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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:06 pm 
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I'm fairly lean but I want to be just bit leaner. I don't fancy doing a hardcore fat loss diet because I don't really think it's necessary, but I'm interested to see if I could just lose a bit of fat and keep trying to increase muscle mass at the same time.

I know there's a school of thought that basically says you can either eat more and grow, or eat less and shrink, but I'm not so sure about that. I've read this article:

http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_arti ... should_eat

it's basically about how only having carbs at the certain times of day you'll need them, ie before a workout, is key to not gaining any fat.

So is it just as easy as not having carbs except for breakfast and pre/post workout? My meal breakdown would basically be

meal 1 has carbs
meal 2 has carbs
then I have my workout with a shake after, it's got carbs in too
meal 3 no carbs
meal 4 no carbs

i usually get about 180 grams of protein over the course of the day which seems to be enough, I weigh about 170-175lbs.

So is that it? Just have no carbs in the second half of the day? On days I don't work out should I'd just have carbs with breakfast and that's it?

I'm sort of worried that all that's going to happen is my strength levels will stall. And will this actually burn fat or just kind of maintain the level I'm at? Do I have to do cardio (I'd really rather not...)?

I feel I'm overthinking this but I've basically just always tried to eat as much as I could, all the time and while I've definitely put on a bit of muscle my bodyfat is just a tiny bit higher than I'd like it. I've never tried to lose weight before so I'm interested in seeing if I can do it.

All input is much appreciated as always
Bob


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:19 pm 
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I'm of the school that you can gain muscle mass at the same time you diet.

I suggest at least being quantitative. Get yourself calipered. Set a goal and a timeframe. Diet down. And for gosh sakes...just trying to imagine what is going on with the fat and the weight when they are all just changing is really not helpful. Like "I gained 40 pounds and I 'think' most of it was muscle". Bad scientific practice. Not analytical.

And just run all your regular lifts while doing so. Set a goal of maintaing all your strength. (And if you are strict, I bet you still progress.)

And even if you don't diet down "fast", the RATE of mass change for fat loss is far faster than that for muscle gain. A hardcore diet will take you down at 3 pounds per week. A moderate diet will still take you down 1 pound per week. Yearly muscle gain is something on the order of a pound per month (less for advanced trainees).

Of course, you can be unquantitative and just change some aspects of your diet and NOT caliper and NOT set goals. And it MIGHT work. Just like lifting with no plan at all MIGHT work.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:33 pm 
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Notice that when carbs are high, fat is low and vice versa. This is important. Insulin in going to cause any extra calories to be stored. You want extra protein but not fat when you're spiking your insulin. This is also timed around your workout when you're most anabolic.

If you're going to follow this precisely fine but if you're not, the timing is less important. The total carbs will make more difference. Limit your carbs to 20-50 grams per day for a couple of weeks and then gradually increase them until you know what you can tolerate. Most people need somewhere between 50-100 grams to maintain a lean body.

Edited to correct typo.


Last edited by stuward on Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:56 pm 
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poly: I appreciate the input, going down the route of getting calipered is a fair enough suggestion but it's a bit more scientific than I was hoping to have to be. I was hoping I could lean out a bit with more of a slight lifestyle change.

stuward: that's pretty much exactly what I hadn't hoped for. I was hoping it wasn't going to come to having to count grams of things, I really don't like the idea of weighing my food. Seems a bit obsessive.

I used to eat carbs with every meal, mostly in the form of brown rice. I figured I could maybe get away with just swapping the brown rice in my later meals for broccoli and that'd do it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:05 pm 
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robertscott wrote:
poly: I appreciate the input, going down the route of getting calipered is a fair enough suggestion but it's a bit more scientific than I was hoping to have to be. I was hoping I could lean out a bit with more of a slight lifestyle change.

stuward: that's pretty much exactly what I hadn't hoped for. I was hoping it wasn't going to come to having to count grams of things, I really don't like the idea of weighing my food. Seems a bit obsessive.

I used to eat carbs with every meal, mostly in the form of brown rice. I figured I could maybe get away with just swapping the brown rice in my later meals for broccoli and that'd do it.


That would certainly be a step in the right direction. The people following the plan in that article are the ones looking to get to 3% fat. That requires way more dedication and attention to details than I could muster.

A lot of people improve just by cutting out the junk food. Then you gradually refine it when what you're doing no longer works.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:07 pm 
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Robert:

thanks for not getting mad at my input. I just couldn't help not giving it. Even though I knew it might be in a different direction than your mindset. But yer my buddy regardless of how you run your training. It's your body!

I know the journaling food can be daunting. But maybe just do it as a temporary experiment? For chitz and giggles. Not something you think you need to do all your life, but a useful way to get a better handle on what goes into your body. Just do it for a couple weeks and I bet you get some new insights into where you are doing damage. It's like monitoring every penny for a week and learning that you didn't realize how much coffees and gas were costing you.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:07 am 
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stuward wrote:
That would certainly be a step in the right direction. The people following the plan in that article are the ones looking to get to 3% fat. That requires way more dedication and attention to details than I could muster.

A lot of people improve just by cutting out the junk food. Then you gradually refine it when what you're doing no longer works.


yeah I mean obviously I don't need to be contest prep shredded that would just be a nightmare, but losing a couple of pounds of fat would be pretty cool. I don't even really need it, I'm just interested to see if I can.

And as for junk food I have grudgingly cut that. The hardest thing for me is to stop eating crisps (potato chips to the American/Canadian contingent). I've started eating peanuts instead. They're not as good, but much better for me so I guess I just have to take it like a man.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:12 am 
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ApolytonGP wrote:
Robert:

thanks for not getting mad at my input. I just couldn't help not giving it. Even though I knew it might be in a different direction than your mindset. But yer my buddy regardless of how you run your training. It's your body!

I know the journaling food can be daunting. But maybe just do it as a temporary experiment? For chitz and giggles. Not something you think you need to do all your life, but a useful way to get a better handle on what goes into your body. Just do it for a couple weeks and I bet you get some new insights into where you are doing damage. It's like monitoring every penny for a week and learning that you didn't realize how much coffees and gas were costing you.


Who said I wasn't mad eh? Eh? Just kidding. Getting calipered and keeping a journal are things I'd definitely do if I was going for a whole body transformation type thing, but really I see what I'm doing as just sort of 'tweaking' things. I reckon a slight adjustment can get me where I want to be. I mean, if I don't necessarilly lose fat, but don't gain any, and still keep gaining muscle then the fat I've got'll look less as it's spread over more muscle.

It's more of an experiment than anything else. I did a really low carb diet at the end of last year and I got stronger but not really any bigger. So I think the key, for me at least, is to still get a couple of good servings of carbs a day but just around the workout window and at breakfast


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:33 am 
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Peanuts are a little problematic because like crisps, they're really easy to consume lots of them before you know it. They are also a mix of carbs and fats so they can give you an insulin boost and all that fat will be stored. A small handful once in a while may be good. Better is to rotate them with almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc. Peanuts are also salted and coated in vegetable oil, especially the ones you get at the pub. That makes them even less desirable.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:38 am 
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stuward wrote:
Peanuts are a little problematic because like crisps, they're really easy to consume lots of them before you know it. They are also a mix of carbs and fats so they can give you an insulin boost and all that fat will be stored. A small handful once in a while may be good. Better is to rotate them with almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc. Peanuts are also salted and coated in vegetable oil, especially the ones you get at the pub. That makes them even less desirable.


dammit! I thought they just had loads of portein and good fat. Which nut is best then?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:39 am 
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I'm going to backtrack here. Other than cashews which have a few more carbs than other nuts, almost all carbs in nuts are fibre and the GI is very low for all nuts. The reason to limit nuts is due to the high calorie content. If you just eat mindlously, or if you're eating them along with a high carb beverage, like beer, they can be a problem.

Just limit yourself to about 1/4 cup at a time as a between meal snack. Avoid them when you're at the pub.

http://whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nu ... e&dbid=114
You can see that Almonds are almost the same.
http://whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nu ... le&dbid=96

It's the micro nutrients that vary between the different nuts and there is a possibility that some anti-nutrients could exist so I think a variety is best.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:58 pm 
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stuward wrote:
Limit your carbs to 20-50 grams per week for a couple of weeks and then gradually increase them until you know what you can tolerate. Most people need somewhere between 50-100 grams to maintain a lean body.

I think you meant 20-50 grams per day?

Even eating nothing but meat/cheese/greens I get around 25g per day. I sometimes throw in almonds (I never eat more than 30 almonds at a time - I count them as I eat them, usually while cooking) which gets me to maybe 35g or so tops.

All that said, I've continued to lose fat and gain muscle the whole time for the last year or so. It's been a slow process though. I'm down ~20 lbs from this time 12 months ago.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:56 pm 
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frogbyte wrote:
All that said, I've continued to lose fat and gain muscle the whole time for the last year or so. It's been a slow process though. I'm down ~20 lbs from this time 12 months ago.


If you are gaining muscle while losing fat for an entire year, I dont think being down 20 lbs is slow.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:42 pm 
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Well, that makes me feel a little better about my rate of progress. :) But my post wasn't intended to be negative, really.

I was meaning to address the OP concern that "strength levels will stall" on low carb. For me, anyway, that's never been the case. I've got a ton of data on the days that I did high carb, and the workouts after, and never noticed much of a correlation. I guess I really should try to analyze it in graph form though.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:48 pm 
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I, personally, don't eat nuts anymore.

They're overhyped from what I understand, our Omega 3:omega 6 ratio should be much higher than it is and nuts are heavy in omega 6.

If you're trying to lose weight, they're also more calorie dense than chocolate, heh.


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