How should I change my diet/exercise?

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    How should I change my diet/exercise?


    Hello,

    Any advice/constructive criticism will be greatly appreciated.

    Background Info: 5"5' currently 178lbs. Around 3 months ago I weighed about 250lbs. I decided to lose weight and did so initially in a very unhealthy way by basically just doing a lot of walking and only taking in 400-500 calories. After losing about 55ish lbs like this I went to the gym with a friend (I would go on occasion before starting to loose the weight) and decided to bench, found that I went from being able to bench around 235-240 to being able to bench around 190. I realized right then the err of my ways and how much muscle I was loosing. I did a lot of reading on these forums and changed my diet to around 1600 calories and continued my weight loss without much more muscle (or noticeable strength) loss.

    I am now happy with my weight but am trying to get into good lean shape. Basically I just want to recomposition at this point and gain as long as its muscle that I am gaining. I would also like to get my body fat lower but realize that it will be hard to gain muscle and loose fat at the same time.

    Exercise: I do cardio 5 or 6 days a week for 40-45 minutes usually burning around 400 calories. I do a five day split for lifting that is pretty intense.

    Diet: Consists of 1650-1800 calories depending on how much I can eat. The macros are on average ~40grams fat, ~120grams carbs, ~250 grams protein. This brings me to roughly 20% fat 30% carbs 50% protein. The carbs come from either whole wheat/oat bread or brown rice. The protein comes from very lean turkey meat, chicken, and NutraPro. The fat comes from the aforementioned foods, omega supplement, and a slice of cheese.

    Supplements (are worked into above macros) : Animal Pak, Animal Omega, Animal Flex, Animal PM, Uniliver - Also just finished a cycle of AT2/OEP Stack.

    Main question is what do I need to change to stop losing weight, not gain fat, and build muscle? I know I need more calories but seem to have that fear of getting fat again. Sorry for such a long post, thanks for reading.

    Nick

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    Nick, you've come to the right place for advice. I'm sorry I can't personally help you out where I'm still trying to get my nutrition in order, but there are some great members here who can help you nail down your diet.

    Maybe post what you eat in a typical day in order...

    First thing in the morning when you wake up:
    2nd meal:
    3rd meal:
    ETC...

    Good luck.
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    Thanks for the reply,

    A typical day for me consists of
    Breakfast: 4 to 5 egg whites, 1 slice of whole oat/wheat toast, Animal Pak, 2 servings Uniliver
    Lunch: 6ish ounces of grilled boneless skinless chickenbreast, 2 scoops NutraPro, 3 servings Uniliver, Animal Omega
    Dinner: 6 to 8 ounces 97/3 lean ground turkey burger, 2 servings brown rice, 3 servings Uniliver, Animal Flex
    Post Workout: 2 servings NutraPro, 2 servings Uniliver

    I do occasionally substitute the above breakfast for 2 servings turkey lunch meat, 1 slice of cheese, and 2 slices of whole oat/wheat bread. The lunch does on the rare occasion (crazy day at work) get substituted with something like a Met RX protein bar. On the days where i make these substitutions I usually balance out the rest of the meals to achieve the above 20% fat 30% carbs 50% protein breakdown and similiar total calories as well.
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    Well headend, first off congradulations on your weight loss. Now on to your diet...

    If you truly where eating 400-500 cals/day (questionable...) you probably slowed your metabolism down drastically. Because of this, you are going to need to be super careful trying to gain muscle, as a normal 'bulk' intake would probably make you gain most of your weight back. My advice is to up your calorie intake by ~50 cals a day until you reach your calculated TER (total energy requirement). After that, choose whether you want to gain weight, or loose weight. This recomp stuff is inefficeint at either one, so make a choice, and switch gears when you want to trim down/bulk up. Bulking will take anywhere between 5%-20% additional cals, and cutting will take a intake of 15-20% less then your TER. Macronutrients arn't all that important IMO as long as you are meeting around 1g protein/lb, and fat isn't totally out of the question (at least 20% of the total, to preserve hormone production). My personal Macro split is:

    Bulk = 25% protein, 20% fat, 55% carbs
    Cut = 35% protein, 20% fat, 45% carbs

    However, on a cutting phase my fat intake is based on maintainance cals, and the defecit comes mostly from carbs. Carb cycling also is a great weight loss trick, but the only thing that matters is that you arn't eating the same amount every day. Your body adapts to this very quickly. Beyond that eat every 3 hrs, eat clean, blah blah blah and you're off running.

    P.S. Lift to preserve muscle on a diet (once a week, nothing too crazy), as you can't really grow much on a defecit. When bulking, hit it harder.

    -M
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    def needs alot of work........ in my opinion i would get more carbs in your breakfast first off. At lunch way too much protein and no carbs..... you need energy for throughout the day. I would def. move one of those servings of rice to lunch and get rid of the protein shakes..... use those as snacks in between meals with sum healthy fats (nuts, oil, natty PB) Im guessing u workout after dinner so keep the one serving of rice but ur gonna need sum carbs postworkout, if ur a believer in teh fast carbs do sum candy or sum sort of malto/de combo, maybe way maize..... or, since ur trying not to gain too much fat and u may be carb sensitive, plus its later at night i would recommend maybe just mixing sum oats into your shake. Other than all that you definetely need more food...... in between snacks like a shake with sum helathy fats, maybe a protein bar, cheese sticks, nuts, beef jerkey, canned tuna/salmon are all good choices.
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    Quote Originally Posted by headend View Post
    Main question is what do I need to change to stop losing weight, not gain fat, and build muscle? I know I need more calories but seem to have that fear of getting fat again.
    You are just going to have to get over that fear. Its that simple. More food is it. I wouldn't even worry about changing your macros or doing anything else differently except scaling up the calories. Every week, raise your daily intake by 200 cals. At some point you'll stop losing, then still raise it by another 200 cals the next week, and hold there for a bit and see how it goes. if you are already in the patter of those meals, all you are doing is making slightly larger servings of each.
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    Thanks for the great feedback and advice. I will definitely be incorporating the suggestions into my diet.

    I am going to have 2 slices of bread with breakfast and add some carbs into my lunch, take the shake out of lunch and use it as a snack, add some fresh veggies to dinner and do some carb cycling instead of the exact same thing every day. I am also going to up my total calories slowly as was suggested.

    I also picked up some smart balance natural peanut butter on my way home from work, that stuff is awesome! Will be throwing some of that into my diet for sure.

    Thanks again
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    1600 is still waaaaay too low. I'm 5'7" 153.4 and can't carry out basic physiological processes for living on that count. 400-500? How did you actually function day to day?

    Anywho. Your ratios are good. Let's start by cutting out those bread - too much starch and high glycemic carbs. Get all your carbs in early (oatmeal, brown rice, bran) then switch to fibrous greens later in the afternoon/evening/post workout. Invest in a casein/red meat for your last meal ( breaks down slowly to feed your body during sleep). Drop the dairy, it's just beat.

    OH! Drop the cardio. No need. Especially on a 5 day split your only asking to go backwards. Do like 20min medium intensity on the elliptical twice a week post workout, the objective is to keep the heart rate a little above 120.

    Get a solid diet down before you start carb cycling. Let's get the metabolism rollin first.
    By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.
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    sounds good bro lookin forward to seein ur new diet on here soon
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrganicShadow View Post
    1600 is still waaaaay too low. I'm 5'7" 153.4 and can't carry out basic physiological processes for living on that count. 400-500? How did you actually function day to day?

    Anywho. Your ratios are good. Let's start by cutting out those bread - too much starch and high glycemic carbs. Get all your carbs in early (oatmeal, brown rice, bran) then switch to fibrous greens later in the afternoon/evening/post workout. Invest in a casein/red meat for your last meal ( breaks down slowly to feed your body during sleep). Drop the dairy, it's just beat.

    OH! Drop the cardio. No need. Especially on a 5 day split your only asking to go backwards. Do like 20min medium intensity on the elliptical twice a week post workout, the objective is to keep the heart rate a little above 120.

    Get a solid diet down before you start carb cycling. Let's get the metabolism rollin first.
    Very nice thanks for the insight! When you say to drop the dairy are you referring to the Eggs? If so what would you recommend as a good substitution? I am going to cut the bread and move the rice to the morning.

    Thanks,

    Nick
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    On the subject of eggs its kind of a catch 22. Eggs are the most amazing first meal protein source and I almost don't really categorize them as dairy.

    Let me put it this way, it's easier to understand. I follow a more "paleolithic" style diet, especially when cutting. With supplements as an exception, I'm looking at food: if it had to be processed by man in any way... I don't eat it. That's kinda hard to do in modern day but I try to follow it.
    By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.
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    My new diet is as follows:
    Breakfast: 4 Egg whites, 2 cups brown rice, Animal Pak, Uniliver
    Lunch: 8 ounces lean ground turkey breast, 4 cups of broccoli, Animal Omega, Uniliver
    Snack: 1 scoop NutraPro
    Dinner: 8 ounces lean ground beef, 4 cups of broccoli, Animal Flex, Uniliver
    Post Workout: 2 scoops NutraPro

    This brings me to 2000 calories and 50/30/20 protein/carbs/fat. I know that I need to have more calories than this but I will scale the portions up over time.

    Any additional advice or modification to this would be appreciated.

    Thanks
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    need sum carbs before your workout for sure add sum rice to ur dinner if thats ur pre w/e meal, also maybe sum extra fat to ur shake for sum extra cals also maybe take a little of the rice from breakfast and put it with lunch, or jsut add sum carbs tehre as well, your body will need the energy for urworkout. Also, more protein with breakfast 4 whites is only like 16 g protein.
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