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Thread: Figuring out the diet part

  1. #1
    Riachi
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    Figuring out the diet part

    Can any point me to a good source for understanding how to use macronutrient %s and calorie totals to improve my gains? (Or share your own philosophy?)

    Quick background on me:
    stats: 28 yo male, 6 ft., 180 lbs. (at 25 I was more like 155-160, before NROL)
    goal: keep getting stronger, reach ~200 lbs. and be reasonably lean (though if I have to put on some fat first and then burn it off, that's okay)
    twist: I'm a pescetarian (veg + ovo + lacto + fish)

    Inspired by one of MissJane's posts, I logged my first day of eating in FitDay yesterday. The results:
    2900 Calories: 53% Fat (177g), 22% Protein (163g), 25% Carbs (183g)

    Any thoughts on where I should go from here?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Figuring out the diet part

    eat more protein.

    if you can tolerate grains, that's good. If not eat s@#$-loads of veggies including tubers like sweet potatoes, etc. in addition to fruits, etc.

    Mass Made Simple is a bulking program you might want to consider. If you can't afford it Dan has a MMS-lite program here -->

    http://danjohn.net/2012/01/mass-made-simple-lite/

    MMS and MMS-lite share a philosophy but the workouts are very different. The lack of complexes in MMS-lite make it lot easier for some -- especially 45+ yr old geezers like myself. That said, the complexes and high rep squats will leave you cursing and then smiling when you finally make it through the program.

  3. #3

    Figuring out the diet part

    If you are trying to add 20 pounds, and you are moderately active, I would try to up the cals more to the 3000-3500 range. It is fairly important to track weight week to week and body composition to your best ability. If your weight is stalled, add more cals, if you are gaining a lot of weight, but it seems like fat, dial them down.

    I think I'd shoot for your bodyweight in grams of protein as a target. So 180-200 gms/day.

  4. #4
    Riachi
    Guest

    Figuring out the diet part

    Thanks, guys.

    I don't know if I'm just "moderately active"... I consistently lift 4x per week, and spend 20 mins. or so bike commuting everyday. Does that count as moderate, or do you think I need more like 3500-4000 calories?

    On protein, looks like you're recommending ~1g/lb. bodyweight... that seems consistent with what I've seen elsewhere. Anyone have thoughts on % of diet that should be fat vs. carbs... does it matter?

  5. #5
    Senior Member LisaS's Avatar
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    Figuring out the diet part

    I think it depends on what you do for work. Are you walking around a shop floor and standing at stations? Are you in construction? Do you teach where you stand and walk during around for all or most of your classes? Do you sit at a desk and use the computer for 8 hours a day? What do you do the 22.5 hours a day you are not working out and/or commuting?
    Approach with caution - I'm keto-adapting

    WARNING: Written in minutes and fact-checked in seconds via Google. May contain unsafe levels of self-righteousness. Past cleverness is no guarantee of future results.

    Training Log

    "Please! One piece of pie won't make the difference and there's plenty of time to catch up! Each individual piece of pie is totally worth it."

  6. #6

    Figuring out the diet part

    Regardless of where you start with the calories, it will be an iterative process. All estimates of calorie burn are just that, estimates. Whether you use a fancy online calculator like this, or just multiply your weight by 15, it is all just an educated guess.

    You are just going to have to judge based on your results whether to move the cals up or down.

  7. #7
    Riachi
    Guest

    Figuring out the diet part

    Thanks for the link, djc. Pretty fancy stuff - makes me feel really sophisticated/stupid.

    It looks like the calculator recommends a pretty even split between fat/carbs with a somewhat lesser % of protein. Is that something that other people even worry about trying to balance? Anyone get a big boost in results from trying to think through this stuff in detail, or am I trying to make it too hard? i.e., should I just adopt a philosophy of "eat a ton, make sure a lot of what I eat is protein-heavy, and adjust based on changes in my scale weight / appearance?"

  8. #8

    Figuring out the diet part

    My belief (which isn't worth much, but it don't cost nothin ) is that you find your calorie targets, get your protein to an adequate level, then your carb/fat split is "whatever works". The more active you are and the more into endurance sports you are, the heavier the carb % should be, the more sedentary you are the higher fat% should be. However, as long as your calories and protein are right, and you aren't too extremely low on fats or carbs, you should be fine.

    There are some Low fat and some low carb true believers, and I've seen both work for some people, and I've also seen some folks have success on the zone (40/30/30 split). You just have to see what works for you. Some folks even cycle carbs and have a bunch of them post workout, and go low carb the rest of the time. I think I've seen everything proposed at one time or another, and glowing testimonials, so I doubt there is "one true answer".

    As far as that calculator, you can adjust percentages all over the map, don't get too hung up on the default settings.

    Good luck with it. Pick a direction, go, take good notes and measurements, and adjust!

  9. #9
    Riachi
    Guest

    Figuring out the diet part

    Awesome. Thanks again.

  10. #10

    Figuring out the diet part

    djc

    What you have stated is the proof that diet IS NOT a strong control variable (in terms of fine tuning) in metabolism. I would call it moderate. Diet is clearly strong in the extremes of starvation and creation of obeasity. This I think is because food is substrate as in gas. It is not the gas pedal. Also I think it strongly supports the idea that you can't build muscle without protein. For the endurance athelete amino acids easily turn into glucose. The reverse virtually never happens at least not on a scale that can support life. Beyond protein, cell walls are made up from fat and cholesterol. Despite the marketeering of the carb and running industry, carbs are the least important in my opinion.

  11. #11

    Figuring out the diet part

    Quote Originally Posted by "gasem":2xlww5sm
    djc

    What you have stated is the proof that diet IS NOT a strong control variable (in terms of fine tuning) in metabolism. I would call it moderate. Diet is clearly strong in the extremes of starvation and creation of obeasity. This I think is because food is substrate as in gas. It is not the gas pedal. Also I think it strongly supports the idea that you can't build muscle without protein. For the endurance athelete amino acids easily turn into glucose. The reverse virtually never happens at least not on a scale that can support life. Beyond protein, cell walls are made up from fat and cholesterol. Despite the marketeering of the carb and running industry, carbs are the least important in my opinion.
    Realistically, even though you need fats, you don't need much. I don't have the studies, but I seem to recall numbers in the 50 gm range. I think the OP can probably get 1 gm/LBM protein, and 50 gm fats, and 100 gm carbs for 1500 cals or so, and have 1.5-2K cals he can pretty much do whatever he wants with.

    I'm convinced the real reason folks push either low fat or low carb is mostly, for weight loss reason, taking classes of food off the menu works better than counting calories, because counting calories is fairly cumbersome.

  12. #12
    lets4410
    Guest

    Figuring out the diet part

    I've been getting my diet sorted out lately also (at last), you can use tuna to up your protein intake, also old el paso barbecue powders are good for spicing up the taste.
    Don't know about everyone else but I can't eat tuna over and over unless it's got some flavor.

  13. #13
    Riachi
    Guest

    Figuring out the diet part

    Trader Joe's has really good tuna in oil. I squirt lemon over it and eat it by the can-full. Capers are also a good flavor adder if you're feeling like a more gourmet protein pounding snack.

  14. #14
    lets4410
    Guest

    Figuring out the diet part

    Thanks Riachi, I'll give some of those a try.

  15. #15
    Everythingsimplebutwell
    Guest

    Figuring out the diet part

    I have slightly different viewpoints on diet. Yes, it is important, we all know that. But, what if you dialed in your training and viewed the diet as just simply making healthy choices. If you regularly consume vegetables, protein sources and then your carbs you will be eating great. This diet definitely won't make you gain any fat unless you stop using common sense, then add in hard conditioning to get your results. Just another option I thought I would throw out. I hate worrying about macronutrients and counting things so I just do this instead, I am willing to do the conditioning and I basically eat what I want.

  16. #16

    Figuring out the diet part

    Quote Originally Posted by "Raymundo":94hncwem
    It is pretty essential to monitor body weight weeks time to weeks time and system structure to your best capability. If your body weight is delayed, add more cals, if you are getting a lot of body weight, but it seems like fat, switch them down.
    How can you delay body weight? Delays are usually associated with events set for a specific time.

    "Getting" a lot of body weight is pretty vague.

    Switch what down?

    System structure?
    Scott

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