on 14 Jan). I should say that I don't trust the scales' readings, but I suppose that the trend is that I am ever so slowly losing fat

Mirror: Relaxed, I appear to have a bit more mass (but not much) and some additional definition and vascularity, but I still look puny. Tensed (but not pumped), I have much more muscularity than before. In truth, if I looked the way I do tensed all the time, I'd be really happy - this is my goal, I guess.

Tape Measure (not pumped): Biceps gone from 13.75" on 14 Jan to 15" today. Chest 40" to 42". But stomach is still big at 38.25 inches, which is pretty much what it was six weeks back. Neck is about the same...

Photos: attached photos show a set of unpumped photos from last week in relaxed and tensed poses. I think I really need to work on getting some traps and well as ditching the belly! I am trying to find a shirtless photo from last year so that you have a sort of 'before' shot, as I neglected to take one in Jan when I started the programme.

Questions:

1) Is this 'progress' what you'd expect? I know that it will probably be laughed at by the long-term lifters, but I feel like I have stalled in the last couple of weeks (most of my bicep gains happened in the first three weeks, for example)

2) Keep calories the same, or consume more/fewer?

3) Related to 2, Can I start my cardio again?

3) Can I add shoulder shrugs to my All Pro Beginner routine to work on traps? Mine are measly unless I am in that Incredible Green Hulk pose in the photos!

Thanks in advance to all for your help!

FJP

FJPhotography
02-29-2012, 08:54 AM
Anyone?

UndesirableNo1
02-29-2012, 09:20 AM
Gents

I'm now past the six-week point and wondered whether you can re-evaluate my progress?

The original macros remain the same as my first post, but the main change is that my AMR has dropped to around 2,600 cals having almost completely cut out cardio (I still run for 30 mins once a week). My average daily intake is 2,400 cals clean, but I admit that once per week I have been eating dirty and beyond my daily limit (sometimes by as much as 1,000 cals).

Routine is 4x sessions per week using All Pro Beginner, and reps increase weekly - no stalls yet and now in middle of second cycle.

Results:

Scales: LBM is 157.71 today (was 157 on 5 Feb, 152 on 14 Jan when I started). Fat is 19% today (19.4 on 5 Feb, 20.2 on 14 Jan). I should say that I don't trust the scales' readings, but I suppose that the trend is that I am ever so slowly losing fat

Mirror: Relaxed, I appear to have a bit more mass (but not much) and some additional definition and vascularity, but I still look puny. Tensed (but not pumped), I have much more muscularity than before. In truth, if I looked the way I do tensed all the time, I'd be really happy - this is my goal, I guess.

Tape Measure (not pumped): Biceps gone from 13.75" on 14 Jan to 15" today. Chest 40" to 42". But stomach is still big at 38.25 inches, which is pretty much what it was six weeks back. Neck is about the same...

Photos: attached photos show a set of unpumped photos from last week in relaxed and tensed poses. I think I really need to work on getting some traps and well as ditching the belly! I am trying to find a shirtless photo from last year so that you have a sort of 'before' shot, as I neglected to take one in Jan when I started the programme.

Questions:

1) Is this 'progress' what you'd expect? I know that it will probably be laughed at by the long-term lifters, but I feel like I have stalled in the last couple of weeks (most of my bicep gains happened in the first three weeks, for example)

2) Keep calories the same, or consume more/fewer?

3) Related to 2, Can I start my cardio again?

3) Can I add shoulder shrugs to my All Pro Beginner routine to work on traps? Mine are measly unless I am in that Incredible Green Hulk pose in the photos!

Thanks in advance to all for your help!

FJP

You're not following the advice of 'have patience'. 6 weeks is not much different than 3 weeks TBH. Do 3-4 more cycles of All Pro and come back with stats.

How are you working out on All Pros 4xweek when it's only 3xweek? More is not better. Especially at the noob stage.

All Pro suggests not adding any exercises to the plan until you've run 3 cycles at least. So I wouldn't add shrugs yet. Patience Grasshopper. This isn't a sprint.

FJPhotography
03-02-2012, 12:15 AM
Thanks, undesirable.

I posted again because I'd been told to re-evaluate my nutrition at the six-week mark (I've also heard it said that you should evaluate early and often), but I do indeed appreciate that this is a long term exercise.

I'll come back in a couple of months with longer term stats.

cmoore
03-02-2012, 04:44 AM
Muscle growth takes time. An fat even longer. Sounds like you're making progress to me.


My average daily intake is 2,400 cals clean, but I admit that once per week I have been eating dirty and beyond my daily limit (sometimes by as much as 1,000 cals).
FJP

You're sabotaging yourself. Put down the Spoon and stay on target. You seem hurried to get results and while some people do ok with a cheat day per week, I think you're losing ground when you do that.

People may argue but here's my tweak.
Keep your 2400 cal intake but limit carbs at or under 150.
Drink 2 gallons of water per day. Keep your sodium low

*keeping your carbs and Na+ lower will shed water and make you look leaner than you are. You'll "see" changes, feel better about it and hopefully it'll inspire you to stay on task. Some people report doin even better if most of their carbs are taken in right around their workout.

FJPhotography
03-02-2012, 05:00 AM
Cmoore

Very constructive feedback. Thanks.

I completely agree that I am sabotaging any ground I make when I have a "treat" day. I've resolved to spend the next few months completely faithful to my nutrition plan. I did it for six months last year, so I know I can do it again; just need to keep my focus every day.

MecGen
03-02-2012, 07:24 AM
MHOP

You are thin enough, 6 months of training will do the cutting for you. At your size its going to be very hard to get any thinner without getting smaller.

Why not stay the course, try to clean up your cheating ways (easier said then done I know) and focus on eating the right foods. 6 weeks shows, thats better then most, the people that drop huge weight in 6 weeks are people that have huge weight to lose, not your case.

Good Luck

FJPhotography
03-02-2012, 02:39 PM
Thanks for the positive words and constructive feedback, MecGen. Wilco.

rand18m
03-02-2012, 03:43 PM
MHOP

You are thin enough, 6 months of training will do the cutting for you. At your size its going to be very hard to get any thinner without getting smaller.

Why not stay the course, try to clean up your cheating ways (easier said then done I know) and focus on eating the right foods. 6 weeks shows, thats better then most, the people that drop huge weight in 6 weeks are people that have huge weight to lose, not your case.

Good Luck

This^^ except I don't agree with dropping the cheat day completely at this stage. Of course "cheat day" means a lot of different things to everyone, so unless you are going crazy on calorie intake, go ahead and have pizza with your wife if that works for you. Just don't eat the whole damn pizza! :)

Come back in six months and let everyone take a look!

Focus on your workouts, your intensity, frequency and recovery. That is what I suggest you spend more time worrying about. You can keep your cals close, but right now you want to build muscle, at your weight and height the fat will take care of itself.

FJPhotography
03-03-2012, 03:25 AM
Thanks for the advice, rand18m.

This forum is great for inspiration and encouragement, and I really appreciate you all taking the time to offer these pearls of wisdom.

Back in six months!