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Beginners Q&A For People Just Getting Started


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JBM
Old 02-23-11, 09:41 AM
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Hey everyone, ive been lurking here for a while, great site.

I have a couple questions about my diet.

How much of a calorie deficit can i go while still making gains in muscle and strength?

What should be my breakdown p/c/f? My average over the last 6 days or so is about 40/35/25, to about 1/3 each.

My calories are around 1800-2300.

Im 6'4" @250. Do I need 1.5g of protien per day? Even at 1g per, I find it almost impossible to eat that much, even if I drink 40g 2 times a day. Im usually at 175g a day, average with 1-2 drinks.

I try to eat 2500 calories/day, but I dont know what I can eat that is high in protien and high in calories. If I stay away from carbs and fat, I end up with no calories.

So calorie deficit, im like I said 250 and on the second month of p90x. The program says each workout is about 600 calories. Per their calculations I burn 3600 calories a day with the workout based on my 250lbs. So I can have a 1500 calorie/day deficit and still eat 2k a day @ 175g of protien.
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Scrumhalf
Old 02-23-11, 12:49 PM
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OK.. I have a bunch of questions for you.

First things first... what are your goals? Are you trying to lose fat, or are you trying to gain muscle and strength. Because those goals are often contrary to each other.

What is your current BF%?

There is no fixed formula for running a deficit. You can run a 500 kcal deficit without too much concerns as long as you keep your protein high. I would target 1.5g per lb of LEAN body mass. You can certainly run a 1000 kcal deficit and I have known people who have run even larger deficits as part of a Protein Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF) type diet plan. The larger the deficit, the faster you'll lose weight but you have to make sure you have enough protein or else you'll lose muscle mass and that's not good. You have to gauge this by eye and by strength and make adjustments.

At the end of the day, the best metric is the scale, the mirror and your strength.

How old are you?
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JBM
Old 02-23-11, 01:59 PM
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Thanks for the reply.

Well I would like to loose about 25 pounds or so and also gain some decent cardio and strength. Not, i can jog 10 mile cardio, burst cardio. Looks wise i dont want to look like a fatty that can bench 300 pounds.

Im 41 and well, chubby now. Im a stone mason so i can lift big rocks but i cant press for crap. Dont use those muscles. The economy had me a slow year and an even slower winter.

The online calculators have me pegged for 30% BF. I would tend to agree that is pretty close. Maybe 25 i dont know.

My short term goal is to get ready for this season. Lifting rocks, granite ect. Outside in the heat is no place for a fat bastard. Long term goal is to look like i take working out and my health serious.

So i need 1.5p per lean body mass, assuming im around 30% fat, i would 175*1.5=262ish?

Does that number fluctuate depending on the intensity and or just the amount of muscle? Im sure my workouts are pretty LOL for some of you all.
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Scrumhalf
Old 02-24-11, 12:57 AM
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Hey bro, I used an online BMR calculator for your age and height/weight and you come in at about 2300. If I multiply this by about 1.5 for a moderate activity level, I get about 3400 calories for your daily calorie rate. This agrees pretty well with the general rule of thumb of 14-16 calories/lb of bodyweight. Your P90X calculations are pretty spot on too.

So, I would shoot for about 2500 calories of intake at about 50P/30C/20F or 40P/40C/20F. For a 40/40/20 macro breakdown, that's 250g of protein, 185g of carbs and 55g of fat. Should be easily doable - heck I am vegetarian and even I can pound down 200g of protein without any problem.

This will give you about a 1000kcal deficit. That's pretty good if you can pull it off and have enough energy all day.

Are you using fitday.com or some such site to keep track of what you eat? This is really important because research has shown that most people underestimate the number of calories they consume unless they keep track of what they eat. This may seem like a major chore, and it is for a month or so until you get the hang of it and then all it takes is about 5 or 10 minutes in the morning to plan out your day.

I think you have it nailed. You should see steady results if you stick with the workouts and have an honest tally of your daily intake (really important).
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JBM
Old 02-24-11, 08:31 AM
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Thanks a ton for the reply. I am using sparkpeople.com to track my food. Yeah, it is almost impossible without a way to track my food.

Does the 55g of fat mean total fat? There is alittle fat in almost everything. I eat a mixed nut pack @ 200 calories with tuna for an after diner snack last night. I also had some peanut butter, because i was low on calories for the day. There is quite a bit of fat in just nuts. The fat in eggs is another one that pushes the amount for the day up quick.

Also does the post work out carbs count towards the day?

So you think it would be possible to build muscle/endurance as well as dropping some blubber? Things appear to be going in the right direction, but im not sure if my strength and "size" is due to just starting a resistance program.
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Scrumhalf
Old 02-24-11, 08:46 AM
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Yes, total fat. And yes, post workout carbs need to be counted.

And yes, you can build muscle/endurance as well as drop blubber at the same time if you are a beginner. As you lean out, it will get harder to do both at the same time but you need to get pretty lean before that becomes a problem.

At the risk of sounding redundant, I would reemphasize the need to carefully account for calories. Tagalong carbs and fats can be significant, so make sure you account for everything. If your program has the ability to enter custom foods, you can define a bunch of things and save them so that if you do the same things, you don't have to type it all in. For example, I buy the same brand of bread, peanut butter, etc., so I have them all defined and all it takes is one click to enter them for the day.

Needless to say, curb eating out. It is really hard to gauge your intake when you are not making your own stuff. Pack your lunch. Drink lots of water. This stuff is pretty simple. If you eat less than you burn, you'll lose weight. Be patient and it will happen.

Last edited by Scrumhalf; 02-24-11 at 08:51 AM.
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JBM
Old 02-24-11, 11:52 AM
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Thanks a bunch for your help.

Yeah its the tagalong;s that creap up on me. Try as i may im usually around 90g of fat a day. A drizzle of olive oil on a salad seems harmless enough, but bam 5g of fat . Easy enough to modify, at least im aware of it, i would think thats half the battle
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Scrumhalf
Old 02-24-11, 02:07 PM
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Why don't you post a typical day's food? Maybe it is the way you are cooking things, or the choices you are making? Others on the board may be able to offer advice on how to deal with this.
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JBM
Old 02-25-11, 09:25 AM
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Cool, lets see, I made chili the other day, I had the option of adding the salt in separate, so I used 1/2 of it. I cant "create" this chili on spark people so I used something close enough.

Food for Wed:
Calories Carb Fat Protein
Hard Boiled Egg, 3 large 233 2 16 19
Milk, 1%, 1 cup 110 12 2 8
GNC Pro Performance 36.5 gram 130 8 2 20 Quaker Instant Oatmeal 160 32 3 4
Breakfast TOTALS: 903 67 35 77

Lunch
Chicken Breast, no skin, 4.5 ounces 140 0 2 29
Brown & Wild Rice-
Ready to Serve Minute Rice, 1 serving 230 42 4 5
Lunch TOTALS: 370 42 6 34

Diner
Ground Chicken 93% Lean, 3 oz 105 1 4 17
Bush Chili Magic Chili Starter Mild, 3 serving 330 57 3 15
Dinner TOTALS: 435 58 7 32

Snacks
Tuna, Canned in Water, 5 oz 164 0 1 36
Hannaford String Cheese Part Skim Mozzarella, 1 serving 80 1 5 8
Dunkin Donuts Coffee, cream, 1.25 serving 75 3 8 1
GNC Pro Performance 36.5 gram 130 8 2 20
Milk, 1%, 1 cup 110 12 2 8
Peanut Butter, smooth style, 1 tbsp 95 3 8 4
*Planter's Nut-rition South Beach Diet mix, 1.25 oz 213 9 19 6
Snack TOTALS: 867 36 45 84

Totals: 2,575 203 93 226

I have a coffee addiction the milk and the cream is from that. Ive cut down quite a bit, its a work in progress. Peanut butter was at the end of the day, 9 oclock, with the nuts and tuna. I didnt have 2500 calories yet.

This is yesterdays food:

Fried Egg, 2 large 185 1 14 13
Turkey Summer Sausage-2oz, 1 serving 90 7 4 12
GNC Pro Performance 'AMP' Whey Protein 36.5 gram 130 8 2 20
Quaker Instant Oatmeal
with maple and brown sugar 160 32 3 4
Old Fashioned Quaker Oatmeal- Plain 150 27 3 5
Milk, 1%, 1 cup 110 12 2 8
Breakfast TOTALS: 825 87 28 62

Lunch
Broccoli, frozen, 0.25 package (10 oz package) 21 4 0 2
Chicken Breast Lunch Meat-Boar's Head, 2 serving 120 0 2 26
Chili with beans, turkey,bean chili, 2 cup 400 52 6 34
Boar's Head Havarti Cheese, 0.5 oz 55 0 4 3
Lunch TOTALS: 596 56 12 65

Diner
Chicken Breast, no skin, 8 ounces 249 0 3 52
Brown Rice, long grain, 1 cup 216 45 2 5
Onions, raw, 0.5 cup, chopped 30 7 0 1
Green Peppers (bell peppers), 0.5 cup, strips 19 5 0 1
Garlic, 0.5 clove 2 0 0 0
Egg, fresh, 0.5 large 35 0 3 3
Olive Oil, 0.5 1tsp 20 0 2 0
Dinner TOTALS: 572 57 10 62

Snacks
Light Cream (coffee cream or table cream), 3 tbsp 88 2 9 1
GNC 'AMP' 100% Whey Protein 36.5 gram 130 8 2 20
Welch's 100% Grape Juice, 8 oz 170 42 0 0
Honey Nut Cheerios Cereal (3/4 cup), 1.25 serving 138 28 2 3
Milk, 1%, 1 cup 110 12 2 8
Snack TOTALS: 388 52 11 21

Totals: 2,628 291 64 221

I blew my carbs out of the universe yesterday. I had the cereal at night, probably shouldnt have, but I really didnt want tuna or chicken.

Its ez for me to see what I shouldnt have ate, the problem is, what should I have replaced it with. Im stuck with the, when in doubt throw chicken in a pan or open a can of tuna. The chili is rare for me to make, and I dont get a Dunkins coffe with cream every day either.

Last edited by JBM; 02-25-11 at 02:47 PM.
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hat trick
Old 02-27-11, 05:24 PM
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Ease up on the coffee Byron your crazy enough.
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Scrumhalf
Old 02-28-11, 01:00 AM
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He's having 2 cups of coffee - that's not too much. The coffee is fine - it's the milk and creamer and all tha other stuff. Learn to drink coffee black, then you can substitute the sugars in the milk with some complex carbs. But not bad overall.... 64g of fat is a lot better than 94g. BTW, ditch the juice . Eat a fruit instead - a lot better for you with the fiber.
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JBM
Old 03-01-11, 11:08 AM
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Yeah 64 isnt too bad, but that was with an effort. Ive tried to cut down on coffee, 2 those days is low. I drink the juice with creatine, pwo, ditch that?
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Scrumhalf
Old 03-02-11, 01:25 AM
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For your goals, I don't think you need to do juice pwo and all that stuff. But hey if you like juice, have a glass (personally I prefer fruit). The most important thing is to run a caloric deficit. The macro details become more important when you get to 15% BF or below.
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