Nutrition for Dummies?

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    Nutrition for Dummies?


    I have read stuff on here til the point where my head feels like it's about to explode and i'm still lost. Is there a thread or a site where I can learn the basics of everything that is talked about on here. I have no clue how to measure out grams or what carbs or lean protein is best or even what that means. I dont know what fats are low in the GI index or anything like that. So any help would be great. thanks

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    I felt the same way when I first hanging around here...search is your friend. Just keep digging and reading. Reading alot of the stickies (along with the rules) is a great place to start.
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    I've read about as much as i can take. It's hard to search when you have no idea where to begin, i read all the rules and stickies but still no luck. And I've been going on forums for years so I know to search first and ask questions later.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnat1000
    I have no clue how to measure out grams or what carbs or lean protein is best or even what that means. I dont know what fats are low in the GI index or anything like that. So any help would be great. thanks
    Read the nutrition labels on your food. You don't measure out grams, you count them. There are 4 calories in each gram of protein and each gram of carbohydrate. There are 9 calories in each gram of fat.

    Don't bother focusing on the GI index (which is used to compare carbs, not fats). Focus on basing your diet around natural nutrient rich whole foods.

    Good sources of lean protein: eggs, skim milk, tuna and other fish, chicken breasts, extra lean beef, sliced low fat ham and turkey, fat free cottage cheese & other low fat cheeses, whey protein powder, etc.

    Good sources of carbohydrates: whole wheat bread, potatoes & yams, oatmeal, beans of any kind, pasta, fruit, etc.

    Good sources of fat: olive oil, peanut butter, nuts, flax oil, fish oil.

    On top of all this, for general health you should consume a couple servings of fruit a day, and at least 3-4 servings of vegetables. Pick whichever ones you enjoy most, but try to get a variety.

    Generally avoid large amounts of saturated fat and large amounts of processed sugars.

    How many grams of each do you need and how many total calories?

    Well, a good general place to start is 16-18 cals/lb of bodyweight for mass gains, and 12 cals/lb for fat loss.

    Protein intake: 1g/lb
    Carb intake: 45-55% of total calories
    Fat intake: 15-25% of total calories

    Try to split all this up over 5-6 small meals a day, with each meal containing a good portion of protein. Make sure to consume a good amount of carbs in the first meal before & after your workout.

    Does counting your calories and grams of protein, carbs, and fat sound like a lot of work? It is. But it's what you should do if you want to keep making progress in the gym. The longer you do it, the easier it gets. A lot of people like to use fitday.com for this.
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    If you want more specific advice, post your stats and what you want to achieve. Height, weight, bodyfat % if you know it, etc. Do you want to gain muscle(bulking) or lose some fat(cutting)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnat1000
    I have read stuff on here til the point where my head feels like it's about to explode and i'm still lost...
    Same here! Maybe I just dont have the proper information retention versus computer literacy ratio for these forums, or maybe its the fragmented information, but I'm sinking fast. I have been spending way to much time on the computer trying to learn this sh1t the internet way. My desk is filled with little scraps of information scribbled on scattered pieces of paper. I need a book. A comprehensive guide to nutrition and supplements as it pertains to weight training, maybe for dummies.
    I have looked on line and found a long list of titles. Does anyone have one they recommend?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moyer
    Read the...
    Great post. There is your "Nutrition for Dummies" right there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moyer
    Does counting your calories and grams of protein, carbs, and fat sound like a lot of work? It is.
    Gnat - Pay close attention to what you eat and count for a few months. Eventually it will become second nature and you'll pretty much "know" what to eat without having to track and count everything. It's like driving a stick shift. There's a lot going on at first, but once you get the hang of it you do it right automatically.
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    basics:
    • You need to use a BMR Calculator to figure out how many calories you need to eat per day in order to gain/lose weight.
    • Protein has 4 calories/gram.
    • Carbohydrates (also known as carbs or CHO’s) have 4 calories/gram.
    • Fat has 9 calories/gram.
    • Alcohol has 7 calories/gram. (if you’re serious about your nutrition then you will limit alcohol consumption)
    • Macronutrient ratio (macros) is the ratio of protein/carbs/fat out of the amount of calories in your diet.
    • Maintenance calories is the amount of calories you need to eat in order to maintain your current weight.
    • Not all fats are bad. In fact, you need fat to live. The types of fat you want to moderate are saturated fats and trans-fatty acids. Google: Healthy Fats/Fish Oil/Olive Oil
    • A common macronutrient ratio is 40/40/20. This means 40% of your calories come from protein, 40% of your calories come from carbohydrates, and 20% of your calories come from fats.
    • For example, a 2500 calorie diet with a macro ratio of 40/40/20 will have 250 grams of protein, 250 grams of carbs, and 55 grams of fat.
    • To track your diet, I recommend using fitday.com. It is free and easy to use.
    • If you’re eating cereal that has a cartoon character on the front, throw it away.
    • Carbs are divided by how fast they are released into the bloodstream. This index of how fast they are released is knows as the “glycemic index” (also knows as the GI). High GI means they are released quickly, Low GI means they are released slowly.
    • Foods with a High GI are sugar, white bread, cartoon cereal. (google for more info)
    • Foods with a Low GI are brown rice, oatmeal, skim milk. (google for more info)
    • Atkins Diet/No carb diets over a long period of time are bad for bodybuilders. Instead, google CKD (cyclic ketogenic diet)
    • No matter what you hear on tv or what your college professors tell you, eating 1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight won't kill you. Only take warning if you have any pre-existing kidney problems.
    • You need to drink at least a gallon of water a day. And YOU NEED to count it. Saying “I drink a lot of water” will not suffice.
    • You need to count your calories everyday, saying “I eat a LOT” will not suffice.
    • Cut out soft drinks. FYI: One can of soda has 11 teaspoons of sugar in it. Don’t drink that ****.
    • If you’re a man, cut out anything that contains soy. Google: Soy and Estrogens
    • You will not grow if you don’t have a good nutrition plan.
    • Using supplements are only meant to supplement your diet. (meaning diet comes FIRST!)
    • Having too many protein shakes a day is a waste. You need real food. Put down that shake and pick up that steak
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    I made a BMR and calorie calculator here:


    Put your info into the red cells.

    I made it a while ago when I got tired of calculating everything by hand. Its how I begin to set up my diets. Enjoy
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    Quote Originally Posted by cable626
    basics:
    • Alcohol has 7 calories/gram. (if you’re serious about your nutrition then you will limit alcohol consumption)
    I assume you're referring to pure alcohol...? Just to clarify, most alcoholic beverages are mostly water and have nowhere near 7 calories/gram. Most alcoholic beverages (i.e. 12 oz beer, glass of wine, shot of liquor) have between 100-150 calories. Light beers are usually 100 and regular beers are around 150. Some sweeter liquors like SoCo have closer to 200.
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    yea just talking about alcohol in general. Thanks for the clarification!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by cable626
    I made a BMR and calorie calculator here:

    Thankyou very much.

    I checked out that CKD diet and it looks like it is geared more towards people trying to loose fat. The Training is weird.


    Now I just need a list of common foods and their macro ratios.

    Savage, some foods dont come with nutrtion labels, like raw meat, and vegetables.
    Searching the internet sucks.
    I'm going to the book store and pick something out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GO_OUTSIDE!
    Savage, some foods dont come with nutrtion labels, like raw meat, and vegetables.
    Searching the internet sucks.
    I'm going to the book store and pick something out.
    Meat doesn't contain carbs. Lean meat like turkey, chicken, lean ham, very lean beef, etc., is basically pure protein. Fattier meats like regular ground beef, salami, etc., have a much higher proportion of fat (but still lots of protein), but you'll generally want to avoid these anyway.
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    If you can't find nutritional info on the package, look at fitday.com and you will get a general idea.

    Not sure if you're in college but a basic nutrition course is an awesome idea to learn the basics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moyer
    If you want more specific advice, post your stats and what you want to achieve. Height, weight, bodyfat % if you know it, etc. Do you want to gain muscle(bulking) or lose some fat(cutting)?
    Well I'm 5'8 165. I dont know my bf% but it's not too bad. Most of my fat is centered around the midsection. I'm in martial arts so I'm wanting to do a little of both bulking and cutting.
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    hey gnat, email me at cable626 at hush dot (.) com. I have Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle by Tom Venuto. I'll send it to you. It's a good read.
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    I wish I had the time for a course in nutrition, I have been entertaining the idea of changing careers to the field of sports nutrition. Unfortunately, I am not a wealthy man and first I must get my contractors license so I can support myself while going back to school. Maybe next fall.
    In the meanwhile what does "Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle" cover? I have been spending the morning reading John Berardi's site.

    Any body have any comments on his "precision Nutrition" program?
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    Also check out Macrblic Nutrition by Gerard Dente, No Mistakes by Vince Andrich (don't mind their product pimping), Championship Bodybuilding and Everything You Need to Know about Fat Loss by Chris Aceto are all great books.
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    Good stuff -----> Articles by Lyle McDonald
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    All I can say is be careful w/ Berardi. In general his stuff is pretty good and it works and I learned from it, but IMO he puts too much emphasis on the little things, at least some of which have been proven wrong. Part of it at least is probably his involvement w/ Biotest supplements and the pressure to come up w/ new "innovative" articles, so the minutia is a good place for him to find new ideas. I think the end result creates too many myths (which will take a while to unlearn).

    Just tell Alan Aragon to finish his new book so we wouldn't have to go through all this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Aragon
    Looks like you're starting from ground zero as far as nutrition basics go, so try not to get caught up in the small stuff just yet. Just know that it doesn't have to be fancy or complex, and focus on the food 1st, then worry about supps when necessary. Get as much of a variety of foods as possible from all 6 basic groups every day:

    -- protein/flesh (all kinds of land & sea flesh, protein powder)
    -- fats (nuts, avocado, olive oil, fish/flax oil, etc)
    -- fibrous veggies (the list is loooong)
    -- starches (whole grain products & starchy veggies)
    -- milk & milk products (if you're lactose intolerant, stick with small amounts of cheese & yogurt)
    -- fruit

    For your goals in particular, a gram of protein per pound of target bodyweight is in the ballpark. Your protein needs probably wouldn't exceed that unless you were dieting really aggressively, which it doesn't sound like you're about to. 1-2 grams of carb per pound of target bodyweight is the generally effective range for guys who aren't looking specifically to mass up (those folks may need up to 3g/lb or more). Where you fall along that range (1-2g/lb) really depends upon your relative volume of exercise. Fat grams can be roughly ballparked by cutting your target bodyweight in half. Translating all this stuff into terms of actual food is gonna take either a built in memory of food stats (which a lot of experienced guys around here already have), or a site like nutritiondata.com or fitday.com.

    As far as food avoidance goes, I'd warn against 100% avoidance of anything. You gotta be able to loosen up regularly to give your body & mind a break. the whole concept of "dirty" vs "clean" foods is debatable. Just do your best to dominate your diet with nutrient-dense whole foods & keep the refined stuff & desserts to a low roar. You can either schedule 1-2 "junk" meals per week, or you can have a small amount of "junk" every day (appx 10% of total kcals max). Either way will still allow progress, some find they don't need or want to cheat much at all, & that's fine for those weirdos

    The rest honestly is personal trial & error.... And asking questions to the warm & nutruring member's of Bobo's Circus.

    That's just my .02, everyone has their valid take on a subject this broad.
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    BB Roundtable: Will Brink, Jamie Hale, Layne Norton, Alan Aragon

    I looked through all my bookmarks and that's pretty much the best of all the general nutrition pages that I've saved.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnat1000
    Well I'm 5'8 165. I dont know my bf% but it's not too bad. Most of my fat is centered around the midsection. I'm in martial arts so I'm wanting to do a little of both bulking and cutting.
    Aren't we all?

    Can you see your abs at all? If you can't, I would recommend cutting first. If you're new to weight lifting, you may be one of the few lucky ones that can gain quite a bit of strength while losing fat.

    Try about 2000 cals & 200g of protein a day for a couple weeks & see how you do. In the beginning you might not lose a lot of total weight so don't be too anal about what the scale says. You could be losing fat and gaining a little muscle at the same time (this is generally very hard for experienced non drug using lifters to do, which is why beginners have it easy). Take some tape measurements if you want, &/or some "before" pics w/ a digital camera.

    If after a month or so you're tired of cutting & you want to add mass, go ahead and switch to a bulking diet. This is generally my take anyway. It's nearly impossible for experienced athletes to gain muscle on a caloric deficit, and also nearly impossible to lose fat on a caloric surplus (naturally). SO, simply use shorter cycles if you want to do both.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moyer
    Can you see your abs at all?
    Nope, thats the sad part. I use to have a flat stomach, but you know how college can be. So I will work on cutting first. Since I am pretty much just starting then I will look bigger by just getting some tone.
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    Moyer,
    Thankyou very much.
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    In addition, if you live in a metropolitan area you may be able to find textbooks at your local city or county public library. The internet is good, but sometimes it entails *a lot* of searching to uncover the gems. A first year college nutrition text should suffice. I found the text listed below at a library. Not cheap to own, but inexpensive to borrow for a few weeks. It's an easy read, relatively speaking, and should get you down the path. But I think any introductory nutrition text should get you there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GO_OUTSIDE!
    Moyer,
    Thankyou very much.
    No prob.
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    I just started nutritiondata.com and my girl started fitday.com. Wow! we consume alot of fat. I'm passing on the recomendation for these two sites, they were exactly what we needed to analyze our nutrition intake and find our starting point.Thanks for all the advice.
    Now if we could just get the experts to all agree on one program for fat loss and muscle gain... GI, GL, nutrition timing...
    I guess different people respond to different programs.
  

  
 

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