Is there a diet to balance fat loss and lean muscle gain?

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bigwill
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Is there a diet to balance fat loss and lean muscle gain?

Post by bigwill » Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:12 pm

hey i'm new to the gym scene basically so if i sound like a total idiot excuse me :) having just finished my final exams and going to study medicine at uni in september, i'm looking to get a bit more in shape so i can properly take part in the medics rugby and rowing.

i've just joined the gym and am working on both cardiovascular improvement, fat loss and lean muscle weight gain. my diet is basically low carb without the excesses of the atkins diet, so here's a typical meal:

breakfast: raw oats with a small amount of milk

lunch: beans with salad and other vegetables and a small amount of meat or cheese, green apple

dinner: pasta with tomato sauce, bulked out with beans or chickpeas, another piece of fruit (i almost always avoid potatoes at dinner and skip desserts if they are sugar-filled)

my trainer says it's good to take in carbs following a work out, but i'm not sure how to balance out my food. i'm looking to decrease my body fat percentage while increase lean muscle mass, but is it possible to eat so you can do both at the same time? alternativley is it less to do what you eat and more with what to do for exercise (i've read that intense CV exercise can cause overall body mass decrease), or both?

in addition, how much carbs can you (safely) eat after a workout to justify recovery, to prevent fat gain due to an excess of empty calories?

any pointers would be really appreciated, thanks loads!

markd4863
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Post by markd4863 » Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:52 pm

Let me qualify myself before responding by saying I know very little compared to others on this forum. With that being said, I would comment that the optimal balance of fat loss and lean muscle gain is more a function of your daily caloric requirements, caloric intake, and subsequent caloric surplus or deficit, more than, as you ask, "what you eat", and "what to do for exercise".

I've been training for six months and during the first period of approx three months my caloric intake was either equal to, or less than my caloric requirments adjusted for levels of activity which included three full body strength training routines per week, which began with 20-30 mins of cardio, and one day per week involved in other another activity, including basketball, indoor soccer, or raquetball. Parenthetically, you can review my post on April 10th, entitled "Can someone evaluate my progress" to learn about the results I experienced in this first period. In short, my overall body composition changed (e.g. I lost fat, and increased lean muscle mass at a rate of around 2lbs/mo - my overall weight decreased).

In the second period of approx 3 months, I increased my caloric intake to exceed my daily requirements by 500 calories, and increased my weight by 7 lbs. A small portion of which was attributable to fat gain, as measured through a seven caliper test. My body composition remained in the 13% area, and I was able to pack on 1-2 lbs of muscle per month.

Finally, I'll comment on my diet during this six month period. While I can't comment on the efficacy of your plan to limit carb intake, I can share my own experiences with diet in the following description of the overall ratios of macronutrients in my diet:

Total kcals/day - 3500
Protein
1136 calories, or 284g per day (32% of overall intake)

Fat
783 calories per day (22% of overall intake)

Carbs
1580 calories per day (45% of overall intake)

Note: I highlighted the amount of protein intake per day above, because in your description of a typical meal, you don't detail a high level of protein consumption.

good luck in your quest

md

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Post by Jebus » Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:01 pm

You should try using a High fat/Protein Low carb approach.

Also the reason why people take carbs post workout is because thier glycogen stores are depleted.

But i don't think Weight training, low volume high intensity, uses that much glycogen as much as long distance running.

The most important thing post workout is protein though. you can add some sugar to your shake if you want. But dont eat any fat or fibre, this will slow digestion.

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jtw
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Post by jtw » Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:45 am

oats, beans, and pasta? nothing in your meal description sounds very low carb to me.

are you a vegetarian? where's your meat intake?

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Post by jtw » Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:47 am

oh, my mistake - i just re-read and saw that you add a small piece of meat at lunch, so you're not a vegetarian then. Eat more meat! Chicken and turkey are versatile and relatively cheap ways to add protein to meals, and add fish in there once in a while too.

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Post by robertscott » Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:51 am

yeah man you definitely need to get more protein. LOTS more protein. If you're not a fan of eating meat there's alternatives: eggs, milk, protein shakes etc

bigwill
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Post by bigwill » Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:33 pm

thanks loads for all the info guys, its really helpful
jtw wrote:oats, beans, and pasta? nothing in your meal description sounds very low carb to me.
i do eat tuna, chicken, eggs especially stuff like that, but maybe pasta was a bad example, i have it rarely. when i say low-carb i should have said low-GI carbs since thats what beans and oats

i may have a problem with the beans though; i thought that beans were 1. low GI and 2. high in protein, hence ideal to basically provide the base of meals - am i barking up the wrong tree? (btw this isn't beans as in baked beans i'm talking about but boiled, unflavoured beans with no sugary sauce or anything)

and yeah one of the guys i go to the gym with suggests cnp pro mass supplement for starting out to gain lean mass - i said i'd read about the met-rx protein plus protein shake alone but he said its more for people looking to maintain their level of muscle. any thoughts? cheers

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Ironman
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Post by Ironman » Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:05 pm

It's pretty easy if you are a beginner. Eat low carbs and lift heavy doing all the big lifts. You will be able to loose fat and gain muscle at the same time for months.

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