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Old 04-11-2005, 10:28 AM   #1
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Question Naxis- Can you help me with my diet?

Naxis, if you are reading this, could you please help? I am 5'6", 115 lbs, 20% body fat. I would like to reduce my bodyfat by 5%. i have a really small built and feel like my good weight is 105 lbs- i.e. lately i have felt overweight and my clothes dont fit as good as they used to. i want to be in ideal shape- very lean and toned, no bulk. i usually do cardio for about a hour 5 days week, and lift weights 3-4 times week. i have been trying to do HIIT, is it really more effective? i have a personal trainer who is going to help me with technique. my question is how to optomise my diet, as i want to build muscle but lose fat.
this is what it looks like so far:

6-7 am: protein shake (scoop=22g protein, 3g carbs, 2.0 fat, 118 kcal) with 3/4 cup skim milk (70 kcal):

9 am: double expresso with 2tbsp of skim milk

12: 4 egg whites ( maybe with 1 whole egg mixed in) with < 1 oz of avocado
1-2 cups of fruit (raspberries, strawberries) with 2 TBSP of quark cheese or low fat yorgurt...maybe a tbsp of walnuts or almonds..

3 pm. protein shake (same as above)

6pm. green salad (2-3 cups with balsamic vinegar), egg whites (4), half a protein shake...

7,8: latte (skim milk, no sugar)

9pm: other half of protein shake.

i really cannot handle carbs (other than fruit) as soon as i start eating them i lose control so i try and stick to the carbs i get from the fruit and skim milk.
is this ok?

could replace skim with low-carb soy...worthwhile? is the fruit really bringing me down?

also... i know its better to do cardio first thing on an empty stomach... so i go to the gym and do cardio, and then i want to do weights but you are supposed to do weights before cardio, but if i do that i need to eat something first... which is better? should i being doing cardio everyday if i want to lose fat? i feel like i have a really slow resting metabolism ( due to high bodyfat and low muscle) another thing is... i try and eat small meals several times a day but sometimes i like to eat a bigger meal (like combine two or three) is that bad? is it bad to eat before bed if you do cardio first thing? if you absolutely must eat before bed is it best to stick with just protein? how long will it take to see results?

thanks so much naxis..

if anyone else has any suggestions, feel free to post as well! thanks!

 
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Old 04-11-2005, 11:23 AM   #2
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Re: Naxis- Can you help me with my diet?

First thing is that you absolutely must build some muscle. For your height, 105 is not realistic and in fact is quite unhealthy. That would be borderline anorexic with minimal muscle and fat and you have no chance of maintaining that weight healthfully. Muscle mass is more dense than fat, so you HAVE to get the scale numbers out of your head. It is possible end up at 115 pounds, but with more lean muscle and less fat - your clothes will fit better. But for the time being, do not stress about the scale.

If you are doing cardio and weights in the same session (back to back) eat, do weights first, then do a short session of cardio - HIIT is great here. Do NOT do cardio every day. 5 days TOPS, 3 days minimum. 80% of fat loss will be in your diet, but I would make muscle gain more of a priority at this point - it will help you TREMENDOUSLY in the long run. If you are new to weights, then you will gain a little muscle rather quickly and easily. This does NOT mean you will become bulky. You honestly have to *really* try to become abnormally muscular. Women simply lack the testosterone for it to happen accidentally. As you increase your lean muscle, you will increase your metabolism, which I believe you are right, is probably fairly slow right now. It's weights that will do this, not tons of cardio.
Now about the diet:
You have WAY too many protein shakes. You should definitely be getting in the protein, but you need to try to get as musch from real food as you can. There are other aminos and nutrients and minerals etc. that are missing from supplementation. Are you a vegetarian? Do you have any dietary limitations or requirements (other than the carb thing) that would prevent you from brodening your scope of food choices?

I don't think a little fruit is killing your diet. Fruit is good and nutritious, but might be placed a little more "optimally" as far as timing goes. If you can keep fruit consumption limited to breakfast, right before, or right after your workouts, it will be put to better use. A *little* at lunch isn't bad, but 2 cups might be a bit much around a period of low activity. Combining meals isn't horrible once in a while - especially if you can maintain your caloric needs - but *ideally* you should try to stick to the small meal plan. Eating a little before bed isn't really bad, but do keep it limited to protein if you can. It's mostly carbs that would kill you here.

Let me know about the diet and I'll see what I can help you with.
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Old 04-11-2005, 12:07 PM   #3
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Re: Naxis- Can you help me with my diet?

naxis, thank you so much! i infilled some of my answers...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Naxis
First thing is that you absolutely must build some muscle. For your height, 105 is not realistic and in fact is quite unhealthy. That would be borderline anorexic with minimal muscle and fat and you have no chance of maintaining that weight healthfully. Muscle mass is more dense than fat, so you HAVE to get the scale numbers out of your head. It is possible end up at 115 pounds, but with more lean muscle and less fat - your clothes will fit better. But for the time being, do not stress about the scale.

hmm... i actually felt really great when i was at 105 lbs. i was running alot..

If you are doing cardio and weights in the same session (back to back) eat, do weights first, then do a short session of cardio - HIIT is great here.

for how long? i can do it for about 10 minutes right now..is that ok? should i do it for 15 minutes... i think i could handle it... my heart rate goes up to about 170 (according to the monitor) during peak periods..


Do NOT do cardio every day. 5 days TOPS, 3 days minimum. 80% of fat loss will be in your diet,

a bit confused about this... meaning, really watch what i eat?, i thought cardio was the big factor in weight loss? is it possible to still gain muscle of i am losing fat?

but I would make muscle gain more of a priority at this point - it will help you TREMENDOUSLY in the long run.

i agree with this... i have lost weight in the past, but i seem to gain it back really quickly...probably due to my high body-fat. once i gain muscle, is it difficult to maintain?

If you are new to weights, then you will gain a little muscle rather quickly and easily. This does NOT mean you will become bulky. You honestly have to *really* try to become abnormally muscular. Women simply lack the testosterone for it to happen accidentally. As you increase your lean muscle, you will increase your metabolism, which I believe you are right, is probably fairly slow right now. It's weights that will do this, not tons of cardio.
Now about the diet:
You have WAY too many protein shakes. You should definitely be getting in the protein, but you need to try to get as musch from real food as you can. There are other aminos and nutrients and minerals etc. that are missing from supplementation. Are you a vegetarian?

i am not a vegetarian, though i dont like eating too much meat.. the shakes are just easy to do, more than anything i guess

Do you have any dietary limitations or requirements (other than the carb thing) that would prevent you from brodening your scope of food choices?

no, i really really like eggs tho. i dont love tuna, but i am willing to eat it.

I don't think a little fruit is killing your diet. Fruit is good and nutritious, but might be placed a little more "optimally" as far as timing goes. If you can keep fruit consumption limited to breakfast, right before, or right after your workouts, it will be put to better use. A *little* at lunch isn't bad, but 2 cups might be a bit much around a period of low activity.

yikes, sometimes i have a nap right after eating fruit... this is probably pretty bad.
Combining meals isn't horrible once in a while - especially if you can maintain your caloric needs - but *ideally* you should try to stick to the small meal plan. Eating a little before bed isn't really bad, but do keep it limited to protein if you can. It's mostly carbs that would kill you here.

are the carbs in skim milk bad at night? would it be worthwhile to switch to low-carb soy milk?

Let me know about the diet and I'll see what I can help you with.

Last edited by juicylicious; 04-11-2005 at 12:08 PM.

 
Old 04-11-2005, 12:30 PM   #4
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Re: Naxis- Can you help me with my diet?

also, if i am eating less calories than required (like 1000) and still lifting weights, (but no cardio) will i lose fat and gain muscle if i am eating protein? if i am doing cardio, will i just burn off muscle for energy?

 
Old 04-11-2005, 03:55 PM   #5
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Re: Naxis- Can you help me with my diet?

Quote:
i actually felt really great when i was at 105 lbs. i was running alot..
It's still underweight for that height and if it requires a ton of cardio to maintain, it's not healthy. And if you plan to gain any lean muscle, that will add to your overall weight, even though it will not increase your bulk or fluff. You can still be light and lean, I'm just saying don't get too caught up on the numbers. The scale is not a good gauge of progress.

Quote:
for how long? i can do it for about 10 minutes right now..is that ok? should i do it for 15 minutes... i think i could handle it...
For most HIIT, I'd recommend at least 15 to 20 (but 30 tops) minutes, but it depends on how it's done. Exactly how do your sessions work? When I do mine, I jog for one minute, run for 1 minute and sprint for one minute - repeat.

Quote:
a bit confused about this... meaning, really watch what i eat?, i thought cardio was the big factor in weight loss? is it possible to still gain muscle of i am losing fat?
*Definitely* watch what you eat. Cardio is helpful, but it is by no means the biggest factor. All the cardio in the world will not compensate for a crappy diet. I can't tell you how many clients I have had that will do hours on the treadmill but stay fat because they refuse to get the diet in check (and then believe they are doomed to fail because of bad genes).
If you're just starting out, you can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time fairly easily. This is the body getting "conditioned". Then there is a plateau because in order to gain significant muscle mass, you have to eat a surplus of calories. However in order to lose fat, you must keep a caloric deficit. It's *possible* to do both by meticulously planning and timing meals, but it's a lot of work and very slow progress in both directions. But I'm guessing that you're not looking to gain much muscle (correct me if I'm wrong... I'm all for it. More muscle = more "tone" ) So you might want to see where the initial weight training takes you and decide if you want to add more to it once muscle gain tapers off. As long as you're still eating clean and getting enough protein with the weight training, you can *maintain* muscle while you gear more toward fat loss - which is almost strictly a dietary change. Maintenance is not that tough once you make the training part of your routine.

Quote:
i am not a vegetarian, though i dont like eating too much meat.. the shakes are just easy to do, more than anything i guess... i really really like eggs tho. i dont love tuna, but i am willing to eat it
Eggs are awesome, good high quality protein, so I'm not knocking it. It's just going to end up being an obscene amount of eggs everyday to get in your protein needs. You *can* do all those shakes, but I really, really advise against it. One or two tops. You can stick in tuna (for quick, cheap and easy), chicken, soy stuffs, cottage cheese, jerkey etc. Also beware of using so much skim milk. With the lower fat there comes a higher carb count and I personally think that lactose can hinder fat loss.
I'm also concerned that an espresso is your mid-morning snack. No nutrition at all. It's ok to have one, but you should have other actual food in there, like maybe 1/4 c. nuts?
You're barely getting about 1100 calories a day which is too little, *especially* if you're exercising. You're eating almost right at your BMR (which is about 1070). You won't gain muscle with too few calories and in fact it's very possible that your body will be more inclined to hold onto fat. I'd recommend eating no less than 1200 calories a day (adding some more unsaturated fats and vegetables) and maybe even 1400 or 1500 on days that you train to cover the extra expended energy and to keep you from losing muscle.
Cardio won't necessarily burn off muscle if your nutrition and meal timing is good. And HIIT is an excellent method for sparing muscle in general.
Hope that's helpful. Keep us posted.
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Old 04-11-2005, 04:46 PM   #6
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Re: Naxis- Can you help me with my diet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naxis
It's still underweight for that height and if it requires a ton of cardio to maintain, it's not healthy. And if you plan to gain any lean muscle, that will add to your overall weight, even though it will not increase your bulk or fluff. You can still be light and lean, I'm just saying don't get too caught up on the numbers. The scale is not a good gauge of progress.


i agree. i also tend to retain alot of water... i watch my sodium intake..


For most HIIT, I'd recommend at least 15 to 20 (but 30 tops) minutes, but it depends on how it's done. Exactly how do your sessions work? When I do mine, I jog for one minute, run for 1 minute and sprint for one minute - repeat.

ok, that makes more sense. usually i do 30 seconds jogging; 30 second sprint ( i prefer the shorter intervals b/c i find i push myself harder that way)..but if a minute is better, i am all for it!

*Definitely* watch what you eat. Cardio is helpful, but it is by no means the biggest factor. All the cardio in the world will not compensate for a crappy diet. I can't tell you how many clients I have had that will do hours on the treadmill but stay fat because they refuse to get the diet in check (and then believe they are doomed to fail because of bad genes).

yes, i unfortunately ran into this last week when i was doing crazy cardio and was absolutely ravenous (i call it carb-entitlement syndrome) learned my lesson when my jeans were tight though!

If you're just starting out, you can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time fairly easily. This is the body getting "conditioned". Then there is a plateau because in order to gain significant muscle mass, you have to eat a surplus of calories. However in order to lose fat, you must keep a caloric deficit. It's *possible* to do both by meticulously planning and timing meals, but it's a lot of work and very slow progress in both directions. But I'm guessing that you're not looking to gain much muscle (correct me if I'm wrong... I'm all for it. More muscle = more "tone" )

i am really aiming for a lower body fat percentage. mine is 20% right now- the lowest i have had it is 17.5% and i found that the amount of muscle showing through was enough for a 'toned' look. i have a really small frame

So you might want to see where the initial weight training takes you and decide if you want to add more to it once muscle gain tapers off. As long as you're still eating clean and getting enough protein with the weight training, you can *maintain* muscle while you gear more toward fat loss - which is almost strictly a dietary change.

when you say strictly a dietary change, do you mean maintaining protein intake? how do maintain muscle yet not gain weight? what should my cardio routine look like at this point? how many calories?

Maintenance is not that tough once you make the training part of your routine.

what would maintainence require?

Eggs are awesome, good high quality protein, so I'm not knocking it. It's just going to end up being an obscene amount of eggs everyday to get in your protein needs.

Naxis, i love love love eggs. i try and do 5:1 egg whites and eggs ( the fat content of whole eggs is bad, right?).

You *can* do all those shakes, but I really, really advise against it. One or two tops. You can stick in tuna (for quick, cheap and easy), chicken, soy stuffs, cottage cheese, jerkey etc. Also beware of using so much skim milk. With the lower fat there comes a higher carb count and I personally think that lactose can hinder fat loss.

thats funny you mention the thing about lactose... i have noticed actually since i started drinking more skim milk the weight has stayed on.. so the low carb soy is probably better? it has similar calories. how many servings of protein/ day for my weight?

I'm also concerned that an espresso is your mid-morning snack. No nutrition at all. It's ok to have one, but you should have other actual food in there, like maybe 1/4 c. nuts?

what kinds of nuts are the best? i like almonds and walnuts... or is there something better?

You're barely getting about 1100 calories a day which is too little, *especially* if you're exercising. You're eating almost right at your BMR (which is about 1070). You won't gain muscle with too few calories and in fact it's very possible that your body will be more inclined to hold onto fat. I'd recommend eating no less than 1200 calories a day (adding some more unsaturated fats and vegetables) and maybe even 1400 or 1500 on days that you train to cover the extra expended energy and to keep you from losing muscle.

i eat an avocado/ week for good fats. i am so confused about fat though... does you body convert it to fat more easily? atkins says is good, low-fat says no way...yadda yadda...did anyone ever come up with a conclusion.
i do try and eat some broccoli, tho i hate it raw and apparently cooking it kills everything in it... are tomatoes bad? (or less favorable)


Cardio won't necessarily burn off muscle if your nutrition and meal timing is good. And HIIT is an excellent method for sparing muscle in general.
Hope that's helpful. Keep us posted.
thanks so much Naxis! i really really appreciate this. you have no idea!

other questions:
how quickly can your body fat percentage change?
my body is 'spoon-shape' unfortunately nothing upstairs, but i carry all my extra weight in my bottom and inner thighs. are there certain excercies to avoid? to squat or not to squat? i have heard thats its bad for my shape, but also that its good... should i use the bike for cardio (ie low impact) i love love love to run tho...


thanks again!

 
Old 04-11-2005, 04:51 PM   #7
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Re: Naxis- Can you help me with my diet?

opps..one more thing... should i eat after cardio or wait? is it more important to eat before or after weight training or both? what sort of timeframe?


ps. Naxis, what your favorite not-so-bad-for-you sweet treat?

 
Old 04-11-2005, 09:59 PM   #8
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Re: Naxis- Can you help me with my diet?

Quote:
usually i do 30 seconds jogging; 30 second sprint ( i prefer the shorter intervals b/c i find i push myself harder that way)..but if a minute is better, i am all for it!
It's not necessarily better, it's just different. Theres a lot of ways to do HIIT, that just works for me. If shorter intervals make you really push it, stick with it.

Quote:
when you say strictly a dietary change, do you mean maintaining protein intake? how do maintain muscle yet not gain weight? what should my cardio routine look like at this point? how many calories? what would maintainence require?
I just mean calorie deficit vs. surplus. You want to keep protein high whether the goal is building muscle or losing fat. Keeping protein high and keeping up with weight training will help you to keep the muscle you have. Cardio 3-5 times a week (alternate HIIT with some lower intensity days?), calories as per the last post. Maintenance is just backing off a little. A little higher calorie intake, a little less cardio, but still keep up with resistance training so you don't lose lean muscle. Maintenance levels of calories and exercise are a little different for everyone, so once you reach your goal, slowly increasing food to a comfortable level that doersn't lead to fat gain is where you need to be.

Quote:
i love love love eggs. i try and do 5:1 egg whites and eggs ( the fat content of whole eggs is bad, right?).
Well, it's the cholesterol that's the big concern, and there's both good and bad fat in the yolk, but one yolk a day is not going to be detrimental (only about 4.5g per lg yolk). The vitamins and fatty acids are actually going to be helpful with a high protein diet. I used to do the same thing for breakfast every morning.

Quote:
so the low carb soy is probably better? it has similar calories. how many servings of protein/ day for my weight?
I wouldn't worry about going with low carb soy. Plain soy milk has fairly few carbs and is less processed. But whichever you'd prefer.
For active people, the rule of thumb for protein requirements is .8g per pound of body weight, so around 90g a day for you (you're definitely hitting that mark).

Quote:
what kinds of nuts are the best? i like almonds and walnuts... or is there something better?
Conveniently, the best are in fact walnuts and almonds. (Walnuts first, almonds second, but they both have tons of good stuff in them).

Quote:
i eat an avocado/ week for good fats.
That's not nearly enough. The low-fat prophets push a lot of conflicting info because the American diet was so full of fat (and mostly saturated fat at that) that the calories added up too fast causing obesity and heart disease. But low fat isn't exactly healthy either. Unsaturated fats are good and necessary for the body to function well and is also important to fat loss, as counter-intuitive as that seems. If you were going to break down your protein, fat and carbs into percentages, no less than 10% of your calories should be from good fats. Nuts, salmon, flax oil, olives, safflower oil etc. Good stuff and will actually help your body to use its own fat. It gets ind of involved, but check out a book called "Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill" for more detailed info. It's a great read.

Quote:
i do try and eat some broccoli, tho i hate it raw and apparently cooking it kills everything in it... are tomatoes bad? (or less favorable)
Cooking does not kill the nutritional value of foods - regardless of what raw foodists might have you believe. It can take some nutrients out, but it's still good for you (steamed is best if you have that choice). Raw is great, but anything is better than nothing. Tomatoes are great too.

Quote:
how quickly can your body fat percentage change?
% changes will be different for everyone, but your body can only physically burn off about 2 pounds of fat a week at the most. If you're losing more weight than that, then you need to be more careful about muscle loss.

Quote:
my body is 'spoon-shape' unfortunately nothing upstairs, but i carry all my extra weight in my bottom and inner thighs. are there certain excercies to avoid? to squat or not to squat? i have heard thats its bad for my shape, but also that its good... should i use the bike for cardio (ie low impact) i love love love to run tho...
Definitely squat. You may add a little muscle there, but it will help you to lose the fat. Unless you were planning on going very heavy and really packing on muscle mass, it shouldn't exacerbate your "spoonness".

And ABSOLUTELY eat after cardio. You've used up all your body's glucose and if you don't replenish stores, it will start to eat up muscle. For weight training, a small carb meal (fruit like an apple is *ideal* here) about 30 minutes before you go in will give you energy for your workout. A protein shake with some carbs, even sugar, is perfect right after working out, within 15 minutes of your last rep. This is the only time that sugar is a *good* idea because it gets sucked right up into the muscles before it has any chance to become body fat and starts the recovery process right away. Fruit is ok, but actual sugar is better.

As for snacks, I'm on a huge frozen blueberry kick at the moment. Not tons but I have a little (1/4 cup) every day. I also make a protein chocolate pudding that's right on for the choco-fix need.
1 pkg fat free, sugarfree choc pudding.
1.5c water,
1-3 scoops protein powder, chill.

Sugarfree Jello is good too, but it has aspertame. But in general, the protein shake for the day fits the bill for my sweet tooth.
__________________
Keep your body lean, your blood clean and your mind sharp. -Rollins

 
Old 04-12-2005, 03:55 AM   #9
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Re: Naxis- Can you help me with my diet?

thank you so much naxis!!!

your info and advice really cleared alot of things up for me. you are awesome and very much appreciated! i will keep you posted on my progress!

 
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