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ageofmythology2
11-27-2015, 04:37 PM
Hey guys. So, a few years back I was at my biggest at 5"10 230ish. Over the last couple of years and, in particular this last year (and the last few months of being aggressive about it), I've gotten down to approx 160lbs. I track calories in MFP and don't log exercise or eat back burned calories. For the last 2 and a half months or so I've been eating at 1500 a day and 2 weeks ago I hit my lowest weight of 158.6lbs. Since then, I have decided to bulk up and gain some clean muscle before trying to cut more fat (if that becomes necessary, sigh).

For the last 5 days or so I've been eating at maintenance (2200 cals) and ironing out a workout plan. I've started doing a routine I found online (google "mass home gym" and it's the first result, I do routine 2 with the barbells); I work out in my home gym with access to an incline bench, power rack, dumbbells, barbells, and curl bar. I also do 5 minutes on the treadmill before my workout, alternating between jogging and running, and 5 minutes after (doing the same). I plan on doing this 4 times a week, working out then resting, working out then resting, so I have on days and off days (also works with my school schedule).

I ordered 2 pairs of calipers and measured my body fat loads of times and kept getting around 10-11%, but with my gut this seems crazy to me, like perhaps I'm measuring wrong, or something (pictures to illuminate and arouse, maybe, imgur.c_om/a/m8zwc). Anyways, my weight today, again with probable fluctuation and or waterweight, was 162.8, last weeks was 162.6). My planned diet is the 16x162.8=2604, but to be safe and start out I was thinking I'd start at 2500 calories, 163g/652 calories of protein, 70g/625 calories of fat, and 306g/1223 calories of carbs.

I don't snack and do regularly try to eat veggies (kale, lettuce, cucumber, pepper, onions,etc), healthy grains (rice, quinoa) and higher-protein noodles/pastas. I'll also look to potatoes and lean meats, of course. I also regularly eat Quest bars and I have Quest powder. I'll try to avoid splurging too much and eating terrible ****, which I would only be tempted to do if it popped up in my house or if I went out to dinner and even then I try to eat what's best. After a week/weeks I can raise calories if need be.

Is this a solid enough understanding and plan for me to get a defined set of muscles and make myself look good, look toned? I'm going for the model look with a defined set of abs/visible six-pack and muscles all around but not the insane veiny bodybuilder look. All of this is really overwhelming and I've tried to do my best monitoring myself and researching everything on my own but I would really, really like a second opinion. Thanks so much anyone who read this all, and let me know what you think.

ShyGuyXS
11-27-2015, 05:04 PM
There's a lot of information out there, so the best advice I can give you is to keep it simple.

- Eat the foods you enjoy. No one food is "clean" or "dirty" - some foods are more nutrient-rich than others, but having desserts, pizza, and the like are perfectly okay if your intake is well-rounded. There's no reason to say "no" to a certain food unless you genuinely don't enjoy it or have a food allergy.
- To estimate your maintenance (accounting for activity) if you don't really know, refer to the Calculating Calories and Macronutrients (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=156380183) sticky. This is meant to give you a starting point to work with. Your starting intake of 2500 may or may not be enough to gain, depending on activity.
- For macronutrients: Your protein and fat intake look sufficient enough. Generally suggested minimums are .8g/lb protein and .4g/lb of dietary fat, so you're on the right track.

As for building muscle and obtaining the results you want, I want to emphasize that it takes patience, time, and consistency to get to where you want to go. At your stats, building up some more muscle mass is a good idea. (Also, on a side note, when you get to cutting again, I would not go too low on calories.)

nakedmancow
11-27-2015, 05:08 PM
Toned is nothing more than slightly above average %body weight of muscle and low body fat%. Eat at a moderate surplus (2-3 lbs/mo) until you have a decent foundation then cut -- this will give you a "toned" look. Your diet should be based around your TDEE then add 200-300 calories to that and adjust based on weekly average weight change. "clean food" vs "junk food" is not so important as long as you are hitting your macros and micros.

gbullock32
11-27-2015, 11:41 PM
NUTRITION

This is the largest factor in your success, learn the basics to get started and then move into more advanced if needed.

BASICS

Calculate calorie needs: First get your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), then multiply by an activity factor to get your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure).

BMR= 370 + (21.6 x LBM (Lean Body Mass), Where LBM = [Total Weight (KG) x (100 - Body Fat %)] /100

Next take that number and use an activity factor to get TDEE (more active, use a higher number and lower number for less active) but remember this accounts for all activity and not just exercise (busy job/active life, choose a higher value)-
1.2- Sedentary (desk job and little exercise/activity)
1.3-1.4- Lightly Active Light daily activity, light exercise 1-3 times per week)
1.5-1.6- Moderately Active (Moderately active, moderate exercise 3-5 times per week)
1.7-1.8- Very Active (Physically demanding lifestyle, hard exercise 5-7 times per week)
1.9-2.2- Extremely Active (Endurance athlete, very hard physical job)

Now that you have the TDEE, get your macro-nutrient needs (fat, protein, and carb needs). Fat has 9 calories per gram, and protein/carbs have 4 calories per gram, alcohol is 7 calories per gram count it as a carb when fitting it into your macros).

Protein- .8 grams per pound
Fat- .4 grams per pound

Meet those MINIMUMS and then fill out remaining calories as you want with carbs, or more protein and fat, or any combination. Remember to track properly too, use a food scale (measuring cups can be very inaccurate due to density); track everything, each little bit adds up (sauces can be quite calorie dense).

Next decide your goal and eat at a 10-20% caloric deficit or surplus, deficit to lose weight and surplus to gain. For gaining go for ~.5-1 pound per week and when losing aim for 1-2 pounds per week. Reach your macro needs with mostly whole foods and a wide variety to ensure enough vitamins and mineral, but remember to practice common sense and moderation- enjoy life.

Sources and More Information

Nutrition-
Calculating Calories (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=156380183)
Pre, During, and Postworkout Nutrition (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=123915821)
How To Ask For Diet Critique (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=129523333)
Discretionary Calorie Allowance (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=133634471)
Macro/Micro Nutrients Explained (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=2845231)
Why 'Clean Eating' Is a Myth (http://wannabebig.com/diet-and-nutrition/the-dirt-on-clean-eating/)
Clean Eating Myth 2 (http://evidencemag.com/clean-eating/)
Insulin and Fat Loss (http://weightology.net/weightologyweekly/index.php/free-content/free-content/volume-1-issue-7-insulin-and-thinking-better/insulin-an-undeserved-bad-reputation/)
Insulin and Fat Loss 2 (http://www.muscleforlife.com/how-insulin-works/)

Protein-
Protein Needs (http://evidencemag.com/dieting-protein-needs)
Protein Needs 2 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24092765)
Protein Timing (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3879660/)

Fat-
Fat Needs (http://www.jissn.com/content/11/1/20)
Fat and Testosterone (http://www.anabolicmen.com/fats-and-testosterone/)

Meal Timing-
Meal Timing 1 (http://www.jissn.com/content/10/1/5)
Meal Timing 2 (http://nutritionreviews.oxfordjournals.org/content/73/2/69)

Micro-Nutrient Guide-
Micro-Nutrient Guide (http://iom.nationalacademies.org/Activities/Nutrition/SummaryDRIs/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Nutrition/DRIs/5_Summary%20Table%20Tables%201-4.pdf)


TRAINING
Start with a solid beginner routine, these are designed to get the most for you; they are designed by professionals and use progressive overload. Read through them and pick the one you like most, follow it as it is written.

Why You Should Not Make Your Own Routine (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=118004321)
How To Perform Basic Lifts (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=118920551)

Routines
Starting Strength (http://startingstrength.com/)
BabyLover's Starting Strength (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=135564721)
AllPro's Beginner Routine (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=4195843)
StrongLifts 5x5 (http://stronglifts.com/5x5/)
IceCream Fitness 5x5 (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=148036063)
Fierce 5 (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=159678631)
Coolcicada's Push Pull Legs (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=149807833)

Calisthenics routines
Push Day:
- Pushups: 5x15
- Chest Dips: 4x12
- Triceps Extensions: 3x20
- Bench Dips: 3x15
- HSPU: 5x5
- Hindu Pushups: 3x12

Pull Day:
- Pull-ups: 5x8
- Inverted Rows: 3x12
- Back bridges: 4x10
- One-arm Assisted Chin-ups: 4x5
- One-arm Inverted Rows: 3x8
- Chins Isometric Holds: 3xFailure

Legs Day:
- Suqats: 5x20
- Jumping Squats: 4x15
- Lunges: 3x30
- Sprints: 4x20sec
- Box Jumps: 3x10
- Hanging Leg Raises: 3xfailure

Or-

Upper Day:
- Pullups: 5x6
- One-arm Inverted Rows: 3x8
- Inverted Rows: 3x18
- Back bridges: 4x10
- Pushups: 4x12
- Dips: 3x15
- HSPU: 3x5
- Decline Crunches: 4x12
- Russian Decline Twist: 3x12

Lower Day:
- Jumping Squats: 8x12
- Pistol Squats: 4x10
- Step Ups: 3x10
- GHR: 3x12
- Sprints: 5x15sec
- Calf Raises: 10x10 "Burnout".
- Hanging Leg Raises: 4x12
- Planks: 3x1min


SUPPLEMENTS

Remember one thing, supplements are only that; they supplement something and are never meant to be replacements. A multivitamin will not replace fruits and vegetables, a fat burner will not replace a caloric deficit, and a meal replacement is not meant to be your only source of calories.

This is a brief run down of the 'basics', for further breakdowns of specific ingredients (like Yohimbe, Forskolin, Glycerol, ect) more research on your part would be needed.

Protein
Protein supplements are mostly derived from either Milk, Animal, Egg, or Plant sources. They are a powdered food item, made to be convenient to take. Their main purpose is to help you reach your minimum daily needs for protein if you cannot do so with whole foods, outside of that they provide no special benefit to muscle growth and are by no means 'required'.

Types
Whey- The most common, derived from milk and comes in either a concentrate or isolate. It is the cheapest and has a very high bio-availability, good stuff all around. Concentrate is the most common you will see since it requires less processing than an isolate. It is great and just fine for the majority of people. Isolates are another variety, they tend to have a few less carbs and fat, but cost more. They are best for people who have lactose issues.

Animal- Meat based protein, most come from the hooves and other parts that are not used in food; mostly collagen sources. These are usually not the best for bio-availability and are costly compared to a whey protein. They have the benefit of not being an issue to the lactose intolerant, but most prefer other sources for their protein needs.

Egg- From eggs, most are egg white powders. Again these cost more but have good bio-availability and do not aggravate lactose.

Plant- Best for the vegetarian/vegan, and those with very severe lactose intolerance (who still get issues even from isolate). These are sources from pea, soy, hemp, rice, and other plants. They often have multiple sources to form a complete protein source. Most cost more because of the processing involved.

Multi-Vitamins
Multi-Vitamins are a good way to cover any gaps your nutrition may leave, they are not meant to (and never will be) a replacement for a wide variety of whole foods. Think of them as the spackle of the supplement world, great for covering imperfections, but you would not try and build a house from it.

Fish Oil
Fish Oil is a good supplement for most, mainly because many do not eat enough fish to reach the minimum recommendation for EPA/DHA. For the most part you do not need to over complicate this one, just find a cheap and reliable brand and go for a dosage that covers your daily needs. These recommendations are 3 grams of EPA/DHA per day.

Creatine
Creatine Monohydrate is the cheapest form of creatine and the most proven/studied. 3-5 grams a day, taken at any time with any liquid is all it takes and you do not need to load or cycle nor do you need to take it with sugar. Many types of creatine exist but just go with a plain mono- do not expect miracles though, creatine will barely have any noticeable effect, it may give you an extra rep or 2 but that is about it.

Bloating with creatine is actually very minimal, if it occurs at all, and usually only happens to those who load it (which is not needed). Creatine works by saturation, pulling water into the muscles and providing more endurance.

BCAAs
BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino Acids) are said to prevent muscle breakdown and aid in recovery- this is true but you know what already has BCAAs in it? Food, any source of protein has and is comprised of branch chain amino acids. Assuming you reach protein sufficiency in your day a BCAA supplement would do nothing to aid you. BCAA supplements may be beneficial if you take pre/intra workout only if you train in a fasted state, or taken between meals if you go 4-6 hours without food. If you do not fit either of those categories they are not needed at all, save the money.

Fat Burners
Fat Burners primarily do 2 things, suppress appetite and provide energy and focus. They cannot and will not replace a calorie deficit or a proper nutrition plan. Some have other additions, such as Forskolin or Yohimbe which may aid in actual fat loss though, but again the end success of weight/fat loss is proper diet. Work on getting that in order and then, if needed, you may want to look into a fat burner for the final push you need.

Pre-Workouts
These are designed to provide energy, focus, pump, and endurance; they do so most often with caffeine and other ingredients though there are also non-stimm pre-workouts for those who do not want the caffeine rush. These can aid you if the extra energy is needed but they are not required; if you are fine without them than you can just save your money.

Meal Replacements/Mass Gainer
These are often little more than a protein supplement with a lot of cheap carbs added in to jack up the calories. Really, just eat more; make a homemade gainer from whole foods: Whole Milk, Oats, Honey, Ice Cream, Whey, Peanut Butter, Fruit; all can be blended up to make a far more nutritious and cheaper gainer than anything you could buy in a tub.

CLA
CLA is useless, really... Unless you are obese and even then the effects are minimal at best.

Glutamine
Glutamine is pretty much useless, save your money.

ageofmythology2
11-28-2015, 03:43 PM
Thanks everyone for the responses; looks like I've got a good starting point and I've just got to execute it. Still, eating now is so weird. Coming from 1500 a day to 2500, which is admittedly conservative for a bulk, feels crazy; crazy I can eat so much and actually be in pursuit of looking better. Hard to mentally accept.